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I'm writing an assignment about the Enigma machine, and i'm trying to calculate the amount of settings the enigma machine has. I have found several sites regarding this topic, but it seems like there are to answers to my question. The first answer is 158,962,555,217,826,360,000 and the second is 107,458,687,327,250,619,360,000. Where the difference is that in the second answer, it has been taken into account that the notched rings on the enigma could be set as well, giving 26 * 26 = 676 more settings than the first answer.

But which answer is the right one, and why?

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  • $\begingroup$ I have made an expanded answer to the related question, covering why the two numbers given in the present question make sense, depending on exactly what we count. The discrepancy does not come from taking into account that the notched rings on the Enigma rotors could be set to different position (this was not the case); rather it comes from the fact that the position of the outer of the rotors (thus notches), except the left one, matters to the encryption, and is initially unknown. $\endgroup$ – fgrieu May 18 '16 at 10:09

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