8
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A part of me's mechanical.

The other is electrical.

I'm named after an ancient word.

On watercrafts I was on board.

-

My weaknesses helped to kill some men.

Thus I am remembered now and then.

My weakness not only demanded some blood.

It changed history to the good.

-

All in all I am quite small.

I'm about six inches tall.

-

I contain a battery.

Which spends the electricity.

-

What am I?

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7
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Deciphering this riddle may give an

enigma machine.

A part of me's mechanical. The other is electrical.

they are electro-mechanical rotor machines.

I'm named after an ancient word.

From the Latin aenigma (riddle), itself from Ancient Greek. Versions include the Naval M1 - M4.

On watercrafts I was on board. My weaknesses helped to kill some men. Thus I am remembered now and then. My weakness not only demanded some blood. It changed history to the good.

Versions include the Naval M1 - M4. When the code was cracked, the information which could save Allied shipping in the Atlantic from U-boats was not always acted on, as it would have alerted the German Navy that their code had been cracked. It's said the deciphering of the Enigma shortened WW2 significantly.

All in all I am quite small. I'm about six inches tall. I contain a battery. Which spends the electricity.

They were portable, about this height, and many used a standard 4.5 Volt battery.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ As a cipher/history buff, I loooooooove this answer - and am a little mad I didn't think of it first :) $\endgroup$ – Brandon_J Mar 26 at 12:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ actually, that was how it was meant. $\endgroup$ – KGM Mar 26 at 17:22
5
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On watercrafts I was on board. What am I?

Radio. From ODO: 3.1 An apparatus capable of both receiving and transmitting radio messages between individuals, ships, planes, etc. Boats/ships used (still use) radios for communication.

A part of me's mechanical.

Tuner/switches were traditionally mechanical.

The other is electrical.

Otherwise it primarily works with electricity.

I'm named after an ancient word.

Latin origin. From etymonline: radio (n.) "wireless transmission of voice signals with radio waves," 1907, abstracted from earlier combinations such as radio-receiver (1903), radiophone (1881), radio-telegraphy (1898), from radio- as a combining form of Latin radius "beam." Use for "radio receiver" is first attested 1913; sense of "sound broadcasting as a medium" is from 1913.

On watercrafts I was on board.

Same as title.

My weaknesses helped to kill some men.

As a prefix, my activity (radioactivity) resulting from instability (synonymous with weakness) of an atomic nucleus resulted in creation of the atomic bomb and consequent loss of lives.

Thus I am remembered now and then.

Perhaps a reference to remembrance like during anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombings.

My weakness not only demanded some blood.
It changed history to the good.

The devastation and loss of lives due those bombings meant the whole world woke up and it is very unlikely that such destruction will happen again.

All in all I am quite small.
I'm about six inches tall.

Typically portable radios (apparatus capable of both receiving and transmitting radio messages) are around six inches tall.

I contain a battery.
Which spends the electricity.

Self-explanatory.

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  • $\begingroup$ nah, the radioactivity interpretation is quite strange. Its quite good anyway. $\endgroup$ – KGM Mar 26 at 17:25

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