3-ROTOR ENIGMA A16672

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This is a complete, museum-quality WWII German Enigma machine in excellent working condition.

The serial number A16672 indicates that it was made during the war by Heimsoeth and Rinke in Berlin in 1943.  This Enigma includes five rotors (I, II, III, IV, and V). All five rotors carry the serial number A16672 and match the serial number of the machine. This Enigma machine was manufactured for and used by the German military during World War II.

Although it is more than 70 years old, this Enigma machine is an excellent, museum-quality example of a 3-rotor Army Enigma (a.k.a. “Heeres Enigma”, or “Enigma I”). To allow the buyer to use the Enigma, a battery holder that accepts standard flashlight batteries is included as are copies of the original Enigma operating manuals, Dr. Thomas Perera’s book Inside Enigma, and a CD-ROM titled The Story of the Enigma: History, Technology, and Deciphering.

This machine was used by the German military during WWII, but it survived the war without any damage and appears to have been stored in a stable and dry environment. All of the internal wiring of this Enigma as well as the wiring of the rotors and reflector have been checked and verified to work just as the machine would have worked upon issue to the German military in 1943. The rotors have been refurbished to original specifications using as many original parts as possible. These rotors are made up of parts from other Enigma rotors and have been renumbered and are not the rotors originally issued with this Enigma machine.  The finish on the oak box has been lightly restored to stabilize the wood. The machine and the oak case are in excellent condition and show wear characteristic of machines that were in use during the war (see the photographs below).

Enigma machines are extremely rare. German officers had orders to destroy them rather than let them be captured at the end of the war. The Germans had no idea that the Allies had broken the Enigma codes and felt they had to keep their secret code machines from the enemy. German soldiers would kick them, hit them with rifle butts, throw them into lakes, and even explode hand grenades inside them when their positions were about to be overrun by Allied forces. 

Successful Allied code breaking efforts against the Enigma cipher machine by the Poles, British, and Americans are attributed with shortening the war by as much as two years, saving thousands of lives, and denying Hitler the time needed to perfect an atomic bomb.

Enigma machine A16672 is a very fine working example of one of the most important pieces of WWII history.

This Enigma machine includes a replica spare rotor box that is shown in the pictures below.

This Enigma has been in our collection for more than 10 years and was purchased from a collector in Europe.  It is available for sale and located in the US.

 

Can not find what you are looking for?  Check our For Sale page for other antique cipher equipment.

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HISTORICAL NOTE: The Germans destroyed their Enigma machines rather than risk capture as they retreated from Russian and Allied forces in the final years of the war.  In addition, Allied forces were ordered to destroy all German Enigma Machines at the end of WWII. Therefore, they are exceptionally hard to find. The difficulty in finding Enigma machines coupled with an increasing recognition of the historic importance of these machines has led to a steady increase in prices over the years.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT PRICES:
Original German Enigmas like this one are extremely rare and hard to find because most of the Enigmas were destroyed during or at the end of the war. Since they are so rare and historic, the prices paid in several recent sales of Enigmas have been widely publicized and consequently, the values of Enigmas have increased dramatically. In 2015, a 3-rotor German Army WWII Enigma sold at open auction by Bonhams for $ 269,000 US Dollars with the buyer’s premium factored in. Other recent sales in the $ 200,000 range were widely reported. Many of these Enigmas were sold in as-is condition with obvious parts missing. All of the Enigmas sold on this website are complete and in working condition although, since the Germans used brass electrical contacts instead of gold, silver, or platinum, perfect operation on every keypress can not be guaranteed.