RARE AND DRAMATIC WAR RELIC: 3-ROTOR ENIGMA MACHINE – SOLD-

Relic, battle-field found Enigma next to a well preserved, working Enigma machine.

Relic, battle-field found Enigma next to a well preserved, working Enigma machine.


This rare World War II  3-rotor Enigma machine was destroyed by blows from the butt of a German rifle and a shot with a pistol through the top of the machine and down into the rotors. It was then thrown into a lake on the Polish/German border, where it lay undisturbed for 70 years until it was recovered using a metal detector. Intentional destruction was the fate of nearly all Enigma machines as the Germans were defeated in 1945. German officers were ordered not to let these top secret code machines fall into enemy hands.  So, as Allied forces overran German positions at the end of the war, German soldiers would destroy their Enigma machines and, when possible, throw
them into lakes or the ocean to hide them.

Our experience with relic, battlefield-found Enigma machines has shown that the type of intentional damage inflicted upon this Enigma machine is typical of Enigma machines abandoned by retreating or soon to be captured German forces. Consultation with an expert in WWII German firearms led us to the likely conclusion that this particular Enigma was shot with a Mauser 7.62mm pistol and that the machine was also likely struck with the butt of a Mauser K98 rifle in an effort to disable the machine. Both of these weapons are shown in some of the pictures below.

While the serial number of this Enigma machine cannot be discerned, it is possible to read the serial number of the right most rotor (the one impacted by the pistol shot).  It is “A 01826 44 E”, indicating that the rotor was made by Ertel-Werke in Germany in 1944.  Dr. David Hamer’s list of known Enigma machines shows both machines “A 01183/bac/44E” and “A 01713/bac/44E” with metal cases.  This Enigma was in a metal case when it was abandoned in a lake at the end of the war.  The remnants of the lower part of the case are still attached to the machine. Therefore, it is possible that this machine is A 01826/bac/44 E.

This historic war relic would be an excellent addition to a private collection or to a museum as a display showing what happened to almost all German Enigma machines as the German military retreated in the final years of World War II.

This relic, war-damaged Enigma machine includes various relic parts as well as two facsimile Enigma operator’s manuals (in German) and a copy of Dr. Perera’s book, Inside Enigma (in English).

We also have video, documentation, other relic battlefield-found Enigma parts, and additional photographs to aid in the development of displays and exhibits for museums and institutions.

( SOLD )
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