Own this rare and important piece of WWII and computer history.

This is a complete WWII German Enigma machine in very fine working condition.

The serial number of this machine is A01259. The identification tag located on the Enigma’s keyboard reads “A01259 / bac / 44E”. This indicates that this Enigma was made during the war by Ertel-Werk in Munchen, Germany in 1944. 

This Enigma machine was manufactured for and used by the German military during World War II however, 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 1944. 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).

This Enigma is complete and in museum-quality, working condition. The machine includes three original Enigma rotors (II, IV, and V). Rotor II has the serial number A18568. Rotor IV has the serial number A10215. Rotor V has the serial number A16401. Rotors A18568 and A16401 have Bakelite thumbwheels as they were manufactured late-war when the German’s were seeking ways to conserve metal through the substitution of alternate materials. The reflector in this machine is marked “A01259/bac/44E” matching the serial number of the machine.

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”). It has been meticulously restored to working condition. 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 and a signed copy of Dr. Thomas Perera’s book Inside Enigma. 

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 that they had to keep their secret code machines from falling into the hands of 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 surrender or be overrun by Allied forces. As a result, less than one percent of Enigma machines survived the war.  Most that did survive the war are now in museums or in private collections.

Allied code breakers, including Alan Turing, developed the world’s first computers to break the Enigma codes. Successful Allied code breaking efforts against the Enigma cipher machine, first by the Poles and then by the British and Americans, are attributed with shortening the war by as much as two years, saving thousands of lives, and denying Germany the time needed to perfect an atomic bomb.

Enigma machine A01259 is a very fine working example of one of the most important pieces of WWII history.

This Enigma has been in our collection for more than 15 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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SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT PRICES: The Germans destroyed their Enigma machines rather than risk capture as they retreated from 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 last 10 years. 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. 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 key press can not be guaranteed.