Battlefield-Found Relic – Enigma Letter Film

Own this important piece of WWII history!

Original, battlefield-found Enigma letter film (schlüsselgerät buchstabentafel). This letter film was found in a destroyed communications bunker in the area around what was Stalingrad.

This is an original Enigma letter film. The letter film is located just behind the keyboard on an Enigma machine. A light bulb would be located under each letter. When a key is pressed on the Enigma machine, a single light bulb lights up, illuminating a given letter. This allowed the Enigma operator to identify encoded and decoded letters. (See pictures at the bottom of this page to see a letter film in an Enigma machine.)

Enigma machines were the primary cipher machine for the German military from 1932 through 1945. All wartime versions of the Enigma had a letter film with letters aligned over light bulbs behind the keyboard. This relic letter film is most likely from a 3-rotor Enigma I machine as this was the most common type used by the German military. Enigma I machines are known to have been in use in the Stalingrad area during WWII.

Most Enigma machines were either destroyed in combat or intentionally destroyed by German soldiers. The Germans did not know that the Allies had broken the Enigma codes. Therefore, there were standing orders not to let these top secret cipher machines be captured by the Allies. As a German position was being overrun or preparing to surrender, any Enigma machines would be intentionally destroyed. The German soldiers would shoot, kick, run over with a vehicle, or even blow up with a hand grenade any Enigma machines at risk of capture. Some Enigma machines and their rotors would then be thrown into lakes, rivers, or the ocean to further hide the machines from advancing Allied forces.

The German army suffered huge defeats in at Stalingrad in 1942-43 and many Enigma machines were destroyed.

This is an original Enigma letter film. It is intact and in stable condition. This letter film is suitable for framing for display. This piece is flat and measures 2 5/8″ x 9″. There is accumulated corrosion and residual debris throughout this piece as would be expected from having been buried in the ground for decades. Most letters are still clearly visible while one letter is completely obstructed. This Enigma letter film is in “as-found” condition.  There has been no attempt to clean this piece. Please see the pictures below.

This relic Enigma letter film is accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity from Enigma Museum.


Price $465 USD plus shipping.

We accept PayPal or personal check.  Price does not include shipping or PayPal charges.


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Letter Film in an Enigma machine. NOTE: This is not the piece being offered for sale.


Letter Film in an Enigma machine. NOTE: This is not the piece being offered for sale.



















Letter Film in an Enigma machine. NOTE: This is not the piece being offered for sale.




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