Dynamic and Rare Battlefield-Found Relic Enigma Machine

Historic battlefield-found, relic Enigma machine for sale.DSC_6124

This is a 3-rotor Enigma I machine that was recovered from the ground outside the village of Sülstorf, Germany, approximately 120 miles northwest of Berlin. This is where the German 3rd Panzer Army, commanded by General Hasso-Eccard von Manteuffel, found itself on the last days of WWII. This Panzer Army had been engaged in holding back Russian forces in the defense of Berlin. Following a defeat at Stettin, Germany, they were forced to retreat to the region of Mecklenburg. On May 3, 1945, General Manteuffel negotiated with British generals including Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery so that 300,000 German soldiers would surrender to the British rather than Soviet forces.

This relic Enigma machine was found at the bottom of a meter deep hole. The treasure hunter who found it told us that the area became a huge prison camp when the Germans surrendered to the British. The German soldiers intentionally buried any equipment they did not want to have fall into the hands of the Allies.

General Hasso Von Manteuffel

General Hasso Von Manteuffel

The Germans felt that the Enigma machine codes were unbreakable and continued to use it as the primary code machine for all branches of the military throughout WWII. Therefore, there were standing orders to destroy Enigma machines rather then let these secret cipher devices be captured by Allied forces. As German positions were overrun or preparing to surrender, the Enigma machines would be intentionally damaged to make them non-functional and then discarded into lakes, the ocean, or buried so they would not be found. Typical methods for destroying an Enigma machine included removing and discarding the rotors, smashing the top of the Enigma (including the lamp panel and keyboard) with a rifle butt, kicking in the Steckerboard, and even shooting or placing a grenade inside the machine.

The intentional destruction of Enigma machines by the Germans as well as Churchill’s orders to destroy all captured Enigma machines is the reason that less then one percent of all Enigma machines survived the war. Nearly all surviving Enigma machines now reside with museums, government intelligence agencies, or private collectors.

The serial number of this Enigma is still visible on the reflector. This serial number, A20437, indicates that this machine was built in Berlin in 1944, likely less than one year from the date of Germany’s surrender in May of 1945. The manufacturing of Enigma machines continued into early 1945. These Enigma machines were for use by new German divisions being formed from the remnants of shattered divisions as well as newly formed groups of very young and very old combatants.

A framed collection including a signed picture and letter from General von Manteuffel is included with this relic Enigma machine from his 3rd Panzer Army. See picture below.

Additional relic Enigma parts, including rotors, are available if needed to create a dynamic museum display for this rare WWII relic Enigma machine.

Pictures of this relic Enigma machine including pictures of it being unearthed in Germany are included below.

This piece is in stable condition and located in the US.


Price $20,500 USD.

Contact us for additional information: dan@enigmamuseum.com


See pictures below: