During the closing months of WWII, the German Wehrmacht 205 division found itself encircled by the Russian Red army. As the division retreated preparations were made for their inevitable capture. One of the pressing matters was to destroy their Enigma machine, an encryption device used to scramble and decode a message of top secrecy and used prolifically by the German military during WWII. This renowned contraption could not fall into enemy hands so the desperate German troops decide to destroy it by blowing it up with grenades.
Some seventy years later and the twisted bent remnants of this famous device were uncovered in fields in the Courland Pocket Latvia. Amongst the debris left from the destruction of the Enigma machine were aluminium ‘Erkennungsmarke’ or dog tag badges confirming the presence of the 205th Divisions troops, also some thirty mushroom badges, the famous insignia of the 205 Division were uncovered. But what really shone through the dirt and the soil was the oval badge proudly displaying the Enigma logo.
The remnants of the 205th Division's Enigma machine are due to be sold in our 3rd December 2020 auction. The charred and mangled pieces, at first a confusing abstraction soon display recognisable parts of the device such as the keypad contorted from the blast, the machine rollers, the waterfall edge to the keyboard, and the hinges and fastenings of the wood box. Well preserved is the 'Zur Beachtung!' (Attention) sign, as well as other small notices to the user of the machine.
The remnants are expected to sell for £5,000 – 10,000, complete machines when they rarely appear on the market sell for six-figure sums. The viewing for this sale is by appointment Monday 31th November, Tuesday 1st, and Wednesday 2nd December 10am-4pm.
Should you have any items you would like to consign to one of our Arms and Military auctions we would be pleased to hear from you. Please contact Chris Large firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01270 623878
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