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Enigma machine sells for £149k

Published 14/07/2015

An Enigma machine, used by the German military to send coded messages during the Second World War, is expected to fetch £70,000 at auction at Sotheby's
An Enigma machine, used by the German military to send coded messages during the Second World War, is expected to fetch £70,000 at auction at Sotheby's

A rare surviving example of an Enigma machine, used by the German military to send coded messages during the Second World War, today more than doubled the price it was expected to fetch at auction.

The machine went for £149,000 including buyer's premium at Sotheby's in London. Its pre-sale estimate had been £50,000 to £70,000.

The machines were vital to the Nazi war effort but the Allies broke the codes - a feat said to have shortened the war by several years.

The work done to crack the codes by Alan Turing and fellow code-breakers at Bletchley Park was immortalised in the Benedict Cumberbatch film The Imitation Game.

Few examples remain as many of the machines were destroyed by German forces as they retreated.

The machine in the sale, which dated from 1943 and had most recently belonged to a European museum, was bought by a bidder on the phone, whose identity has not yet been disclosed.

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