Wartime code device for sale

Nazi code machine
Nazi code machine

A RARE Second World War encyrption machine is set to fetch more than £15,000 at an auction this coming week.

Battle-based Burstow and Hewett auctioneers are selling the rare SG-41Z machine on Wednesday (December 11).

The auction house has issued a guide price of between £15,000 and £20,000 - but has not ruled out the scarce item going for more.

The German device was produced as a successor to the famous Enigma machine and was so secure it defeated the renowned code-breakers of Bletchley Park.

In 1944 the Nazis were conscious the Enigma device had its weaknesses and ordered a replacement, the SG-41, which went into production in 1944.

The initial order was for 10,000 machines, but only around one hundred were actually produced – first because of material problems, and then the end of the war.

This model, the SG-41Z, was made with a numeric keypad rather than a letter keypad, and these were produced for the Luftwaffe and navy weather service to encrypt weather reports.

Of the one hundred or so made there is thought to be less than 10 still in existence – and only two in working order.

The one going under the hammer was recovered from the seabed and lovingly restored to museum standard by an expert in computer and machinery.

It does not work but is considered an extremely rare piece, the likes of which rarely come up at auction.

Interest is likely to be high among both military history enthusiasts and computing collectors.

The sale starts at 10am and viewing is available from 9am or 9am-7pm the day before.More information from www.burstowandhewett.co.uk.