A CODE machine used by Hitler during the Second World War has been discovered — in a shed in Essex.
Experts spotted the Lorenz teleprinter machine for sale for £9.50 on online auction site eBay.
When they went to Southend to inspect it, they found it in a shed covered in rubbish so gave the owner £10, telling her to keep the change.
The Lorenz machine was used by Hitler during the war to send coded strategic messages to his generals.
British intelligence services who cracked the code, as well as that of the more well-known Enigma, are credited with shortening the war.
Andy Clark, of the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, Bucks, said the Lorenz was far bigger than the portable Enigma.
He said: “Everybody knows about Enigma, but the Lorenz machine was used for strategic communications.
“It is so much more complicated than Enigma and, after the war, machines of the same style remained in use.”
It was missing a motor so the museum is looking for a replacement.
Messages would have been entered on to the typewriter-style machine in German.
They were then encrypted by a linked cipher machine, using 12 wheels with multiple settings to create the code.