Bletchley Park

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Coordinates: 51°59′47″N 0°44′34″W / 51.99651°N 0.74276°W / 51.99651; -0.74276

Bletchley Park
Established 1993 (as a museum)
Location Bletchley, Milton Keynes, England
Director Iain Standen
Website www.bletchleypark.org

Bletchley Park is an estate in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, England. It was the site of the United Kingdom's main codebreaking team during World War II. Now, Bletchley Park is home to the National Codes Centre and the National Museum of Computing.

The Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) and Station X, a secret radio interception station, were also at Bletchley Park. The information gained by workers at Bletchley Park was very important for the Allied war effort.

In 1939, in Warsaw, the Polish military showed French and British intelligence agents their cryptanalysis of the Egnima. They promised each delegation a Polish-built Enigma. Having an actual Enigma machine, along with how to use it, was a much needed start for the British work at Bletchley Park by Alan Turing, Dilly Knox and other mathematicians.

The high-level intelligence produced at Bletchley Park, codenamed Ultra, provided crucial help to the Allied war effort. It was vital during the Battle of the Atlantic, when the German U-boat submarine fleet sank merchant shipping in an attempt to starve Britain of supplies. Winston Churchill was later to state:[1]

The Battle of the Atlantic was the dominating factor all through the war. Never for one moment could we forget that everything happening elsewhere, on land, at sea or in the air depended ultimately on its outcome.

Sir Harry Hinsley (a Bletchley veteran and the official historian of British Intelligence during the Second World War) said that Ultra shortened the war by two to four years. The outcome of the war would have been uncertain without it.[2]

References[change | change source]

  1. Costello, John, & Hughes, Terry. 1977. The Battle of the Atlantic. Collins, p210. ISBN 00021604810
  2. Hinsley, Harry (1993), The influence of ULTRA in the Second World War, http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/research/security/Historical/hinsley.html, retrieved 31 August 2010 Transcript of a lecture given on Tuesday 19 October 1993 at Cambridge University.