Bletchley Park Visit

Year 9 students were lucky enough to visit Bletchley Park, home of the codebreakers.

Bletchley Park is an English country house and estate in Bletchley, Milton Keynes (Buckinghamshire), that became the principal centre of Allied code-breaking during the Second World War. We were lucky enough to see the Enigma machines, as well as the ‘Bombe’ which decoded the Enigma messages from the Germans.

During World War II, the estate housed the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS), which regularly penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers – most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. The GC&CS team of codebreakers included Alan Turing, Harry Golombek, Gordon Welchman, Hugh Alexander, Bill Tutte and Stuart Milner-Barry.

According to the official historian of British Intelligence, the “Ultra” intelligence produced at Bletchley shortened the war by two to four years, and without it the outcome of the war would have been uncertain. The team at Bletchley Park devised automatic machinery to help with decryption, culminating in the development of Colossus, the world’s first programmable digital electronic computer. Codebreaking operations at Bletchley Park came to an end in 1946 and all information about the wartime operations was classified until the mid-1970s.

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