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Bletchley Park

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Introduction

BLETCHLEY PARK Question 1 Bletchley Park is fifty miles from London which is not very far. This was a perfect location for a set up like Bletchley Park because it was far away enough from London to stop it from being bombed during the war. Because it was close to Oxford and Cambridge universities they could easily recruit their staff from the universities. Bletchley Park was originally an evacuation base for MI6. MI6 deals with foreign intelligence. Bletchley then became a government code and cipher school. Bletchley Park was set up to break German the Enigma codes. Bletchley Park was given the code name 'Station X'. Y service stations where set up all around the British Empire to intercept German messages. These messages were recorded by the Y service stations and passed on to Station X. They passed the messages on because they were in code and needed to be decoded. At first mainly middle-aged academics from Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Young administrative staff mainly young girls aged between 18-22 were also recruited at first. But then the Germans started to use enigma to send messages, the British thought the Enigma codes were unbreakable and they were not far wrong as it had 159, million, million, million possibilities. Bletchley Park needed a new breed of code breakers because the Enigma codes were so complex. ...read more.

Middle

Some messages were not longer then 26 letters meaning the middle wheel never moves this drops the number of possibilities dramatically. In January 1940 the first breakthrough was made. Alan Turing played a huge part. Even before he was recruited by Station X he had come up with an idea for a machine which could carry out calculations. His idea became reality later on at Bletchley; it was used to break Enigma codes. He questioned the Poles in France and returned with correct information about the Enigma. Now Station X began to decode messages. They were not the most important messages as they were more complex but it was a start. Security was tightened to make sure the Germans did not find out the Enigma was being broken. John Hervial came up with the 2nd breakthrough with the cryptic crossword method. This method was used because solving a cryptic crossword relied on thinking way the writer of the crossword thought and the same principle is used when breaking Enigma codes. They would start by sending a three letter message to other operators. The Germans believed the Enigma was unbreakable so what if the operator didn't change the rotors so all station X needed was the first messages from as many operators as possible. This method didn't work well at first but then Germany invaded Denmark and the number of messages sent increased and the method started working. ...read more.

Conclusion

On the 20th May 1941 the Bismarck (pride of German Navy) left to attack British shipping in the North Atlantic. HMS Hood went to intercept it and got sunk although the Bismarck was damaged. It could not get back to Germany and started to head for Brest in France. Station X found messages being sent to France and told the Navy who then sent 'Force H' from Gibraltar to sink the Bismark. Bletchley's biggest success was helping win the Battle of the Atlantic. Station X helped defeat attacks by German U-boats on British convoys. The convoys carried British food and war materials from the USA and Canada but U-boats were sinking 282,000 tonnes of supplies a month. But in July 1940 the Dolphin had been cracked by Station X and the number of convoys being sunk dropped to 62,000, by now the German U-boats left the Atlantic and went to the Mediterranean. Conclusion Bletchley Park did play a very big part in the war. I think Britain would have survived without Station X because of help from the USA. But because the German U-boats would have continued sinking British convoys and Britain would have had little supplies, it would have been difficult for Britain with out Bletchley but Station X cracked the Dolphin and stopped convoys being sunk. Bletchley Park did shorten the war by a few years because it provide vital information about its enemies. USA joining in the war played a huge part because the German army was bigger then the British army. ABDUL HAQUE ...read more.

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