Describe the organization and the Work of the people at Bletchley Park?
Bletchley Park (also known as station X) was a secret organization that worked throughout World War 2 to break German communication codes. Primarily the enigma code. It was based approximately 50 miles north of London in Milton Keynes. More precisely on the outskirts of Bletchley. Codes and ciphers of several Axis forces were decrypted there, most famously the German and Lorenz codes. The reason Bletchley Park was located in Bletchley, was because of the remoteness of the surroundings which promotes the security of the organization. Furthermore, if it was located in London, there was a risk of the quarters being hit during the bombing raids. However, the site had to be rather close to London to allow ease of access for the couriers who had to travel up from various intercept sites (known as “Y Service”) around London to hand over the intercepted messages to Bletchley Park.
The people working at station X came from a variety of different backgrounds and were often chosen explicitly for their intellect and respectability, rather than any skills with code breaking. Classicists were often recruited at Bletchley Park as they were viewed as intellects. This did only apply for a short time at Bletchley Park as once the war had started, it became apparent that the code that was to be broken was a mathematical code and this resulted in many of the people working there during the war coming straight out of universities such as Oxford or Cambridge with a mathematics’ degree. Some were recruited on their ability to see ‘outside of the box’ meaning that they were hired to see gaps in what others could not. Apart from the code breaking itself, there were other jobs that needed fulfilling such as translators to translate the codes from foreign languages into English and meteorologists to read the weather short signals. Also, a lot of young women were recruited to help with the administration tasks. There was also a high amount of secrecy at Bletchley Park. Although all of the people worked together at Bletchley Park, they never knew what anyone outside their department was doing. All messages that were mandatory were passed on through tubes either with a broom or (later on) with a vacuum. This secrecy was to prevent anyone (for example a German spy) knowing what was happening throughout Bletchley Park. Employees were also made to sign the official secrets act to maintain the level of secrecy and make sure the employees didn’t tell everyone of the activities of Bletchley Park.