How did the work of Bletchley Park influence the outcome of the second world war?

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Matthew Smithies 10M

Bletchley Park Question 3: DRAFT 1

In What Way Did the Work of Bletchley Park Influence the Outcome of the Second World War?

The outcome of the Second World War was in victorious in the Allies favour. There were multiple reasons for this, mainly: The work of Bletchley Park, mistakes that the German forces made and the help of individuals such as Alan Turing, Marian Rejewski and John Herivel.

The Battle of the Atlantic was a naval battle between Germany and Britain. The German U-Boats hunted in ‘wolf-packs’ for Allied Vessels. The battle reduced the ability for the Allies to receive resources form the Empire and the US. By 1940, 1000 Allied ships were destroyed by the Germans, which included one quarter of the British merchant fleet. By the end of 1941, another 1300 ships were destroyed. 1942 saw yet another 1661 Allied ships destroyed by the Germans leaving the number of Allied casualties at over 50 000 merchant seamen in this one battle alone. By 1943, the Allies were having serious talks about withdrawing form the war.

The German U-Boats were so successful in this period for a number of reasons. First of all, they attacked from the surface of the water at night which made them almost undetectable from ADIC (an early form of radar) which relied on sonar waves traveling through water. The U-Boats also laid mines in their wolf-packs which made them much stronger as a unit. The Germans had secure naval bases in Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands, and France where the U-Boats could operate from. Finally, German intelligence cracked some British codes so positions of many Allied ships were given away and they were attacked.

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Bletchley Park helped to reduce the amount of losses in the Atlantic breaking a lot of the German naval codes.  The ‘Dolphin’ cipher was broken due to intercepted code books coming in to Bletchley Park. It is possible, though that loss off tonnage in the Atlantic may be due to the fact that the Germans changed position. In December 1942, ‘Shark’ was broken letting the Allies go on the offensive. In the first 5 months, 100 U-Boats were sunk and by May 1942, all of them were withdrawn form the Atlantic.

There were other factors that helped ...

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