Sunday, 22 February 2009

Station X - Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park is located in the town of Bletchley in Buckinghamshire.
Bletchley Park looks like any other stately home from the outside, which is what it was until the second World War, but the history of Bletchley Park is significant to the Allies winning World War Two.

During World War Two Bletchley Park was known as Station X as the Goverment Code and Cypher School moved into its grounds to begin the decryption of German Enigma signals after the Polish provided the British with information they had gathered on the German Enigma Machines and Codes.

The stately home itself became too small for the work being carried out so many outposts and huts were created were many people were driven by bus in and out of Bletchley Park to their relevant posts without knowing what any one else was doing. Only those higher up were allowed to know and put all the peices of the jigsaw together to know what the Germans were doing.

Most Enigma messages were being enciphered at Bletchley Park by 1943, even after the Germans added a fourth wheel to the Enigma machine to try and throw any Allied attempts further of the case. The Germans did not know that the British had managed to break the code and understand the messages being relayed.

From 1943 onwards one of the first digital electronic computers called "Colossus" because of its size (it took up a whole hut for itself) began breaking the Lorenz Cipher, Colossus worked so well that ten were in operation by the end of the war.

The ability for the Cryptographers to break the Enigma Code, German "Fish" High Command teleprinter cyphers and the Lorenz cypher and relay the messages in English to the government was one of the most important intelligence undertakings of the war.

By the end of the war in 1945 nine thousand people were working at Bletchley Park with ten thousand having worked there at some point during the war, yet no one ever mentioned what they did at Station X and its secret was kept for decades.

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