The organization and work of the people at Bletchley Park

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Last updated: November 12, 2019

Bletchley Park, or Station X, was set up 50 miles north of London, near Milton Keynes. The site was far enough away for safety, but close enough for communication. It was a large estate that was able to become a self-contained community. The aims of Bletchley Park were to crack simple codes but more importantly, the Enigma code, which seemed impossible to crack. The Enigma needed to be cracked so any major German attacks or strategies became known to the Allies and were able to be prevented.The Enigma code was a brand new code that no one had ever seen the like so before so the people at Bletchley Park needed to experiment with the types to people they needed to crack this code.

At Bletchley Park, there were mathematicians working alongside chess players and even crossword competition winners, all working to crack simpler and more complex codes as well as the German Enigma by looking at the codes in their different ways.There were many different jobs in Bletchley Park, all requiring the different types of people to carry them out. The jobs ranged from code breakers working on simple codes and the crucial Enigma code, to translators and analysts working to extract intelligence from the decoded messages. Harry Golombek, a chess player and Cambridge Graduate was an Enigma code breaker at Bletchley Park, especially during the first years of the war.

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He worked onsite at Bletchley Park alongside other mathematical and classical professors.Morse coders and Teleprinter operators, like Carol West, a previous sergeant in the WAAF, were also employed to send messages to the appropriate receivers. Secrecy was needed to prevent important intelligence leaking out and getting into the hands of German spies.

The early organization at Bletchley Park was a codebreaking school for academics and graduates but in the early stages of the war it was taken over by the government and turned into a station where enemy codes would be cracked.There was a small team led by Dilly Knox also with Alan Turing. There was a need for the hut system at Bletchley Park to departmentalize and create more workspace due to the increase in the number and types of codes that were coming in due to the Germans increasing the number of code possibilities by adding new rotors to the Enigma machine or developing new methods of coding. More employees were required so the hut system allowed them to work in their own departments and they were able to concentrate on their work more fully.When Winston Churchill took over as Prime Minister from Neville Chamberlain in 1940, he came to realize the importance of the role of Bletchley Park in the Allied War effort so he gave to permission and funded the expansion of the cottages which then became the huts. The hut system at Bletchley Park was very organized and regimented.

Huts would work together to crack one aspect of the German codes for example huts 3 and 6 worked together on the Army and Air Force codes.Hut 6 mostly housed a group of mathematical and classical professors who were working on cracking the Enigma using replica machines and then later on in the war, the Bombes and the Colossus. Hut 6 then sent the cracked codes to hut 3 where they were translated and analysed. Intelligence was extracted and sent to the relevant people by Morse code, daily delivery or Teleprinter depending on the priority of the message. Hut 1 housed the index. This is where records of all codes that were cracked were held so they could be referenced if needed.A particular hut would usually just communicate with the hut they were working with by pushing the cracked codes through a tunnel between them with a broom handle and later in the operation through vacuum tubes.

This system was needed to keep the levels of secrecy at an absolute maximum and to avoid any important or top secret information leaking out. Bletchley Park was incredibly important to the outcome of the war, because without it some of the major turning points that were in the Allies’ favour might not have gone the way they did without the intelligence gathered by the code breakers at Bletchley Park.

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