Bletchley Park

Holding a unique history of how the British overcame German, Italian and Japanese ciphers, Bletchley Park is where the World War Two codebreaking operation took place. The contribution of men and women whose roles made the allied victory a possibility cannot be overstated!

Previously, I’d only heard of Bletchley Park in a film, The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch. I knew the significance of what happened within the ground of the park, but I never found out the full extent of what took place and why. By visiting Bletchley Park you’ll uncover the secret that was kept for over 30 years and walk in the footsteps of so many incredible people whose work was vital.

I’d recommend a whole day at Bletchley Park, we arrived around lunch time and stayed till closing time with only a twenty minute sit down for lunch in between. There is so much to read about and a few huts where you can watch short films to discover the truth behind the well kept secret.

The epicentre of British war time intelligence and codebreaking, Bletchley Park is home to the human endeavour and technological innovation that made groundbreaking achievements possible. If none of this took place, we could be living in a very different United Kingdom. During World War Two, the government code and cypher school was based here.

The Bombe machine at Bletchley park is functional, and there are demonstrations showing you how it worked

At its peak over 9,000 people worked and tackled the complex intercepting task of deciphering, analysing and distributing intelligence from enemy radio signals. Women made up the majority of the personnel at Bletchley Park, they played a significant contribution to the codebreaking efforts.

The enigma machine was used to scramble messages into unintelligible cipher text, even before the war work was done in a number of countries to break enigma! The Germans changed the settings daily, which is where the Bombe machine was developed to speed up the breaking of enigma. Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman developed the Bombe machine to help reduce the days enigma settings and the number of possible settings was staggering.

Parts of the Bombe machine, which enabled codebreaking to be done at a quicker rate

The secrecy behind a lot of the operations at Bletchley Park is now very difficult to imagine, there are posters all around the park with sayings like “the walls have ears” and “you never know who could be listening”. With a need-to-know principle being paramount, there were a lot of the enemy’s movements and plans which few people new about and couldn’t act upon.

Bletchley Park was first opened to visitors in 2014, it has since become an internationally known heritage attraction. By continuing to reveal secrets and tell amazing stories about this national legacy, we can continue to remember the many thousands of people who were vital in the successful Allied war effort.

Honestly, Bletchley Park will open up your mind to so much more surrounding the codebreaking story of World War Two! I’d recommend this heritage attraction to anybody, even children!

5 thoughts on “Bletchley Park

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  1. I love the film & it’s absolutely amazing what these people did. I’m proud they were mainly women, getting no recognition, but still doing it anyway!

    I would love to visit.

    Liked by 1 person

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