The Organization And Work Of People At Bletchley Park

2107 words - 8 pages

The Organization and Work of People at Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park was a small estate 50 miles outside London. Bletchley
Park, codenamed ‘Station X’ was an evacuation site for MI6 and the
government code and cypher school (Gccs). This location was chosen, as
it was far away from London that the Germans would not consider it a
worthwhile target to attack. It was founded in 1939 after world war
two had started and aimed to break encoded German Messages that were
sent using ‘Enigma’. Station X was so important that when several code
breakers wrote a letter to Winston Churchill asking for more money
(because of coming under intense pressure) Churchill’s immediate
respond was that ‘make sure they have all that they want extreme
priority and report to me that this has been done’.

In Britain there were ‘Y stations’ where the messages were
intercepted. Once a message had been intercepted it would appear as
Gibberish. This was because the enigma changed every letter. The
German operators of the Enigma had to change the rota settings every
day. These rota settings were what the code breakers of Bletchley Park
had to figure out. Once they had figured out the settings they could
then read all the messages for that day. They had to figure out the
new rota settings every day of the war. These were Seventeen thousand
five hundred and seventy six different combinations of rota settings
and when added to the switchboard there were one hundred and fifty
nine million million million different combinations.

The type of people at Station X were recruited from all walks of life,
there were Oxford and Cambridge professors and mathematicians. When
there was a need of more recruits, Bletchley Park recruited crossword
competition winners. Most of the code breakers worked for the G.C.C.S
in the 1920s and 1930s. At the beginning of the war (1939) there were
around 1000 people working there however by the end (1945) there were
around 7000 people working there. The people that were recruited often
arrived knowing nothing at all about the work they were about to
undergo.

There were two main groups of people at Bletchley Park. There were the
code breakers such as Alan Turin and Dilly Knox. Then there was the
administrative staff that was mainly girls aged eighteen to
twenty-two. However when the bombes and colossuses were installed
women, known as wrens, were recruited from the navy to operate the new
machines. The way Bletchley Park got encrypted messages were from ‘Y
centres’ which were set up all-over England, who intercepted the
German messages and sent it to Bletchley Park. In Bletchley Park the
messages would be sent to Hut 3 where they would be decrypted. Once
that had been done the messages would be sent by a small passage way,
pushed by a broom, to hut 6 where they would be changed from...

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