Bletchley park assignment

1. The people called to Bletchley Park were mainly very intelligent people from the leading universities in Britain. These people, along with others who were able to solve newspaper puzzles the fastest had one main aim:

To crack the ‘ENIGMA’ code.

Bletchley Park was organized into huts; the information in hut 3 was usually nonsense.

Intelligence officers had to translate the German, Italian or whatever language it was. Hut 6 was the main decoding area where there could be a lot of words, a few or even a few letters. The messages went from hut 6 to hut 3, then to MI6 who then sent the message to the London headquarters.

There were young girls around the age of eighteen also working in Station X doing ‘donkey work’. They were old enough to marry and work so they were used to do simple activities such as cleaning things up.

The huts in Station X had to be manned as the amount of messages coming in started increasing. The shifts changed three times in the day. This was a very important role because the head had to decide the importance of a message and do it quickly. In 1940 more advisors were sent in from the war office and air ministry.

2. Bletchley Park was able to break the German enigma codes mainly because of the help of Poland, careless German operators and some intelligent people. First of all the help from Poland was invaluable because if Station X had not known what the enigma looked like then they would have certainly had an almost impossible chance of breaking the codes. Fortunately for the allies a Polish spy who was working in the German army supplied the Poles with documents, settings and instructions for use. This was enough help for the Polish to make two copies of the enigma machine. The Polish were taking no chances because they knew that they were soon going to be invaded by neighbouring Nazi Germany. For this reason they gave one enigma replica to France and the other to Britain, this atleast gave Station X the chance to try and crack the enigma codes.

The Germans helped in their own downfall by not following the enigma codebook and so, ultimately making the task far easier at Bletchley Park. This happened mainly because of the arrogance of the Nazi government. They had told the German public and the operators that Enigma was totally safe and unbreakable. The operators must of then thought ‘why go the long, hard way when we can go the quick easy way without anyone knowing’. Examples of the operators’ mistakes are that they sometimes sent the same message by Enigma and then by a less complicated code. Now the two messages could be compared and the settings worked out. Another mistake by the German operators was to begin with the same messages or series of messages and this could be used to workout the settings. Also messages that were less than 26 letters meant that the middle wheel never moved. This also made the codebreakers job much easier.

Another reason why the codebreakers at Station X were able to break Enigma is that some very intelligent people were working at Bletchley Park, one of whom became one of the figures of the century. His name was Alan Turing, he developed the first computers which decoded messages much faster, these were made on Turing’s ideas, the computer was known as colossus, and colossus ii was also built afterwards.

3. Bletchley Park didn’t quite influence the outcome of the Second World War that much, as I think America’s grand power and Britain’s determination would have come through in the end anyway but BP helped win some important battles and save many personnel from being killed by the enemy forces. The main successes of BP was the Battle of Matapan, when in Greece the British thanks to BP intelligence were able to sink a reasonable amount of Italian fleet without losing anything themselves.

Another success was when the Royal navy was able to sink the Bismarck, which was the showpiece of the German army, this was also thanks to intelligence given by Bletchley to the admiralty by decoding some very revealing messages about where the Battle ship was heading.

Station X had some great successes in defeating U boat attacks on Atlantic convoys. Britain needed its supplies from the USA and Canada so the shipping was necessary and until BP did something too much shipping was being lost. As u boat attacks were crushed, they were taken out of the Atlantic and moved to protect supplies to North Africa.

Soon after in 1942 attacks on German and Italian convoys in the Mediterranean were becoming more successful thanks to Bletchley intelligence. This obviously meant they were very short on supplies and armory etc.

Thanks to the shipping losses in the Mediterranean the German forces were ready to be finished off in North Africa for good. Bp told the British of a final attack which was to take place, knowing that they were ready to destroy the German forces the British let the Germans in and totally crushed them.

The Germans then introduced shark, a new code which yet again gave the u boats the advantage in the second BOTA so yet again the people at BP proved themselves by breaking shark in Dec 42 and this time the battle went in favour of the allies for good.

At the D Day landings BP recognized all but 2 of the German army divisions, and gave warnings of counter attacks and Hitler’s commands.

BP did however have some failures such as Crete and the sinking of HMS glorious but these were due to mistrust in BP. Sometimes, however BP was to blame for example when they picked up the message too late and by then it had become useless.