The secret of code breaking at Bletchley Park
During World War Two everything happening at Bletchley Park was a secret. Workers were not even allowed to tell their family what they did there.
During a recent guided tour of the complex, our guide told us how two soldiers had thought it was some kind of psychiatric hospital during WW2, as the people they could see inside were walking around in nightwear. In truth it was the code breakers, who stayed on the base 24 hours a day, moving from hut to hut.
The secret of Bletchley Park was not made public until 1974. That was when a book was published about how the British code breakers cracked the German Enigma code there. While more information is being declassified every year, some elements of the work carried out are still secret.
Visiting Bletchley Park, we were able to go inside the restored Codebreaking Huts where Enigma messages were decrypted, translated and analysed for vital intelligence.
Hut 8 features a recreation of Alan Turing’s office. The cottage where he lived on site can also be seen, but not entered.
Bletchley Park mansion is open to the public and contains temporary and permanent exhibitions. There are various war vehicles such as an old ambulance on display in the Wartime Garages.
Bletchley Park was also where the world’s first electronic computers were installed and operated. The museum in Block B contains a number of exhibits including work on breaking the Japanese Codes.
D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion
The newest exhibition opened in the Teleprinter Building in April 2019, just before the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion includes a 12-minute film detailing how workers at Bletchley Park provided crucial information to Allied forces leading up to D-Day on 6th June, 1944.
Join City Adventurers
City Adventurers are making another visit to Bletchley Park in November.