Bletchley Park was the central site for Britain’s codebreakers during World War II. Run by the Government Code and Cypher School, it regularly penetrated the secret communications of the Axis Powers – most importantly the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers. The official historian of World War II British Intelligence has written that the “Ultra” intelligence produced at Bletchley shortened the war by two to four years, and that without it the outcome of the war would have been uncertain.
Alan Turing 1912 – 7 June 1954 is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method and an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine. With the help of German operator errors, the cryptanalysts worked out the logical structure of the German cipher machine despite not knowing its physical form. They devised automatic machinery to help with decryption, which culminated in Colossus, the world’s first programmable digital electronic computer. This was designed and built by Tommy Flowers and his team at the Post Office. The prototype first worked in December 1943.
Bletchley Park saw the birth of today’s computer hardware and software.
Three Coldwell individuals were involved in the Bletchley team of some 11,000 :
Winston Churchill reportedly remarked to Denniston: “I told you to leave no stone unturned to get staff, but I had no idea you had taken me so literally.”
ROLL OF HONOUR:
Couldwell Miss Margaret FO Civilian Bletchley Park. Block E, Communications Centre.
Coldwell Mr A FO Civilian TJAO Bletchley Park. Block D(6), . Block G, Jafo.
Coldwells Miss A FO Civilian, Linguist Berkeley Street, Diplomatic Section.