Bletchley Park saga continues

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Tech Sergeant
Apr 6, 2005
According to our local newspaper: "An American booze billionaire has picked up the tab for a lasting memorial to the 'father' of codebreaking at Bletchley Park.
And, after years of doubt, the future of the historic site has been assured with a property deal.
But amid the good news, broken to staff just days ago, comes major upheaval with the Park closing next week for almost six months, catering workers losing their jobs and the departure of colourful Bletchley Park Trust boss Christine Large.
She told the Tuesday Citizen she will not renew her contract next year but says she is pleased to leave the Park in better shape than when she first arrived.
"I have wanted nothing from Bletchley Park but getting it in the best position to ensure its future," she said.
She described the gift from Sidney E Frank for a Science Centre dedicated to mathematician Alan Turing as, 'fantastic'.
The amount has not been disclosed but said to be 'substantial'. Mr Frank, who made his fortune selling liquers and vodka, has given massive amounts to charity, including $750,000 to police and firefighters after 9-11 and $100 million to his old university.
Meanwhile English Partnerships is to buy the Park's old Transport Section, probably for housing, with the cash raised – thought to be several million pounds – being used to complete the Trust's purchase of the core heritage site and pay off debts.
That has not prevented the outsourcing of catering with the loss of about a dozen jobs.
Several management posts have gone and volunteer guides replaced with audio 'wands' to save money.
The Park will close from
November 1 until early April next year during the quiet winter period, allowing work on a new road entrance to go ahead.
Mrs Large, who has survived boardroom coups and death threats over her plans for the Park as well as the 'kidnapping' of the Enigma machine, said the Trust wanted her to stay for another two years.
"There is still much to do, not least securing the restoration of the Mansion, but with my time as a volunteer I have been here 10 years and it is time to move on," she said.
schwarzpanzer said:
All this Bletchley Park stuff, didn't they find the codes in a crashed U-Boot anyway? Big deal!

You are wrong big time schwarzpanzer It was a very big deal and one of the most important establishments the allies had it did far more than breaking Enigma codes have a look at the link below .
Alot of the ground work for Enigma decoding had been done already by the Poles Marian Rejewski, Jerzy Rózycki and Henryk Zygalski.

I shall just mention two of the other items Blechley worked on.
Lorenz cypher machine and Colossus the for runner of the modern computer that was used for breaking codes in hours as opposed the weeks.
Oh I know it was important (The Kursk info for e.g.).

However the work done was little compared to other projects.

The Enigma machine was offered to the British Post Office 1st (Swiss inventor IIRC?) then to the Germans.
Bletchley Park and the breaking of the enigma codes were a massive contribution to the ultimate victory of the war. They told the Allied navies where the wolfpacks were prowling, giving us a much larger chance of seeing our vital lifeline, the Atlantic convoys, through to Britain.
schwarzpanzer said:
Oh I know it was important (The Kursk info for e.g.).

However the work done was little compared to other projects.

The Enigma machine was offered to the British Post Office 1st (Swiss inventor IIRC?) then to the Germans.

Obtaining an Enigma machine did not mean enemy messages could be read. If that had been the case, Enigma would have been a very poor code system indeed. The Germans made approx 40,000 Enigmas during WW2, many were captured. They were used in all sorts of ships and boats, field headquarters etc.

Having an Enigma did not enable you to read the messages. German military Enigmas had 3 or 4 rotors, out of a set of up to 8, each rotor performed a substitution cypher, changing a letter for another letter. Each rotor had 26 positions.

There are 4096 possible ways to insert the 4 rotors from 8, so you have to try the setup 4096 times to just get the correct rotors. Then you have to set each rotor in the right position, and there are 456,976 ways to adjust the rotors. So you have 1,871,773,696 possible ways to set up the rotors alone.

Enigmas also had a plugboard. The plugboard further swapped the letters, both before and after they went through the rotors. The plugboard settings are actually more complex than the rotor settings.

What that means is there are so many ways to set up the Enigma, if you tried brute forcing it (trying every possible combination) at a rate of 1 million tries per second it would take over 200,000 years to try every combination.

And the settings changed every day.

You can read a technical description of how Enigma worked here:

and a description of the effort to crack it at:

Of course, Bletchley Park went beyond Enigma and cracked the German Lorenz system as well:

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