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The secret life of Bletchley Park : the history of the wartime codebreaking centre by the men and women who were there

Author: Sinclair McKay
Publisher: London : Aurum, 2010.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Bletchley Park was where one of the war's most famous and crucial achievements was made: the cracking of Germany's "Enigma" code in which its most important military communications were couched. This country house in the Buckinghamshire countryside was home to Britain's most brilliant mathematical brains, like Alan Turing, and the scene of immense advances in technology -- indeed, the birth of modern computing. The  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Sinclair McKay
ISBN: 9781845135393 1845135393
OCLC Number: 495599004
Description: vi, 336 pages, [8] pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm
Contents: Reporting for duty --
1938-39 : the school of codes --
1939 : rounding up the brightest and the best --
The house and the surrounding country --
1939 : how do you break the unbreakable? --
1939-40 : the Enigma initiation --
Freezing billets and outdoor loos --
1940 : the first glimmers of light --
1940 : inspiration and intensity --
1940 : the coming of the bombes --
1940 : Enigma and the Blitz --
Bletchley and the class question --
1941 : the battle of the Atlantic --
Food, booze and too much tea --
1941 : the wrens and their larks --
1941 : Bletchley and Churchill --
Military or civilian? --
1942 : grave setbacks and internal strife --
The rules of attraction --
1943 : a very special relationship --
1943 : the hazards of careless talk --
Bletchley and the Russians --
The cultural life of Bletchley Park --
1943-44 : the rise of the Colossus --
1944-45 : D-Day and the end of the war --
1945 and after : the immediate aftermath --
Bletchley's intellectual legacy --
After Bletchley : the silence descends --
The rescue of the Park.
Responsibility: by Sinclair McKay.

Abstract:

Bletchley Park was where one of the war's most famous and crucial achievements was made: the cracking of Germany's "Enigma" code in which its most important military communications were couched. This country house in the Buckinghamshire countryside was home to Britain's most brilliant mathematical brains, like Alan Turing, and the scene of immense advances in technology -- indeed, the birth of modern computing. The military codes deciphered there were instrumental in turning both the Battle of the Atlantic and the war in North Africa. But, though plenty has been written about the boffins, and the codebreaking, fictional and non-fiction -- from Robert Harris and Ian McEwan to Andrew Hodges' biography of Turing -- what of the thousands of men and women who lived and worked there during the war? What was life like for them -- an odd, secret territory between the civilian and the military? Sinclair McKay's book is the first history for the general reader of life at Bletchley Park, and an amazing compendium of memories from people now in their eighties -- of skating on the frozen lake in the grounds (a depressed Angus Wilson, the novelist, once threw himself in) -- of a youthful Roy Jenkins, useless at codebreaking, of the high jinks at nearby accommodation hostels -- and of the implacable secrecy that meant girlfriend and boyfriend working in adjacent huts knew nothing about each other's work. - Publisher.

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