Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park

Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park

by F . H . Hinsley (Editor), Alan Stripp (Editor)

Synopsis

This is a colourful and authentic account of daily life and work at Government Communications Headquarters, Bletchley Park, the most successful intelligence agency in history. By 1942 the codebreakers of Bletchley Park and its out-stations were breaking some 4,000 German signals a day, and almost as many from Italy and Japan, eavesdropping on enemy communications up to the highest levels of command. Their colleagues used these decrypts to produce Ultra intelligence which gave a detailed, accurate, and up-to-date picture of enemy strengths, weaknesses, and intentions. The codebreakers' contribution to the war effort was invaluable: Churchill described them as the 'secret weapon' that 'won the war'. For the first time a group of the men and women who worked on this top-secret enterprise have combined to write their story in full. Here, they vividly describe their recruitment and training, their feelings and activities, and recall in detail their successes and failures.

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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Edition: 1st
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Published: 26 Aug 1993

ISBN 10: 0198203276
ISBN 13: 9780198203278
Book Overview: A top secret Second World War story told from the inside for the first time

Media Reviews
`this splendid book, which is divided into four sections, tells of one of the most amazing feats in cryptologic history ... This is a remarkable book, undoubtedly the definitive work on Bletchley Park, with livley anecdotes and detailed stories giving a colourful account of BP's daily life and work, which made a major contribution to shortening the war, as Hinsley demonstrates in an astute analysis.' Cryptologia, January 1994
`Together, the editors and their wartime colleagues have made a real contribution to the history of the Second World War.' The Naval Review
`it makes fascinating reading.' Bulletin of the Early Historical Society, Nov 1993
`The value of this book is that it is the first - and probably the last given that nobody who worked at Bletchley is now under 65 - authentic account written by the men and women who broke the coded signals of Germany, Italy and Japan between 1939 and 1945. ... fascinating book ... A remarkable story, excellently illustrated.' Legion, Nov/Dec 1993
`The editors of Code-Breakers were both distinguished cryptographers and their contributions are outstanding.' The Tablet, 6 November 1993
`a wonderful picture of what life was like at Bletchley Park in those heady days' World War II Review
`what it offers is the human side of an operation more secret than and just a critical to Allied victory as anything in the war except the Manhattan Project. For the most part, the men and women involved herin tell their stories with simple eloquence' Booklist
`a highly revealing, even exciting book, written with inside knowledge, that lays fascinating former secrets bare ... It is a delight to have so crucial a subject so clearly and so entertainingly described, by some thirty people who really understand what they are discussing, and can set the record quite straight.' The Times
`This immensely enjoyable and readable book therefore represents a real service to history ... engrossing, important and scrupulously edited.' Robert Harris, Sunday Times
`Anyone interested in the Second World War will sit up all night, and chess players and puzzle-solvers will be captivated by later chapters.' Noel Annan, Independent on Sunday
`fascinating volume ... instructive and entertaining.' Christopher Andrew, Sunday Telegraph
`In Codebreakers, the whole fascinating story is told in detail.' Cambridge Evening News
`This extraordinary story encapsulates the enduring fascination of Bletchley Park ... This immensely enjoyable and readable book ... represents a real service to history ... it comes not a moment too soon, for most of its contributors have never spoken publicly before and are now well into their seventies. Their testimony has been recorded just in time. Blethcley Park must be preserved and this engrossing, important and scrupulously edited book reminds us why.' Robert Harris, Sunday Times
`fascinating reminiscences' John Keegan, Daily Telegraph
`fascinating insiders' account of wartime code-cracking ... an absorbing read' Niall Ferguson, Daily Mail
`Anyone interested in the Second World War will sit up all night, and chess players and puzzle-solvers will be captivated by later chapters.' Noel Annan, Independent on Sunday
`This immensely enjoyable and readable book ... represents a real service to history ... Bletchley Park must be preserved, and this engrossing, important and scrupulously edited book reminds us why.' Sunday Times
'it is an exciting story they have to tell' Tom Greenwell, Yorkshire Post
'This volume of personal recollections by some 30 of the survivors is ... especially welcome. Conditions of life and work at Bletchley, and its principal achievements, are faithfully sampled in Codebreakers, which is worth reading both for its historical interest and for the sidelights it throws on the problems encountered in the rapid assembly and organization of one of the greatest collections of talent that has ever occurred in Western civilization.' R.V. Jones, Nature, Vol. 366, December 1993
'This unique volume will be of great interest to cryptologists in particular, and intelligence buffs in general.' Surveillant 3.2 & 3.3
Author Bio

F.H. Hinsley was formerly Master of St John's College and Professor of the History of International Relations at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of the four-volume history British Intelligence in the Second World War.

Alan Stripp is Director of Cambridge University Summer Schools on British Secret Services.