Bletchley Park

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Most of the messages subjected to cryptanalysis at BP were enciphered with some variation of the Enigma cipher machine.

From 1943, Colossus, the earliest digital electronic computers, was constructed in order to break the German teleprinter on-line Lorenz cipher known as Tunny. Colossus was designed and built by Tommy Flowers and his team at the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hill. The Colossus series of machines, of which there were ten by the end of the war, were operated at Bletchley Park in a section named the Newmanry after its head Max Newman.

Some 9,000 people were working at Bletchley Park at the height of the codebreaking efforts in January 1945,[10] and over 12,000 (of whom more than 80% were women) worked there at some point during the war.[10] A relatively small number of men were also employed on a part-time basis, typically for one shift each week (e.g. Post Office employees who were experts in Morse code or the German language). Among the famous mathematicians and cryptanalysts working there, perhaps the most influential and certainly the best-known in later years was Alan Turing. A number of Bletchley Park employees were recruited for various intellectual achievements, whether they were chess champions, crossword experts, polyglots or great mathematicians. In one, now well-known instance, the ability to solve The Daily Telegraph crossword in under 12 minutes was used as a recruitment test. The newspaper was asked to organize a crossword competition, after which each of the successful participants was contacted and asked if they would be prepared to undertake "a particular type of work as a contribution to the war effort". The competition itself was won by F H W Hawes of Dagenham who finished the crossword in less than eight minutes.[11]

Japanese codes

An outpost of the Government Code and Cypher School was set up in Hong Kong in 1935, the Far East Combined Bureau (FECB). The FECB naval staff moved in 1940 to Singapore, then Colombo, Ceylon, then Kilindini, Mombasa, Kenya. They succeeded in deciphering Japanese codes with a mixture of skill and good fortune.[12] The Army and Air Force staff went from Singapore to the Wireless Experimental Centre at Delhi, India. In early 1942, a six-month crash course in Japanese, for 20 undergraduates from Oxford and Cambridge, was started by the Inter-Service Intelligence school in Bedford, in a building across from the main Post Office. This course was repeated every six months until war's end. The LMS railway provided twice-daily trains, reserved for BP workers, between Cambridge and Bletchley, stopping at Bedford St Johns railway station).[citation needed]

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