by Gerald Boerner
The Allies had a secret weapon during World War II: the codebreakers of Bletchley Park. This country estate, outside of London, housed the Government Code and Cypher School where codebreakers were working on reading Nazi communication that used the Enigma Machine. These codebreakers, led by mathematician Alan Turing, were able to “crack” the code for the various military units in the Wehrmacht, especially the five-rotor submarine codes.
These codebreakers were essential for several reasons. In the first place, they let the Allies win the “Battle of the Atlantic” against the submarine “wolf-packs”. This allowed Britain to maintain supplies of essential goods before the U.S. entered the war. In the second place, they allowed the Allied high-command to know how troops were being deployed just before D-Day. Finally, the codebreakers built early computers, including the Bombes and the Colossus, that facilitated their codebreaking and prompted the development of computer technology that blossomed after the war.
Were it not for these “geeks” and “propeller heads”, we might well be under the rule of Germania today. GLB
[ This is Part 4 of 6 ]
“Ronald Reagan used to alarm his Soviet counterparts by saying that surely they’d both unite against an invasion from Mars.”
— Christopher Hitchens
“The responsibility of commanding the invasion fell to me, and the task was assigned to my Army Group.”
— Gerd von Rundstedt
“Poverty is relative, and the lack of food and of the necessities of life is not necessarily a hardship. Spiritual and social ostracism, the invasion of your privacy, are what constitute the pain of poverty.”
— Alice Foote MacDougall