The Enigma Machine and the Bletchley Park Code Breakers

BBC History describes the Enigma machine as ”a piece of spook hardware invented by a German and used by Britain’s codebreakers as a way of deciphering German signals traffic during World War Two”

If you like codes and puzzles you can explore the different type of machines and codes that were using during World War Two.


Alan Turing and his team at Beltchley Park managed to crack the Enigma machine and by doing so contributed to the Allied forces Victory in WWII. Bletchley Park was vital to Allied victory in World War Two.


What was Bletchely Park and who were the Code Breakers?  Bletchley Park was the once the top-secret home of the World War Two Codebreakers. Nearly 10,000 people worked in the wider Bletchley Park organisation. You can take a tour of Virtual Wartime Bletchely Park (1938).

Bletchley park code breakers

In a way this was ”the birth of the information age, industrialisation of  codebreaking processes  with machines such as the Turing/Welchman Bombe and the world’s first electronic computer.


also see

Alan Turing and ”The Imitation Game”

Alan Turing and ”The Imitation Game”

Alan Turing‘s life and the code breaking work at Bletchely Park during WWII has been depicted in the film ”The Imitation Game”. But who was the real Alan Turing?

A filmed drama is fiction no matter if it depicts people who have really lived and historical events which have taken place. Behind the story in the film there are facts and real people. Turing’s family have expressed concerns about how he is described in the film which you can read about in the article ”Don’t turn my uncle’s life into a romance, says Alan Turing’s niece”.

Joan Clark is somewhat romanticised shown in the film. She was the woman who helped crack the Enigma cyphers. She is important as women’s achievements so often are overlooked or forgotten in history. Her interview in a ”BBC Horizon programme, from 1992, is one of the only instances in which she spoke about her time as a cryptanalyst”



You can learn more about Alan Turing: Creator of modern computing at BBC iWonder where he is introduced with

”Alan Turing was not a well known figure during his lifetime. But today he is famous for being an eccentric yet passionate British mathematician, who conceived modern computing and played a crucial part in the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in WW2. He was also a victim of mid-20th Century attitudes to homosexuality – he was chemically castrated before dying at the age of 41”.

In 2009  The British Governmen made a public apology for how Alan Turing was treated ”Gordon Brown: I’m proud to say sorry to a real war hero”. Reading ”Life story: Why code-breaker Alan Turing was cast aside by postwar Britain” may give you a better understanding of the time and its prejudices.



also see

 The Enigma Machine and the Bletchley Park Code Breakers