Bletchley’s digital dawn


The story of Bletchley Park’s efforts to gain a critical advantage during World War Two is well known. Ellie Evans talks to three notable experts about how the Buckinghamshire site has shaped the technology we take for granted today

The huge Colossus machine weighed about a tonne and took ten months to build, but had unrivalled processing power for its day

Some might question the need to shine further light on the imaginative geniuses at Bletchley Park. The story of how a collection of eclectic codebreakers supported by 10,000-strong hardgrafting ‘army’ broke Germany’s most secure communications – and, in doing so, became the grandparents of British computing – has rightfully been covered in depth since first being revealed in 1974.

Men and women from all walks were thrown together to be part of the clandestine mechanism that shortened World War Two. Yet, as those passionate in their interest for the epic undertaking from the grounds of the quiet mansion can attest, there is much still to glean from the spiritual home of British signals intelligence.

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