back to article The Queen visits Bletchley Park

The Queen will unveil a memorial to wartime codebreakers during a historic visit to Bletchley Park on Friday. The memorial was sculpted by the artist Charles Gurrey. Although the work of Alan Turing and other wartime codebreakers is now much celebrated, their work in cracking the Enigma and other German and Japanese codes …


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  1. J. R. Hartley

    Queen unveils errection

    would've been a better title.

  2. oddie
    Thumb Up


    The 'shame' that these men had to live with during and after the war; that they were perceived as cowards for 'avoiding' service by those that did not know that they were codebreakers (pretty much everyone seeing as bletchley was a secret both during and after the war) was a great burden on many of them.

    official recognition such as this means a lot (I don't have any relatives that worked there, I just admire how these men (and women) kept their service to the country a secret long after the war was over.

    1. Hud Dunlap
      Black Helicopters

      What about the OBE's

      My understanding from the book "Between silk and Cyanide" is that the people who worked on the codes received Order of the British Empire commendations to show that they did important work during the war.

      The book also shows that the codes that were given to the agents were simple enough to be broken by schoolchildren.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "codes ... agents were simple enough to be broken by schoolchildren.

        WHAT !

        They were dreadfully difficult.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Onsite reporter?

    It's not like the old days... this modern media report from my front room thingy..

    1. Steve X

      I know what you mean

      When I saw the Colossus rebuild running a few years back it was quite incongrous to see, sitting among the test gear, some modern laptops.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good idea, but

    To make an official apology for the persecution of Alan Turing for being gay, would it not have been better to have the Duchess of Cambridge indulging in some lesbian action with some similarly aged/sized lady?

    I just feel something along those lines would be most appropriate.

  5. RIch 24

    An excellent opportunity to...

    Give Turing a posthumous OBE, and then dig up the pointless old farts who persecuted him and display their skulls on spikes.

    1. elderlybloke
      Thumb Up

      Goodness me

      RIch 24,

      I thought that you would be full of tolerance , understanding and forgiveness .

  6. Anonymous Coward


    Too little, too late

    The powers that be ruined the loves of a fair number of their so called 'important codebreakers'

    El Gov & her Maj etc have had many years in which to do this at a time when more would have still been alive to see it and when such an act might have helped.

    Shame on them all for waiting so long to acknowledge those who served in such capacities

  7. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Good idea, but

    Or have any of the royal family explain the Turing-Church theorem and it's application to the Entscheidungsproblem

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Yeah but

      Without the work a Bletchley, Phil the Greek might not have survived. He like thousands of others owe their lives to the Bletchly Bods/Boffins who broke the Enigma code and were able direct ships away from the U-Boat threat.

      People tend to forget that he was on active service in the Royal Navy in WW2.

      My Dad was in the Merchant Navy on the N. Atlantic Convoys between 1940 & 42. He only go off them after he took a hit in both legs from a German Machine Gun on the Murmansk run in Jan 43.

      1. Nick Pettefar

        Royal Navy

        And don't forget that the equivalent of Bletchely Park in Germany cracked the Royal Navy codes completely and read all their traffic. It wasn't just one-sided!

        I wonder how secure the Anonymous servers are...

  8. Alan Firminger

    Sack Witchell

    BBC News has its unctuous royal correspondent giving a false history, and even calling a bombe a colossus.

  9. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Children were given...

    a Wii codebook????

  10. Jon Smit

    Why secret for 30 years ?

    After the war, the government sold a large number of *unbreakable* Enigma code machines to many businesses around the world. As Enigma was well and truly broken, the government was able to read their communications for some years, until Winterbotham's Ultra book was published in '74.

    1. Tchou


      ... single encryption tool allowed IS already broken by govts. Standard security behavior.

  11. david 12

    Unanswered questions

    Unfortunately, secrecy regarding code-breaking means that most of the militiary history written about WWII was just wrong, and leaves some questions unanswered.

    For example, it was well known that the British learned to use ship convoys in WWI, forgot that lesson, and suffered dreadful shipping losses until they re-learned that lesson.

    Now we know that the dreadful shipping losses stopped when the Allies broke the German Navy Code. Possibly the move to Navy convoys was only co-incidental, but what Navy history discusses the question?

    By the way, I'm fascinated by the story of Bright American Chess Players who were brought to Washington DC to (successfully, but they weren't believed) predict the movements of German submarines, based on the limited sightings and incomplete information. Now that we know that Bright British Chess Players were recruited to the code breaking effort, I wonder if that American think-tank was a cover for the American code-breaking effort? It would have been secret....

  12. Snapper

    Time span

    I'm always amused when claims of how Bletchley Park saved us from 'another two years of war' are blithely thrown into the conversation without a thought about what that actually means.

    You only have to take a fairly shallow look at the weapons technology that Germany was developing over the last two or three years of the war to know that any delay on 'our' part could probably have given 'them' the upper hand.

    Anti-aircraft missiles.

    Jet-propelled fighters and bombers.

    Air-to-air missiles.

    Rockets with America-hitting range.

    V3 guns in Calais

    V2's launched from submarines.

    Atomic bomb.

    Couple that with our inability to restrict losses and inflict defeats (eg Matapan) from 1940 onwards due to Enigma and it could have resulted in an armistice on the Western front, allowing Germany to fully concentrate on the Eastern challenge. The 'what-if's' are provoking.

    Without a doubt, Bletchley Park saved Western Civilsation as we know it

    1. elderlybloke
      Thumb Up

      Actung Snapper

      You are being extremely optimistic about the Atomic Bomb.

      They had only very early theory work on it.

      No supply of Heavy Water and if you look at the effort the Yanks put into it (with much help from Britain), you would realise that any idea of a successful production of a bomb is fanciful .

      If the Allies thought that it was likely then Germany would have got so many of our Atomic Bombs the place would really have been made a waste land.

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