` Gordon Welchman’s Team at Bletchley Park improved the Enigma Code-Breaking Machine but Became a Security Threat ‘

#AceBritishNews – BRITAIN – April 26 – Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was warned a World War Two codebreaker had become a security threat 40 years after his “influential” work.

Gordon Welchman’s team at Bletchley Park improved the Enigma code-breaking machine, widely credited as shortening the war by two years.

Newly released papers show that in 1982 Mrs Thatcher was told of the threat when Mr Welchman wrote a book.

The Hut Six Story included details that were “still classified”, she was told.

Cabinet secretary Sir Robert Armstrong’s memo to the Tory leader is among documents that have been given to the Bletchley Park Trust after being held in Mr Welchman’s son’s attic for 26 years.

“The book goes into very considerable technical detail about the method developed for this work,” Sir Robert said.

Mr Welchman, who died in 1985, devised a system to deal with thousands of messages a day sent by the German Enigma machine.

The Cambridge graduate saw that the Bombe code-breaking machine needed enhancing and drew up a production line system which became the centre’s wartime working model.

His biographer, Dr Joel Greenberg, said this had been “revolutionary” and made him one of the centre’s “most important figures”.

In 1941, Mr Welchman and four other men known as The Wicked Uncles – including Alan Turing – personally delivered an influential letter to Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill asking for more resources for Bletchley Park.

Mr Welchman then became the head of Hut Six, which was responsible for breaking German Army and Air Force Enigma ciphers, and was the first to detail the work of the code-breakers in his 1982 book.

A 1948 letter from GCHQ director Sir Edward Travis shows his appreciation for Gordon Welchman’s “outstanding” contribution to World War Two code-breaking

The book was not banned but Mr Welchman lost his US security clearance and was forbidden to discuss his book or his wartime work, with the media.

Three years after its publication, a letter was sent from GCHQ Director Sir Peter Marychurch accusing Mr Welchman of damaging security.

The trust said the documents and possessions would help tell the story of a man whose work was “crucial” to Bletchley Park’s success but of which “most people have never heard”.

Mr Welchman’s daughter said: “I was unable to throw away almost anything relating to my father and I’m enormously grateful that someone else was interested in him.”

BBC News


#abhn2104, #acebritishhistory, #alan-turing, #bletchley-park, #cambridge, #enigma, #gchq

` Alan Turing `British Mathematician, Logician, Cryptanalyst, Computer Scientist and Philosopher at Bletchley Park '

#AceHistoryNews – March 28 – Alan Mathison Turing, OBE, FRS (/ˈtjʊərɪŋ/ tewr-ing; 23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) was a British mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, computer scientist and philosopher.

He was highly influential in the development of computer science, giving a formalisation of the concepts of “algorithm” and “computation” with the Turing machine, which can be considered a model of a general purpose computer.

Turing is widely considered to be the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.

During World War II, Turing worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park, Britain’s code-breaking centre. For a time he led Hut 8, the section responsible for German naval cryptanalysis. He devised a number of techniques for breaking German ciphers, including improvements to the pre-war Polish bombe method, an electromechanical machine that could find settings for the Enigma machine.

After the war, he worked at the National Physical Laboratory, where he designed the ACE, among the first designs for a stored-program computer. In 1948 Turing joined Max Newman’s Computing Laboratory at Manchester University, where he assisted development of the Manchester computers and became interested in mathematical biology. He wrote a paper on the chemical basis of morphogenesis, and predicted oscillating chemical reactions such as the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction, first observed in the 1960’s.

Turing was prosecuted for homosexuality in 1952, when such acts were still criminalised in the UK. He accepted treatment with female hormones (chemical castration) as an alternative to prison. Turing died in 1954, 16 days before his 42nd birthday, from cyanide poisoning.

An inquest determined his death a suicide; his mother and some others believed it was accidental. On 10 September 2009, following an Internet campaign, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made an official public apology on behalf of the British government for “the appalling way he was treated.”

The Queen gave him a posthumous pardon on 24 December 2013.

Courtesy of Wikipedia


#alan-turing, #bletchley-park, #enigma, #uk