` 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

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` 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

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` Mavis Batey was 19 when she was Recruited as a `Bletchley Code Breaker ‘ during ` World War ll ‘

#AceHistoryNews – March 28 – Mavis Batey was a British student of 19, midway through her university course in German Romanticism, when she was recruited for a top-secret assignment during World War II.

“This is going to be an interesting job, Mata Hari, seducing Prussian officers,” she years later recalled thinking. “But I don’t think either my legs or my German were good enough because they sent me to the Government Code and Cipher School.”

In May 1940, Mrs. Batey — then the unmarried Mavis Lever — joined the team of code breakers at Bletchley Park, the British cryptography headquarters. Trained in the enemy’s language and endowed with a facility for words, she became a key contributor to a wartime project that remained classified for decades.

But by the time of her death on Nov. 12 at 92, Mrs. Batey was regarded in England as a national heroine. Working with Alfred Dillwyn “Dilly” Knox and other celebrated code breakers, she learned to decipher what she called the “utter gibberish” of encrypted German communications.

Like many of her colleagues, Mrs. Batey worked on a “need-to-know” basis and did not understand at the time the significance of her efforts. In recent years, with the release of British wartime records, it was revealed that her code-breaking helped the Allies cripple the Italian navy in 1941 and assisted the 1944 Normandy invasion.

Winston Churchill, Britain’s wartime prime minister, was said to have called the Bletchley Park code breakers his “geese that laid the golden eggs but never cackled.” Fuelled by what Mrs. Batey described as “ersatz coffee,” they toiled in secrecy to decipher the encoded messages spat out by the Axis powers’ Enigma machines.

By Emily Langer, The Washington Post
Posted Nov. 17, 2013, at 4:44 p.m.

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