Martin Postranecky | 25 Oct 00:11 2014

A memorial to Bill Tutte in Newmarket

The Bill Tutte Memorial

....Rather than create a traditional sculpture, perhaps of Bill Tutte 
hiking through the countryside (his favourite past-time), the renowned 
Cambridge sculptor Harry Gray has created a fine work of modern art in a 
setting by landscape designer Ramon Keeley. The installation resonates 
with references to Bill Tutte and his work. Six seven-feet high stainless 
steel panels pierced with holes represent the punched paper tape that the 
Lorenz messages were converted into to enable the deciphering process. In 
front of the panels, a 41-tooth rotor represents Tutte's breakthrough in 
determining the structure of the Lorenz machine. Inside the rotor is a 
quotation from the citation for Tutte's membership of the Order of Canada 
written in a way that is difficult to decipher. Six bollards resemble 
teleprinter tape passing over a spool and each bears Tutte's name on one 
side and encrypted messages on the other. Visitors are invited to crack 
the messages using a crib on the memorial information board, which also 
carries a QR code to take them to the website where the solutions are 

But that's not all. There is a Squared Square made by Leon Russell of 
Mildenhall to represent Bill's early fascination with mathematical 
puzzles. Only when standing in the centre of the Squared Square, 
reflecting the unique way he looked at the problem of reading the messages 
the paper tapes contained, visitors will see the full image of Bill Tutte 
emerge on the steel panels.  There are also tributes on the memorial 
benches to Capt Jerry Philips, one of Bill Tutte’s contemporaries at 
Bletchley Park, who before his death in 2014 campaigned tirelessly for 
greater recognition of Tutte’s achievement, and Tommy Flowers, the GPO 
telephone engineer who built Colossus to run the algorithms that Tutte 
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Martin Postranecky | 17 Oct 23:08 2014

OBITUARY : Patricia Davies

16 Oct 2014

OBITUARY : Patricia Davies

Patricia Davies was the last of the team behind Operation Mincemeat, the
subterfuge which allowed the Allies to invade Sicily

Patricia Davies played a role in Operation Mincemeat during the Second World War

Patricia Davies : 'We were all in on the plot. We were enthralled by the whole

Patricia Davies, who has died aged 93, was the last surviving member of the
clandestine group in Naval Intelligence that in 1943 launched Operation
Mincemeat, a brilliant subterfuge that significantly altered the course of the
Second World War.

The plan of Operation Mincemeat, as told by Ben Macintyre in his book of the
same name and in a BBC documentary, was to drop a dead body in the
Mediterranean off the coast of Spain and hope the Nazis would find it. The
body was dressed as a Royal Marines officer, and was attached to a briefcase
containing a series of official-looking but faked letters indicating an Allied
plan to push back against Axis forces in southern Europe by invading Greece
and Sardinia — and not, as expected, Sicily.

The Nazis took the bait : believing the false information to be true, they
diverted massive forces to Greece, enabling a successful Allied invasion of

(Continue reading)

Martin Postranecky | 11 Sep 20:22 2014

The Mansion at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire (fwd)

Now online...

‘A Maudlin and Monstrous Pile’ : 
The Mansion at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire

by Kathryn A. Morrison

Transactions of the Ancient Monument Society

Ancient Monuments Society, London 
Book Condition : Very Good.
25 Page Unbound 
Illustrated Paper for Research Purposes 
Published in Transactions of the Ancient Monuments Society.
Bookseller Inventory # 803374

Martin Postranecky | 11 Sep 12:12 2014

Baronet’s Badge, United Kingdom issue, as worn by the 3rd Baronet Sir Ronald George Leon (fwd)

Just an interesting item I came across recently ( too late
for the auction.... ) :

lot #338

*Baronet’s Badge, United Kingdom issue, with border of roses, thistles and 
shamrocks, in 22 ct. gold and enamels, by R.S, London, 1913, reverse 
engraved Leon of Bletchley Park 1911, good extremely fine, with original 
neck riband, in fitted case of issue; together with a miniature trio of 
1939-45 Star, Defence and War

Medals as worn by the 3rd Baronet Sir Ronald George Leon and digital 
copies of photographs of the Mansion and Park, circa 1914-26, taken from 
privately-held archives ( lot )

Estimate £4,000-6,000  ( Sold for £3,000 )

SIR HERBERT SAMUEL LEON ( 11 February 1850 – 23 July 1926 ) was an English 
financier and Liberal Party politician, now best known a s the main figure 
in the development of the Bletchley Park estate in Buckinghamshire, which 
he had purchased in 1883. He was created 1st Baronet Leon of Bletchley in 

In 1938 the estate, including the mansion and some 58 acres, was acquired 
from the 2nd Baronet, Sir George Edward Leon, by Admiral Sir Hugh 
Sinclair. Sinclair, head of the Secret Intelligence Service, showed great 
foresight in selecting what may have seemed to the casual observer an 
unlikely site ‘for use in the event of war’. Shrouded in total secrecy 
during 1939-45 and for decades thereafter, Bletchley’s immense 
contributions to the Allied war effort continue to be researched, analysed 
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Martin Postranecky | 23 Jul 15:25 2014

The first trailer for the Alan Turing biopic "The Imitation Game" (fwd)

21 Jul 2014

"The Imitation Game" to open London Film Festival

Codebreaking drama "The Imitation Game", starring Benedict Cumberbatch, is 
to receive its European premiere at this year's BFI London Film Festival.

The film sees the Sherlock actor star as Alan Turing - the British 
computing pioneer who cracked the German Enigma codes during World War II.

Keira Knightley also stars as Turing's close friend and fellow 
code-breaker Joan Clarke.

The film will open the festival on 8 October at the Odeon Leicester 

Cumberbatch, Knightley and director Morten Tyldum are expected to attend 
the premiere, with simultaneous screenings also taking place at cinemas 
across the UK...../snip/


21 Jul 2014

Watch : 
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Martin Postranecky | 21 Jul 17:16 2014

"Enigma B207 - Hitler's Cipher Machine ?" article

I've noticed that in the current issue of the "Eye Spy" magazine ( No. 91, 
2014 ) there is an article "Letter from Fort Meade" by David Hamer,
regarding the "Enigma B207 - Hitler's Cipher Machine ?" ( pp. 68-70 )

This follows very much the description given in the article "Railway
Enigma and Other Special Machines", dated 30 May 2013, and available
here :

I wonder whether David or Frode Weierud have any new information on this
series of Enigma B2xx machines, which they could share with us ?

Just interested....(-;


Martin Postranecky | 8 Jul 15:11 2014


07 Jul 2014

Germany plans counter-espionage against Britain and US
Germany announces it is planning "surveillance" of intelligence operations 
of allies including Britain, US and France after American "double agent" 
scandal uncovered..../snip/


08 Jul 2014

British intelligence may rediscover its founding purpose
Any German espionage against Britain would summon memories of old battles 
- which London won hands down
By David Blair
The possibility that Germany may resume counter-espionage operations 
against Britain should inspire nostalgia rather than indignation. This, 
after all, is how the story began : just over a century ago Britain 
created a “Secret Service Bureau” with the sole purpose of taking on 

(Continue reading)

Martin Postranecky | 4 Jul 11:59 2014

Bletchley Park 'secret' codebreakers : Hundreds more named

28 June 2014

Bletchley Park 'secret' codebreakers : Hundreds more named

Bletchley Park Bombe operators at their accommodation at Crawley Grange. 
Mrs Ann Parker, nee White ( back row, centre ) The Bletchley Park roll of 
honour includes testimony from Bombe operators

Hundreds more people have admitted they, or their relatives, worked at the 
home of the World War Two codebreakers.

The Bletchley Park Trust set up a "roll of honour" last October, including 
details of about 10,000 veterans, but asked for more to come forward.

The trust said some former Government Code and Cypher School workers had 
been "apprehensive" but most were "delighted" to talk.

Nearly 500 more names have been added to the roll since October's appeal.
Bletchley Park mansion..../snip/

Martin Postranecky | 4 Jul 11:13 2014

Enigma : 75th Anniversary of GC&CS trip to Poland

July 2014

75th Anniversary of GC&CS trip to Poland 

The history of Polish contribution to World War II is generally known. 
However, relatively little is known about the Polish role in the "battle 
for secrets", i.e. in the reconstruction of the "Enigma", a German cipher 
machine, and in the development of apparatus that allowed the decryption 
of the code that was changed by the Germans on a daily basis...../snip/

Martin Postranecky | 27 Jun 17:04 2014

OBITUARY : Professor Murray MacBeath

June 26 2014

OBITUARY : Professor Murray MacBeath

Mathematician who broke the Japanese naval ciphers at Bletchley Park and later
lectured at Dundee and Birmingham

Having gained a first in mathematics from Queen’s University Belfast in 1942,
Murray MacBeath joined the staff of Bletchley Park.

Working in Hut 7 under the supervision of Colonel John Tiltman, MacBeath was
engaged first in the breaking of the Japanese naval ciphers and then
translating the received text into English. His work broadened to include both
Japanese naval and army air force communications.

After the war he took his MA at Clare College, Cambridge, and then a
Commonwealth fund fellowship at Princeton for his PhD. He taught at Keele but
by 1953 he was professor of mathematics.../snip/

Martin Postranecky | 27 Jun 17:02 2014

OBITUARY : Gwen Hollington

June 25 2014

OBITUARY : Gwen Hollington

A high achiever who was fluent in German, Gwen Hollington was recruited for
the Bletchley Park enemy communications decryption centre after graduating
from Cambridge. She was assigned to the naval section in Hut 4, Block A,
receiving messages from the code-breaking nerve centre in Hut 8. It fell to
her to translate them from German and help to maintain a comprehensive
database of enemy communications.

Eleanor Gwendoline Paxton was born in 1919. She won a scholarship to Roedean
School and excelled at sport. In 1938 Cambridge accepted her to read modern
and medieval languages at Girton College...../snip/