Martin Postranecky | 3 Feb 15:13 2009

Saving Bletchley Park

In case you may not have seen this :

Welcome to the saving Bletchley Park website. Thousands of people worked 
at Bletchley Park during World War Two to decode messages that the German 
forces transmitted, most notably by Hitler to the German high command. The 
cracking of the codes used, the use of the intelligence gained and the 
subsequent related actions of the Allies is said to have shortened World 
War Two by two years possibly saving 22 million lives. The critical 
importance of Bletchley Park in world history cannot be denied.

Bletchley Park is also the birthplace of the computer. The world's first 
programmable, digital, electronic computer: Colossus was invented and 
built at Bletchley Park during World War Two to speed the reading of 
encrypted German messages.

Bletchley Park is unique. It combines a key role in modern history along 
with being the birthplace of the computer. I cannot think of a place more 
worthy of our interest, our support and our government's support. Please 
join me in raising awareness of the fundamental importance of Bletchley 
Park and in saving Bletchley Park so that it will still be there for 
future generations to visit, appreciate and understand.

Dr. Sue Black
Head of Department of Information and Software Systems,
University of Westminster

Martin Postranecky | 21 Feb 17:15 2009

The Colossus WWII codebreaking machine ( 8 photos and a video )

Just in case you missed it...:

The Colossus WWII codebreaking machine ( 8 photos )	

An exclusive peek behind the scenes at Bletchley Park,39024647,39170392,00.htm

For exclusive behind the scenes footage at Bletchley Park, take a look at 
this video. Computer expert and former spy, Tony Sale, demonstrates the 
mighty codebreaker Colossus - WWII's top secret weapon.,39024647,39170411,00.htm

plus some other interesting bits :

Classic Iris radar gets vision back

The tech that kept the airspace over southern England safe for decades is 
back in action at The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC), at WWII 
code-breaking centre Bletchley Park..../snip/,3800010403,39396811,00.htm

Missile detecting DEC computer

This is a DEC seismometer array station processor, used to detect 
earthquakes, on display at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley 
(Continue reading)

Robert Philpot | 21 Feb 18:07 2009

Re: The Colossus WWII codebreaking machine ( 8 photos and a video )

Would have preferred to have larger photos (I have to use a small screen at
present) but has anyone tried recreating those few black and white war time
photos with the WRENS? Would love to see how accurate the copy looks in
direct comparison.

Oh yes, thanks Tony, you deserve another medal.

Robert Philpot 

Martin Evans | 23 Feb 19:57 2009

Alan Stripp

It is sad for me to have to report the death of Mr Alan Stripp, an old 
friend and neighbour.

He will be known to many members of this list for his writings on 
Bletchley Park and his experiences of breaking Japanese Air Force 
codes and cyphers during the 1939-45 war. In August 1943 he was sent 
from Cambridge University on an intensive course to acquire a basic 
knowledge of Japanese, and was then taught code-breaking at Bletchley 
Park. He was given a commission and posted to Delhi at the Wireless 
Experimental Centre, which dealt with interception of enemy radio 
traffic and the decryption of Japanese Air Force signals.  As well as 
writing a number of shorter articles, Alan Stripp wrote or edited 
three books:

Codebreaker in the Far East. Cass: London: 1989. ISBN 0714633631

Codebreakers: the inside story of Bletchley Park (Edited by 
F.H.Hinsley & Alan Stripp). Oxford University Press: Oxford: 1993. 
ISBN 0198203276

The Code Snatch. Vanguard Press: Cambridge: 2001. ISBN 1903489334.
(This is a semi-fictional thriller, set in WW2, with some 
autobiographical content).

After the war Alan Stripp worked for a time with the British Council 
in Indonesia and Portugal, before returning to Cambridge. He organized 
Adult Education courses at Linton Village College and later joined the 
Cambridge Extra-mural Board as an administrator and lecturer. He 
lectured on intelligence matters there and at other centres in East 
Anglia as well as teaching music at Madingley Hall. He and his wife 
(Continue reading)

Martin Evans | 24 Feb 23:36 2009

Alan Stripp - obit in Times Online

As a codicil to the message which I posted yesterday about the death 
of Alan Stripp, I find a long obituary (with a very nice photo of him) 
in the On-line version of The Times:




Martin H Evans        mhe1000@...
       Maritime Museums in Britain and Ireland:


Martin Postranecky | 28 Feb 15:11 2009

My Top-Secret Codebreaking During World War II: The Last British Survivor of Bletchley Park's Testery, Captain Jerry Roberts (fwd)

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend - but maybe some
members may wish to :

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2009 15:35:45 -0000
From: Carly Schnabl <c.schnabl@...>
To: all-undergraduates@..., all-postgraduates@...,
Subject: My Top-Secret Codebreaking During World War II: The Last British
    Survivor of Bletchley Park's Testery, Captain Jerry Roberts

Wednesday 11th March 2009

My Top-Secret Codebreaking During World War II: The Last British Survivor
of Bletchley Park's Testery, Captain Jerry Roberts (UCL German 1939-41)

I am delighted to invite you to a special talk by Captain Jerry Roberts,
UCL alumnus and major historical figure. Captain Roberts has kindly agreed
to speak to the wider UCL community about his experiences in and
immediately after the Second World War.

Following the completion of his German degree at UCL, Captain Roberts
became a founding member of the 'Testery' at Bletchley Park and a senior
member of the élite team assigned to the regular breaking of messages
enciphered on the Lorenz SZ40/42 machines, new 12-wheel machines designed
especially to encrypt communications between German Army H.Q. in Berlin
and the top generals in the field on all fronts, including a number signed
by Hitler himself. Nicknamed 'Tunny', it was a much more complex machine
than the better-known, and normally 3-wheeled, Enigma. Captain Roberts has
declined many other invitations to speak publicly and so we are delighted
(Continue reading)

Martin Postranecky | 3 Mar 17:34 2009

Declassified MI5 file shows Nazi spy almost changed course of war...

Declassified MI5 file shows Nazi spy almost changed course of war

Michael Evans, Defence Editor

A Nazi spy came within days of uncovering one of the Allies' most 
important missions and possibly changing the direction of the Second World 

The story of a Portuguese wireless operator and the dramatic decision to 
pluck him from his vessel on the high seas to prevent him from betraying 
the position of a huge convoy bound for North Africa is revealed for the 
first time in a declassified MI5 file released by the National Archives.

Gastao de Freitas Ferraz was being paid by German intelligence to send 
coded messages about convoys to U-boat commanders and was on the tail of 
the Allied warships...../snip/

....Ferraz, who had been transmitting encrypted messages from his fishing 
boat, Gil Eannes, in the Atlantic, unwittingly had it in his power to sink 
the Allies' plans by reporting the size and direction of the convoy. But 
unknown to the Germans, the messages were being intercepted and deciphered 
by the codebreakers at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire. On August 9, 1942, 
MI5 was sent a "most secret" letter that referred to the "alleged 
unneutral behaviour" of a certain Portuguese wireless operator. Gil 
Eannes, a former Portuguese warship, was part of a large fleet authorised 
to operate in the Atlantic because of Portugal's neutrality. On June 28, 
1942, it sailed out of Lisbon for Newfoundland and on its arrival there 
was searched. Nothing suspicious was found and neither Ferraz nor the 
(Continue reading)