Bletchley Park 1939–45


Map Code: Ax01910

Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, was the central site for British World War II code breakers. The mansion and its surrounding park was acquired by Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair, head of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) in 1938. The centre decrypted the ciphers and codes of Axis countries, including the highly complex cipher systems of the German Enigma and Lorenz machines. Breaking Axis ciphers helped the Allies win victory in North Africa and enabled them to anticipate British targets in the Blitz. The site is opposite Bletchley railway station and occupies 581 acres. A cottage in the grounds of Bletchley Park was where code-breakers Alan Turing, Dilly Knox and John Jeffries broke the Enigma codes. Wooden huts clustered around the mansion acted as the nerve centre of the Park where communications were deciphered and interceptions took place. It was in the smallest hut, known as Hut 3, which was partnered with Hut 6, that translations of the Enigma decrypts were quarantined. Hut 4, near the Mansion, was for Naval Intelligence and Hut 8 was used for the breaking of Naval Enigma messages.

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