Breaking the codes: Jewish personnel at Bletchley Park

If students of the Second World War were to be asked which single organization contributed most to the defeat of the Axis forces between 1939 and 1945, many might agree that it was the code breakers at Bletchley Park Government Code and Cipher School (BP GC&CS), forerunner of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).1 On the basis of enemy messages decoded at BP, strategic decisions were made by Allied leaders which significantly altered the course of the war and saved count less lives. Established in 1938 as a branch of the Foreign Office, and leaning on previous experience, the part played by the staff at BP was revealed in 1974 in F. W. Winterbotham’s book The Ultra Secret. The intelligence obtained from the codebreaking was called Ultra, and such information was passed only to the most senior Allied commanders in the field, in case the Germans realized their codes had been broken

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