World War II in the News is a review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.

If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series (link)
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If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series.

Bletchley Park

Breaking German Enigma and Lorenz codes in Bletchley Park (Station X) was so secret project that even decades after the war nobody knew about it.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.

Bletchley Park’s contribution to WW2 over-rated says official history of UK spy agency GCHQ
Code-breaking hub Bletchley Park's contribution to World War Two is often over-rated by the public, an official history of UK spy agency GCHQ says. The new book - Behind the Enigma - is based on access to top secret GCHQ files. "Bletchley is not the war winner that a lot of Brits think it is," the author, Professor John Ferris of the University of Calgary, told.

The secret story of the Jewish codebreakers who helped win the war
As the Director of GCHQ, I rarely write in public. But the death of Rolf Noskwith, at the age of 97, prompts me to tell the story of our remarkable group of Jewish staff at Bletchley Park during the Second World War and the years that followed.

Classic turn-based strategy games: Conflict-Series
If you like classic turn-based PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include Axis Balkan Campaign, D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, and the Battle of Bulge. In addition to WWII some other time periods include Korean War, American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War. The more complex campaigns like Operation Sea Lion, Invasion of Norway, and Invasion of Japan 1945, include Naval element and handling logistics of supply flow.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store since 2011)

Bletchley Park staff who helped defeat Hitler meet 78 years after war`s outbreak
Staff who helped uncover secret Nazi communications were reunited at Britain`s former code-breaking headquarters – the 78th anniversary of Britain declaring war on Germany. More than 100 veterans gathered at Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, where the German Enigma cipher was broken during the Second World War. Military historians believe this was one of the conflict`s major turning points – enabling the British to unlock German navy messages and save Allied convoys.

1940s Lorenz SZ42 has arrived at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park
Hitler`s most secret cipher machine has arrived at The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park. The 1940s Lorenz SZ42 was cutting edge technology in its time and is extremely rare today. It will join the other code-breaking machines, including the famous Enigma, at the museum. Much more complex than the enigma, the Lorenz cipher could only be broken by clever deduction from Bill Tutte who worked out the machine`s architecture without ever having set eyes on it.

Letter reveals Bletchley Park code breakers secretly thanked by General Eisenhower for priceless work
A secret letter from US President Dwight D Eisenhower praising the `priceless` work of the Bletchley Park code breakers in helping to win the war went on public display for the first time. The letter was sent at the end of the WWII by General Eisenhower, who had been Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe, to Sir Stewart Menzies, wartime chief of the Secret Intelligence Service, and had previously hung on the wall of the office of the Chief of MI6. It has now been put on public view, illustrating they importance the US Government placed on the work of the Bletchley Park code breakers in helping to defeat the Nazis.

Hacking the Nazis: The secret story of the women who broke Hitler's codes
Of the 10,000-plus staff at the Government Code and Cypher School during World War II, two-thirds were female. Three veteran servicewomen explain what life was like as part of the code-breaking operation. "I was given one sentence, 'We are breaking German codes, end of story'." It was Ruth Bourne's first job out of college, when, like thousands of other young British women during WWII, she was recruited to aid the Allied cipher-breaking efforts at Bletchley Park. Today, the mansion in the heart of the southeast English countryside is famous for being where the mathematician Alan Turing cracked the Nazi's Enigma code. These servicewomen played a pivotal role in an operation that decrypted millions of German messages and which is credited with significantly shortening the war.

Bletchley Park and the Enigma code: The women who helped win the war
The Imitation Game would have us believe Turing cracked it single-handedly in a shed. In reality it took the work of hundreds of codebreakers and thousands of general staff. Some of the former and most of the latter were women, and until now they have had little attention. Women worked at every level of the organisation, and the place saw the first outbreaks of the social revolution that would occur three decades later. The Bletchley women came from far and wide, volunteers at first and then conscripts. Historian Tessa Dunlop has found nine of them still living, ranging from Pamela Rose, a showgirl and actress about to make her West End debut before duty called, to the mathematician Ann Williamson, by way of the exotic Georgette and Doris Moller, sisters who had spent a year escaping to Britain across occupied Europe.

Alan Turing's Hidden Manuscripts Are Up For Auction
Alan Turing was a British mathematician who both broke the infamous Enigma code, enabling Britain to stay alive during WWII, and also the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. He's the reason why people have laboured for decades to beat the 'Turing Test', and also the reason why submarines didn't break the UK in 1942. Turing's life is superbly detailed in Andrew Hodges' book, Alan Turing: The Enigma, which is now also an Oscar-nominated biopic. But actual material penned by Turing himself is hard to come by — hence the excitement surrounding the upcoming auction of one of this notebooks.

Bletchley Park secret codebreakers: Hundreds more named
The Bletchley Park Trust set up a "roll of honour" in October 2013, 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: No longer the world's best kept secret
Bletchley Park was once the world's best kept secret and a key part of the country's war effort against Germany. Every detail about the sprawling Buckinghamshire estate was shrouded in mystery as German Enigma codes were cracked using the Bombe machine. Until wartime information was declassified in the mid-1970s, no-one who worked at the home of the Government Code and Cypher School was allowed to talk about it.

Last surviving women who helped crack Hitler's top secret codes using Colossus computer at Bletchley Park meet again after 70 years
The last remaining women code-breakers who operated Colossus - the world`s first computer - have been reunited after 70 years after a picture of them was published in a local paper. The women were all part of the Colossus C Watch at Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire during the Second World War and were the world`s first computer operators. Most of them lost touch with each other after the war ended and they have not been together as a group for seven decades.

Alan Turing papers on code breaking released by government's communications headquarters
Two 70-year-old papers by Alan Turing on the theory of code breaking have been released by the government's communications headquarters, GCHQ. It is believed Turing wrote the papers while at Bletchley Park working on breaking German Enigma codes. A GCHQ mathematician said the fact that the contents had been restricted "shows what a tremendous importance it has in the foundations of our subject". The two papers are now available to view at the National Archives at Kew, west London.

Alan Turing exhibition: Enigma codebreaker, who did more than anyone to bring down the Third Reich, was later driven to suicide
He cracked the Enigma code, changed the course of world war II, and his work in computer sciences brought about the personal computers. Yet a new exhibition at Bletchley Park reveals another side to Alan Turing. A collection of his personal possessions includes a teddy bear that he bought as a student and a treasured Swiss watch. More poignantly, it also includes a biography of Turing by his mother Sara, which she self-published in 1959 after every publisher had turned it down; and a letter sent to her in 1975 by computer scientist Brian Randell, which revealed to her the extent of Turing's heroism.

Nazi code-breaking hardware: Bletchley Park in photos
Nazi code-breaking hardware: Bletchley Park in photographs.

Breaking the Nazi's Enigma codes at Bletchley Park (26 photos)
For decades, since 1918, the Germans had been using Enigma cyphers as the core of their intelligence and military communications system. The Enigma was first invented for scrambling financial communications, but while that use never took off, the military saw the potential of the system. For one thing, the Nazis thought Enigma was unbreakable. But the codebreakers at Bletchley Park, a secret installation about 45 minutes outside London, proved the Germans wrong.

A replica of the Tunny machine, a computer that cracked German Lorenz code, rebuilt in Bletchley Park
A working replica of a computer that cracked secret Nazi messages has been completed. Engineers at Bletchley Park built the Tunny machine using discarded blueprints. Up to 15 Tunny machines cracked the German Lorenz code at the height of the war, but the British government ordered their destruction after the war. In this video engineer John Whetter and 1940s Tunny operator Helen Currie explain why the mechanical computer reduced the length of the conflict.

Document reveals that the Allies fooled the Nazis into thinking that the main strike would hit Pas de Calais
A complicated British wartime plot convinced Hitler that the Allies were about to aim the bulk of the D-Day landings in Pas de Calais rather than on the Normandy coast - guaranteeing the invasion's success. An intercepted memo, published for the first time, proves that German intelligence had fallen for the British scheme.

During the Second World War, the Allies were both skillful and lucky in their disinformation campaigns, which took place before any major invasion in Europe. Just a year before the D-Day, in 1943, the Allies had used another plot, called Operation Mincemeat, to make sure that the invasion of Sicily met minimum opposition.


The Secret Life of Bletchley Park by Sinclair McKay (WWII book review)
The story of Bletchley Park is symbolic of the occasionally brilliant way that the British conducted themselves in World War II. The house was purchased in 1938, when the Secret Intelligence Service decided, belatedly, that it is time to expand their code-breaking operation. The head of SIS, Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair, paid for it out of his own pocket because Whitehall politics threatened to delay the undertaking even further. SIS then staffed it with anyone they could get: cryptographers, mathematicians, linguists, astrologers, etc. KcKay's book recreates the unique atmosphere of this extraordinary place.

Bletchley Park World War II archive to go online after HP donated scanners
Millions of documents stored at the World War II code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, are set to be digitised and published online. Hewlett-Packard has donated a number of scanners to the historic centre in Milton Keynes so volunteers can begin the huge task. Many of the records have laid forgotten for years, and the centre hopes that untold stories about the role Bletchley Park played in the war will be unearthed. The information will include communication transcripts, communiques, memoranda, photographs, maps and other material relating to key World War II events and secrets.

Head of air intelligence at Bletchley Park criticized the bombing of Dresden: Allied knew the SS Panzer army would not return that way
Peter Calvocoressi had a career as a WW2 codebreaker, historian, publisher and author. As head of air intelligence at Station X - the top secret HQs at Bletchley Park of the codebreakers who cracked Nazi Germany's Enigma cipher - he had a central role in the operation to intercept high-level German orders. Calvocoressi was critical of the Allied bombing of Dresden, saying that Ultra had informed the Allies that the SS Panzer army would not be travelling back through the city after the battle of the Ardennes. His account of his work at Bletchley Park is entitled "Top Secret Ultra".

Commemorative badge for Bletchley Park codebreakers who broke the German Enigma machine
Codebreakers who broke the German Enigma ciphers are finally to be honoured by the Government. The surviving staff who worked in secrecy during World War 2 will be entitled for a commemorative badge. The ciphers and codes of several of the Axis powers were decrypted in Bletchley Park, most famously the Enigma and Lorenz machines. Codebreakers were helped by Polish mathematicians who had acquired an NAzi Enigma machine before the war. To accelerate the codebreaking process, mathematician Alan Turing designed the Bombe: an electro-mechanical machine that reduced the odds (and the time required) to break the daily-changing Enigma keys.

Nazis lost all the battles because Bletchley Park turned Hitler's secret orders into plain text
Every year a wreath appears in the bicycle shed in Bletchley Park where Alan Turing liked to sit and think the enormity of the task he faced. This gesture of personal remembrance reveals the hold Britain's code-breakers still have. The truth about the campaign to break the German war codes only began to emerge in the 1970s, and even today large chunks of it remain classified. When Simon Greenish took over the site in 2006 he found a national treasure on the brink of collapse because of the repair bills and government indifference. Visitor numbers have soared from 44,000 a year to an expected 100,000 in 2009 - and the centre's classes for schools is oversubscribed.

Enigma: the Battle for the Code by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore [book review]
"Enigma: the Battle for the Code" describes how Jack Good annoyed mathematician Alan Turing, the guiding intelligence of Britain's attack on Nazi ciphers, by taking a nap during his first night shift. Turing refused to speak to him - until Good used his statistical expertise to show how a trial-and-error method of attacking Enigma traffic could be quickened. By the time Good arrived at Hut Eight, Bletchley Park, HQs of the codes campaign, the Luftwaffe and Wehrmacht Enigma codes had been broken, but Kriegsmarine Enigma code had not. This was when supply lines from North America were being threatened by U-boats.

Bletchley Park fires up replica Turing Bombe - The legendary Enigma-busting kit
Bletchley Park will fire up a replica Turing Bombe to mark the Engineering Heritage Award which recognises the 13 years of hard work which have gone into re-building the legendary Enigma-busting kit. The Bombe was the brainchild of Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman, and the 210 machines built by the British Tabulator Machine Company did critical work cracking encoded German military traffic - a feat which shortened the Second World War by two years. The original devices were destructed after the war on security grounds, but in 1970 a set of blueprints surfaced and the idea to reconstruct a Bombe was born.

97 experts send clear message: save Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park, the codebreaking centre that helped to win World War II, is facing irreparable decay unless the Government steps in to save it - claims a letter signed by 97 senior experts. One of the unheated wooden huts where the codebreakers worked to turn the tide of WW2 now looks "like a garden shed that's been left for 60 years", says Sue Black. The signatories call for Bletchley Park - currently open to the public as a museum but getting no public funds - to be made the home of a national museum of computing. After the war Winston Churchill destroyed all evidence of the project, so that the Soviet Union should not discover it.

Bletchley Park, crucial for Allied victory, faces bleak future
Military historians have postulated that without Bletchley Park the Allies may never have won WWII. But, in spite of a huge part in the war effort, the Bletchley Park site, now a museum, faces a hopeless future unless it can get funding to keep its doors open and its exhibits from rotting away. Bletchley Park (codenamed Station X) intercepted German radio signals intended for broadcast to the army, navy and air force, and decoding them into meaningful messages. 9000 persons worked around the clock to break the Nazi codes, collecting enough information to avoid major enemy manoeuvres.

Historian discuss whether WWII codebreakers knew of the holocaust
Among the guests at a Bletchley Park lecture by Michael Smith, author of "Station X - The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park", was David Irving. Smith asked if the codebreakers ignored mass murder, as they were aware that the German army was killing Jewish people and that Winston Churchill, who called it on radio as a 'crime without a name', was kept informed. Info from Chicksands Priory passed on to Bletchley Park showed there were camps, but it's not clear if they knew that some were death camps. There were records of Zyklon B delivered, but since this was mainly used as a pesticide, its real purpose was not realised.

Bletchley Park decoded German messages before German commanders
Arthur J. Levenson, a former official with the National Security Agency who assisted in the British-led effort to break German WWII codes, died at 93. He said the team at Bletchley sometimes deciphered the German messages before German forces in the field could read them. In one case the team decoded a message from German military leader Erwin Rommel and determined that German tanks were converging at a spot where U.S. paratroopers were planning to jump. "They were going to drop one of the airborne divisions right on top of a German tank division. They would have been massacred." At the last moment, plans were changed, and the paratroopers averted disaster.

Codebreaker statue is unveiled at Bletchley park - "intellectual warrior"   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Bletchley park has unveiled a statue to commemorate the war hero and math genius Alan Turing, who was at the heart of the Park's code breaking successes. The American Sidney E Frank commissioned Stephen Kettle to create the life-size statue in 2005. Although Turing received an OBE, he died in 1954 without public recognition. He arrived at Bletchley Park on Sept 1939 pursuing his idea of building a machine that would break the Enigma key. After helping to break the German Naval Enigma in Dec 1939 he created the Turing-Welchman Bombe which speeded up the process of breaking into the daily Enigma keys. Codebreakers helped to shorten the war by 2 years.

WWII Nazi Enigma code-break re-enacted
World War II vets are preparing to show how they cracked the Nazi Enigma codes for the first time since VE Day in 1945. A team of 60 enthusiasts has spent 10 years building a replica of the code-breaking machines that were used to decipher thousands of Nazi messages. The machines were all dismantled in 1945 and no drawings survived. Later the replica will be shown at Bletchley Park. About 10,000 people worked at Bletchley Park at the height of the war. It was Winston Churchill who, after the war, ordered the machines to be destroyed to keep them out of the wrong hands.

Bletchley Park Code team cracked Soviet's ciphers
The codebreakers of Bletchley Park not only broke into the secrets of the German Enigma machine, but also succeeded in cracking the main Russian machine ciphers. The success of British cryptanalysts during the Second World War in cracking the German machine is well known, but their work on Soviet machines has remained secret. Now, for the first time, details of GCHQ's early Cold War successes against the Soviet Union are revealed in The Spying Game, by Michael Smith.