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A small correction to the historical record on Colossus and Bletchley Park

By Noah | June 18, 2012

Awhile ago I posted an entry recommending a Nice Video about Colossus and Tommy Flowers. I have since been in touch with Capt. Jerry Roberts, who was one of the key members of the codebreaking team at Bletchley Park (B.P) during World War II. Capt. Roberts contacted me after I made my posting, and although he’s delighted to see the increasing recognition that’s coming to so much of the vital work done at B.P., he did have some concerns about details in the video.

In an e-mail to me, he made the following points (all quotations are directly from him…the “Testery“, mentioned in the quotes below, was the section of B.P. devoted to daily breaking of the message encipher on Tunny code, which was used by the German high command, including Adolph Hitler himself):

By the way, Capt. Roberts remains very active in helping to promote recognition for all the good work done at Bletchley, and he is a terrific speaker. His belief (and the belief of many others) is that “Enigma decrypts helped Britain not to lose the War in 1941. Tunny decrypts helped shorten the European War by at least 2 years.”

Several years ago, before I realized we had mutual friends, I posted an entry recommending one of Capt. Roberts’ talks at UCL.

Note: this posting was updated on 27 June 2012 with minor corrections and annotations from Capt. Roberts, who was kind enough to review my original version.

Topics: History of computing | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “A small correction to the historical record on Colossus and Bletchley Park”

  1. Marius Coomans Says:
    June 18th, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    That first link appears to need an “admin” login.

  2. Noah Says:
    June 18th, 2012 at 10:05 PM

    Wow, I’m amazed that anyone’s out there reading postings that quickly. Yes, my mistake, and thank you for catching it! Should be fixed now.

  3. Marius Coomans Says:
    June 18th, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    You’re welcome….having your blog included in the Planet Intertwingly feed helped 🙂

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