The Secret to War

Well my second time around in London was just as good as the first. Last year I was in London studying music, more importantly the Beatles, and had the opportunity to tour many of the main tourist attractions such as Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Royal Albert Hall, Tower of London, as well as seeing Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, and more! This year, because I had seen many of the popular buildings and places, I could take a second look at the main sites, but also see the smaller, yet very important places like the Imperial War Museum, Churchill War Rooms, HMS Belfast, and of course Bletchley Park.

Because I had spent all semester researching the positive effects for the Allies of code breaking during the war, I had a profound appreciation for the work of the codebreakers at Bletchley Park. When we stepped foot off the train platform and began our short walk to the best, in my opinion, WWII site in England, it felt like Christmas Day to me. I was so excited to see how everything would be set up and how the story would be told through their eyes. We received our tickets and I was off exploring the buildings and huts where history was made and the strategy of war was forever changed. I absolutely loved hearing the stories of Bletchley Park from our tour guide because it was familiar territory in that a lot of what he said could be found in my research paper.


Walking around the grounds and through the huts where the codebreaking actually took place was so cool! I liked the set up in that they tried to keep the inside look of the buildings and huts the same as they were back in the wartime period. I can only imagine what it must have been like during WWII when they broke the codes and obtained information in time to give it to the commanders on the battlefield. Knowing what I know now from my research, it would have been a sigh of relief, but not too much knowing that they would have to continue doing it the following day with the new keys and messages. The atmosphere of Bletchley must have been inspiring with all of the bright minds and talented mathematicians working on such difficult theories and codes.

IMG_1237(Alan Turing’s office)

By far the most fascinating part of Bletchley was the working bombe they had on display. I researched the bombes and enigmas used during WWII, but I never truly understood the workings of these machines. I was blown away by the technology the codebreakers used to decipher and decode the Axis Powers’ messages.

IMG_1209IMG_1239 IMG_1241

Before we left, I took a second quick look at the first exhibit just to make sure I didn’t miss anything and lo and behold I saw the explanation of the importance of codebreaking for the battles of the Atlantic and Cape Matapan, two of the six battles I used as evidence in my paper. It was such a surreal feeling! If I could go back to Bletchley Park, I would be back in a heartbeat!

Now that we are on our way to France, I can say that I cannot wait to go back to London someday! With the historical importance and the royal family, yes I am quite the fan of them, of England, I hope I have the opportunity to return in the near future!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *