Code-breakers BBC2 Now

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by guzzijon, Oct 25, 2011.

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  1. Sorry for late notice- started 9pm- about breaking Lorenz. Excellent but my brain hurts- these people were way beyond phenomenal, thank god for them.
  2. On again Saturday at 20:40, BBC2.

    Interesting what they’re broadcasting to the general public, but quite right too. Hard to find sufficient praise for these and other hidden kings of WWII. Shame we achieved so much, just to give it all away.

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  3. Always interesting. Added bonus in this prog as some of the backing music was from Eels, my fave band.
  4. Good to see so much Int Corps visibility. Will anything that we do matter so much?
  5. It was mind blowing stuff, and I also noticed the Director must have been a Radiohead fan too.
  6. Or for so long. Interesting possibility that the Soviets continued to use Lorenz into the cold war and seventy years on some of the details are still secret.
  7. Hard to comprehend the feats of lateral thinking that were necessary to manually crack those codes, and also to conceive of and build the Colossus...

    .....and how tragic that UK then threw away its lead in computer science in the immediate post-war era. Imagine a British IBM kicking off in the late 1940s.
  8. Excellent programme, and pleased to see the tribute to Tony Sale at the end of the programme. Its about time Tommy Flowers and Bill Tutte's story was told. The breaking of Tunny was every bit as important as the breaking of the Enigma codes, and considerably harder!
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  9. I don't think we threw that lead away, we just kept collossus very quiet for National Security reasons. Bletchley Park was described as the Goose that laid the Golden Egg, and kept it very very quiet.
  10. The British way of understating, whereas, the yanks just have to holler it and overstate it.
  11. And why was this piece of history buried in such a late slot?

    I do think the failure to honour Bill Tutt and Tommy Flowers in their lifetimes was, and still is, a national scandal. I don't buy the "oh it had to be kept secret" line at all, plenty of folks who did far less on the secret side were honoured and were allowed to quietly benefit. Considering these two were living until very recently, it is a crying shame that they were not brought into the spotlight when the publicity exploded over Enigma...

    Yet another example of the British disease of keeping technical folk in their place IMHO..

    GC&CS, (not MI6 as stated in the film..) like most of the "dark side" was run by some really strange folk, and probably still is.. One can only speculate as to how Turing was able to continue to work and benefit in the post war period despite some really bizarre behaviour. Interesting to note that he and Tutt never seemed to get on?

    Such speculation aside - I have always said that the Tiltman-Tutt break of the "fish" traffic was the outstanding achievement of the war. Nice to see it publicised at last, and I hope the piece is repeated at a more convenient time..
  12. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    This was presented as if Lorenz has only just come to public notice, but Simon Singh discussed this (and Tutte and Flowers) in "The Code Book*" in 1999. However he does say Collossus was broken up, which is the received wisdom, although the programme said it went to GC&CS and continued in use. That this should be secret if we were using it to break Soviet cyphers makes sense!

    The keeping of their secrets by the personnel involved is highly commendable. We only discovered a few weeks ago that an elderly neighbour had been a Wren at Bletchley Park. Jim Booth, a COPP veteran who was interviewed recently, said his sister was at Bletchley during the war but neither could or would tell the other what they were doing.

    *Recommended reading if you want to know about public/private key cryptography & so forth.
  13. Never bought the idea that colllossus was broken up. No ryme or reason to do so. Glad it continued to do good works.
  14. Watched the broadcast after having seen the heads up by Arte et Marte ... thanks by the way .

    My Bold .... I think where we really had the edge on decryption was the broad academic backgrounds of the people at Blechley Park .... as already said some of whom behaved in a bizarre manner . One of the things that came out was that German decryption was disjointed being carried out IIRC by seven organisations with infighting and as the programme mentioned last night erupting to physical violence on at least one occasion .

    Excellent programme .