Monday, June 20, 2016

Code-Breakers: Bletchley Park’s Lost Heroes

Today on Far Future Horizons we present the BBC documentary film Code-Breakers: Bletchley Park’s Lost Heroes.

The stunning achievements of mathematical whiz Bill Tutte, combined with the engineering genius of British General Post Office (GPO) engineer Tommy Flowers, were to change the course of the Second World War and usher in the age of computers.

Code-breakers: Bletchley Park's Lost Heroes reveals how the talented Bill Tutte was responsible for what experts have described as the single most important intellectual feat of World War Two – without this work, D-Day would never have happened.

Colossus and two operators from the Women’s Royal Naval Service, Dorothy Du Boisson (left) and Elsie Booker. Tutte’s code breaking skill and Flowers’ engineering expertise gave rise to Colossus, the world’s first programmable computer

His breathtaking genius was exploited by an amazing array of talent at Bletchley Park, the UK’s top secret intelligence base, who then broke into Hitler’s own communications network, changing the War and the world.

Bill Tutte

But unlike the well-documented story of the cracking of the Enigma code, their work in deciphering the codes of the more complicated Lorenz machine was hidden from public view.

British engineer Tommy Flowers

At the time, neither man was credited with this work as it was covered by the Official Secret Act – Tutte in particular was essentially buried as the official history of Bletchley began to emerge, but continued to work in secret for his government right through the Cold War.

This was a man who did extraordinary things and was ahead of his time, but who put duty above personal glory, and died without ever being honored by his own country.

Code-Breakers: Bletchley Park’s Lost Heroes

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