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The Debs of Bletchley Park and Other Stories…

The Debs of Bletchley Park and Other Stories

by Michael Smith

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Really enjoyed this. Very well researched with a good sense of narrative despite the huge amount of first-hand accounts and general historical detail. At first I struggled to keep track of all of the people but then I realised it didn't really matter if you remembered who was who! Hugely interesting and well executed. ( )
  aine.fin | Oct 19, 2015 |
Between 1939 and 1945, the work done in extreme secrecy at Bletchley Park made a massive contribution to the Allied war effort. During the peak of the work, almost thee-quarters of the people working at Bletchley were women. In this book, Michael Smith shares the stories and realities of the women who worked tirelessly to help break encryptions, translate messages, and pass along intelligence. Using interviews with the women themselves, Smith provides an insightful picture into the highly varied work these women did and the important contribution they made to the war. Filled with historical context as well as the anecdotes from the women who spent years at Bletchley, the book is a fascinating read filled with moments of humour and pathos as the women share their experiences in their own words. ( )
  MickyFine | Jul 25, 2015 |
When you hear of Bletchly Park you hear about the great men - Turing., Welchman, Dilly Knox, Tommy Flowers. This book brings to the fore some of th emany women who worked there - and despite its title they weren't all of privileged backgrounds. The work they did was very varied, from typex operators, to Bombe machine operators, to linguists, to intelligence analysts, to codebreakers, but the thing they had in common was they all worked extremely hard and were very proud of their contributions. It's great to see the women of Bletchly Park having threir roles fully acknowleged in this book. ( )
  SChant | Mar 29, 2015 |
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For Winston Churchill the men and women at Bletchley Park were 'the geese the laid the golden eggs', providing important intelligence that led to the Allied victory in the Second World War. At the peak of Bletchley's success, a total of twelve thousand people worked there of whom more than eight thousand were women. These included a former ballerina who helped to crack the Enigma Code; a debutante working for the Admiralty with a direct line to Churchill; the convent girl who operated the Bombes, the top secret machines that tested Enigma settings; and the German literature student whose codebreaking saved countless lives at D-Day. All these women were essential cogs in a very large machine, yet their stories have been kept secret. In The Debs of Bletchley Park and Other Stories author Michael Smith, trustee of Bletchley Park and chair of the Trust's Historical Advisory Committee, tells their tale. Through interviews with the women themselves and unique access to the Bletchley Park archives, Smith reveals how they came to be there, the lives they gave up to do 'their bit' for the war effort, and the part they played in the vital work of 'Station X'. They are an incredible set of women, and this is their story.… (more)

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