Decoding History: The Battle of the Atlantic and Ultra

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The Germans, convinced their Enigma messages were unbreakable, used the machine for battlefield, naval, and diplomatic communications. Although the experts at Bletchley first succeeded in reading German code during the Norwegian campaign, their work only began to pay off meaningfully in , when they were able to gather evidence of the planned invasion of Greece, and learn Italian naval plans for the Battle of Cape Matapan. In the autumn, the Allies gained advantage in North Africa from deciphering coded messages used by Rommel's Panzer Army. The Germans also enjoyed some noteworthy code breaking successes.

The B-Dienst surveillance service broke British Naval code as early as , which allowed them to pinpoint Allied convoys during the early stages of the Battle of the Atlantic. Although the US altered its naval code in April , the change came too late to prevent the havoc wreaked by Operation Paukenschlag, the German U-boat campaign off America's east coast early that year.

The Germans also managed to crack Soviet and Danish code systems. But their efforts — fragmented and divided between rival cryptology departments - lacked the consistent success achieved at Bletchley Park. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Ships in 7 to 10 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed.

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Industry Reviews 'A highly professional, balanced and rigorous analysis that should have a wide appeal. In Stock. The Catalpa Rescue. He constantly surprised you with the originality of his thinking, it was marvelous. Bletchley Park suited both his genius and his eccentricity.

Decoding History: The Battle of the Atlantic and Ultra

He didn't like wearing a tie, he always looked untidy, but he quite liked being out in the country where he cycled around, he cycled with a gas mask on during hay fever period. He didn't care what he looked like, he just thought that doing the job was what mattered. I don't think he'd ever met any girls before.

I did once offer him a cup of tea and he shrank back as if he was going to be shot. And he used to, bless his heart, walk down to the canteen in a curious sideways motion, with his head down. But he was such a star, we all thought he was the best, wonderful thing. In an attic room at Bletchley Park, Turing began studying the U-boat messages. All he had to go on were the scrambled letters.

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However, it was the interaction of these different methods of attack that made the conduct of the campaign such a complex undertaking for the Allies. Grove, ed. The Japanese Army weekly war reports were already being received. Each of these had to be deciphered independently at Bletchley Park. The dramatic revelation of this factor in the middle s resulted in many works giving this as the most important cause of Allied success. Ask Seller a Question. American navy: as above.

In an astonishing feat of deduction, Turing discovered exactly how the Germans were hiding the crucial message setting. Unlike the Luftwaffe, the German Navy was leaving nothing to chance. Instead of letting the operator choose three letters at random for his message setting, he had to get them from a list.

Although Turing had no information about the naval procedures, he managed to identify exactly how they selected their daily keys from a set of secret tables. Instead of replacing one letter with another, these so-called bigram tables substituted pairs of letters. Then came an amazing stroke of luck. His U-boat, the U, had sunk the first ship in the war.

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In April, he set out on what was to be his last mission. David Balme had just turned He was an officer on H.

Bulldog , which was escorting a convoy from Liverpool bound for America. And we always knew we'd be attacked in this area. Suddenly two ships were torpedoed, one after another. It was obvious where the attack come from, and the Corvette Aubretia made a very accurate attack on the U-boat, must have got the depth charges at just the right depth. He had been with Captain Lemp throughout the war. Only the emergency lights came on.

We then tried to restore power and check for water leaks. It was the dream of every escort vessel to see a U-boat blown to the surface, because usually they just sink when you do have a successful attack and go down to the bottom. On board the U were the secret bigram tables. But the commander on the bridge kept shouting, "get out, get out! I don't know - but we can't be blamed for following orders.

You can't imagine what it was like if you weren't there. But Georg Hogel had one precious document he had to rescue - a book of love poems to his girlfriend. I got my book out and tried to put it in my pocket. But it didn't fit, it was too big. So I unbuttoned my shirt and shoved it in there. It lay against my chest and that's how I swam for half an hour.

Decoding History

Fearing that the Germans had left men behind to scuttle the boat, Balme went aboard first. At any rate I got on, got my revolver out - secondary lighting, a dim blue lighting, was on and I couldn't see anybody, just a nasty hissing noise which I didn't like the sound of. To this day I don't know what it was. They had no idea what they were looking for. They did not know about the secret bigram tables. David Balme had never heard of Bletchley Park. DAVID BALME: I sat down at the captain's desk in his cabin, and suddenly amongst all the things, I think his iron cross was there and I put that into a bag and various odds and ends, but also I came across a sealed envelope, I didn't open it, wouldn't have understood at any rate, being I'm not speaking German, but it obviously was something fairly important, being a sealed envelope in his desk, so I popped it into my pocket.

Decoding History: The Battle of the Atlantic and Ultra - Library

It contained procedural handbooks, a U-boat navigational chart, and the vital bigram tables. These documents gave Bletchley Park a major leap forward in decoding. Captain Lemp died in the attack. No one will ever know why he did not scuttle the U-boat or destroy the codes. I had to leave because those were the orders. And the unequivocal order was to leave everything behind and go up and climb onto the deck.

There was no other way.

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The German attack on merchant shipping in the Second World War, known as the Atlantic, was countered partly by code-breaking intelligence known as Ultra. Decoding History: The Battle of the Atlantic and. Ultra,. Christopher Bell. Follow this and additional works at:

The papers that were captured, including the bigram tables, were priceless. When the documents reached Bletchley Park, the codebreakers rejoiced.

The tables and charts would lead to a drastic improvement in fixing U-boat positions, so convoys could be routed evasively around the wolf packs. Geoffrey Tandy, having been at the Natural History Museum, had access to proper drying paper which he brought down by a load, and we had to dry those and clean them up and distribute them as necessary.