D-Day History: Bletchley Park & Cracking the Code with Don Brown

D-Day History: Bletchley Park & Cracking the Code with Don Brown


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The Bletchley Park story is one of brilliant minds, laser-like dedication, incredible organization, and truly history-changing results. This is the place where the encrypted messages of Japan, Italy, and Nazi Germany were decoded, shortening WW2 by up to two years and so saving millions of lives.

Without Bletchley, the Battle of the Atlantic may never have been won, casualties in the Blitz would have been far higher, and D-Day might never have happened. It is also the site of the world's first digital computer, and thus heralded our information age. We will hear about the history of Bletchley Park and its forerunners, learn how Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman, Bill Tutte, and others broke the German's 'Enigma' and 'Lorenz' systems, and examine the years of work that went into making D-Day a success.

We'll also examine Winston Churchill's role in this secret world of espionage, why it took more than 30 years for Bletchley's story to be revealed (and how the site and its building were almost lost forever), and some of the truths and fictions of the Benedict Cumberbatch movie "The Imitation Game". Bletchley Park is one of the key historical sites of WW2 and what happened here is utterly fascinating, and still little-known. Join Don Brown, an expert on the subject to discover more.

Don Brown is a London Blue Badge Guide, the Director of the London Society, and a graduate of Oxford University. He previously worked in publishing, for publications as diverse as History Today, The Spectator and The Guardian. His interests and specialisms encompass history - from the Romans to the present day, politics, WW2, and '60s and '70s popular music, and as director of the London Society, he has a professional interest in architecture (contemporary and historical), planning and urbanism.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.