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The Bletchley Park Podcast

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The historic site of secret British codebreaking during WW2 & the birthplace of modern computing. Stories from the codebreakers, staff & volunteers, audio from events & lectures, and news on the progress of the development of Bletchley Park.

The historic site of secret British codebreaking during WW2 & the birthplace of modern computing. Stories from the codebreakers, staff & volunteers, audio from events & lectures, and news on the progress of the development of Bletchley Park.
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Location:

United Kingdom

Description:

The historic site of secret British codebreaking during WW2 & the birthplace of modern computing. Stories from the codebreakers, staff & volunteers, audio from events & lectures, and news on the progress of the development of Bletchley Park.

Language:

English


Episodes

E89 - Bletchley Park and D-Day

5/22/2019
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May 2019 With the opening of D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion, the key role that Bletchley Park played in the success of the Normandy campaign is finally being told. Now, a new book written by our very own research historian, Dr David Kenyon adds even more depth to that story. Using previously classified documents, David casts the work of Bletchley Park in a new light, as not just a codebreaking establishment, but as a fully developed intelligence agency. This account reveals the...

Duration:00:23:57

E88 - The Tide of Victory

5/9/2019
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May 2019 It Happened Here this month takes us to a Britain who’s south coast in May 1944 resembled one huge army camp as over 2 million men waited for D-Day. In the Buckinghamshire countryside the staff at GC&CS carried on feeding detailed and crucial intelligence to the Allied forces that would play an integral part in the success of the upcoming Operation Overlord. The Western Front Committee was established at Bletchley Park in October 1942 and for the next 18 months built up a...

Duration:00:58:02

E87 - D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion

4/15/2019
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April 2019 In this month’s episode we take you to the preview opening of a major new exhibition, D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion. For 18 months prior to the launch of Overlord the staff at GC&CS produced intelligence that was integral to the invasion plans. The detailed picture that the codebreakers created of German forces in France made sure that as the troops hit the beaches on the 6th of June 1944, they knew almost as well as the Germans what to expect. Based on recently...

Duration:00:55:36

E86 - From Cassino to Kohima

3/9/2019
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March 2019 In this It Happened Here episode we go back to the spring of 1944 when much of Europe, and indeed the world held its breath awaiting the ‘Second Front’ in Europe. This would be realised in June when Operation OVERLORD; the D-Day landings, began in France. During that spring, however British and Allied troops were involved in some of the fiercest fighting of the war, in Italy and in the Far East as the tide finally turned against the Japanese in Burma. The codebreakers at Bletchley...

Duration:00:58:24

E85 - Drama at Bletchley Park

2/9/2019
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February 2019 This month we leave the code breaking behind and focus on what became an important part of the Off-Duty time for many of the staff at GC&CS during World War 2. Working long shifts and being far from the bright lights of London and other major towns, the staff of Bletchley Park organised much of their own entertainment. As early as 1940 the management recognised that the staff needed diversions to fill their down time and encouraged the organisation of many of these. With a...

Duration:00:52:41

E84 - Second Front Now

1/9/2019
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January 2019 1943 had been a year of Turning Points in World War 2, but 75 years ago few people could have known for certain the monumental events that would unfold in 1944\. In this It Happened Here episode we take stock and look at the year ahead. The Big Three, Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin met together for the first time and took decisions that would ultimately lead to the 6th of June, D-Day. In the wider war the Germans had bogged the Allies down on the Italian Front, while at sea...

Duration:00:53:03

E83 - Bletchley Park & Beyond Part 2

12/19/2018
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December 2018 In this second of our two episodes this month we bring you two more interviews from our Oral History Archive. Our Oral History Officer Jonathan Byrne and his team have collected over 450 interviews in the last 7 years with our Veterans’. Now with the support of Milton Keynes Council the project is being extended to include local people with connections to the wartime Bletchley Park. Judith Wainer couldn’t have been a closer neighbour to Station X as she lived on Wilton Avenue....

Duration:00:59:14

E82 - Bletchley Park & Beyond Part 1

12/10/2018
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December 2018 In the first of two episodes this month we bring you three interviews of Veterans and local people from our Oral History Archive. Our Oral History Officer Jonathan Byrne and his team have collected over 450 interviews in the last 7 years. He tells us about a new project, being run with the support of Milton Keynes Council, to extend our archive to include local people with connections to the wartime Bletchley Park. At the outbreak of World War 2 Val Pinker was a teenager living...

Duration:00:59:51

E81 - Inside GCHQ

11/23/2018
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November 2018 In this exclusive additional episode, podcast producer Mark Cotton was given special permission to record inside the normally top secret walls of GCHQ in Cheltenham. There he met GCHQ’s Departmental Historian Tony Comer to talk about the life of a modern GCHQ insider, how it has changed over the last 3 decades and was given a guided tour of their own secret museum. Tony also gives us some sneak peeks into how their upcoming Centenary in 2019 will be celebrated. Grateful thanks...

Duration:00:31:20

E80 – Eastcote From GC&CS to GCHQ

11/10/2018
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November 2018 In this month’s ‘It Happened Here’ we are marking 75 years since the establishment of the Eastcote Outstation, the site at which Bombe machines were operated from the autumn of 1943\. By 1945 over 100 machines were at Eastcote along with over 800 Wrens and RAF technicians, and a small group of American GIs. How did it start and what was life there really like? Bletchley Park’s research historian Dr David Kenyon tells us the complete story with help from our Archivist Guy Revell...

Duration:00:53:11

E79 - Over Here & Over There

10/9/2018
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October 2018 In this It Happened Here episode we are going back to the autumn of 1943 and the invasion of Italy. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill saw it as strike at the Germans via the “soft underbelly of Europe”, while our American allies saw it as a “tough old gut”. At a strategic level the allies may have had differing opinions but in the Intelligence War the cooperation grew closer with the increasing involvement of American personnel in the code breaking operations at GC&CS....

Duration:00:55:21

E78 - Veterans’ Reunion 2018 Part 2

9/23/2018
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September 2018 During World War Two more than 10,000 people worked for GC&CS either at Bletchley Park, it’s Outstations or connected branches both Civilian and Military. This gives us a wealth of different stories to be able to tell and in this second visit to this year’s Reunion we will bring you 3 more exclusive interviews with our Veterans. Sergeant Stanley Clegg served from 1943 till 1945 in the RAF and with Special Liaison Unit 8 in North Africa, Italy and France. His fascinating story...

Duration:00:52:25

E77 - Veterans’ Reunion 2018 Part 1

9/9/2018
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September 2018 Every year, close to the anniversary of GC&CS staff first arriving at Bletchley Park in 1939 we invite our Veterans and their families back to celebrate their vital war work. It’s our favourite day of the year at the Museum and it allows us to share their amazing stories with our listeners. This year also coincides with the 80th anniversary of the formation of the Auxiliary Territorial Service or ATS, the woman’s branch of the British Army during World War 2\. To celebrate,...

Duration:00:48:13

E76 - Captain Ridley’s Shooting Party

8/25/2018
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August 2018 This is the second of two episodes this month. In this It Happened Here episode we’ll be taking you further back than our normal 75 years, this time to September 1938. Twenty years after The Great War, the clouds of conflict were once again looming across Europe. Hitler threatened Czechoslovakia and British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Germany to try to avert war. At the same time in Buckinghamshire, at an unassuming, recently purchased country house, activity was...

Duration:00:50:00

E75 - Countdown to D-Day

8/9/2018
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August 2018 This is the first of two episodes this month. In August 1943 at the Quebec Conference the Allies began the initial discussions for what would ultimate become Operation Overlord, the invasion of France in 1944\. So it seems fitting that 75 years later Bletchley Park have released the plans for what will be an exciting new exhibition opening in spring 2019. D-DAY: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion will tell the story of the vital role that GC&CS played in informing the D-Day...

Duration:00:25:25

E74 - Sound and Vision

7/9/2018
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July 2018 This month we swing a shoe, meet the artist exploring the layers and fragmentation of the Bletchley Park story and hear from a Foreign Office clerk who thought she was going to be a spy. Hear what happened when Bletchley Park played host to a Guinness World Record attempt at the largest swing dance lesson. The swing dance club, JiveSwing, led the couples, many of whom who’d turned out in their best vintage gear, in a half hour lesson followed by a three minute dance, to take a...

Duration:00:58:19

E73 - Bond at Bletchley Park

6/9/2018
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June 2018 This month it’s all about 007\. Bletchley Park has opened a new exhibition in historic Hut 12, featuring memos, letters and personal photographs of Ian Fleming, a fantastic collection of Bond novels through the decades and original, specially commissioned works by talented and innovative artists, inspired by scenes, themes and characters from Bond novels. The Bond creator and author, Ian Fleming, worked in Naval Intelligence during World War Two, and had close links with Bletchley...

Duration:00:54:39

E72 - Fishing Season

5/9/2018
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May 2018 The Bletchley Park story is about more than Enigma. A different kind of traffic was also coming over the airwaves, being intercepted and mined for crucial intelligence. But it was generated by an even more fiendishly complex system than Enigma, which was itself believed to be unbreakable. Lorenz was the machine being used by Hitler and his high command to send top level, strategic messages. It was less portable and more secure than Enigma, but that didn’t defeat the boffins at...

Duration:00:57:29

E71 - The Bombe Breakthrough

4/9/2018
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April 2018 A brand new exhibition telling the story of the Bombe machines has opened in Hut 11a, where they were housed during World War Two. Hundreds of Bombe machines were made and operated at both Bletchley Park and its outstations. This exhibition tells the story of how this incredible technological breakthrough came to be, and the stories of the people whose ingenuity and hard work made them both a reality and a success. This episode takes you to the official opening of the exhibition,...

Duration:00:58:55

E70 - Secrets Revealed

3/10/2018
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March 2018 From the attempt to assassinate Hitler in July 1944, to orders to shoot dead any German soldier seen fleeing Riga as a cowardly traitor, the Hut 3 Headlines tell a story of World War Two in tiny snippet form. They were succinct summaries of Enigma messages sent by the German army and air force, intercepted and deciphered by Bletchley Park. These messages were then boiled down to the barest essentials to be sent to the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. He’s reputed to have wanted...

Duration:00:53:11