Enigma - Bletchley Park

Fascinating (IMO) insights into the German Enigma Machines, by Dr Thomas Cheetham, Research Officer at Bletchley Park -


Hi Ian,

Many thanks for sight of the links. Great to see others interested in these WW2 encryption machines.

I volunteer at the The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) which is a separate entity co-located within Bletchley Park. Just saying that so folks are aware that you will need to buy two tickets if you want to visit both sites.

Within TNMOC there is a gallery named Welchman Bombe Gallery which concentrates on Enigma and the tool used to decrypt its messages the “Bombe”. There is a working rebuild of the Bombe with the gallery and usually ongoing demos by volunteers of the machine in use.

The other area folks with an interest in WW2 ciphers may be interested in are the Tunny and Colossus galleries. Here the topic is the Lorenz Cipher (Hitler’s strategic communications channel) and its interception, recording, and encryption. Here again working rebuilds are used to demonstrate to the public just how these ciphers were broken. Relevant just now due to Colossus’ 80th anniversary this year and its use just prior to D-Day landings.

For those that have a wider interest in computing there are many other exhibits, many working and being demonstrated, of computing (primarily British) from 40s up to early 2000’s. PC gallery has machines with games eg Lemmings that the public can use to relive memories of yesteryear or show younger family members what games used to look like.


@orac - Thank YouTube for putting the 2nd one in my feed today.

Happy to recommend visiting BP and the National Museum of Computing.

The ‘many other exhibits’ you mention are well worth checking out - computers and more, or all ages.


The Radio Society of Great Britain sponsors the National Radio Centre, which is on the BP site but accessible to visitors without buying an entry ticket for BP. They have a working amateur radio station there operated by volunteers and many exhibits aimed at explaining radio communications to visitors. I believe entry is free for the NRC.


If it’s of interest, I saw this for sale at the Tonbridge Audio Jumble in 2013. I recall it was up for several hundred pounds but wasn’t there for long. Often wondered who attends an Audiojumble and thinks “look a Swiss Enigma machine - I need one of those”


About 25 years ago I attended a 1-day ‘Turing Symposium’ at Sherborne School, alma mater of Alan Turing. It was fascinating - the late Tony Sale of Bletchley Park gave a talk on the Collossus Rebuild Project (then under way). There were also various ex-Bletchleyites asking questions from the audience. Sat right in front of me was an elderly lady who I am sure must have been Mavis Batey, who cracked the Italian naval codes as a youngster back in the day and was obviously a crypto expert, based on her questions. It stunned me at the time as it was so unexpected !

I need to make a multi day trip back to Bletchley to do in depth both the Park and the Museum of Computing. Each needs a day I think.