BLETCHLEY PARK, England – Bletchley Park was once a top-secret hub of brilliant minds who worked tirelessly to decrypt Nazi messages sent during World War II, but it has since become a fascinating museum dedicated to the site’s role in defeating Adolf Hitler.
To mark the upcoming 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings on June 6, the site, which was once steeped in secrecy and military conspiracies, has opened a new exhibition entitled: “D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion.”
“We are telling for the first time the full story of Bletchley Park’s involvement, for 18 months worth of planning before the invasion, on the day of the invasion itself and afterwards as the troops moved from Normandy into France,” head of exhibitions Peronel Craddock told EFE.
The exhibit features a new 12-minute film that delves into the key role played by the thousands of employees who worked at Bletchley Park to uncover vital information for allied forces during the preparation of the invasion.
“Operation Overlord,” the codename for the Battle of Normandy, began on June 6, 1944, and eventually led to the liberation of territories in Western Europe that were occupied by Nazi German forces.
Craddock highlighted the quality and quantity of the meticulous code-breaking work carried out in utmost secrecy at the site, which aimed to prevent casualties and give an advantage to the allies.
The men and women who worked there, in a rural and discrete setting near the English city of Milton Keynes, worked tirelessly to intercept and understand hundreds of thousands of intelligence communications sent between Hitler and his upper ranks.
The project also pays homage to Alan Turing, the mathematical genius who unraveled the Enigma code used by the German navy to communicate with submarines to intercept supply convoys send from the United States to England.
A copy of one of these devices can be seen today at Bletchley Park.
Turing was recruited by Bletchley’s security teams in 1939, something that was unheard of at the time. It was there he invented the Bombe machine, which was used to decipher encrypted confidential messages of the Nazi German forces.
The tireless work of the people who worked there exposed Hitler’s best kept secrets.
With their code-breaking systems, the Bletchley Park experts learned that Hitler thought the invasion of the allies would be carried out in Pas de Calais instead of in Normandy.
This led Germany to send a lot of its troops to Calais, leaving Normandy with little resistance.
At the end of the war, Bletchley Park was closed down and the delicate operations that were carried out inside were classified for the public.