Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Very Special Bletchley Blessing Upon You, HP

According to BBC news, Hewlitt Packard will donate all of the equipment for digitizing the entire mass of archives at Bletchley Park. Bletchley evokes almost mystical feelings among WW II historians and computer science geeks who know that the Allied Victory in Europe came about in large part because of the  work that was done there. Armed forces and resistance movements throughout that continent and Northern Africa took action based on the information that was decoded and translated there,

This statement from today's announcement is particularly tantalizing. "We found a card talking about 4,400 tonnes of mercury being transferred from Spain - we will be searching for further messages explaining what happened and why this was done."

Good. I want to know who owned it, who it was transferred to, how it was transferred, and where it ended up. Most importantly, I want to know what it was used for, because speculation about mercury and the Nazi Bell propulsion system has been all over the internet for several years now.

But while waiting for the truth to emerge from those original Bletchley Park records, take a look at the location that sheltered the Allied cryptographic geniuses. Most of their work took place in these two huts, which were presumably in slightly better conditions 65 years ago:

    "Hut 6" in red and "Hut 3" in ramshackle

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