6 People You Didn’t Know Were WWII Spies

6 People You Didn’t Know Were WWII Spies

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1. Morris “Moe” Berg: The major league baseball player turned secret agent.

Once dubbed “the brainiest man in baseball,” Berg was born in New York City to Ukrainian immigrants and raised in Newark, New Jersey. He played shortstop for Princeton, graduating in 1923 with a degree in modern languages. He signed with the Brooklyn Robins (later the Brooklyn Dodgers) and eventually played for the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Washington Senators and Boston Red Sox, before ending his playing career in 1939 with a lifetime batting average of .243. It was said of the erudite Berg, who during his pro-ball days also studied at the Sorbonne and earned a law degree from Columbia University, that he knew a dozen languages but couldn’t hit in any of them.In early 1942, soon after the United States entered World War II, Berg joined the Office of Inter-American Affairs, an agency formed to combat enemy propaganda in Latin America. In 1943, he became an officer with the OSS, where his work included gathering intelligence in Europe on Nazi efforts to construct an atomic bomb. In December 1944, Berg was sent to Switzerland to potentially assassinate prominent German physicist Werner Heisenberg, who American officials suspected might be supervising production of a bomb for Adolf Hitler. However, Berg determined the Nazis weren’t close to completing a nuclear weapon and opted not to shoot Heisenberg. Following the war, Berg, an enigmatic loner, took on assignments for the CIA in the early 1950s but failed to hold down regular employment after that time and spent the rest of his life living with friends and family.

2. Graham Greene: The acclaimed novelist who worked for Britain’s MI6

The English-born Greene was already an established novelist (“Brighton Rock,” “The Power and the Glory”) with a taste for adventure when he became a spy for MI6, the British secret intelligence service, in 1941. He was stationed for more than a year in Freetown, Sierra Leone, where his responsibilities included searching ships sailing from Africa to Germany for smuggled diamonds and documents, and monitoring Vichy forces in neighboring French Guinea. (Greene’s experiences in West Africa provided material for his best-selling 1948 novel “The Heart of the Matter.”) In 1943, the author returned to London and worked for MI6 under Harold “Kim” Philby, the high-level British spymaster who in 1963 was exposed as a long-term Soviet mole when he defected to Moscow. Afterward, Greene publicly defended his friend and visited him in the USSR. Greene published more than 25 novels during his career, including a number of espionage thrillers, such as “The Quiet American,” “Our Man in Havana” and “The Human Factor.”

3. Josephine Baker: The Jazz Age icon who smuggled secrets for the French Resistance.

Born Freda Josephine McDonald in 1906 in St. Louis, Josephine Baker grew up poor and wed for the first time in her early teens. A dancer, she went on to tour the United States with vaudeville troupes and perform on Broadway before moving to Paris in 1925, where she skyrocketed to fame in the city’s music halls. Baker, whose nicknames included Black Venus and who also sang and acted in movies, became a major celebrity in Europe and a symbol of the 1920s Jazz Age. Her scorn for the Nazis’ racism coupled with her gratitude toward France, where she first experienced stardom, led Baker to serve during the war as an operative for the French Resistance. Her performing career enabled her to travel around Europe without attracting suspicion, and she attended numerous parties at embassies, gleaning whatever military and political information she could that might aid the Resistance, often smuggling intelligence secrets on invisible ink on her sheet music. She also used her chateau in southern France to hide Jewish refugees as well as weapons for the cause.Following the war, Baker, who received multiple awards from the French for her contributions to the war effort, became active in the American civil rights movement but continued to make her home in France, where she resided with 12 children she adopted from around the globe and whom she referred to as her Rainbow Tribe.

4. Roald Dahl: The best-selling children’s author who spied on the United States.

Before he became famous for penning such books as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “James and the Giant Peach,” Dahl was part of a British spy ring in Washington, D.C. The Welsh-born Dahl joined the Royal Air Force in 1939 and trained as a fighter pilot. He flew a number of combat missions before injuries he suffered during a crash-landing in the North African desert ended his military flying career. In 1942, Dahl was appointed assistant air attaché at the British embassy in Washington, where he was recruited to join a spy network called the British Security Coordination (BSC). The group, whose members included future James Bond creator Ian Fleming, was tasked with planting propaganda and carrying out other covert activities designed to persuade a reluctant United States to join the war against Germany; after Pearl Harbor and the nation’s entrance into the conflict, BSC operatives continued to clandestinely promote British interests in the U.S. while also working to undermine remaining isolationist attitudes in American politics and society. In his role as an undercover agent, the tall, dashing Dahl gathered intelligence about the U.S. political scene by befriending the capital’s movers and shakers, including politicians, journalists, corporate tycoons, socialites and even first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

5. Julia Child: The TV chef who once handled top-secret documents.

The California-born Child, then known by her maiden name, Julia McWilliams, got her first taste of intelligence work in the spring of 1942 as a civilian volunteer in Los Angeles with the Aircraft Warning Service, which tracked shipping along the California coast in an effort to prevent enemy attacks. She soon applied for the WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service), but at 6’3” was rejected for being too tall. Determined to do her part for the war effort and interested in intelligence work, she got a job with the OSS in Washington, D.C., as a research assistant to the agency’s leader, William Donovan. The following year, she moved to a new department, the Emergency Sea Rescue Equipment Section, which developed ways for downed pilots to survive in remote locations; while there, she helped create a chemical shark repellent. From 1944 to 1945, Child took assignments in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and China, where as head of the OSS registry she was responsible for handling high volumes of top-secret documents. Although Child technically wasn’t spying on other people, the OSS classified her as a senior civilian intelligence officer.While in Ceylon, Julia met Paul Child, a fellow OSS officer, who she married in 1946. In 1948, Paul Child took a job with the U.S. Information Agency in France, and Julia fell in love with the nation’s cuisine and studied at Le Cordon Bleu. In 1961, she published “Mastering the Art of French Cooking,” the book that launched her career.

6. Arthur Goldberg: The intelligence operative turned U.S. Supreme Court justice.

During the war, Goldberg, a future Supreme Court justice, worked for the OSS and developed an intelligence network involving anti-Nazi European groups. The Chicago-born son of a Russian immigrant peddler, Goldberg graduated from Northwestern University Law School then took a break from practicing law to join the Army during the war. He eventually became part of the OSS and organized an information-gathering network behind enemy lines across Europe.The OSS was ordered disbanded by President Harry Truman in 1945, shortly after the end of the war. Goldberg went on to become a leading labor attorney and in 1961 was appointed U.S. secretary of labor by President John Kennedy. The following year, the president named Goldberg to the Supreme Court; however, in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson persuaded Goldberg to resign from the court to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Goldberg, who hoped to bring about peace negotiations in the Vietnam War, was one of the few justices to leave the bench for a reason besides retirement. After giving up his UN post in 1968, he made an unsuccessful run for the governorship of New York in 1970 then continued to practice law and advocate for human-rights issues.

10 Famous People Who Were Nazi Sympathizers

Prior to the breakout of World War II in 1939, the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany had caused concern throughout the Western world due to its anti-Semitic and aggressive policies. However, some within other countries harbored sympathetic and understanding feelings with the Nazi Party and their leader Adolf Hitler.

At the conclusion of the war and the reveal of the full extent of the Holocaust, many would strenuously deny any connection with or sympathy for the Nazis. Unfortunately for them, there were facts in place to contradict their denials. Read our list today to find ten people who were reportedly Nazi sympathizers.


The following five supplied intelligence to the Soviets under their controller Yuri Modin who later defected to the West. Modin said that Moscow did not really trust the Cambridge double agents during WWII. The KGB had difficulty believing that the men would have access to top secret documents they were particularly suspicious of Philby, wondering how he could have become an agent given his Communist past. One report later stated that "About half the documents the British spies sent to Moscow were never even read" due to the paranoia. [3] Nonetheless, the Soviets accepted a great deal of secret information, 1,771 documents from Blunt, 4,605 from Burgess, 4,593 from MacLean and 5,832 from Cairncross, during 1941 to 1945. [4]

Donald Maclean and Guy Burgess Edit

Donald Maclean was a British diplomat who was a spy for the Soviet Union during World War II and early on into the Cold War. Maclean studied at the University of Cambridge in the early 1930s where he met Guy Burgess. Burgess was also a British diplomat who spied for the Soviet Union in World War II and early on into the Cold War. They both disagreed with the idea of capitalism. Later they were both recruited by Soviet intelligence operatives and became undercover agents for the Soviet Union. Maclean began delivering information to the Soviet intelligence operatives as a member of the British Foreign Office in 1934. Soon after, Burgess also began supplying information to the Soviet Union in 1936 from his position as a BBC correspondent up until 1938, then as an active member of MI6 intelligence continued to supply classified information up until 1941, and then finally as a member of the British Foreign Office up until 1944. [5]

Maclean and Burgess were soon known as the "hopeless drunks" due to the fact that they had a hard time keeping their secret occupations to themselves. It is said that one time, while highly intoxicated, Burgess risked exposing his second identity. He was leaving a pub where he accidentally dropped one of the secret files he had taken from the Foreign Office. Maclean was also known to have loose lips and said to have leaked information about his secret duties to his brother and close friends. Although they struggled to keep secrets, that did not stop them from delivering information. It is said that Burgess handed over about 389 top secret documents to the KGB within the early part of 1945 along with an additional 168 documents in December of 1949. [6]

All five were active during World War II. Philby, when he was posted in the British embassy in Washington, DC, after the war, learned that US and British intelligence were searching for a British embassy mole (cryptonym Homer) who was passing information to the Soviet Union, relying on material uncovered by the Venona project.

Philby learned one of the suspects was Maclean. Realizing he had to act fast, he ordered Burgess, who was also on the embassy staff and living with Philby, to warn Maclean in England, where he was serving in the Foreign Office headquarters. Burgess was recalled from the United States due to "bad behaviour" and upon reaching London, warned Maclean.

In early summer 1951, Burgess and Maclean made international headlines by disappearing. [7] (They had taken a ship from Southampton to St. Malo, France, a train to Paris, and a flight to Moscow.) Their whereabouts were unclear for some time and the suspicion that they had defected to the Soviet Union turned out to be correct that did not become public knowledge until 1956 when the two appeared at a press conference in Moscow. A warrant was not issued for their arrest until 1962. [8]

It was obvious they had been tipped off and Philby quickly became the prime suspect, due to his close relations with Burgess. Though Burgess was not supposed to defect at the same time as Maclean, he went along. It has been claimed that the KGB ordered Burgess to go to Moscow. This move damaged Philby's reputation, with many speculating that had it not occurred, Philby could have climbed even higher in the Secret Intelligence Service. [9]

Between 1934 and 1951 MacLean passed numerous secrets to Moscow. The lack of detection was due to the refusal of the Secret Service to listen to warnings from the US, "even after the FBI had established that an agent code-named Homer had been operating inside the British embassy in Washington during the war", according to a review of MacLean's biography (in 2018) by author Roland Philipps. [10]

In 2019, Russia honoured Burgess and Maclean in a ceremony a plaque was attached to the building where they had lived in the 50s. The head of the SVR foreign intelligence service, praised the duo on social media for "having supplied Soviet intelligence with the most important information for more than 20 years, [making] a significant contribution to the victory over fascism, the protection of our strategic interests and ensuring the safety of our country". [11]

A book review in The Guardian of Andrew Lownie's biography of Guy Burgess included this conclusion: "[leaving] us all the more astonished that such a smelly, scruffy, lying, gabby, promiscuous, drunken slob could penetrate the heart of the establishment without anyone apparently noticing that he was also a Soviet masterspy". [12]

Stalin's Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess is a biography of Burgess that argues that he, of all the members of the Cambridge Five, was perhaps the most influential.

Harold "Kim" Philby Edit

Harold "Kim" Philby was a senior officer in Britain's Secret Intelligence Service, known as MI6, who began his work for the Soviet Union as a spy in 1934. He went on to serve the KGB for 54 years. He was known for passing more than 900 British documents over to the KGB. He served as a double agent. [13]

Investigation of Philby found several suspicious matters but nothing for which he could be prosecuted. Nevertheless, he was forced to resign from MI6. In 1955 he was named in the press, with questions also raised in the House of Commons, as chief suspect for "the Third Man" and he called a press conference to deny the allegation. That same year, Philby was ruled out as a suspect when British Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan cleared him of all charges. [14]

In the later 1950s, Philby left the secret service and began working as a journalist in the Middle East both The Economist and The Observer provided his employment there. MI6 then re-employed him at around the same time, to provide reports from that region.

In 1961, defector Anatoliy Golitsyn provided information which pointed to Philby. An MI6 officer and friend of Philby from his earlier MI6 days, John Nicholas Rede Elliott, was sent in 1963 to interview him in Beirut and reported that Philby seemed to know he was coming (indicating the presence of yet another mole). Nonetheless, Philby allegedly confessed to Elliott.

Shortly afterwards, apparently fearing he might be abducted in Lebanon, Philby defected to the Soviet Union under cover of night, aboard a Soviet freighter. For the first seven years in Moscow, he was under virtual house arrest since the Soviets were concerned that he might defect to the West. According to an article in The New York Times, he was given no rank nor an office. In fact, "for the most part, Philby was frozen out, his suggestions ignored" . This ruined his life". [15] After his death, however, Philby was awarded a number of medals by the Soviets. [16]

Anthony Blunt Edit

Anthony Blunt was a former Surveyor of the King's Pictures and later Queen's Pictures for the royal art collection. He served as an MI5 member and supplied secret information to the KGB, while also providing warnings to fellow agents of certain counterintelligence that could potentially endanger them. [17]

In 1964, MI5 received information from the American Michael Whitney Straight pointing to Blunt's espionage the two had known each other at Cambridge some thirty years before and Blunt had tried to recruit Straight as a spy. Straight, who initially agreed, changed his mind afterwards.

Blunt was interrogated by MI5 and confessed in exchange for immunity from prosecution. As he was—by 1964—without access to classified information, he had secretly been granted immunity by the Attorney General, in exchange for revealing everything he knew. Peter Wright, one of Blunt's interrogators, describes in his book Spycatcher how Blunt was evasive and only made admissions grudgingly, when confronted with the undeniable.

By 1979, Blunt was publicly accused of being a Soviet agent by investigative journalist Andrew Boyle, in his book Climate of Treason. In November 1979, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher admitted to the House of Commons that Blunt had confessed to being a Soviet spy fifteen years previously.

The term "Five" began to be used in 1961, when KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn named Maclean and Burgess as part of a "Ring of Five", with Philby a 'probable' third, alongside two other agents whom he did not know.

Of all the information provided by Golitsyn, the only item that was ever independently confirmed was the Soviet affiliation of John Vassall. Vassall was a relatively low-ranking spy who some researchers [ who? ] believe may have been sacrificed to protect a more senior one.

At the time of Golitsyn's defection, Philby had already been accused in the press and was living in Beirut, Lebanon, a country with no extradition agreement with Britain. Select members of MI5 and MI6 already knew Philby to be a spy from Venona project decryptions. Golitsyn also provided other information, such as the claim that Harold Wilson (then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom) was a KGB agent.

Golitsyn's reliability remains a controversial subject and as such, there is little certainty of the number of agents he assigned to the Cambridge spy ring. To add to the confusion, when Blunt finally confessed, he named several other people [ who? ] as having been recruited by him.

Blunt wrote his memoirs but insisted they not be released until 25 years after his death. They were made public by the British Museum in 2009. The manuscript indicated that he regretted having passed information to the Soviets because of the way it eventually affected his life, that he believed that the government would never reveal his treachery and that he had dismissed suicide as "cowardly". [18] Christopher Andrew felt that the regret was shallow, and that he found an "unwillingness to acknowledge the evil he had served in spying for Stalin". [19]

John Cairncross Edit

John Cairncross was known as a British literary scholar until he was later identified as a Soviet atomic spy. He was recruited in 1936 by James Klugmann to become a Soviet spy. He moved to the Treasury in 1938 but transferred once again to the Cabinet office in 1940 where he served as the private secretary of Sir Maurice Hankey, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster at that time. Four years later, he was transferred to MI6. Following World War II, it is said that Cairncross leaked information regarding the new NATO alliance to the Soviets. [20]

On the basis of the information provided by Golitsyn, speculations raged on for many years as to the identity of the "Fifth Man". The journalistic popularity of this phrase owes something to the unrelated novels The Third Man and The Tenth Man, written by Graham Greene who, coincidentally, worked with Philby and Cairncross during the Second World War.

Cairncross confessed to having been a spy for the Soviets, in a 1964 meeting with MI6 that was kept secret for some years. [21] He was given immunity from prosecution.

The public became aware of his treachery in December 1979, however, when Cairncross made a public confession to journalist Barrie Penrose. The news was widely publicized leading many to surmise that he was in fact the "fifth man" that was confirmed in 1989 by KGB agent Oleg Gordievsky who had defected to Britain. [22]

His designation as the fifth man was also confirmed in former KGB agent Yuri Modin's book published in 1994: My Five Cambridge Friends: Burgess, Maclean, Philby, Blunt, and Cairncross. [23] [24]

Cairncross is not always deemed to have been part of the 'Ring of Five'. Though a student at the University of Cambridge, he only knew Blunt, who was by then teaching modern languages. By 1934, when Cairncross arrived at Cambridge, the other three members of the ring had already graduated. [25]

The most important agent talent spotted by Blunt was the Fifth Man, the Trinity undergraduate John Cairncross. Together with Philby, Burgess, Blunt and Maclean, he is remembered by the Center (Moscow KGB Headquarters) as one of the Magnificent Five, the ablest group of foreign agents in KGB history. Though Cairncross is the last of the five to be publicly identified, he successfully penetrated a greater variety of the corridors of power and intelligence than any of the other four.

This reference suggests the KGB itself recognized Cairncross as the fifth man (found by Gordievsky while doing research on the history of the KGB).

A few sources, however, believe that the "fifth man" was Victor Rothschild, 3rd Baron Rothschild. In his book The Fifth Man, Roland Perry asserts this claim. After the book was published, former KGB controller Yuri Modin denied ever having named Rothschild as "any kind of Soviet agent". Modin's own book's title clarifies the name of all five of the Cambridge spy group: My Five Cambridge Friends: Burgess, Maclean, Philby, Blunt, and Cairncross by Their KGB Controller. Since Rothschild had died prior to publication of the Perry book, the family was unable to start a libel action. [26]

In a 1991 interview with The Mail on Sunday, Cairncross explained how he had forwarded information to Moscow during WWII and boasted that it "helped the Soviets to win that battle (the Battle of Kursk) against the Germans". Cairncross did not view himself as one of the Cambridge Five, insisting that the information he sent to Moscow was not harmful to Britain and that he had remained loyal to his homeland. [27] Unlike many other spies, he was never charged for passing information to Moscow. [28]

Attempted coverup Edit

For unknown reasons, Prime Minister Alec Douglas-Home was not advised of Anthony Blunt's spying, although the Queen and Home Secretary Henry Brooke were informed. It was only in November 1979 that then-PM Margaret Thatcher formally advised Parliament of Blunt's treachery and the immunity deal that had been arranged 15 years earlier. [29]

A 2015 article in The Guardian discussed "400 top-secret documents which have been released at the National Archives" and indicated that MI5 and MI6 had worked diligently to prevent information about the five from being disclosed, "to the British public and even to the US government". [30] A 2016 review of a new book about Burgess added that "more than 20% of files relating to the spies, most of whom defected more than 50 years ago, remain closed". In conclusion, the review stated that "the Foreign Office, MI6 and MI5 all have an interest in covering up, to protect themselves from huge embarrassment" and that "more taxpayers' money is spent by Whitehall officials in the futile attempt to keep the files under lock and key for ever". [31]

Under the 30-year rule, the 400 documents should have been made available years earlier. It was particularly surprising that 20 per cent of the information was redacted or not released. A news item at the time stated that "it is clear the full story of the Cambridge Spies has not yet emerged". A summary of the documents indicated that they showed that "inaction and incompetence on the part of the authorities enabled Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean to make their escape to Moscow". [32]

Additional secret files were finally released to the National Archives in 2020. They indicated that the government had intentionally conducted a campaign to keep Kim Philby's spying confidential "to minimise political embarrassment" and prevented the publication of his memoirs according to a report by The Guardian. Nonetheless, the information was publicized in 1967 when Philby granted an interview to journalist Murray Sayle of The Times. Philby confirmed that he had worked for the KGB and that "his purpose in life was to destroy imperialism". This revelation raised concerns that Blunt's spying would also be revealed to the public. [33]

Alleged additional members Edit

Some researchers believe the spy ring had more than five, or different, members. Several of the following have been alleged to be possible Soviet spies: [34]

6 People You Didn’t Know Were WWII Spies - HISTORY

Spies and secret agents played an important role in World War II. Each country had their own spy organizations that tried to get secret information about their enemies such as troop movements, supplies, bunker locations, and new weapons.

Why were spies important?

Information on where the enemy planned to attack or a new weapon they had invented could help determine the outcome of a battle. If a spy could get a hold of this secret information, it could save thousands of lives.

Who would become a spy?

Spies were generally people who already had access to secret documents and information. An enemy agent would approach them and try to get them to betray their country.

The baseball, pipe, and brush all have secret compartments.
They would hide things like secret messages or radio components.
Inside the button was a secret compass.
Photo by Ducksters

Why would someone become a spy?

Each spy probably had their own reasons for becoming a spy. Some did it for money. Others did it because they didn't agree with what their country was doing or because they secretly were loyal to another country.

During World War II, the British developed the Double Cross System. They would find German spies and then turn them into double agents. They were very good at this, turning more than 40 German spies into double agents. They could then use these spies to find out information about the Germans as well as to provide the Germans with false information.

Did they have cool gadgets?

Yes, they did have some cool gadgets that helped them with their jobs. Many of these gadgets were used to hide secret messages including hollowed out corks, fake fence spikes, and plaster logs to hide messages. Some spies had bicycle battery chargers they would use to power their radio sets. Other gadgets included bombs hidden in rats, messages in micro-dots, gun silencers, and shoes that left barefoot-looking footprints.

Yes, there were many women spies on both sides of the war. There were several British and French women spies who parachuted into France in order to help prepare the French Resistance for the Allied attack on D-day.

39. The Scholar

Norman Holmes Pearson was a Yale professor and literary critic, and personal friend to famous writers Ezra Pound, HD, and WH Auden. During the war, he began working for X-2, the US’s counterintelligence wing stationed in London. His covert government work continued after the war: as a member of the OSS, and then the CIA, Holmes Pearson used his literary expertise to promote avant-garde American literature in Europe, quashing left-wing or Communist sentiments among Europe’s artistic elite.


7. Eddie Chapman

A criminal, turned German agent, turned British double agent. Only Englishman to receive Iron Cross.

Edward A. Chapman, codename “Zigzag,” was an explosives expert. Yet unlike some others on this list, he wasn’t using his talent for anything good he was robbing jewelry shops. He was also a master of breaking locks.

In 1939, he was caught red-handed trying to rob a nightclub. Jersey police imprisoned him in Channel Islands. He was only supposed to serve two years, but police were making a case against him to serve another 14 in the mainland prison. However, fate had decided something else.

In 1940, the Nazi army occupied Channel Islands. They did not release prisoners but started researching for anybody useful. Of course, Chapman stood out. By the time his two year sentence was completed, he had become a German agent. They took him to Paris and further trained him in explosives, radio communication, and parachuting. Germans assigned him the task to blow up de Havilland aircraft factory in Hatfield. A German bomber carried him over England, and he jumped.

MI5 was aware of the German plans. They were decrypting German coded messages, so they knew where and when Chapman would land. Soon after he landed on the ground, he was hunted. During interrogation, he showed his intent to become a double agent. MI5 believed him, and decided to help him.

The British authorities designed one of the most brilliant deception operations of WWII — a faked sabotage of de Havilland factory. It worked. In fact, it worked so well that even some of the workers thought their factory had been destroyed.

When Chapman returned, the Germans considered him a hero who deserved the Iron Cross. Chapman remains the only British person to have received it.

This crusader was packing four guns and sidewinder missiles

Posted On January 28, 2019 18:44:27

When you think of a crusader, you may think of the Christian warriors who tried to ‘free’ the Holy Land (but are now mostly known for their bad behavior). Or, you could conjure up images of a World War II tank used by the British. But there was one crusader, in particular, that packed four guns and could go very fast. We’re talking about the Vought F-8 Crusader, once called “The Last Gunfighter.”

In the wake of the Korean War, the United States Navy was trying to stabilize its carrier air wings. The shift from propeller-driven planes to jets was well underway and the Navy had to jettison a few duds as it tried to make that shift. The F6U Pirate, for example, just didn’t have the oomph in the engine and the F7U Cutlass was too dangerous… for its pilots.

Still, the Navy was looking for a fighter. Vought, despite the failures of the Pirate and the Cutlass, managed to win this contract. This time, however, the company came up with a classic in what was called the F8U Crusader at the time. The plane established a reputation for speed — Korean War MiG-killer John Glenn, a future astronaut, took a reconnaissance variant across the country in record time in 1957.

According to MilitaryFactory.com, the centerpiece of the Crusader’s combat capabilities was a suite of four Mk 12 20mm cannon backed up by four AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. The Crusader served with the Navy and Marine Corps in Vietnam, scoring 18 kills for three air-to-air losses. While the fighter retired soon after the Vietnam War ended, the photo-reconnaissance version stuck around with the Navy Reserve until 1987.

Two RF-8G Crusaders in flight shortly before the 1987 retirement of the plane. (USAF photo)

Two countries received the F-8 Crusader on the export market. France operated the F-8E(FN), equipped with R.530 and R.550 Magic 2 air-to-air missiles instead of the American Sidewinder. Those served until December 1999. The Philippines flew the F-8H model, operating it until 1991.

Learn more about this four-gun Crusader in the video below:


Search underway after 2 Marine Corps aircraft crash

Posted On April 29, 2020 15:44:50

Update: One Marine has been recovered alive but a second unfortunately perished. Five Marines are still missing and search-and-rescue operations are still underway.

A search is underway for the crews of two U.S. Marine Corps aircraft involved in an aerial crash near Japan at 2 a.m. on December 6 during aerial refueling operations.

Japanese aircraft are assisting the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps in the search which, according to reporting from USNI News and CBS, involved a two-seater F/A-18D Hornet and a KC-130J tanker. The Hornet had two crew onboard and the tanker had five crew members, according to CBS.

JMSDF – MCAS Iwakuni Friendship Day 2018

The Marine Corps released a statement after the incident:

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan – Search and rescue operations continue for U.S. Marine aircraft that were involved in a mishap off of the coast of Japan around 2:00 a.m. Dec. 6.

The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni and were conducting regularly scheduled training when the mishap occurred.

Japanese search and rescue aircraft immediately responded to aid in recovery.

The circumstances of the mishap are currently under investigation. There is no additional information available at this time.

The local time of 2 a.m. in Japan translated to approximately noon EST.

The III Marine Expeditionary Force, based in Okinawa, Japan, is the lead agency for media response, so updates should come from the News section of the Marine website or the III MEF Twitter.

Aerial refueling is, naturally, a hazardous activity but the U.S. military practices this capability regularly as safe aerial refueling is a major combat multiplier, allowing strike pilots to extend their range and patrol times. This is especially true for the Navy and Marine Corps as their planes are often launched from carriers or amphibious assault ships where launch weight is a major factor.

Reducing launch weight can mean a reduction in either fuel or weapons load, but this can be countered by launching with limited fuel and then topping off in flight from a tanker like the KC-130J.

Update: One Marine has been rescued, 2nd Lt. Alyssa J. Morales, a spokeswoman for the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, told Task Purpose.

Update 2: The Japanese Self-Defense Forces has a second Marine who unfortunately perished in the crash. The Marine rescued earlier is now reportedly in stable condition. An earlier version of this update erroneously said that the second Marine had been recovered alive.

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According to Arthur D. Jacobs, author of the autobiographic book "The Prison Called Hohenasperg: An American boy betrayed by his Government during World War II", by the end of the war, 11000 persons of German ancestry were interned, both immigrants and visitors. Also, under the pressure of US Government, Latin American countries arrested more than 4000 German Latin Americans, from which most were shipped to US for internment. At least 2000 from both groups were exchanged for Americans that were held in Germany.

If you ask why didn't they intern all Americans with German ancestry, such try would be simply impossible, as there were too many of them. That's why Germans were interned as individuals, not as a whole, like Japanese.

In 1940 there were more than million of persons born in Germany, next 5 millions whose both parents were born in Germany and 6 millions with at least one parent born in Germany. I've got no source for the overall amount of American citizens with German ethnicity during the WWII, but that would have to be even bigger.

It's well described with citations in Sheridan Report, written in 1980 by the US Government analyst, in order to clarify the reasons for huge disparity in numbers between German, Italian and Japanese citizens of USA, who were interned during the war. Here are the key points of it:

In December 1941 and January 1942 three Presidential Proclamations were signed, "to regulate the conduct and movement of enemy aliens":

In February of 1942, the mentioned Executive Order 9066 was signed. Month later certain groups of enemy aliens were excluded from that order. The list of them contained such conditions as e.g. old age, poor health or close family members of US Army soldiers. It was clearly stated that all those exclusions could apply only to aliens of German or Italian origins, not to Japanese, except for the poor health condition (deaf, blind or hospital residents).

Around the same time Henry L. Stimson, Secretary of War, stated that Italians are "potentially less dangerous, as a whole, than those of other enemy nationalities" and that "the size of Italian population and the number of troops and facilities which would have to be employed to deal with them, their inclusion in the general plan would greatly overtax our strength".

Similar conclusions were brought up by House Select Committee investigating the evacuation of enemy aliens. The linked material is the full text of Comitee hearings with many paragraphs speaking of Germans and Italians situation. From the reasons mentioned above it stated that "Indeed, this committee is prepared to say that any such proposal is out of the question if we intend to win this war".

From this reasons it was decided by General Hugh A. Drum, commanding general of the Eastern Defense Command, that "Mass evacuation is not contemplated. Instead thereof, such evacuations as may be considered necessary will be by selective processes applicable to enemy aliens, or to other persons deemed dangerous to remain at large within the area or within its zones".

General John L. DeWitt, commanding general of the Western Defense Command, disagreed with that, finding the mass evacuation a "military necessity". He demanded "definite instructions to the contrary that would exempt him from all responsibility for the consequences".

On May 15, 1942, he was informed that there was to be no "collective evacuation of German and Italian aliens from the West coast or from anywhere else in the United States", but that the War Department will authorize individual exclusion orders "against both aliens and citizens under the authority of Executive Order 9066".

As for Italians, in November 1942 it was announced that they were no longer considered "aliens of enemy nationality".

Jacobs provides the following map of interment camps for German-Americans.

The list of documents connected with the topic is listed and linked at German American Internee Coalition website.

The full timeline of interments and personal stories of interned people can be found in the links. As there are no sources provided, it's up to you to consider it valuable.


The site appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as part of the Manor of Eaton. Browne Willis built a mansion there in 1711, but after Thomas Harrison purchased the property in 1793 this was pulled down. It was first known as Bletchley Park after its purchase by Samuel Lipscomb Seckham in 1877. [3] The estate of 581 acres (235 ha) was bought in 1883 by Sir Herbert Samuel Leon, who expanded the then-existing farmhouse [4] into what architect Landis Gores called a "maudlin and monstrous pile" [5] [6] combining Victorian Gothic, Tudor, and Dutch Baroque styles. [7] At his Christmas family gatherings there was a fox hunting meet on Boxing Day with glasses of sloe gin from the butler, and the house was always "humming with servants". With 40 gardeners, a flower bed of yellow daffodils could become a sea of red tulips overnight. [8] After the death of Herbert Leon in 1926, the estate continued to be occupied by his widow Fanny Leon (née Higham) until her death in 1937. [9]

In 1938, the mansion and much of the site was bought by a builder for a housing estate, but in May 1938 Admiral Sir Hugh Sinclair, head of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6), bought the mansion and 58 acres (23 ha) of land for £6,000 (£386,000 today) for use by GC&CS and SIS in the event of war. He used his own money as the Government said they did not have the budget to do so. [10]

A key advantage seen by Sinclair and his colleagues (inspecting the site under the cover of "Captain Ridley's shooting party") [11] was Bletchley's geographical centrality. It was almost immediately adjacent to Bletchley railway station, where the "Varsity Line" between Oxford and Cambridge – whose universities were expected to supply many of the code-breakers – met the main West Coast railway line connecting London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Watling Street, the main road linking London to the north-west (subsequently the A5) was close by, and high-volume communication links were available at the telegraph and telephone repeater station in nearby Fenny Stratford. [12]

Bletchley Park was known as "B.P." to those who worked there. [13] "Station X" (X = Roman numeral ten), "London Signals Intelligence Centre", and "Government Communications Headquarters" were all cover names used during the war. [14] The formal posting of the many "Wrens" – members of the Women's Royal Naval Service – working there, was to HMS Pembroke V. Royal Air Force names of Bletchley Park and its outstations included RAF Eastcote, RAF Lime Grove and RAF Church Green. [15] The postal address that staff had to use was "Room 47, Foreign Office". [16]

After the war, the Government Code & Cypher School became the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), moving to Eastcote in 1946 and to Cheltenham in the 1950s. [17] The site was used by various government agencies, including the GPO and the Civil Aviation Authority. One large building, block F, was demolished in 1987 by which time the site was being run down with tenants leaving. [18]

In 1990 the site was at risk of being sold for housing development. However, Milton Keynes Council made it into a conservation area. Bletchley Park Trust was set up in 1991 by a group of people who recognised the site's importance. [19] The initial trustees included Roger Bristow, Ted Enever, Peter Wescombe, Dr Peter Jarvis of the Bletchley Archaeological & Historical Society, and Tony Sale who in 1994 became the first director of the Bletchley Park Museums. [20]

Commander Alastair Denniston was operational head of GC&CS from 1919 to 1942, beginning with its formation from the Admiralty's Room 40 (NID25) and the War Office's MI1b. [21] Key GC&CS cryptanalysts who moved from London to Bletchley Park included John Tiltman, Dillwyn "Dilly" Knox, Josh Cooper, Oliver Strachey and Nigel de Grey. These people had a variety of backgrounds – linguists and chess champions were common, and in Knox's case papyrology. The British War Office recruited top solvers of cryptic crossword puzzles, as these individuals had strong lateral thinking skills. [22]

On the day Britain declared war on Germany, Denniston wrote to the Foreign Office about recruiting "men of the professor type". [23] Personal networking drove early recruitments, particularly of men from the universities of Cambridge and Oxford. Trustworthy women were similarly recruited for administrative and clerical jobs. [24] In one 1941 recruiting stratagem, The Daily Telegraph was asked to organise a crossword competition, after which promising contestants were discreetly approached about "a particular type of work as a contribution to the war effort". [25]

Denniston recognised, however, that the enemy's use of electromechanical cipher machines meant that formally trained mathematicians would also be needed [26] Oxford's Peter Twinn joined GC&CS in February 1939 [27] Cambridge's Alan Turing [28] and Gordon Welchman [29] began training in 1938 and reported to Bletchley the day after war was declared, along with John Jeffreys. Later-recruited cryptanalysts included the mathematicians Derek Taunt, [30] Jack Good, Bill Tutte, [31] and Max Newman historian Harry Hinsley, and chess champions Hugh Alexander and Stuart Milner-Barry. [32] Joan Clarke was one of the few women employed at Bletchley as a full-fledged cryptanalyst. [33] [34]

This eclectic staff of "Boffins and Debs" (scientists and debutantes, young women of high society) [35] caused GC&CS to be whimsically dubbed the "Golf, Cheese and Chess Society". [36] During a September 1941 morale-boosting visit, Winston Churchill reportedly remarked to Denniston: "I told you to leave no stone unturned to get staff, but I had no idea you had taken me so literally." [37] Six weeks later, having failed to get sufficient typing and unskilled staff to achieve the productivity that was possible, Turing, Welchman, Alexander and Milner-Barry wrote directly to Churchill. His response was "Action this day make sure they have all they want on extreme priority and report to me that this has been done." [38] The Army CIGS Alan Brooke wrote that on 16 April 1942 "Took lunch in car and went to see the organization for breaking down ciphers – a wonderful set of professors and genii! I marvel at the work they succeed in doing." [39]

After initial training at the Inter-Service Special Intelligence School set up by John Tiltman (initially at an RAF depot in Buckingham and later in Bedford – where it was known locally as "the Spy School") [40] staff worked a six-day week, rotating through three shifts: 4 p.m. to midnight, midnight to 8 a.m. (the most disliked shift), and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., each with a half-hour meal break. At the end of the third week, a worker went off at 8 a.m. and came back at 4 p.m., thus putting in sixteen hours on that last day. The irregular hours affected workers' health and social life, as well as the routines of the nearby homes at which most staff lodged. The work was tedious and demanded intense concentration staff got one week's leave four times a year, but some "girls" collapsed and required extended rest. [41] Recruitment took place to combat a shortage of experts in Morse code and German. [42]

In January 1945, at the peak of codebreaking efforts, nearly 10,000 personnel were working at Bletchley and its outstations. [43] About three-quarters of these were women. [43] Many of the women came from middle-class backgrounds and held degrees in the areas of mathematics, physics and engineering they were given chance due to the lack of men, who had been sent to war. They performed calculations and coding and hence were integral to the computing processes. [44] Among them were Eleanor Ireland who worked on the Colossus computers [45] and Ruth Briggs, a German scholar, who worked within the Naval Section. [46] [47]

The female staff in Dilwyn Knox's section were sometimes termed "Dilly's Fillies". [48] Knox's methods enabled Mavis Lever (who married mathematician and fellow code-breaker Keith Batey) and Margaret Rock to solve a German code, the Abwehr cipher. [49] [50]

Many of the women had backgrounds in languages, particularly French, German and Italian. Among them were Rozanne Colchester, a translator who worked mainly for the Italian air forces Section, [51] and Cicely Mayhew, recruited straight from university, who worked in Hut 8, translating decoded German Navy signals. [52]

For a long time, the British Government didn't recognize the contributions the personnel at Bletchley Park made. Their work achieved official recognition only in 2009. [53]

Properly used, the German Enigma and Lorenz ciphers should have been virtually unbreakable, but flaws in German cryptographic procedures, and poor discipline among the personnel carrying them out, created vulnerabilities that made Bletchley's attacks just barely feasible. These vulnerabilities, however, could have been remedied by relatively simple improvements in enemy procedures, [54] and such changes would certainly have been implemented had Germany had any hint of Bletchley's success. Thus the intelligence Bletchley produced was considered wartime Britain's "Ultra secret" – higher even than the normally highest classification Most Secret – and security was paramount. [55]

All staff signed the Official Secrets Act (1939) and a 1942 security warning emphasised the importance of discretion even within Bletchley itself: "Do not talk at meals. Do not talk in the transport. Do not talk travelling. Do not talk in the billet. Do not talk by your own fireside. Be careful even in your Hut . " [56]

Nevertheless, there were security leaks. Jock Colville, the Assistant Private Secretary to Winston Churchill, recorded in his diary on 31 July 1941, that the newspaper proprietor Lord Camrose had discovered Ultra and that security leaks "increase in number and seriousness". [57] Without doubt, the most serious of these was that Bletchley Park had been infiltrated by John Cairncross, the notorious Soviet mole and member of the Cambridge Spy Ring, who leaked Ultra material to Moscow. [58] Agatha Christie created a character named Major Bletchley in the novel N or M?, which focused on codebreakers in the Second World War. Some in government thought she might be involved in espionage (and was hinting at Bletchley Park's function), but this was soon discovered to be a coincidence. [59]

Despite the high degree of secrecy surrounding Bletchley Park during the Second World War, unique and hitherto unknown amateur film footage of the outstation at nearby Whaddon Hall came to light in 2020, after being anonymously donated to the Bletchley Park Trust. [60] [61] A spokesman for the Trust noted the film's existence was all the more incredible because it was "very, very rare even to have [still] photographs" of the park and its associated sites. [62]

The first personnel of the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) moved to Bletchley Park on 15 August 1939. The Naval, Military, and Air Sections were on the ground floor of the mansion, together with a telephone exchange, teleprinter room, kitchen, and dining room the top floor was allocated to MI6. Construction of the wooden huts began in late 1939, and Elmers School, a neighbouring boys' boarding school in a Victorian Gothic redbrick building by a church, was acquired for the Commercial and Diplomatic Sections. [64]

After the United States joined World War II, a number of American cryptographers were posted to Hut 3, and from May 1943 onwards there was close co-operation between British and American intelligence. [65] (See 1943 BRUSA Agreement.) In contrast, the Soviet Union was never officially told of Bletchley Park and its activities – a reflection of Churchill's distrust of the Soviets even during the US-UK-USSR alliance imposed by the Nazi threat. [66]

The only direct enemy damage to the site was done 20–21 November 1940 by three bombs probably intended for Bletchley railway station Hut 4, shifted two feet off its foundation, was winched back into place as work inside continued. [67]

Initially, when only a very limited amount of Enigma traffic was being read, [69] deciphered non-Naval Enigma messages were sent from Hut 6 to Hut 3 which handled their translation and onward transmission. Subsequently, under Group Captain Eric Jones, Hut 3 expanded to become the heart of Bletchley Park's intelligence effort, with input from decrypts of "Tunny" (Lorenz SZ42) traffic and many other sources. Early in 1942 it moved into Block D, but its functions were still referred to as Hut 3. [70]

Hut 3 contained a number of sections: Air Section "3A", Military Section "3M", a small Naval Section "3N", a multi-service Research Section "3G" and a large liaison section "3L". [71] It also housed the Traffic Analysis Section, SIXTA. [72] An important function that allowed the synthesis of raw messages into valuable Military intelligence was the indexing and cross-referencing of information in a number of different filing systems. [73] Intelligence reports were sent out to the Secret Intelligence Service, the intelligence chiefs in the relevant ministries, and later on to high-level commanders in the field. [74]

Naval Enigma deciphering was in Hut 8, with translation in Hut 4. Verbatim translations were sent to the Naval Intelligence Division (NID) of the Admiralty's Operational Intelligence Centre (OIC), supplemented by information from indexes as to the meaning of technical terms and cross-references from a knowledge store of German naval technology. [75] Where relevant to non-naval matters, they would also be passed to Hut 3. Hut 4 also decoded a manual system known as the dockyard cipher, which sometimes carried messages that were also sent on an Enigma network. Feeding these back to Hut 8 provided excellent "cribs" for Known-plaintext attacks on the daily naval Enigma key. [76]

Initially, a wireless room was established at Bletchley Park. It was set up in the mansion's water tower under the code name "Station X", [77] a term now sometimes applied to the codebreaking efforts at Bletchley as a whole. The "X" is the Roman numeral "ten", this being the Secret Intelligence Service's tenth such station. Due to the long radio aerials stretching from the wireless room, the radio station was moved from Bletchley Park to nearby Whaddon Hall to avoid drawing attention to the site. [78] [79]

Subsequently, other listening stations – the Y-stations, such as the ones at Chicksands in Bedfordshire, Beaumanor Hall, Leicestershire (where the headquarters of the War Office "Y" Group was located) and Beeston Hill Y Station in Norfolk – gathered raw signals for processing at Bletchley. Coded messages were taken down by hand and sent to Bletchley on paper by motorcycle despatch riders or (later) by teleprinter. [80]

The wartime needs required the building of additional accommodation. [81]

Huts Edit

Often a hut's number became so strongly associated with the work performed inside that even when the work was moved to another building it was still referred to by the original "Hut" designation. [82] [83]

  • Hut 1: The first hut, built in 1939 [84] used to house the Wireless Station for a short time, [77] later administrative functions such as transport, typing, and Bombe maintenance. The first Bombe, "Victory", was initially housed here. [85]
  • Hut 2: A recreational hut for "beer, tea, and relaxation". [86]
  • Hut 3: Intelligence: translation and analysis of Army and Air Force decrypts [87]
  • Hut 4: Naval intelligence: analysis of Naval Enigma and Hagelin decrypts [88]
  • Hut 5: Military intelligence including Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese ciphers and German police codes. [89]
  • Hut 6: Cryptanalysis of Army and Air Force Enigma [90]
  • Hut 7: Cryptanalysis of Japanese naval codes and intelligence. [91][92]
  • Hut 8: Cryptanalysis of Naval Enigma. [75]
  • Hut 9: ISOS (Intelligence Section Oliver Strachey).
  • Hut 10: Secret Intelligence Service (SIS or MI6) codes, Air and Meteorological sections. [93]
  • Hut 11: Bombe building. [94]
  • Hut 14: Communications centre. [95]
  • Hut 15: SIXTA (Signals Intelligence and Traffic Analysis).
  • Hut 16: ISK (Intelligence Service Knox) Abwehr ciphers.
  • Hut 18: ISOS (Intelligence Section Oliver Strachey).
  • Hut 23: Primarily used to house the engineering department. After February 1943, Hut 3 was renamed Hut 23.

Blocks Edit

In addition to the wooden huts, there were a number of brick-built "blocks".

  • Block A: Naval Intelligence.
  • Block B: Italian Air and Naval, and Japanese code breaking.
  • Block C: Stored the substantial punch-card indexes.
  • Block D: From February 1943 it housed those from Hut 3, who synthesised intelligence from multiple sources, Huts 6 and 8 and SIXTA. [96]
  • Block E: Incoming and outgoing Radio Transmission and TypeX.
  • Block F: Included the Newmanry and Testery, and Japanese Military Air Section. It has since been demolished.
  • Block G: Traffic analysis and deception operations.
  • Block H: Tunny and Colossus (now The National Museum of Computing).

German signals Edit

Most German messages decrypted at Bletchley were produced by one or another version of the Enigma cipher machine, but an important minority were produced by the even more complicated twelve-rotor Lorenz SZ42 on-line teleprinter cipher machine. [97]

Five weeks before the outbreak of war, Warsaw's Cipher Bureau revealed its achievements in breaking Enigma to astonished French and British personnel. [54] The British used the Poles' information and techniques, and the Enigma clone sent to them in August 1939, which greatly increased their (previously very limited) success in decrypting Enigma messages. [98]

The bombe was an electromechanical device whose function was to discover some of the daily settings of the Enigma machines on the various German military networks. [100] [101] [102] Its pioneering design was developed by Alan Turing (with an important contribution from Gordon Welchman) and the machine was engineered by Harold 'Doc' Keen of the British Tabulating Machine Company. Each machine was about 7 feet (2.1 m) high and wide, 2 feet (0.61 m) deep and weighed about a ton. [103]

At its peak, GC&CS was reading approximately 4,000 messages per day. [104] As a hedge against enemy attack [105] most bombes were dispersed to installations at Adstock and Wavendon (both later supplanted by installations at Stanmore and Eastcote), and Gayhurst. [106] [107]

Luftwaffe messages were the first to be read in quantity. The German navy had much tighter procedures, and the capture of code books was needed before they could be broken. When, in February 1942, the German navy introduced the four-rotor Enigma for communications with its Atlantic U-boats, this traffic became unreadable for a period of ten months. [108] Britain produced modified bombes, but it was the success of the US Navy bombe that was the main source of reading messages from this version of Enigma for the rest of the war. Messages were sent to and fro across the Atlantic by enciphered teleprinter links. [80]

The Lorenz messages were codenamed Tunny at Bletchley Park. They were only sent in quantity from mid-1942. The Tunny networks were used for high-level messages between German High Command and field commanders. With the help of German operator errors, the cryptanalysts in the Testery (named after Ralph Tester, its head) worked out the logical structure of the machine despite not knowing its physical form. They devised automatic machinery to help with decryption, which culminated in Colossus, the world's first programmable digital electronic computer. This was designed and built by Tommy Flowers and his team at the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hill. The prototype first worked in December 1943, was delivered to Bletchley Park in January and first worked operationally on 5 February 1944. Enhancements were developed for the Mark 2 Colossus, the first of which was working at Bletchley Park on the morning of 1 June in time for D-day. Flowers then produced one Colossus a month for the rest of the war, making a total of ten with an eleventh part-built. The machines were operated mainly by Wrens in a section named the Newmanry after its head Max Newman. [109]

Bletchley's work was essential to defeating the U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic, and to the British naval victories in the Battle of Cape Matapan and the Battle of North Cape. In 1941, Ultra exerted a powerful effect on the North African desert campaign against German forces under General Erwin Rommel. General Sir Claude Auchinleck wrote that were it not for Ultra, "Rommel would have certainly got through to Cairo". While not changing the events, "Ultra" decrypts featured prominently in the story of Operation SALAM, László Almásy's mission across the desert behind Allied lines in 1942. [110] Prior to the Normandy landings on D-Day in June 1944, the Allies knew the locations of all but two of Germany's fifty-eight Western-front divisions. [111]

Italian signals Edit

Italian signals had been of interest since Italy's attack on Abyssinia in 1935. During the Spanish Civil War the Italian Navy used the K model of the commercial Enigma without a plugboard this was solved by Knox in 1937. When Italy entered the war in 1940 an improved version of the machine was used, though little traffic was sent by it and there were "wholesale changes" in Italian codes and cyphers. [112]

Knox was given a new section for work on Enigma variations, which he staffed with women ("Dilly's girls"), who included Margaret Rock, Jean Perrin, Clare Harding, Rachel Ronald, Elisabeth Granger and Mavis Lever. [113] Mavis Lever solved the signals revealing the Italian Navy's operational plans before the Battle of Cape Matapan in 1941, leading to a British victory. [114]

Although most Bletchley staff did not know the results of their work, Admiral Cunningham visited Bletchley in person a few weeks later to congratulate them. [114]

On entering World War II in June 1940, the Italians were using book codes for most of their military messages. The exception was the Italian Navy, which after the Battle of Cape Matapan started using the C-38 version of the Boris Hagelin rotor-based cipher machine, particularly to route their navy and merchant marine convoys to the conflict in North Africa. [115] As a consequence, JRM Butler recruited his former student Bernard Willson to join a team with two others in Hut 4. [116] [117] In June 1941, Willson became the first of the team to decode the Hagelin system, thus enabling military commanders to direct the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force to sink enemy ships carrying supplies from Europe to Rommel's Afrika Korps. This led to increased shipping losses and, from reading the intercepted traffic, the team learnt that between May and September 1941 the stock of fuel for the Luftwaffe in North Africa reduced by 90 percent. [118] After an intensive language course, in March 1944 Willson switched to Japanese language-based codes. [119]

A Middle East Intelligence Centre (MEIC) was set up in Cairo in 1939. When Italy entered the war in June 1940, delays in forwarding intercepts to Bletchley via congested radio links resulted in cryptanalysts being sent to Cairo. A Combined Bureau Middle East (CBME) was set up in November, though the Middle East authorities made "increasingly bitter complaints" that GC&CS was giving too little priority to work on Italian cyphers. However, the principle of concentrating high-grade cryptanalysis at Bletchley was maintained. [120] John Chadwick started cryptanalysis work in 1942 on Italian signals at the naval base 'HMS Nile' in Alexandria. Later, he was with GC&CS in the Heliopolis Museum, Cairo and then in the Villa Laurens, Alexandria. [121]

Soviet signals Edit

Soviet signals had been studied since the 1920s. In 1939–40, John Tiltman (who had worked on Russian Army traffic from 1930) set up two Russian sections at Wavendon (a country house near Bletchley) and at Sarafand in Palestine. Two Russian high-grade army and navy systems were broken early in 1940. Tiltman spent two weeks in Finland, where he obtained Russian traffic from Finland and Estonia in exchange for radio equipment. In June 1941, when the Soviet Union became an ally, Churchill ordered a halt to intelligence operations against it. In December 1941, the Russian section was closed down, but in late summer 1943 or late 1944, a small GC&CS Russian cypher section was set up in London overlooking Park Lane, then in Sloane Square. [122]

Japanese signals Edit

An outpost of the Government Code and Cypher School had been set up in Hong Kong in 1935, the Far East Combined Bureau (FECB). The FECB naval staff moved in 1940 to Singapore, then Colombo, Ceylon, then Kilindini, Mombasa, Kenya. They succeeded in deciphering Japanese codes with a mixture of skill and good fortune. [123] The Army and Air Force staff went from Singapore to the Wireless Experimental Centre at Delhi, India. [124]

In early 1942, a six-month crash course in Japanese, for 20 undergraduates from Oxford and Cambridge, was started by the Inter-Services Special Intelligence School in Bedford, in a building across from the main Post Office. This course was repeated every six months until war's end. Most of those completing these courses worked on decoding Japanese naval messages in Hut 7, under John Tiltman. [124]

By mid-1945, well over 100 personnel were involved with this operation, which co-operated closely with the FECB and the US Signal intelligence Service at Arlington Hall, Virginia. In 1999, Michael Smith wrote that: "Only now are the British codebreakers (like John Tiltman, Hugh Foss, and Eric Nave) beginning to receive the recognition they deserve for breaking Japanese codes and cyphers". [125]

Continued secrecy Edit

After the War, the secrecy imposed on Bletchley staff remained in force, so that most relatives never knew more than that a child, spouse, or parent had done some kind of secret war work. [126] Churchill referred to the Bletchley staff as "the geese that laid the golden eggs and never cackled". [127] That said, occasional mentions of the work performed at Bletchley Park slipped the censor's net and appeared in print. [128]

With the publication of F. W. Winterbotham's The Ultra Secret (1974) [129] public discussion of Bletchley's work finally became possible (though even today some former staff still consider themselves bound to silence) [130] and in July 2009 the British government announced that Bletchley personnel would be recognised with a commemorative badge. [131]

Site Edit

After the war, the site passed through a succession of hands [132] and saw a number of uses, including as a teacher-training college and local GPO headquarters. By 1991, the site was nearly empty and the buildings were at risk of demolition for redevelopment. [133]

In February 1992, the Milton Keynes Borough Council declared most of the Park a conservation area, and the Bletchley Park Trust was formed to maintain the site as a museum. The site opened to visitors in 1993, and was formally inaugurated by the Duke of Kent as Chief Patron in July 1994. In 1999 the land owners, the Property Advisors to the Civil Estate and BT, granted a lease to the Trust giving it control over most of the site. [134]

June 2014 saw the completion of an £8 million restoration project by museum design specialist, Event Communications, which was marked by a visit from Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. [135] The Duchess' paternal grandmother, Valerie, and Valerie's twin sister, Mary (née Glassborow), both worked at Bletchley Park during the war. The twin sisters worked as Foreign Office Civilians in Hut 6, where they managed the interception of enemy and neutral diplomatic signals for decryption. Valerie married Catherine's grandfather, Captain Peter Middleton. [136] [137] [138] A memorial at Bletchley Park commemorates Mary and Valerie Middleton's work as code-breakers. [139]

Exhibitions Edit

  • Block C Visitor Centre
    • Secrets Revealed introduction
    • The Road to Bletchley Park. Codebreaking in World War One.
    • Intel Security Cybersecurity exhibition. Online security and privacy in the 21st Century.
    • Lorenz Cipher
    • Alan Turing
    • Enigma machines
    • Japanese codes
    • Home Front exhibition. How people lived in WW2
    • Office of Alistair Denniston
    • Library. Dressed as a World War II naval intelligence office
    • The Imitation Game exhibition
    • Gordon Welchman: Architect of Ultra Intelligence exhibition
    • Interactive exhibitions explaining codebreaking
    • Alan Turing's office
    • Pigeon exhibition. The use of pigeons in World War II.

    Learning Department Edit

    The Bletchley Park Learning Department offers educational group visits with active learning activities for schools and universities. Visits can be booked in advance during term time, where students can engage with the history of Bletchley Park and understand its wider relevance for computer history and national security. Their workshops cover introductions to codebreaking, cyber security and the story of Enigma and Lorenz. [141]

    In October 2005, American billionaire Sidney Frank donated £500,000 to Bletchley Park Trust to fund a new Science Centre dedicated to Alan Turing. [142] Simon Greenish joined as Director in 2006 to lead the fund-raising effort [143] in a post he held until 2012 when Iain Standen took over the leadership role. [144] In July 2008, a letter to The Times from more than a hundred academics condemned the neglect of the site. [145] [146] In September 2008, PGP, IBM, and other technology firms announced a fund-raising campaign to repair the facility. [147] On 6 November 2008 it was announced that English Heritage would donate £300,000 to help maintain the buildings at Bletchley Park, and that they were in discussions regarding the donation of a further £600,000. [148]

    In October 2011, the Bletchley Park Trust received a £4.6m Heritage Lottery Fund grant to be used "to complete the restoration of the site, and to tell its story to the highest modern standards" on the condition that £1.7m of 'match funding' is raised by the Bletchley Park Trust. [149] [150] Just weeks later, Google contributed £550k [151] and by June 2012 the trust had successfully raised £2.4m to unlock the grants to restore Huts 3 and 6, as well as develop its exhibition centre in Block C. [152]

    Additional income is raised by renting Block H to the National Museum of Computing, and some office space in various parts of the park to private firms. [153] [154] [155]

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the Trust expected to lose more than £2m in 2020 and be required to cut a third of its workforce. Former MP John Leech asked tech giants Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft to donate £400,000 each to secure the future of the Trust. Leech had led the successful campaign to pardon Alan Turing and implement Turing's Law. [156]

    The National Museum of Computing Edit

    The National Museum of Computing is housed in Block H, which is rented from the Bletchley Park Trust. Its Colossus and Tunny galleries tell an important part of allied breaking of German codes during World War II. There is a working reconstruction of a Bombe and a rebuilt Colossus computer which was used on the high-level Lorenz cipher, codenamed Tunny by the British. [157] [158]

    The museum, which opened in 2007, is an independent voluntary organisation that is governed by its own board of trustees. Its aim is "To collect and restore computer systems particularly those developed in Britain and to enable people to explore that collection for inspiration, learning and enjoyment." [159] Through its many exhibits, the museum displays the story of computing through the mainframes of the 1960s and 1970s, and the rise of personal computing in the 1980s. It has a policy of having as many of the exhibits as possible in full working order. [160]

    Science and Innovation Centre Edit

    This consists of serviced office accommodation housed in Bletchley Park's Blocks A and E, and the upper floors of the Mansion. Its aim is to foster the growth and development of dynamic knowledge-based start-ups and other businesses. [161]

    Proposed National College of Cyber Security Edit

    In April 2020 Bletchley Park Capital Partners, a private company run by Tim Reynolds, Deputy Chairman of the National Museum of Computing, announced plans to sell off the freehold to part of the site containing former Block G for commercial development. Offers of between £4m and £6m were reportedly being sought for the 3 acre plot, for which planning permission for employment purposes was granted in 2005. [162] [163] Previously, the construction of a National College of Cyber Security for students aged from 16 to 19 years old had been envisaged on the site, to be housed in Block G after renovation with funds supplied by the Bletchley Park Science and Innovation Centre. [164] [165] [166] [167]

    RSGB National Radio Centre Edit

    The Radio Society of Great Britain's National Radio Centre (including a library, radio station, museum and bookshop) are in a newly constructed building close to the main Bletchley Park entrance. [168] [169]

    Not until July 2009 did the British government fully acknowledge the contribution of the many people working for the Government Code and Cypher School ('G C & C S') at Bletchley. Only then was a commemorative medal struck to be presented to those involved. The gilded medal bears the inscription G C & C S 1939-1945 Bletchley Park and its Outstations. [170]

    Literature Edit

    • Bletchley featured heavily in Robert Harris' novel Enigma (1995). [171]
    • A fictionalised version of Bletchley Park is featured in Neal Stephenson's novel Cryptonomicon (1999). [172]
    • Bletchley Park plays a significant role in Connie Willis' novel All Clear (2010). [173]
    • The Agatha Christie novel N or M?, published in 1941, was about spies during the Second World War and featured a character called Major Bletchley. Christie was friends with one of the code-breakers at Bletchley Park, and MI5 thought that the character name might have been a joke indicating that she knew what was happening there. It turned out to be a coincidence. [174]
    • Bletchley Park is the setting of Kate Quinn's 2021 Historical Fiction novel, The Rose Code. Quinn used the likenesses of true veterans of Bletchley Park as inspiration for her story of three women who worked in some of the different areas at Bletchley Park. [175]

    Film Edit

    • The film Enigma (2001), which was based upon Robert Harris' book and starred Kate Winslet, Saffron Burrows and Dougray Scott, is set in part in Bletchley Park. [176]
    • The film The Imitation Game (2014), starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, is set in Bletchley Park, and was partially filmed there. [177]

    Radio Edit

    • The Radio Show Hut 33 is a Situation Comedy set in the fictional 33rd Hut of Bletchley Park. [178]
    • The Big Finish ProductionsDoctor Who audio Criss-Cross, released in September 2015, features the Sixth Doctor working undercover in Bletchley Park to decode a series of strange alien signals that have hindered his TARDIS, the audio also depicting his first meeting with his new companion Constance Clarke. [179]
    • The Bletchley Park Podcast began in August 2012, with new episodes being released approximately monthly. It features stories told by the codebreakers, staff and volunteers, audio from events and reports on the development of Bletchley Park. [180]

    Television Edit

    • The 1979 ITV television serial Danger UXB featured the character Steven Mount, who was a codebreaker at Bletchley and was driven to a nervous breakdown (and eventual suicide) by the stressful and repetitive nature of the work. [181]
    • In Foyle's War, Adam Wainwright (Samantha Stewart's fiancé, then husband), is a former Bletchley Park codebreaker. [182][183]
    • The Second World War code-breaking sitcom pilot "Satsuma & Pumpkin" was recorded at Bletchley Park in 2003 and featured Bob Monkhouse, OBE in his last ever screen role. The BBC declined to produce the show and develop it further before creating effectively the same show on Radio 4 several years later, featuring some of the same cast, entitled Hut 33. [184][185]
    • Bletchley came to wider public attention with the documentary series Station X (1999). [186]
    • The 2012 ITV programme, The Bletchley Circle, is a set of murder mysteries set in 1952 and 1953. The protagonists are four female former Bletchley codebreakers, who use their skills to solve crimes. The pilot episode's opening scene was filmed on-site, and the set was asked to remain there for its close adaptation of historiography. [187][188] 's television play The Imitation Game (1980) concludes at Bletchley Park. [189]
    • Bletchley Park was featured in the sixth and final episode of the BBC TV documentary The Secret War (1977), presented and narrated by William Woodard. This episode featured interviews with Gordon Welchman, Harry Golombek, Peter Calvocoressi, F. W. Winterbotham, Max Newman, Jack Good, and Tommy Flowers. [190]
    • The Agent Carter season 2 episode "Smoke & Mirrors" reveals that Agent Peggy Carter worked at Bletchley Park early in the war before joining the Strategic Scientific Reserve. [191]

    Theatre Edit

    Bletchley Park is opposite Bletchley railway station. It is close to junctions 13 and 14 of the M1, about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of London. [193]

    After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, followed by Nazi Germany's declaration of war on the United States four days later, [1] and the United States' declaration of war on Germany in response, Hitler authorized a mission to sabotage the American war effort and attack civilian targets to demoralize the American civilian population inside the United States. [2] The mission was headed by Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, chief of the German Abwehr. Canaris recalled that during World War I, he organized the sabotage of French installations in Morocco, and that other German agents entered the United States to plant bombs in New York arms factories, including the destruction of munitions supplies at Black Tom Island, in 1916. He hoped that Operation Pastorius would have the same kind of success they had in 1916. [3]

    Recruited for Operation Pastorius were eight German residents who had lived in the United States. Two of them, Ernst Burger and Herbert Haupt, were American citizens. The others, George John Dasch, Edward John Kerling, Richard Quirin, Heinrich Harm Heinck, Hermann Otto Neubauer, and Werner Thiel, had worked at various jobs in the United States. All eight were recruited into the Abwehr military intelligence organization and were given three weeks of intensive sabotage training in the German High Command school on an estate at Quenz Lake, near Berlin, Germany. The agents were instructed in the manufacture and use of explosives, incendiaries, primers, and various forms of mechanical, chemical, and electrical delayed timing devices. Considerable time was spent developing complete background "histories" they were to use in the United States. They were encouraged to converse in English and to read American newspapers and magazines to hone their English and familiarity with current American events and culture. [4]

    Their mission was to stage sabotage attacks on American economic targets: hydroelectric plants at Niagara Falls the Aluminum Company of America's plants in Illinois, Tennessee, and New York locks on the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky Penn Salt Factory in Bensalem, Pennsylvania [5] the Horseshoe Curve, a crucial railroad pass near Altoona, Pennsylvania, as well as the Pennsylvania Railroad's repair shops at Altoona [6] a cryolite plant in Philadelphia Hell Gate Bridge in New York and Pennsylvania Station in Newark, New Jersey. The agents were also instructed to spread a wave of terror by planting explosives on bridges, railroad stations, water facilities, and public places. They were given counterfeit birth certificates, Social Security Cards, draft deferment cards, nearly $175,000 in American money, and driver's licenses, and put aboard two U-boats to land on the east coast of the U.S. [4]

    Before the mission began, it was in danger of being compromised, as George Dasch, head of the team, left sensitive documents behind on a train, and one of the agents when drunk announced to patrons at a bar in Paris that he was a secret agent. [7]

    On the night of 12 June 1942, the first submarine to arrive in the U.S., U-202, [8] landed at Amagansett, New York, which is about 100 miles east of New York City, on Long Island, at what today is Atlantic Avenue beach. It was carrying Dasch and three other saboteurs (Burger, Quirin, and Heinck). The team came ashore wearing German Navy uniforms so that if they were captured, they would be classified as prisoners of war rather than spies. [9] [10] They also brought their explosives, primers and incendiaries, and buried them along with their uniforms, and put on civilian clothes to begin an expected two-year campaign in the sabotage of American defense-related production. [11]

    When Dasch was discovered amidst the dunes by unarmed Coast Guardsman John C. Cullen, Dasch offered Cullen a $260 bribe. [12] Cullen feigned cooperation but reported the encounter. An armed patrol returned to the site but found only the buried equipment the Germans had taken the Long Island Rail Road from the Amagansett station into Manhattan, where they checked into a hotel. A massive manhunt was begun.

    The other four-member German team headed by Kerling landed without incident at Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, south of Jacksonville on 16 June 1942. They came on U-584, another submarine. [13] This group came ashore wearing bathing suits but wore German Navy hats. After landing ashore, they threw away their hats, put on civilian clothes, and started their mission by boarding trains to Chicago, Illinois and Cincinnati, Ohio. [10]

    The two teams were to meet on 4 July in a hotel in Cincinnati to coordinate their sabotage operations. [14]

    Dasch called Burger into their upper-story hotel room and opened a window, saying they would talk, and if they disagreed, "only one of us will walk out that door—the other will fly out this window." Dasch told him he had no intention of going through with the mission, hated Nazism, and planned to report the plot to the FBI. Burger agreed to defect to the United States immediately. [15] [16]

    On 15 June, Dasch phoned the New York office of the FBI to explain who he was, but hung up when the agent answering doubted his story. Four days later, he took a train to Washington, DC and walked into FBI headquarters, where he gained the attention of Assistant Director D. M. Ladd by showing him the operation's budget of $84,000 cash. [16] [17] Besides Burger, none of the other German agents knew they were betrayed. Over the next two weeks, Burger and the other six were arrested. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover made no mention that Dasch had turned himself in, and claimed credit for the FBI for cracking the spy ring. [18]