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STATION X

Bletchley Park - The birthplace of modern communications technology

Bletchley Park was Britain's best kept secret for over fifty years.

During World War II 12,000 code breakers worked in total secrecy at Bletchley Park. They broke 'unbreakable' German and Japanese codes, providing the Allied Forces with vital information to shorten the war by 2-3 years saving millions of lives on all sides.

Station X was actually the tiny radio room situated under the water tank in the roof of the mansion. The lead pipes boosted the power of the signal. From here, MI6 communicated with it's agents across the world in total secrecy from even the code breakers working underneath. The threat of radio detection finding by German bombers led to it being moved out of Bletchley Park. A network of Y stations were set up with messages relayed to Bletchley Park by land line and despatch rider, perhaps an early version of the world wide web?

It was the brilliance of mathematician, Alan Turing (acknowledged as the father of modern computing), and Post Office Engineer Tommy Flowers that led to the Park becoming home to the world's first programmable electronic computer in 1943. Collectively known as Colossi, these were destroyed on Churchill's orders, and their existence kept secret.

After keeping its secrets for over 50 years, historic Bletchley Park is open to visitors. It has been saved for the nation by the Bletchley Park Trust to become a major international heritage park.

For more information on Bletchley Park, go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk

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