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Secret Days Code-breaking in Bletchley Park

2.97  ·  Rating Details ·  34 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
This is an account of life in Hut Six at Bletchley Park, written by a codebreaker who worked there for 5 years alongside Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman. In addition to discussing the progress of the Allies codebreaking efforts and their impact on the war, Lord Briggs considers what the Germans knew about Bletchley.
Hardcover, 202 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Frontline Books
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Huw Evans
Nov 17, 2012 Huw Evans rated it did not like it
This book is one of the biggest pieces of misrepresentation in literary history. I am interested in the history of Bletchley Park and the mathematics of cryptography. In spite of its subtitle there is nothing, other than the admission that he worked there for two years, that is of any interest regarding the mechanics of breaking the German and Japanese encrypting process.

It is difficult to categorise this book. It doesn't really fall into the History category being without adequate referencing.
John Gribbin
Dec 17, 2016 John Gribbin rated it liked it
A very frustrating book, not through any fault of the author but because of the crazy level of secrecy that surrounded the code breaking work at Bletchley Park for decades. It is not so much "too little, too late", as "not enough, not soon enough". Briggs is a historian, and if he had been allowed to write about his wartime work and colleagues fifty years ago when his memory was fresh and many of those colleagues were around to interview, he could have produced a definitive work. As it is, this ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Sarah rated it liked it
An amiable ramble round the times and personalities of Bletchley Park. While there are few technicalities - mathematicians and cryptographers should look elsewhere - it does fill in some of the background colour missed by other accounts. Excellent bibliography.
Julie Berry
very dull
Kathleen O'Grady
May 09, 2014 Kathleen O'Grady rated it it was ok
For aficionados of Blethcley Park, this book is likely a gem, offering a first-person account of the social and political life there with exacting detail.

But for those of us who wanted an introductory and thorough account of the 'Secret Days' at BP, this isn't the book. The author begins his introduction with a literature review of previous books on the subject, and seems intent on pointing out to the reader the important 'professional historians' from the non-professionals, drops plenty of name
Apr 24, 2012 Gerry rated it liked it
A well written account of life at Bletchley Park when the Enigma code was being broken. The author joined in 1943 and became an important cog in the wheel in Hut Six and he describes life working alongside such as Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman. The camaraderie among the workers was amazing and the secrecy required was strictly adhered to because, as the author states, anything other would have been catastrophic for the war effort.

The introduction sets the scene with some historical background
Yzabel Ginsberg
Apr 11, 2012 Yzabel Ginsberg rated it liked it
Shelves: war, history, non-fiction
I liked this book, but found it hard at times to get into. I wouldn't recommend reading it if you're tired or not focused—if it's the case, wait until a better moment. There's plenty of interesting information in it, that made me want to really peruse the matter (and add more to read to my eternally growing pile of books...); but the author tends to jump from memory to memory at times, which means that if you're not focused on his train of thought, you might get a little lost along the way.
Andy Holdcroft
Oct 04, 2014 Andy Holdcroft rated it liked it
Touched on a number of most interesting points which other books on BP fail to but it was a bit hard to follow at times with tangents off & personal ramblings: surprised at the looseness of the text for such a great historian. Worth reading but could have been even better. The editor presumably was too much in awe...
Eugenia Andino
Dec 08, 2014 Eugenia Andino rated it liked it
Boooooring. The book assumes you're already familiar with the topic, and mixes biography, history, and bibliography in a way that's inaccessible to anyone who has never read about Word War Two intelligence. To avoid.
Mar 12, 2012 Ceri rated it really liked it
I found this very interesting.
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Asa Briggs, Baron Briggs was a British historian, best known for his studies on the Victorian era. In particular, his trilogy, Victorian People, Victorian Cities, and Victorian Things made a lasting mark on how historians view the nineteenth century. He was made a life peer in 1976.
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