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Gordon Welchman (Paperback)

Bletchley Park's Architect of Ultra Intelligence

WWII Frontline Books Espionage & the SOE Frontline: WWII

By Joel Greenberg
Frontline Books
Pages: 304
Illustrations: 32 black and white
ISBN: 9781473885257
Published: 2nd February 2017
Last Released: 20th August 2021


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Click here to view the BBC2 documentary, Bletchley Park: Code-breaking's Forgotten Genius, based on the title by Joel Greenberg.

NATIONAL PUBLICITY: as featured by MailOnline - Story of Alan Turing’s spymaster boss who led the team that cracked Hitler’s WWII codes then was persecuted for speaking out is told in a new book 

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'A magnificent biography which finally provides recognition to one of Bletchley's and Britain's lost heroes.' Michael Smith

The Official Secrets Act and the passing of time have prevented the Bletchley Park story from being told by many of its key participants. Here at last is a book which allows some of them to speak for the first time. Gordon Welchman was one of the Parks most important figures. Like Turing, his pioneering work was fundamental to the success of Bletchley Park and helped pave the way for the birth of the digital age. Yet, his story is largely unknown to many. His book, The Hut Six Story, was the first to reveal not only how they broke the codes, but how it was done on an industrial scale. Its publication created such a stir in GCHQ and the NSA that Welchman was forbidden to discuss the book or his wartime work with the media.

In order to finally set the record straight, Bletchley Park historian Joel Greenberg has drawn on Welchmans personal papers and correspondence with wartime colleagues which lay undisturbed in his sons loft for many years. Packed with fascinating new insights, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the clandestine activities at Bletchley Park.

There have been several books about what went on at Bletchley Park in the past few years, in fact there is another title from Pen and Sword on this page, concerning the amazing exploits of Jenny Nater. There is no doubt that the most high profile of these operatives was Alan Turing, who featured in the recent brilliant film The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Cumberbatch; and various news items on our local news have featured interviews with old ladies who once worked on the codes at Bletchley Park, people who were not even allowed to tell their closest family members what they were doing. Joel Greenberg's book about Gordon Welchman reveals a man equally as fascinating equally as important as Turing, and tells us even more about what went on in this most secret of establishments during the war years.

Books Monthly

As featured in

MK Citizen

As featured in.

The Daily Mail 24/2/17

See article 'The Man, The Enigma' in October 2015 issue.

BBC History

[This book] is a well-founded study of the person and the subjects that kept him engaged both during the war years and thereafter. ... It is a gold mine of information.

Go 2 War 2

This book should be essential reading in schools and be read widely. It provides insights that should show how further advances can be made and how security can be developed to protect the users of electronic information.


I found the book absolutely fascinating.

War History Online

The Bletchley Park Trust welcomes the publication of this book which tells, for the first time, the complete story of Gordon Welchman.

Iain Standen, CEO, Bletchley Park Trust

A fascinating book about a fascinating man.

Jack Copeland, author of Turing, Pioneer of the Information Age and Director of the Turing Archive for the History of Computing

This is a magnificent biography which finally provides recognition to one of Bletchley's and Britain's lost heroes. It is a welcome antidote to Welchman's poor treatment at the hands of the authorities [and] a wonderful tribute to one of the most important of the Bletchley Park codebreakers.

Michael Smith, author of The Secrets of Station X

Gordon Welchman is the unsung hero of Bletchley Park.  Others have gained greater fame, but Welchman's inventions sped solutions, making it possible for Bletchley to crack coded German messages fast enough for the convoys to dodge wolfpacks or for the armed forces to sink U-boats and so help win the most basic fight of the war – the Battle of the Atlantic!

David Kahn, author of The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing

Packed with new insights, this is essential reading for anyone interested in the clandestine activities at Bletchley Park.

Discover Your History
 Joel Greenberg

About Joel Greenberg

Dr Joel Greenberg
is an author and historian. He received his PhD in Numerical Mathematics from the University of Manchester (UMIST) in 1973. He worked for the Open University for over 33 years, and held a number of senior management positions at Director level.

He has written the authorised biographies of two key figures in the story of signals intelligence, Gordon Welchman and Alastair Denniston. The Welchman book, Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park’s Architect of Ultra Intelligence, is the basis of a joint BBC/Smithsonian Network 2015 documentary about Welchman – The Forgotten Genius of Bletchley Park.

The Denniston book, Alastair Denniston, Code-breaking from Room 40 to Berkeley Street and the Birth of GCHQ, is both a biography and an account of signals intelligence from its early development to the birth of GCHQ. Denniston was the first Head of GCHQ and the book was launched at its headquarters on 7 September 2017 in honour of him.

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