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The Bletchley Park Codebreakers in Their Own Words (Hardback)

Military > Greenhill Books > Greenhill: WWII WWII > Espionage & the SOE

By Dr Joel Greenberg
Greenhill Books
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 16pp plates
ISBN: 9781784388119
Published: 4th October 2022



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'A fascinating anthology which sheds new light on the Bletchley Park story and shows that there is still more to tell.' - Tony Comer OBE, formerly Departmental Historian at GCHQ

This important volume tells the story of Bletchley Park through countless letters written by key players to former colleagues and loved ones as the war unfolded.

Having intercepted millions of German communications, the codebreakers had felt bound by the Official Secrets Act and said little about their wartime activities. Some who had stayed on at GCHQ after the war, were concerned that speaking out could jeopardise their pensions.Over one hundred letters have been included in this volume and have either been recovered from family members or declassified by GCHQ. They reveal fresh information about the clandestine operation and disclose the true feelings of the participants at Bletchley.Park.

In contrast to early accounts, which lacked detail and were occasionally inaccurate, this book thoroughly lays bare the day-to-day experiences at Bletchley Park and uncovers the operational and technical reasons behind the organisation's successes and failures.

Simultaneously intimate and comprehensive, it will interest historians, World War II researchers, and anyone who wants to learn the secrets of Britain's signal intelligence effort.

“If you like this topic, here's your source material to read.”

Read the full review here.

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

Review as featured in

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society, November 2023

Will be of great interest to those who wonder about wartime life at Britain’s best known SIGINT organization.

Studies in Intelligence

The book is well organized, nicely printed, and each of Main Contributors gets an introduction before their first appearance. It also has sixteen pages of well-chosen photos, endnotes and a bibliography.

The NYMAS Review

Article: Bletchley Park family papers donated

Highlight: 'Papers from the families of codebreakers at Bletchley Park have been donated to the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, where they will be available to study.
They were donated by Dr Joel Greenberg, the author of biographies of the codebreakers Gordon Welchman and Alastair Denniston as well as the recently
published The Bletchley Park Codebreakers in Their Own Words (Pen & Sword, 2022).'

Who Do You Think You Are
Dr Joel Greenberg

About Dr Joel Greenberg

Joel Greenberg is an author and historian who researches and writes about signals intelligence and its impact on two world wars. He is the author of Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park’s Architect of Ultra Intelligence. His book is the basis of a joint BBC/Smithsonian Network 2015 documentary about Welchman: The Forgotten Genius of Bletchley Park. He is also the author of Alastair Denniston, Code-breaking from Room 40 to Berkeley Street and the Birth of GCHQ. The book is both a biography of Denniston 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 his honour.

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