Friday, January 6, 2012

Bletchley Park - Brayden

Today we traveled outside of London to Bletchley Park, a place considered Britain's Best Kept Secret. During World War II, Bletchley Park was the location where Britain broke the German's ciphers daily, which is believed to have shortened the war by two years. It was a great experience seeing the technology used both for encryption and breaking encryption and the British viewpoint of the war.

The encryption machine mainly used by the Germans was call the Enigma, which used a switch board and multiple rotors for encrypting messages. For helping to break the Enigma, Bombes were developed, which found possible set ups for the Enigma messages. Finally we also saw Colossus, which cracked a more advanced cipher and is considered the first computer. After growing up being told the computer was developed in the US, it was educational to learn about this machine and learn that Britain has some great computing history.

It is interesting to hear the contributions made by the Britain's in WWII as history classes I took growing up had few descriptions of all activities of our allies in the war. The people here are quite proud of the work their country did during the war, which is understandable as the contributions were impressive. I definitely got a feel of the national pride that is part of the culture here, which reminds me of home, even though it is a separate nation.

The trip to Bletchley Park was overall wonderful for both the technological educational aspect and the cultural understanding. And now I am even more excited to see what I learn as the trip continues.

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