Industrialisation of Codebreaking
The process of breaking Enigma was aided considerably by a complex electro-mechanical device, designed by Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman. The Bombe, as it was called, ran through all the possible Enigma wheel configurations in order to reduce the possible number of settings in use to a manageable number for further hand testing. The Bombes were operated by Wrens, many of whom lived in requisitioned country houses such as Woburn Abbey. The work they did in speeding up the codebreaking process was indispensable.
In October 1941 after receiving a letter from some of the senior codebreakers decrying the lack of resources being afforded them, Prime Minister Winston Churchill directed:
‘Make sure they have all they want extreme priority and report to me that this has been done.’
From that moment on Bletchley Park began receiving a huge influx of resources and a major building programme ensued to create the space necessary to house the ever increasing workforce.