Pinches and Breaks

“Genius was not enough”

Dive into stories of stolen intelligence treasures which helped turn the tide in the Battle of the Atlantic in the July 2016 episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, Pinches and Breaks.

As part of the historic anniversary-based series, It Happened Here, hear from Arnold Hargreaves, a seaman aboard HMS Bulldog, who boarded the captured German submarine, U110, and still has the spoils today. An Enigma machine, codebooks and other vital documents were among the haul taken from the U-boat before it was sunk by the Royal Navy.

He recalls “I was just part of the gang. It was another job, like going down to get the milk. We were told not to say anything about it, but then I was mentioned in Dispatches and my mother-in-law found out.”

Bletchley Park’s Research Historian, Dr David Kenyon, delves into the story of HMS Bulldog and other key pinches, which helped the Codebreakers at Bletchley Park glean vital naval intelligence. He says “Genius alone was not enough. Pinches - in other words, stealing stuff from the enemy - were vital in breaking naval codes.”

Also in this month’s episode, Bletchley Park celebrated Armed Forces Weekend in style this year, with a themed weekend and a very special giveaway. Two thousand free tickets were given to military personnel and their families, a military band played throughout the weekend and there were stalls and activities to entertain visitors of all ages. Hear from some of the families - military and civilian - as they enjoyed the festivities.

The Bletchley Park Podcast is available on the Bletchley Park website, Audioboom’s Bletchley Park channel and iTunes.

Image ©Bletchley Park Trust