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Day 5 summary

Day 5 – For our group’s final day in England, we traveled approximately an hour and a half out of London to the historic sited of Bletchley Park. Now Bletchley Park was England’s main code breaking facility for the second world war, and throughout it’s lifetime was home to over 10, 000 staff. For most of the 20th century, Bletchley Park stayed a secret only known to those who were working there, until the 1970’s when the truth about the work done there was made no longer confidential. The main purpose of Bletchley Park was to break the German, Japanese, Russian and Italian communication codes, so that
the British and their allied forces could plan accordingly to the enemy’s next move. One of the main devices used to both transmit, receive and decipher codes was a device called the Enigma Machine. Enigma could scramble messages into one of 14 quintillion possible combinations, through the use of its rotary discs and plug board. These settings were also changed daily by the Germans which meant the British had to re-crack the codes each day. Bletchley Park was also home to the world’s first semi-programmable computer, which was called the Colossus.

Throughout the day our group was able take part in a codes and ciphers workshop, in which were able to have a hands on demonstration of one of the original Enigma machines. We also were taught how to decipher a variety of codes that were used in the war, such as the Number Grid and Rail Fence. After the
workshops, we were given a tour throughout the facility, and saw some of the offices of the greatest code breakers.

After Bletchley Park, we drove back to St. Pancres Station in London, to catch the Eurostar to Paris. After a rushed dinner we were able to cross through border control, and board the Eurostar. The train ride was smooth and the view of the English countryside was beautiful, until we went under the Channel Tunnel, in which we saw nothing but our own reflections in the window. Finally, after a two-and-a-half-hour train ride, we arrived in Paris and were driven to our now seemingly small hotel compared to our London hotel.

Post by Tim, Malachi, Luca and Angelo

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One comment

  • Louise Chiandotto
    April 17, 2016 - 7:31 pm | Permalink

    I hope that you have all picked up some skills to be very competitive at this years da Vinci Decathlon’s code breaking session! I am enjoying to hear and see all that you are doing- keep us informed.
    From Mrs Chiandotto

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