Posts Tagged ‘codebreaker’

Keira Knightley beaten by quick crossword despite playing wartime codebreaker

October 9th, 2014

Her character was among the recruits to the secret project who had actually been brought on board after showing their ability by completing a cryptic crossword.

Knightley said: “One day we decided we should all really do the crossword. So we got the quick crossword, there were five of us, it took us five days, and we still didn’t finish it. We were really bad at all of it. And I didn’t understand any of the maths.”

Knightley and Cumberbatch answered with a resounding ‘no’ when asked if their Sudoku skills had improved, although Cumberbatch explained that as much as he didn’t understand the intricate details of the mathematics Turing was working with to create the enigma, he did find the experience fascinating.

“I think there are hugely exciting things on a basic level that everyone can understand,’ the actor said.

“Like the idea of coding, the idea of programming, the idea that what you use as language can be turned into something universal and can be used here, China, Russia, and those things excite me.”

“But the machine, the bomb, the reality of Bletchley Park, that was the moment that I thought right now this is very hard.’

He added: “I did understand a bit, a bit about the enigma machine and the coding but put an algorithm in front of me now, or a quadratic equation and this press conference would never end for me trying to work it out.”

The Imitation Game kicks off this year’s BFI London Film Festival, and the two stars gathered at the Corinthia Hotel on Wednesday to talk about the movie.


World War Two

Bletchley Park code-breaker Jerry Roberts dies

March 29th, 2014

The spokeswoman said: “Jerry came to Bletchley Park straight from university but they were all in unchartered territory. It was new ground for everybody.”

The intelligence gathered at Bletchley Park is buy cialis 20mg credited with providing strategic information that was passing between top-level enemy commanders. It is believed to have shortened the war by two years and helped save millions of lives.

The spokeswoman said: “In the last six years of his life he campaigned absolutely tirelessly for awareness and the achievements made at Bletchley Park.

“During the war, people in one room did not know what people were doing in the next room, never mind another department. It’s still a jigsaw puzzle even now.”

Describing Capt Roberts as “lovely” and “absolutely charming”, she said: “He was passionate about what he and his colleagues achieved.

“He did not want to blow his own trumpet but to have the work of his colleagues recognised.”

Reminiscing years after the war, when he was finally free to talk about his work, Capt Roberts said he had taken delight in reading Hitler’s messages, sometimes even before the German leader.

In a BBC interview last year, he described the intelligence the team had gathered as “gold dust” because it was “top level stuff” that referred to the movement of entire armies.

The stream of intelligence from his unit at Bletchley Park proved vital in the Allied D-Day invasion and helped save many lives. “We were breaking 90 per cent of the German traffic through ’41 to ’45″,” Capt Roberts said.

“We worked for three years on Tunny material and were breaking – at a conservative estimate – just under 64,000 top-line messages.”

He added it had been “an exciting time” whenever the team “started getting a break on a message and seeing it through”.

Capt Roberts later received an MBE in recognition of his service and he became a tireless ambassador for the memory of those who had served this country in secret during the war.

He spent years campaigning for greater acknowledgement of his colleagues, including Alan Turing, who broke the naval Enigma code.

Capt Robert also called for the entire Testery group to be honoured, including Bill Tutte, who broke the Tunny system, and Tommy Flowers, who designed and built the Colossus, which sped up some stages of the breaking of Tunny traffic.

Capt Roberts said the work done at Bletchley Park had been “unique” and was unlikely to happen again.

He said: “It was a war where we knew comprehensively what the other side were doing, and that was thanks to Alan Turing, who basically saved the country by breaking Enigma in 1941.”

Capt Roberts, of Liphook, Hampshire, worked at Bletchley Park until the end of the war before spending two years at the War Crimes Investigation Unit, and then moving on to a 50-year career in marketing and research.


World War Two

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