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The Secrets of Station X: How the Bletchley Park codebreakers helped win the war (Dialogue Espionage Classics)

The Secrets of Station X: How the Bletchley Park codebreakers helped win the war (Dialogue Espionage Classics) [Kindle Edition]

Michael Smith
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

A melting pot of Oxbridge dons, maverick oddballs and more regular citizens worked night and day at Station X, as Bletchley Park was known, to derive intelligence information from German coded messages. Bear in mind that an Enigma machine had a possible 159 million million million different settings and the magnitude of the challenge becomes apparent. That they succeeded, despite military scepticism, supplying information that led to the sinking of the Bismarck, Montgomery’s victory in North Africa and the D-Day landings, is testament to an indomitable spirit that wrenched British intelligence into the modern age, as the Second World War segued into the Cold War. Michael Smith constructs his absorbing narrative around the reminiscences of those who worked and played at Bletchley Park, and their stories add a very human colour to their cerebral activity. The code breakers of Station X did not win the war but they undoubtedly shortened it, and the lives saved on both sides stand as their greatest achievement.

From the Author

This book contains the most up-to-date history of Bletchley Park with the latest information from the national archives on what happened at Bletchley and what effect it had on the war. It naturally contains some of the same quotations from codebreakers that were used in Station X, my previous history of Bletchley Park, but is a completely new book which is 50 per cent longer than Station X, corrects some of the earlier misinformation surrounding the codebreakers and really is the better of the two books.

Product details

More About the Author

Michael Smith is the number-one bestselling author of Station X. He served in the British Army's Intelligence Corps and was an award-winning journalist for the BBC, the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times. He is now a full-time novelist and screenwriter.

Smith is the author of a number of books, including The Secrets of Station X; SIX: The Real James Bonds and Foley: The Spy Who Saved 10,000 Jews. He is currently writing a novel set in Germany during the Second World War and working on a screenplay for a feature-length animated movie. He lives near Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secrets of Station X 2 Aug 2012
"The Secrets of Station X" is a brilliant book. Through this compact publication, the author Michael Smith introduces the reader to the secret world of the World War Two code-breakers working under the guise of the Government Code & Cypher School based in Bletchley Park, a quirky English Mansion in the heart of rural Buckinghamshire.
Working his way chronologically from 1938 to 1945 the author calls on substantiated evidence and code-breakers' memories. With his easy read, writing style Smith tells the story of some of those people, the place they worked and the work they did, breaking into the enemy codes and cyphers.
By integrating the history of the Second World War with the work of the code-breakers Smith highlights the importance of their work, their frustrations and the tensions under which they were working.
With simple explanation of codes and cyphers the author explains the breaking into the Enigma cyphers, the working of the Enigma machines and that of the Bombe machines tasked to assist in breaking those cyphers; the building of Colossus to identify the wheel settings of the Lorenz machine used to encipher the teleprinter messages between Hitler and his high command. He also introduces, the often ignored, work undertaken on hand cyphers and in particular the breaking of the Japanese codes.
With 295 pages of substantiated facts 24 pages of notes and 9 index pages, this book is well laid out and well presented. To my mind, this book makes for good reading and is an ideal reference tool.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
I have already read Station X by this author and Secret Life of Bletchley Park but neither of them were as good as this book. There seems to be far more in this book than either of the others. It reads very well and one only has to turn to the back of the book to see the broad and far-reaching research that was carried out in the construction of this book.

I didn't realise that most of the people at Bletchley were young woman in their late teens and early twenties and they do seem to have enjoyed themselves in all sorts of ways! But what is really good about this book is that it not only tell you how they lived, it also tells you what difference they made at each point of the war. They really did make a difference in a lot of ways.

This is definitely five stars for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Read about Bletchley Park 17 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sometimes I find the daily Amazon emails can be a little annoying or irrelevant but they are always worth keeping for the occasional gems they point you in the direction of, The Secrets of Station X being one of them.

I couldn't say I knew much about what went on at Bletchley Park but was well aware of the legend that has been built up about the place and the significance of its contribution during the Second World War.

So when the opportunity arose to find out more, at a snip of a price, I might add I quickly added the book to my Kindle library.

It proved to be a thoroughly absorbing and rewarding read and tells the tale in some detail as to the extensive contributions made by the many people at Bletchley Park and the positive impact those fine and talented people had.

As well as being a great read in itself Michael Smith's book has piqued my curiosity to read more about some of the missions, battles and events referred to. And in reading those other books specific to those operations and events I've learned yet more about those at Bletchley Park and how their work and efforts were perceived by those benefiting from their achievements in breaking enemy codes.

A book, well worthy of your time and your hard earned.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written 22 April 2014
By tonyush
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thus book on the work of cryptanalysts at Bletchleu Park; aka Station X is a really good read as it sets out the difficulties and successes experienced by the remarkable men and women who worked there during WW2
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So, So insightful and readable 18 Mar 2014
By Drum
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful work. Just facts and yet so so detailed and brings massive respect to all those who served their countries there. The depth if information is laudable and it feels right - no dramatisation here. Brilliant
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Interesting 26 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very informative and interesting, even if it is difficult to keep track of who's who... though the maths baffled me a bit too if Im honest!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very interesting book 19 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fascinating book about a part of the WWII that is just not given enough space. I loved it too. Someone write some more......
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Station X 19 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great account of what went on at a dark time in our history and of the men and women who made it happen. Highly recommended
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars An inside view of Bletchley Park.
Michael Smith's description of the work and personalities of the code breakers through the course of the war interspersed with first hand accounts and memoirs, gives a vivid... Read more
Published 1 day ago by I Milne
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
A very informative, intriguing read.
Published 2 days ago by Steve Humphriss
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Published 3 days ago by thelma richards
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Read on Bletchley Park/Station X
Fantastic book, good detail without being too complex. Reveals more than a previous book I read on Bletchley Park/Station X. I would recommend it to all.
Published 4 days ago by Mr I R Colberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Terrific book, just to read about the amount of effort they all used was very interesting.
Published 5 days ago by Alan Jackson
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Only just begun
Published 7 days ago by Mr A W Maun
4.0 out of 5 stars I like it
Very Informative
Published 9 days ago by Mr. F. Oakes
5.0 out of 5 stars So much hidden for so long
Fascinating I have learnt so much. It has given me a great deal to reflect upon including the reasons for the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which may not have happened if only... Read more
Published 14 days ago by scibs
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative
Excellent narrative on the work of the code breakers at Bletchley Park. Very good book and a very good read.
Published 15 days ago by Mr M J Dalley
5.0 out of 5 stars Code Breakers.
Excellent read. I was surprised how famous people who served in the war especially in North Africa chose to ignore the code breakers work. Must read more. Read more
Published 16 days ago by norry
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