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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secrets of Station X
"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...
Published 24 months ago by Philomena Liggins

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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rehash of an earlier book
This book seems to be no more than a rehash of Michael Smith's earlier "Station X", first published in 1998 but "revised and expanded" in 2004. Nowhere is this made clear, which is far from ideal. However, if you haven't read the earlier book this is a very good read, full of fascinating anecdotes, and probably worth 4 or 5 stars. If you have read the earlier book, don't...
Published on 10 Oct 2011 by W. A. Fraser


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secrets of Station X, 2 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Secrets of Station X: How the Bletchley Park codebreakers helped win the war (Paperback)
"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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael Smith's latest book is a fascinating insight into a very important part of the British effort in WW2, 26 Oct 2011
This review is from: The Secrets of Station X: How the Bletchley Park codebreakers helped win the war (Paperback)
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 Well written, 22 April 2014
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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
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This review is from: The Secrets of Station X: How the Bletchley Park codebreakers helped win the war (Paperback)
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
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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
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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
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read., 13 Aug 2013
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This book provides a very enjoyable read, very informative. I would recommend it for anyone interested in the story of Bletchley Park.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The solution., 17 May 2013
By 
Peter M. Hartley (uk) - See all my reviews
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This is an excellent book. It is authoritative, meticulous and detailed. The objective and informative core is liberally punctuated with a wide range of personal testimonies enabling a rich cross-section of first-hand accounts to put the cold facts into an endearingly human perspective. As well as getting a satisfying and logically assembled historic account, the reader is also rewarded with an impression of the people whose remarkable achievements in cracking and processing the secret codes was matched by their own supreme discretion regarding the nature and importance of their work. I was looking for a book that gave me a comprehensive account of the wartime activities at Bletchley Park. This is it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The codebreakers influence on the campaigns of WWII., 12 Mar 2013
This review is from: The Secrets of Station X: How the Bletchley Park codebreakers helped win the war (Paperback)
This enjoyable book describes the activities at Bletchley Park (BP) during WW2 and their influence on various stages of the war. The approach is similar to that in Sinclair McKay's book: 'The Secret Life of Bletchly Park' but in Smith's book, there is much more emphasis on the technical achievements and their impact on the war and less on what life was like at BP. For this reason I preferred this book, although it was good to get an introduction to the people involved through reading Sinclair's book first.

Smith's book describes how military commanders were reluctant to use `Ultra' information until it proved it's worth in the North African campaigns. At the start of the war, Naval Intelligence was jealous of the information from BP but soon accepted it's worth and used it to re-route convoys away from the U boat packs.

The achievements made by the key codebreakers; Knox, Tiltman, Turing, Alexander, Tutte, Welshman and others in breaking the Enigma and the Lorenz ciphers are described in essence as is the enormous accomplishment of Tommy Flowers in building the Colossus computer.

Smith frequently cites and copies whole pages of text from other sources, which I would normally find acceptable. However, in many of these cases he is repeating pages from a previous book of his own; entitled `Station X'. This seems like `padding out' to me and is perhaps the only criticism I have of the book. Nonetheless I thoroughly enjoyed this book and give it 5 stars.
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