17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Secret Days: Codebreaking in Bletchley Park: A Memoir of Hut Six and the Enigma Machine (Hardcover)
Whilst Briggs sets out his three objectives in a long rambling introduction, I am afraid this book fails on all accounts. Firstly, his personal memoirs are very sketchy. I cannot believe that so many intelligent and sometimes eccentric young people didn't have any fun. We are shown am-dram programmes,dance tickets etc but nothing to put any bones on the relics. Secondly, his reviews of the books written about Bletchley (BP) are almost limited to a list. I suppose that is OK if one is looking for sources for research, but since I was hoping for objective, short, pithy reviews once again it failed. As to answering the final objective as to why historians were of use at BP, since I was not given even the sketchiest idea of what he was doing, that failed too. Nor did I learn to what extent the role of BP either exceeded or supplemented that of other intelligence gathering activities. I expected that of a renowned historian. I kept turning the pages in the hope that I would find something new, fascinating, interesting or amusing. What I did find was how many men and women who went on to hold high positions in most walks of life were based at BP for some time in the war. But again, there was so little about them as people rather than post holders after the war that this became more akin to name-dropping. Finally, my partner - a mathematician and physicist - gave up after chapter one.