A Virtual Tour of Bletchley Park

by Tony Sale

page 4 of 5 pages illustrating
Bletchley Park and its Museum

Tony Sale's
Codes and Ciphers

Part 4: Hut 3, Hut 6 and the Bombe Room

The work on Air Force and Army Enigma also continued to expand.

26. These tennis courts were put in at the express command of Winston Churchill.

27. In March 1940, the codebreakers working on Air Force and Army Enigma moved from the cottage to this new Hut 6.

A new Hut 3 was also built alongside it.

28. Hut 3 housed the analysts who interpreted the material that Hut 6 deciphered. A lot of papers went between them and to save them from getting wet they built a wooden tunnel here and pushed trays of papers through it with broom sticks. Hi-Tech, 1940s style
29. Here is where the planks were replaced after the tunnel was removed.

30. The side of Hut 3 shows the footings for the bomb blast walls around the Huts.

But the great secret at Bletchley Park lay not in BOMBS but in the BOMBE machines. These enormous and intricate machines, when they had been built, could be used to break Naval, Army and Air Force Enigma messages and required elaborate time-sharing.

Another set of pages on this site gives you an overview of the Enigma.

31. The entrance to Hut 11, the first Bombe building.
32. Inside the Bombe room where the first production Bombe came in August 1940.
There were 212 Bombes built during the war, all destroyed afterwards, so that there are no original Bombes to be seen. But...

...Hut 11 is now the Bombe Rebuild Project display area, where the reconstruction work of the Museum continues.

33. This is the mock-up of a Bombe made in 1998 for shooting the television documentary series Station X.
34. And here is the rebuild of an actual working Bombe.

The work here is directed by John Harper of the Bombe Rebuild Project.

35. Alan Turing was the genius who invented the Bombe.

This Museum display explains his work.

36. The Womens Royal Naval Service personnel had this very complicated wiring to plug up on the back of a Bombe...
37. ...using 'menus' derived by the codebreakers from cribs - where in one way or another the codebreakers could guess a piece of message that had been enciphered.
38. We leave the Bombe Room to continue our tour.
This Virtual Tour was conceived and written by Tony Sale to accompany his own photographs.

This page is the fourth of five parts.
Continue to Part 5.

For information about when Bletchley Park is open to visitors you must go to the Bletchley Park Trust which is responsible for it. This website has no connection with the Bletchley Park Trust.

This page was created by the late Tony Sale
the original curator of the Bletchley Park Museum
Technical assistance from Andrew Hodges