Ultra and British Electronic Countermeasures
British codebreaking and cryptography operations during World War II were headquartered at Bletchley Park, 1 located some 50 miles northwest of London in rural Buckinghamshire. This sprawling Victorian estate was purchased by the British government after World War I for the eventual purpose of housing its Code and Cipher School. The rather eclectic staff assembled at Bletchley Park referred to the grounds as BP and to themselves as the Golf, Cheese and Chess Society, derived from the acronym for the Government Code and Cipher School. During World War II, a diverse group of brilliant individuals including mathematicians, university professors, electrical engineers, chess champions, and even crossword- puzzle experts were brought together by the British government to help staff this unique facility, which was also known as Station X.
A major portion of the work done at Bletchley Park during World War II was the breaking of the high-grade German wireless traffic that was enciphered on their basic code machine, the Enigma. All branches of the German armed forces, including the Luftwaffe, used some form of Enigma to encode their radio messages. Ultra was the name the Allies gave to the intelligence they derived from reading the German Enigma traffic. The breaking of the German Enigma code was one of the major Allied accomplishments of World War II and also one of their best kept secrets.
The forerunner of the Enigma code machine was invented in Holland by Hugo Alexander Koch and patented in 1919. 2 It was first produced, however, in 1923 by a German engineer, Dr. Arthur Scherbius and was marketed by the Cipher Machine Corporation of Berlin. This code machine was primarily designed to be sold to