Mr Newman’s Section
Mr Newman’s Section
When Turing arrived at Bletchley Park, the day after Chamberlain’s announcement of war with Germany, he joined Dilly Knox’s Research Section. The job of the Research Section was to study enemy ciphers and operating procedures, and to devise methods of attack. The techniques invented by this high-powered think-tank were then handed over to other sections where they were used operationally against the enemy traffic. In 1939, Enigma was the focus of research. By the time Tutte joined the Research Section, in mid-1941, Captain Gerry Morgan headed it. Tunny soon became the leading problem. Thanks to Tutte, the Research Section broke the Tunny machine in January 1942, and in July read up-to-date traffic for the first time. Tunny could now be tackled operationally, and a Tunny-breaking section was immediately set up under Major Ralph Tester. Several members of the Research Section moved over to the ‘Testery’. Armed with Turingery and other hand methods, the Testery read nearly every message from July to October 1942—thanks to the insecure 12-letter indicator system (see Chapter 3). In October, however, the 12-letter indicators were replaced by QEP numbers and the Testery, now completely reliant on depths, fell on leaner times (see Chapter 5). The Research Section renewed its efforts against Tunny, looking for a means of wheel setting that did not depend on depths. With the invention of Tutte’s method, Newman was given the job of developing the necessary machinery, and when the Heath Robinson was delivered in June 1943 the ‘Newmanry’ became a separate section. From December 1943 the Newmanry would be responsible for breaking and setting the chi-wheels, and the Testery for breaking and setting the remaining wheels manually. The two sections worked hand-in-glove. Initially Newman’s staff consisted of one cryptographer (Michie), two engineers, and 16 Wrens. Soon a second cryptographer arrived (Good), and after three months of experimentation, two or three messages were being set each week. ‘Cryptographers’, ‘engineers’, and ‘Wrens’ remained the principal staffing categories of the Newmanry throughout the war. By May 1945, there were 26 cryptographers, 28 engineers, and 273 Wrens. During the period June 1943 to July 1944, two Americans joined the cryptographic staff of the Newmanry.
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