DISCOVER THE UNTOLD STORY OF D-DAY BLETCHLEY PARK’S HIDDEN HISTORY UNVEILED IN NEW IMMERSIVE FILM
- To coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Bletchley Park, the home of the Codebreakers, is launching a new immersive film
- D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion will reveal for the first time how the intelligence effort coordinated at Bletchley Park helped specifically in the success of the D-Day landings at Normandy (Operation Overlord)
- Operation Overlord turnedthe tide in the Allies favour, ultimately leading to victory in the Second World War
- The 12-minute film will be shown in the newly restored historic Teleprinter Building, where Bletchley Park Codebreakers received tens of thousands of enemy messages intercepted at secret listening posts across the UK
- The film is based on recently declassified information revealing how much Bletchley Park was involved in planning the invasion, and direct examples of how intelligence produced here helped troops on the ground
- It will be projected onto a curved 22m screen with surround sound for an immersive cinematic experience and will form part of a permanent exhibition at Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park, home of the Codebreakers in Milton Keynes, will for the first time reveal its instrumental role in D-Day through an immersive cinematic experience, D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion.
Based on newly declassified material, and the first in-depth analysis of Bletchley Park’s role in D-Day since 1979, the exhibition shows how the intelligence produced here was integral to the invasion plans.
The film unveils how, using sophisticated codebreaking techniques, workers at Bletchley Park fed crucial information to Allied forces in the critical months, weeks and days leading up to D-Day on 6 June 1944. On the day of the invasion itself, the Codebreakers were able to send on intelligence to front-line commanders in Normandy in less than three hours after intercepting an enemy message.
Highlights of the surround sound film include:
- How the 15,000 men of the 82nd US Airborne Division had their drop zone moved just a few weeks before D-Day to avoid a German division thanks to Bletchley Park intelligence
- Original archive footage combined with newly commissioned live action footage and animation
- The hidden heroes behind this secret operation, such as Mavis Batey, a Codebreaker whose earlier breakthroughs into Germany’s Secret Service Enigma provided a vital stream of intelligence for the Allies
- How the US and UK worked together to intercept messages from Japan that revealed Hitler’s false assumption that the main invasion would be on the Pas de Calais
Bletchley Park is delighted to have BT, whose wartime history is closely intertwined with the codebreaking site, as the Sole Corporate Partner of the restoration of Teleprinter Building and the Sole Partner of the Exhibition. It was General Post Office (now BT) engineers who managed Bletchley Park’s secure communications network.
Working with the Codebreakers, the General Post Office’s research station at Dollis Hill developed codebreaking machines to tackle new ciphers, including Colossus, the world’s first large-scale electronic digital computer.
The Teleprinter Building restoration project has had additional generous support from The Linbury Trust, The Gosling Foundation, The Hobson Charity and The Wolfson Foundation.
Bletchley Park’s story started as a small operation in a discreet, rural area with a handful of inexperienced military and civilian staff, which by 1944 had become an intelligence factory employing almost 10,000 workers. Working in shifts around the clock, they coordinated intelligence gathering from enemy messages sent by Germany, Japan, Italy and beyond.
Throughout World War Two, workers at Bletchley Park decrypted messages from Nazi Germany’s Enigma and Lorenz machines, and other enemy ciphers. The high-quality military intelligence produced by Bletchley Park was codenamed ULTRA, and played a crucial role in combat operations overseas, as well as the Battle of Britain and the Blitz.
The enemy never knew about Bletchley Park or that their top-secret codes were being systematically broken. As a result, they were able to feed Allied commanders detailed information on the enemy’s movements in minute detail.
Iain Standen, CEO of Bletchley Park Trust said: “We are thrilled to introduce another exciting new addition to the museum which opens up yet more of Bletchley Park’s rich and unique history to our visitors. This immersive experience recognises the crucial contribution the thousands of people involved in the Bletchley Park operation made to the Allied victory in World War Two.”
David Kenyon, Research Historian at Bletchley Park and author of Bletchley Park and D-Day (Yale University Press, 2019), said: “This exhibition portrays the vital link between the men and women at Bletchley Park, and their counterparts on the battlefield, and shows how good intelligence could make the difference on the beaches of Normandy between life and death, success and failure.”
Peronel Craddock, Head of Collections and Exhibitions at Bletchley Park said: “The film will, for the first time, encapsulate the crescendo leading to the beginning of the end of World War Two, not just at the beaches of Normandy, but also the crucial, ongoing activity happening behind the scenes in this small town outside London. New research, and fascinating accounts gathered from Bletchley Park Veterans, shed fresh light on the hidden history of these unsung heroes, and how their efforts gave the D-Day invasion its best chance of success.”
David Hay, Head of Heritage and Archives at BT said: “As the world’s oldest telecommunications company we’ve always been an organisation with a clear purpose; which is to use the power of communications to make a better world. This was our focus as far back as 1846 when we were founded and is still our vision today.”
“The story of GPO engineers at Bletchley Park is a big part of our heritage in research and innovation, and we are immensely proud of how those engineers connected people and communities in ways not previously possible. The pioneering work of our former colleagues is a source of inspiration for BT people today and captures the spirit of innovation which is still at the heart of everything we do.”
Entry to D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion opening 11 April 2019, is included with Bletchley Park admission tickets.
For further information, contact the press team at Kallaway:
email@example.com| 020 7221 7883
Or Rosie Burke at Bletchley Park Trust:
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For visitor information, please visit www.bletchleypark.org.uk
About D-Day: Interception, Intelligence, Invasion
- Opens 11 April 2019
- Entrance to the new exhibition will be included in the general admission ticket price.
- For visitor information, contact 01908 640404, email@example.com, or go to www.bletchleypark.org.uk
- BT are the Sole Corporate Partner of the restoration of Teleprinter Building and the Sole Partner of the Exhibition
- The Teleprinter Building restoration project has had additional generous support from The Linbury Trust, The Gosling Foundation, The Hobson Charity and The Wolfson Foundation.
About Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park is a place of exceptional historical importance, open to visitors throughout the year. It remains highly relevant to our lives today and for the future. It is the home of British codebreaking and a birthplace of modern information technology. It played a major role in World War Two, producing secret intelligence which had a direct and profound influence on the outcome of the conflict.
Over the past twenty years Bletchley Park has become an internationally renowned heritage attraction, visited by people from around the world, which acknowledges the successes from the War and the people responsible for them. It celebrates their values: broad-minded patriotism; commitment; discipline; technological excellence. By presenting and explaining these achievements and these values, in the very place where they occurred, Bletchley Park brings together the dramatic history of the twentieth century with the challenges we face in the twenty first in our rapidly changing and technologically complex society.
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BT are the Sole Corporate Partner of the restoration of Teleprinter Building and the Sole Partner of the Exhibition.
About BT’s Heritage
BT is the world's oldest and most established communications company. Its roots extend back to the UK's Electric Telegraph Company, incorporated in 1846 as the world's first national telecommunications provider. Few companies in the world have a history as rich as BT, a heritage of innovation stretching back almost 175 years www.bt.com/history.
BT’s Archives have been recognised by UNESCO and Arts Council England as having unique significance to the UK’s cultural heritage. In July 2016 BT was awarded Archives Accreditation by The National Archives. BT is the only UK plc to give a firm and clear commitment to safeguard this unique legacy on behalf of the nation in a published Heritage Policy www.bt.com/heritage