Bletchley Park’s role in sinking The Bismarck

The sinking of The Bismarck was one of the most iconic moments of the Second World War.

And 75 years on you can learn about the crucial role played by the codebreaks at Bletchley Park, in a new podcast.

Some of the pioneering techniques - developed as part of the Bletchley Park codebreaking operation - played a crucial role in locating the flagship of the German fleet.

In the latest instalment of the It Happened Here series, Bletchley Park’s research historian Dr David Kenyon explains how the ship’s destruction was vital for the Allies, both strategically and symbolically.

He said: “If it had been allowed to do the job it was built for, it would have been a disaster for the Allies. (Sinking) it was a vital good news story for the British.”

Jane Fawcett worked in Hut 6 from 1940. She recalls: “I happened to be on duty. Everybody knew the main part of our fleet was trying to intercept The Bismarck.

“I worked for 24 hours because I just happened to get (the message showing it was heading for the French port of Brest). We were lucky enough to be here, able to do what may be the most important thing that any of us have ever done in our lives.

“We didn’t realise it at the time, but we do now.”

You can hear more from Dr Kenyon, alongside Hut 6 Veteran Jane Fawcett, in the May 2016 episode of the Bletchley Park Podcast, The Bismarck, available here.