JOEL GREENBERG is a historian of Bletchley Park, where his most recent research has centred on the life and work of Gordon Welchman. Welchman, along with Alan Turing, guided the codebreakers’ work and helped construct our modern digital age. Copies of his biography of Welchman, Gordon Welchman: Bletchley Park’s Architect of Ultra Intelligence, will be available for signing at our event. His book is the basis of a joint BBC/Smithsonian Network 2015 documentary about Welchman—The Forgotten Genius of Bletchley Park. He is currently writing the authorised biography of Alastair Denniston, the first Head of GCHQ.
Welchman’s work in traffic analysis was crucial to unwrapping the enemy’s messages, allowing the Allies to understand much of the information even before the secrets were completely decoded. Later, Welchman’s career in cryptology continued as his wartime achievements were secretly recognised by America’s NSA, where he continued his discoveries.
However, frustrated by the secrecy surrounding the great achievements of the Bletchley Park teams during World War II, Welchman authored his famous account of his wartime work, The Hut Six Story: Breaking Enigmas’s Codes. Upon publication in 1982, this book brought condemnation and silencing orders from modern-day security services.
Joel Greenberg’s research materials included many of Welchman’s personal papers and correspondence with wartime colleagues, and he will talk about the unique insights these documents have allowed.