Alastair Denniston: Code-Breaking from Room 40 to Berkeley Street and the Birth of GCHQ

Alastair Denniston: Code-Breaking from Room 40 to Berkeley Street and the Birth of GCHQ

By: Joel Greenberg (author)Hardback

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Description

Some of the individuals who played key roles in the success of Bletchley Park in reading the secret communications of Britain s enemies during the Second World War have become well-known figures. However, the man who created and led the organisation based there, from its inception in 1919 until 1942, has, surprisingly, been overlooked until now. In 1914 Alastair Denniston, who had been teaching French and German at Osborne Royal Navy College, was one of the first recruits into the Admiralty s fledgling codebreaking section which became known as Room 40. There a team drawn from a wide range of professions successfully decrypted intercepted German communications throughout the First World War. After the Armistice, Room 40 was merged with the British Army s equivalent section MI.1 to form the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS). Initially based in London, from August 1939 GC&CS was largely located at Bletchley Park, with Alastair Denniston as its Operational Director. Denniston was moved in 1942 from military to civilian intelligence at Berkeley Street, London.Small at first, as Enigma traffic diminished towards the end of the Second World War, diplomatic and commercial codebreaking became of increasing importance and a vital part of Britain s signal intelligence effort. GC&CS was renamed the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in June 1946, and moved to the outskirts of Cheltenham. It continues to be the UK s signal intelligence gathering organisation. With the support and assistance of the both the Denniston family and GCHQ, Joel Greenberg, author of Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park s Architect of Ultra Intelligence, has produced this absorbing story of Commander Alexander Alastair Guthrie Denniston OBE, CBE, CMG, RNVR, a man whose death in 1961 was ignored by major newspapers and the very British intelligence organisation that was his legacy.

About Author

Dr Joel Greenberg is an author and historian. He received his PhD in Numerical Mathematics from the University of Manchester (UMIST) in 1973. He worked for the Open University for over 33 years, and held a number of senior management positions at Director level. He has written the authorised biographies of two key figures in the story of signals intelligence, Gordon Welchman and Alastair Denniston. The Welchman book, Gordon Welchman, Bletchley Park's Architect of Ultra Intelligence, is the basis of a joint BBC/Smithsonian Network 2015 documentary about Welchman - The Forgotten Genius of Bletchley Park. The Denniston book, Alastair Denniston, Code-breaking from Room 40 to Berkeley Street and the Birth of GCHQ, is both a biography and an account of signals intelligence from its early development to the birth of GCHQ. Denniston was the first Head of GCHQ and the book was launched at its headquarters on 7 September 2017 in honour of him.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781526709127
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 304
  • ID: 9781526709127
  • ISBN10: 1526709120

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