The Turing Welchman Bombe Rebuild
The Turing Bombe Rebuild
"This electromechanical counting machine was designed to eliminate variables at high speed. Its action was described as 'machines that go on ticking until they reach a combination that will cause them to produce an output'; hence bombe."

Photo: The Turing Welchman Bombe Rebuild in B Block © LSA August 2015.
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BP Press Release 16 July 2007: Bletchley Park and the BCS celebrate the completion of the Bombe Rebuild

On 17 July 2007, to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the British Computer Society, the Bombe Rebuild will be switched on after 12 years of meticulous reconstruction.

On Tuesday 17 July a replica Bombe machine based on those that cracked 'unbreakable' Nazi Enigma codes during the Second World War will be unveiled to the public for the first time. The Bombe will form the centrepiece of the newly-opened dedicated display at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes. It will be unveiled by HRH Duke of Kent, Patron of the British Computer Society (BCS) to mark 50 years of the organisation, which represents 60, 000 IT professionals across the UK.

For the first time in 60 years the public will be able to imagine what it was like to work on the noisy code-cracking machines at Bletchley Park, thanks to 12 years of dedicated work by a team of enthusiasts to rebuild the British Turing Bombe. Its completion by the BCS-funded Computer Conservation Society coincides with the 50th anniversary of the BCS, the leading membership organisation for IT professionals. To commemorate the efforts of the machines' WRN operatives during the war and their contribution to the early history of computing, the BCS has also recorded a number of surviving women veterans' stories for a specially-created website resource for school history lessons. These oral histories describe the relentless timetable set up at Bletchley and various outstations around the country to help Bletchley Park's cryptographers decode over 3000 enemy messages a day. They also give a vivid insight into life during the war for the women, many of whom were not aware of the nature of the work until they arrived at the Park.

The Bombe was the brainchild of mathematical genius Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman, combined with the engineering skills of the British Tabulating Machine Company in Hertfordshire. Without the information it provided, the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the North Atlantic could have been lost, making a British surrender a distinct possibility. At the very least, it is said the total work at Bletchley Park helped shorten the war by up to two years, thereby sparing this country from an even deadlier form of aerial bombardment! Turing's work also paved the way for the computer technology we are all so familiar with today.

Hut 11 - The Bombe Unit  
The Bombe Unit  
Welcome to the Bombe Unit. The seemingly ramshackle huts were heavily strengthened with reinforced concrete and supported by RSJs (Rolled Steel Joists) to protect them against possible air strikes. Such was the importance of the work taking place within.

Photo: Hut 11 - Home of the original Bombe Unit © LSA August 2015.
The Bombe Rebuild  
The Bombe Rebuild
A closer look at the Bombe Rebuild exhibition which was once housed in B Block.

Photo: The Bombe Rebuild in B Block © LSA July 2007.
Dedicated to Margaret Davies who, during the war, worked on a lathe for BTM Letchworth making components for the Bombes.
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