Skip to main content

The Organisation of the Government Code and Cypher School

  • Chapter

Abstract

The Government Code and Cypher School underwent considerable change during the Second World War. The agency left the interwar period built on a collegiate model, but over the course of the war GC&CS mechanised and bureaucratised its processes and increasingly came to resemble a factory operated on production-line principles. The problem of attacking mechanised cipher systems required a mechanised cryptanalytic approach. The wholesale incorporation of machines fundamentally altered the agency. The machine sections operated on factory principles, far removed in both organisational and operational terms from the cryptanalysis sections which operated on collegiate principles. Mechanisation allowed GC&CS to process vast numbers of Axis wireless transmissions. The scale of the agency’s success necessitated the incorporation of a vast index and catalogue of information derived from those transmissions, which itself demanded a dedicated mechanised section. The addition of these sections, and with them numerous new staff members, increased the administrative and clerical demands on the agency and new sections emerged to address these problems. The result was that numerous new sections were incorporated into the agency over the course of the war and that the mandate of pre-existing sections changed.

Keywords

  • Service Section
  • Communication Section
  • Interwar Period
  • Punch Card
  • Service Traffic

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1057/9781137484932_2
  • Chapter length: 25 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-137-48493-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   89.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. J. D. Scott and R. Hughes, The Administration of War Production (London, 1955 ), p. 84.

    Google Scholar 

  2. William Hornby, Factories and Plant (London, 1958), p. 204.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Christopher Grey and Andrew Sturdy, ‘The 1942 Reorganization of the Government Code & Cypher School’, Cryptologia, 32 (4) (2008), p. 318.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  4. D. R. Nicoll, ‘Jones, Sir Eric Malcolm (1907–1986)’, rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/40175 (accessed 22 May 2012 ).

    Google Scholar 

  5. Phyllis Coles, ‘Interview with Phyllis Coles’, in Dave Whitchurch (ed.), Other People’s Stories, vol. 5, Bletchley Park Trust Archive, 2002, p. 39.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Copyright information

© 2015 Christopher Smith

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Smith, C. (2015). The Organisation of the Government Code and Cypher School. In: The Hidden History of Bletchley Park. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137484932_2

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137484932_2

  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-349-69489-1

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-137-48493-2

  • eBook Packages: Palgrave History CollectionHistory (R0)