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Digit

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Anyone watch the BBC programme earlier this evening?

Roy.
 

Setch

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Yep. Excellent stuff, albeit a bit superficial if you've read up much on the subject. The maths eludes me as my brain isn't wired that way, but the technical achievements and raw smarts on display is amazing. Such as shame so many involved ended up treated poorly, not least Alan Turing.
 

Digit

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Turing was bloody crucified, he wasn't considered a security risk during the war but became one afterwards.
One of the problems faced by people like Flowers was that the powers that be simply did not understand what they were doing!
Flowers received an award after the war of £1000, Barnes Wallis got ten times that, but like Flowers gave it away.
I worked with a chap who new Flowers and he was very bitter at the way Tommy was treated.
I liked the comment about 'many at BP would have been unemployable in Germany,' Turing was certainly an odd ball!

Roy.

PS. If you want further evidence of how the establishment could dung on civilians read this, very enlightening!

http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j& ... Hw&cad=rja
 

Benchwayze

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Digit":29pemq3e said:
T
One of the problems faced by people like Flowers was that the powers that be simply did not understand what they were doing!
Nothing changes does it? :evil:

Quite agree about the programme of course. Absolutely engrossing stuff. The maths aspect intrigued me too. Above my head, but intriguing! I think we were lucky the huts weren't bulldozed, before their historic significance sank in. For once, politicians dragging their feet, resulted in something worthwhile being available for subsequent preservation.

Regards
John :)
 

bosshogg

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Also watched aunty later on the building of the Wellington bomber LN-514, from scratch to finish in 24hrs, they actually beat this time believe it or not, mostly women.
Both were brilliant programmes, showed well the British spirit of the time...bosshogg :)
Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.

Judy Garland 
 

Digit

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As I posted earlier I worked with an ex-GPO engineer and new pretty much the whole story, but what came as a complete surprise was the fact that colossus wasn't destroyed, common sense reigned there at least.
If you get a chance to read that book I mentioned John you'll learn of another unsung hero.
Jack Nissenthal was an East end Jew of German extraction IIRC who went on the raid to gain German radar equipment, he knew many of the Allies radar secrets and orders were that the Germans should not get him alive!
Mountbatten was furious when he found out and attempts were made to award a VC.
He was unrecognised and retired to Canada to run a TV business. He changed his name to Nissen.
There's another fascinating tale of such recounted by Neville Shute as to how the allies sank U-Boats with concrete warheads!

Roy.
 

Digit

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I joined the aircraft industry in 1956 boss when many of the old hands were still about and many stories have still to be told. You may well know that all Spitfires from the Mk11 onwards were fitted as standard with the DeHavilland constant speed prop.
They weren't!
They were made in America by Hamilton but the Americans were neutral!

Roy.
 

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When people these days bang on about the so-called (in my view non-existent) class system in place, They really ened to look back to the early half of the 1900's when the class system was the prevailing system in the country. Even during the war, it was very apparent. Reading books by Alex Henshaw "Sigh of a Merlin" (he was the main Spitfire test pilot at Castle Bromwich) and latterly "Empire of the Clouds" makes uncomfortable reading. So many unsung hero's because they didn't have that silver spoon.

And, of course, it happens in other spheres. For example, the fact that Dame Dr. Susan Jocelyn Bell Burnell never got to share the Nobel prize because she was a woman and at that time women in science were considered not really true scientists and it was 'the man' who was the brains and driving force.
 

Benchwayze

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Digit":19r57r6i said:
There's another fascinating tale of such recounted by Neville Shute as to how the allies sank U-Boats with concrete warheads!

Roy.
I do know for sure that during the fifties, the Americans refused to accept the potential of the 'Limbo' anti-sub mortar. (The successor, to the Hedgehog and the Squid weapons.) They believed they could evade our detection systems and the 'gauntlet' was thrown.

Their submarine limped back to Portland with a concrete filled, anti-sub depth-bomb embedded in the casing! 8)

The photograph was in HMS Vernon for years. I often wonder what happened to it!

John
 

Digit

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So many unsung hero's because they didn't have that silver spoon.
Also history has a funny way of changing. Wheatstone didn't invent the Wheatstone Bridge, Stevenson didn't invent the Blast Pipe, Watt didn't invent the steam engine, Whittle didn't invent the gas turbine and I wonder how many people know who invented the Radio valve?
Even the Wright brother's claim is suspect.

Roy.
 

Chems

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Setch":20o88u06 said:
Yep. Excellent stuff, albeit a bit superficial if you've read up much on the subject. The maths eludes me as my brain isn't wired that way, but the technical achievements and raw smarts on display is amazing. Such as shame so many involved ended up treated poorly, not least Alan Turing.
Extremely dummed down for TV like you say, but understandably so. Alan and Tutte and the others may not have been recognized in their time, but I've sat in more than one lecture and they have been introduced as the fathers of modern computing and ai as we know, so at least some of it is been set right.
 

Benchwayze

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Chems":kwpr2kkv said:
Setch":kwpr2kkv said:
Yep. Excellent stuff, albeit a bit superficial if you've read up much on the subject. The maths eludes me as my brain isn't wired that way, but the technical achievements and raw smarts on display is amazing. Such as shame so many involved ended up treated poorly, not least Alan Turing.
Extremely dummed down for TV like you say, but understandably so. Alan and Tutte and the others may not have been recognized in their time, but I've sat in more than one lecture and they have been introduced as the fathers of modern computing and ai as we know, so at least some of it is been set right.
Simplified maybe. Still a darn sight more riveting than the 'adventure' film, "Enigma" (The book though, written around what could have been a a rather dry subject, wasn't too bad. )

John :)
 

Chems

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Yeah un-doubtly a really good watch, I'd have liked a little more depth to the actual breaking of the code but I'm probably a small minority.

Between this, Mummifying Alan on C4, the restart of Man lab on bbc and Frozen planet tonight its turning into a good week of TV which is VERY rare!
 

Digit

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Talking of codes and cyphers and unsung heroes, I forget the name of the book BTW, but after the Dunkirk evacuation is seems little known that the fighting didn't cease then. The 51st Highland Division fought on till forced to surrender. So many officers were lost that they were surrendered by their medical officer.
I forget the details but one officer allowed himself to be captured, I think it was the MO, he carried with him the code to be used by POWs when writing home.
As soldiers passed through his camp certain ones were entrusted with the code.
One story I particularly like as it demonstrates the 'Boy Scout' attitude of some Brits at the time. It was again recounted by Neville Shute.
People he worked with would produce 'Wireless' sets that were installed in to standard military cases then stamped with a suffix, indicating that there were non-standard.
The were then shot up using Germand small arms rounds and left during a withdrawal for the German troops to find.
Apparently German troops had been instructed to recover all such equipment.
The 'Joke' was that the 'Wireless' sets did nothing!
The Germans then had to spend valuable hours attempting to rebuild these sets to see what frequency etc the Brits might be using.
Even when they realised that they had been caught they still had to examine everything just in case they had the genuine article.
Shute reckoned it cost the Germans thousands of skilled man hours!

Roy.
 

Benchwayze

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Chems":19kkcr36 said:
Yeah un-doubtly a really good watch, I'd have liked a little more depth to the actual breaking of the code but I'm probably a small minority.

Between this, Mummifying Alan on C4, the restart of Man lab on bbc and Frozen planet tonight its turning into a good week of TV which is VERY rare!
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, though but!
We'd better make the most of it. 'Apprentice' is back, and 'Strictly Come Prancing' is gathering momentum. Even if you don't watch these pesky programmes, you have to put up with 'personal appearances' on programmes that you do watch!
Thank Heaven for David Attenborough, and a bit of wonder! :)

John
 

Harbo

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I like "Origins of Us" too.

The bit about why we walk upright, the size of our brains, and that our saliva contains 6x more enzymes for digesting starches than our nearest species Chimpanzee. Showing that our diet at one time was mainly plants!
 

bugbear

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Digit":2z513sq8 said:
As I posted earlier I worked with an ex-GPO engineer and new pretty much the whole story
Really? - I thought the BP people were famous for not even telling their wives or lovers what they did, let alone how they did it.

You must be a very charming man... :D :D :D

BugBear
 

bosshogg

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Worked with a fellow Patternmaker, back in the sixties, he and many others worked on the Mosquito light bomber/fighter, which was mostly made of wood. The stories this man told (very reservedly) about his war experiences, ended up in the camp of Changi, was enough to appreciate the personal liberties given by so many during this time...bosshogg
 

Digit

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This was well into the late sixties BB when the story first began to break, and I think you missed what I said. The chap I knew was never at BP, the men at Dollis Hill must have had a fair idea what they were working on, sfter all, they can't have been complete idiots!

You must be a very charming man..
I am, I am! Ask Jacob! :lol:

Roy.
 

Digit

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Very true Boss. The GPO chap I knew had been a regular sergeant in the Signals and was wounded in the retreat from Burma and had to be left behind. He was found by some chaps from one of the hill tribes, he was repatriated after the allied advance when he weighed 7 stone, from the 14 plus he had been.
Throughout the time I knew him he sufferred recurrent bouts of Malaria and never regained his previous weight.

Roy.
 
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