Sunday, 14 December 2014

What I did on my holidays (sort of)....

Movie reviews haven't appeared on this blog so far, mainly as I don't attend the cinema very often, but I recently watched The Imitation Game, starring Benedict Oddname.


 
 
 Incidentally, I used to lust after his mother when she was in UFO back in the day - and who could blame me:
 
 
The delightful Wanda Ventham.
 
Anyway - The Imitation Game - This was an excellent film, with only a few moments that us military buffs would find fault with (I won't spoil it for you by mentioning them!). It tells the story of Alan Turing, and how he led the struggle to decode the German Enigma code in WW2, and although it simplifies the decoding process for the sake of the plot, it tells that story remarkably well. There's not much mention of the groundwork done by the Polish cryptologists, or of the role of the huts at Bletchley Park itself, but it's still enjoyable for all that.

Watching it reminded me of the Enigma machine I saw whilst in France earlier this year - Part of the Normandy Battlefields Tour took us to the Falaise Pocket, and the fascinating museum sited at Mont Ormel, at the spot where the Allies attempted to close the gap on the retreating German Army:

Mont Ormel Museum


 At some point I will post some of the many pictures I took whilst in the pocket, but for now here's one of the Enigma machine itself from the museum. The retreating germans had hidden this particular machine in a hollow tree trunk within the pocket, and it was not discovered until the 1990's when the tree trunk was burnt (hence the obvious damage):


 
Despite said damage, you can clearly see the rotors and keyboards, and get some idea of the size of the machine - it weighs in at around 26 pounds, so would have been pretty heavy to heft around the battlefield unaided. Incidentally, if you have an intact one lying around the house, you may like to know that the last Enigma machine that went to auction (in 2011) realised over £132,000!
 
 
Until next time..............