UK protects site that housed WWII codebreakers

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LONDON (AP) — The British government has acted to protect a crumbling piece of wartime — and computing — history.

The government said Friday that it has given protected status to the derelict Block C at Bletchley Park, the site northwest of London where mathematicians and cryptographers toiled in secret to crack Nazi communications codes.

Historians believe their work shortened the war by as much as two years.

The steel-and-concrete Block C contained high-speed data processing machines that helped the British crack Germany’s Enigma encryption device.

Heritage Minister John Penrose said Friday that Block C “can be viewed as the birthplace of modern information technology.”

Bletchley Park’s guardians are fundraising to restore the site and turn it into a museum.

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Online:

Bletchley Park: www.bletchleypark.org.uk