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Publisher's Summary

The untold story of Bletchley Park's key role in the success of the Normandy campaign

Since the secret of Bletchley Park was revealed in the 1970s, the work of its codebreakers has become one of the most famous stories of the Second World War. But cracking the Nazis' codes was only the start of the process. Thousands of secret intelligence workers were then involved in making crucial information available to the Allied leaders and commanders who desperately needed it.

Using previously classified documents, David Kenyon casts the work of Bletchley Park in a new light, as not just a codebreaking establishment but as a fully developed intelligence agency. He shows how preparations for the war's turning point - the Normandy landings in 1944 - had started at Bletchley years earlier, in 1942, with the careful collation of information extracted from enemy signals traffic. This account reveals the true character of Bletchley's vital contribution to success in Normandy and, ultimately, Allied victory.

©2019 David Kenyon (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Bletchley Park and D-Day

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Dry read by a terrible narrator

The book might be easier to read than to listen: long lists of tactical units are difficult to follow in an audiobook. The story lacks coherency - the author jumps from one person to the other without properly developing their specific roles. Maybe that was the whole point - to show Bletchley Park as a single protagonista, an organization based on labour of thousands of employees.

If you are interested in the history of Bletchley Park, I wouldn't recommend this book either - it is focused quite narrowly on, well, the role of Bletchley Park in the invasion.

But it is the narrator that deserves a separate paragraph. I have almost 200 audiobooks on my virtual shelf, and Greg Patmore's is easily one of the worst performances I heard. A dramatised imitation of voices of British officers apparently was intended to liven up the story. It is just ridiculous, though. One would also expect to have a narrator with basic grasp of German pronunciation when dealing with the book on D-Day - and Mr Patmore definitely has none.

You are warned. Listen at your own risk.

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Definitive account of the Intelligence process

David Kenyon gives a comprehensive overview of the nuts and bolts behind the astonishing level of Intelligence gained, and not just highlighting the code breaking stars. He then shows how the information was used, how timely it was - and occasionally wasn’t - and in what ways it helped Allied Commanders.

Greg Patmore’s narration is intelligent and feeling, and gives great varieties of authentic accents to all the nationalities involved, including widely diverging British and German accents. Rather a tour de force. Bravo!

3 people found this helpful

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Just too dry

It’s rare that I don’t finish a book. I’m a WWII buff, but this is really dry stuff. Numbers, acronyms deciphered, when sometimes the acronym is used just a few times, so he might as well just have said it out in full, a lot of dry recitation of information about the work done at Bletchley Park. The narrator did vary his voice and accents to try to make it better to listen to, but I found it not interesting enough. So I cheated and marked this as finished when I was a bit more than halfway through, so I could write a review. It was included with membership, so it was worth a try, but not worth finishing.

1 person found this helpful

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Mind-boggling Complex Task

This is primarily the story of Allied (mostly British) code (cipher) breaking during WWII, and secondarily what impacts it had on the overall war effort and D-Day in particular. It’s focused on German code breaking but includes info about breaking Japanese and other codes as well. What I came away with was profound respect for not just the talented analysts (code breakers), linguists, intelligence experts, and all others who played a part in this multi-year effort, but also for leadership who had a vision for what was possible and provided the resources. The task was Herculean given the multiplicity of codes/ciphers used by various branches of the German military, let alone individual units, and the constantly changing codes/ciphers. This was not a matter of breaking a single code, but involved solving the riddle to constantly changing codes. Amazing story!

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Lots of Good Facts

Really learned a lot. I recommend to anyone interested in WWII, and D-Day in particular.

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Tedious

Narration: mechanical and uninspiring

Story: insipid narration is courages any interest in attending to content, so it is difficult to say how worthy it is.

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Starts extremely slow


Skim the first half of the book. Way too many insignificant details are included; some of them redundant.

All the meat is in the second half of the book.

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Great

This was very good. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in WWII espionage and code breaking.

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A very deep dive into an interesting topic.

This was good very granular but good. If you like World War II history and particularly encryption type stuff this is a good lesson.

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You have to be interested

This is an excellent book, but you do have to be interested in the subject

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  • Guillermo
  • 08-24-19

If you like detail, this is your book

I've read many books about WWII, of which some succeed in bringing a gripping story: Damien Lewis, Ben MacIntyre en Hans Von Luck. This is not such a book. It is rather an index of everything concerned Bletchley Park, in extreme - and tedious - detail. I would ven say: bravo for all the research that went into this. However, the lack (or inability) of storytelling is what kills this book and what made me stop all together. Too bad, because their lies great potential there.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • VJFH
  • 09-19-21

Narrator….

…is absolutely impossible to listen to. What a peculiar and incredibly irritating voice. Is he supposed to sound like some sort of drunk hobbit? No matter how interesting the subject I couldn’t subject myself to more than one chapter.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr Andrew J F Lowe
  • 01-24-22

German Accent becomes very annoying

Interesting and mainly good narration except for the ridiculous and almost comic 'aloh aloh' style German accent, which somewhat spoils the book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kittihawk
  • 11-27-21

Great

Adds more detail to D day story than I have ever heard elsewhere. The narrator can't do accents but is OK.

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  • Gary T.
  • 11-11-21

facts and figures

If you like your facts and figures then this is for you, I am glad that I listened to the book otherwise I would have put it down.

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  • mcfontaine
  • 12-05-19

Brilliantly researched

As a piece of research work, Dr David Kenyon has given us the definitive book in just how GC&CS did their day to day work and how it effected the outcome of one of the most important campaigns.

I was a little disappointed that Blackstone let a few fluffs through around the 3 hour mark ... GC&GS ... Von Rumsfeld, jumped out. Also some of the ‘impressions’ by the narrator were verging on the comical.

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  • Kay L.
  • 10-28-21

Good story spoiled by the narration

I wanted to learn more about Bletchley, so I persevered but it was painful. The story was good but the book was “read” rather then “narrated”. I certainly did not find myself drawn into the story. This is the first time I have come across it in a audiobook and I hate to say it, but the narrator sounded “common” and a high pitched voice did not help.