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Operation Bletchley

Operation Bletchley: Day 4 Sitrep

Operation Bletchley is raising money for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, the National Charity of the British Army and you can make a real difference. Established amongst the planning for D-Day in 1944, the charity was created to ensure that every soldier, veteran and family member in need receives the help they require.

The Fundraising

It is not too late to join me. Sign up here: https://events.soldierscharity.org/operation-bletchley

If the challenge is not for you, then you can contribute by sponsoring me: https://events.soldierscharity.org/fundraisers/RuthWillmore/operation-bletchley-balkans

Stories below are all courtesy of Operation Bletchley and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, not my own work.

Berlin : 40 Miles

I had an important briefing with the Intelligence Corps’ 903 Field Security Section (FSS). They are working around the clock to beat the Soviet blockade in the East.

They needed me to kick off this year by braving the cold in East Germany. My mission began at British HQ Fehrbelliner Platz, Wilmersdorf. I arrived just in time to help serve dinner to the local children. The smell of hot turkey, gravy and crispy roast potatoes filled the air, giving me comfort for the perilous journey ahead. I met with the Section Sergeant Major of the Field Security Section. He arranged for an Army jeep to drop me north of the airfield at Royal Air Force (RAF) Gatow in the British zone, but I had to cover the last four miles on foot.

The Black Market

It was a frosty walk to my checkpoint at RAF Gatow in the British zone, but the sight of sweets drifting down to the local children certainly helped to warm my heart. They were dropped by a Handley Page Hastings and drifted down on little handkerchief parachutes.

I made contact with a 16-year-old boy at the airbase. I couldn’t talk for long, but he managed to share some vital intelligence about the black market activity in the Soviet zone.

It appears that supplies from the West are being smuggled to East Berlin where Soviet troops are selling them on. With the intelligence from my informant the smuggling routes can be blocked. Just before he left, the boy handed me a coded message from his relative in the Mitte district of the Soviet zone.

Day 11st January 20221.71 miles walked
Day 22nd January 20221.48 miles walked
Day 33rd January 20221.75 miles walked
Day 44th January 20221.39 miles walked

6.32 miles walked 33.68 miles to go

CodeJuniorCodebreakerCypher Expert
1SolvedSolvedSolved
2not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
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The Balkans : 80 Miles

I received a briefing from Brigadier Fitzroy Maclean. It appears the civil war in Yugoslavia is at boiling point. War crimes are being committed by every faction, with daily executions of civilians and ethnic cleansing throughout the nation.

The British Secret Intelligence Service has smuggled explosives and ammunition into the country to aid Tito’s partisans, but the supplies were lost in the anarchy. So my mission will be two-fold: support Tito’s troops in their fight against the Nazis, and report any intelligence back to Bletchley Park along the way.

Churchill plans to make his support for Tito public when he briefs parliament on the Yugoslav campaign. But he needs to be sure about his strategic ambitions first. Until then, this is all top secret stuff. So I stayed off the roads, took the path less trodden and tried to keep myself two steps ahead.

A Frosty Reception

I boarded a Douglas C-47 in the small hours and rumbled through the night sky towards Yugoslavia. As the aircraft lined up over the drop zone on the outskirts of Jajce, I glimpsed signs of civilization twinkling across the town like shooting stars. The hatch opened, sending a rush of cold air up my spine. And suddenly there was nothing left to do but jump.

Plummeting towards earth, the deafening roar of the C-47 was replaced with another, more sinister sound. As I fell, the distant ding and pop of gunfire rose to meet me. Not shooting stars, after all…

I touched down undetected, gathered up my chute and picked a path through the trees to stay out of sight. I arrived at Brigadier Maclean’s old base just after dawn and was met by Tito’s liaison officer. He explained that Tito was visiting his commanders in the mountains.

The LO introduced my to my colleagues from the Special Operations Executive (SOE). They shared news of a major Nazi offensive in the works and sent me off towards Velisca with supplies to aid the cause. Peeking into the package, I found a slip of paper sticking out between the explosives. It was a coded message from my SOE colleagues.

Day 11st January 20224.22 miles walked
Day 22nd January 20223.84 miles walked
Day 33rd January 20224.36 miles walked
Day 44th January 20223.56 miles walked

15.98 miles walked 64.02 miles to go

CodeJuniorCodebreakerCypher Expert
1SolvedSolvedBaffled so far
2not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
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I had better get out for another walk!

Operation Bletchley Progess

Operation Bletchley: Day 31 Mission Accomplished

In the end I walked over 110 miles in January, including a couple of walks over three miles. I have seen starling murmurations, and wandered around both Criccieth and Porthmadog. I have caught plenty of Pokemon, and seen signs of spring. The Fundraising You can sponsor me until the end of February 2022. https://events.soldierscharity.org/fundraisers/RuthWillmore/operation-bletchley-balkans If […]

Operation Bletchley: Day 28 Sitrep

I carried on walking, after all I still have Pokemon to catch, and Stepbet and Waybetter challenges to make. It has been a busy week – a new job, assignments due for Strathclyde and two Pharos courses… I did fit in a bit of codebreaking, and the weekend diary is cleared to finish the mission. […]

Operation Bletchley: Day 24 Sitrep

New job day! Very exciting, and not much walking or codebreaking! But I had a codebreaking session yesterday, with lots of help from Mum, and we cracked quite a lot. A walk late afternoon a few days ago to see the starling murmurations helped a lot with getting to the walking targets. The Fundraising Operation […]

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