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Operation Bletchley

Operation Bletchley: Day 12 Sitrep

Over one third of the way through. It has been cold and wet, but we have finally had a couple of nice days where walking hasn’t felt like a chore.

The Fundraising

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.

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

12 miles – Fair Trade

The latest intelligence led me to the former Pioneer training school of the German Army. It was the same site that the Germans signed their surrender in 1945, but now it’s being used for the Headquarters of the Soviet Military Administration. I was dropped by the Rummelsburg railway sidings dressed in a workman’s disguise, then I walked the remaining two miles on foot through the Soviet zone.

I met my contact while delivering a sack of potatoes to the kitchens. They handed me a package containing more film and coded papers, then they were gone. On my way out of the Soviet HQ, I spotted an MGB officer checking the workers’ papers. Luckily, a civilian lorry was there to help me get away. The driver took me nearly all the way back to HQ, I just had to cover the final two miles on foot. 
Back at the British HQ, I handed over the kitchen worker’s intelligence. I learned that the Ulbricht Group of East German Communists are controlling aid being sent over the Berlin Air Corridor. I also found out that journalist, Markus Wolf, has been distributing anti-western propaganda to the workforce. By stopping their activity, the Western allies can restore the fair distribution of food throughout Berlin.

At the bottom of the package, I discovered a coded message from the kitchen worker.

16 miles – Hungry Traveller

My latest journey took you to a beach near the Wannsee Villa – where the Nazi’s planned the Final Solution. The rendezvous is in the American zone, so I was able to travel in a FSS jeep without too much trouble. At least, that was the plan. The jeep broke down on a bridge over the Kleiner Wannsee, leaving me to travel the last couple of miles on foot.

I arrived safely at the beach to meet my contact. He cut a gaunt, fragile figure, and I soon realised why. He was a German prisoner of war trying to get back to the British zone after being captured by the Soviets. I rummaged through my bag to find him a corned beef sandwich. He took it gratefully and began to share his story.

The prisoner had travelled through Czechoslovakia just weeks after the coup d’etat that installed a pro-Moscow regime. On my journey back to HQ, he shares more details of his journey, but none of it proves very useful in the fight against the Soviet blockade.

Then, just when I think all hope is lost, he hands me a coded document he received from a fellow prisoner.

Day 99th January 20221.25 miles walked
Day 1010th January 20221.54 miles walked
Day 1111th January 20221.63 miles walked
Day 1212th January 20221.29 miles walked

18.45 miles walked 21.55 miles to go

CodeJuniorCodebreakerCypher Expert
1SolvedSolvedSolved
2SolvedSolveddrawing lots of lines
3SolvedSolvedSolved
4SolvedReceivedReceived
5not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
6not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
7not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
8not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
9not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
10not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received

The Balkans : 80 Miles

32 miles – Friends in High Places

I left the shepherd’s hut behind and set off for Glavica, grateful for the growing warmth of the rising sun. Checking my map, I made my way through the dense woodland south of the plain. Trees flicked snow from their branches like dogs shaking off the rain. The snowstorm was over, at least for now.

I reached Glavica in good spirits. There was no sign of the courier’s VIP, so I struck up a friendly conversation with a local farmer who offered me a seat outside and meal of warming, hearty soup.

As I soaked up the scraps with a hunk of bread, a young and enthusiastic partisan leader arrived. He had vital information about a sabotage operation on the railway that needs extra support from allied forces. I called it in to Bletchley Park, who plan to arrange a supply drop by the RAF. Then the partisan leader led me along the road to another set of farm buildings to meet with the VIP. It was none other than the Prime Minister’s son and fellow SOE agent, Randolph Churchill.

Churchill shares details of Tito’s forces in the area and urges me to commit them to memory. I can’t afford to be caught with this information written down. He then introduces youme to one of Tito’s personal staff officers, Olga Humo, who will guide me to your next rendezvous. Just before Churchill leaves, he hands you another coded message to solve

40 Miles – Shelter From The Storm

I spent the night in Glavica to resting my legs and was woken by a howling blizzard whistling through the windows. As I sat up, rubbing the sleep from my weary eyes, there was a sharp knock at the door. It was Olga Humo, ready to lead me to my rendezvous. So I packed up your things, pulled my hat down tight and stepped out into the cold.

The storm was a welcome camouflage to protect me from Bulgarian military forces in the area. But it was also a curse – stinging and unrelenting. Along the way, I learned that Olga joined the partisans after escaping from a Ustashi prison. She was pregnant at the time. But reluctant to make her shout her story over the searing wind, I decided to leave the conversation there. I arrived in Vasici to find little more than heavy vehicle tracks and discarded rations, quickly being covered with snow. The blizzard was intensifying, so Olga led you on towards a forester’s hut in Paljevine, where you could get some respite.

Olga shared valuable information about Tito and warned me of tensions between Chetniks and Bosnians in the area. Then it was time to part ways. But before setting off for her partisan headquarters, she gave me directions to Vitoroga, where I’ll find my next contact. She also gave me a coded message to solve.

Day 99th January 20222.74 miles walked
Day 1010th January 20224.31 miles walked
Day 1111th January 20224.25 miles walked
Day 1212th January 20223.5 miles walked

45.79 miles walked 34.21 miles to go

CodeJuniorCodebreakerCypher Expert
1SolvedSolvedBaffled so far
2SolvedSolvedNeed a lightbulb moment!
3SolvedSolvedSolved
4SolvedI thought I couldSolved
5SolvedReceivedReceived
6not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
7not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
8not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
9not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received
10not yet receivednot yet receivednot yet received

Over half way through the Balkans, but not quite halfway to Berlin. I had better do some longer walks!

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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