Preview Subtitle for Battle Of The Atlantic


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Hidden by London's

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elegant public buildings,
just yards from Trafalgar Square,

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is a dark, forbidding block
known as the 'Citadel'.

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Sixty years ago

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this bunker was at the heart of
the secret war against Hitler's U-boats.

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ln an airless sub-basement,
twenty feet below the ground,

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Naval intelligence sought to track
the enemy in the Atlantic.

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At first, with little success.

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Britain depended on its lifeline
to North America,

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but in the first eighteen months
of war the Germans

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sank more than
five million tons of shipping.

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lt was a battle for survival
and Britain was losing it.

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But in the spring of 1941 ,

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a new source of intelligence began
to flow into the 'Citadel'

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which promised to transform
the battle of the Atlantic,

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and to shape victory from defeat.

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On May 7th, 1941 ,

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a British listening station intercepted

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a signal to a U-boat
on war patrol in the Atlantic.

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lt was from U-boat Headquarters.

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That much was clear.

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But the message itself was in code.

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Dozens of signals like this were
intercepted every day.

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lf sense could be made of them,

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Naval intelligence would be
able to locate an enemy hidden

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in three million square miles of ocean.

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The signal was sent to a U-boat hunting in
the waters south of Greenland - the U-1 10.

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The message was encoded
on an Enigma machine.

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The settings for this
machine would change daily,

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and the tables containing the settings,
were changed every month.

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How safe was the codeΠ

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We were told that the odds were
at least one to a million.

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You could say that it was as safe as
winning the jackpot on the lottery.

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The Enigma machine on its -

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- own wasn't enough to break the code.

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You also needed the code tables.

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The message from headquarters
promised immediate action.

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The first for the U-1 10 in almost two weeks.

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A convoy has been spotted
and we were ordered

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by U-boat Headquarters to try
and intercept it.

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We were at last close enough
to be able to do that.

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[...]
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