Hijacking Enigma - The Insiders Story
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The theft from Bletchley Park in 2000 of the legendary Enigma machine, the device used by the Allies to decode German messages during World War II, was an altogether novel and frightening twist on recent history. Closely followed by the British media, the theft of the Enigma machine was later revealed to be part of a well-orchestrated hate campaign against Bletchley Park's new director, Christine Large. Hijacking Enigma is her story, a harrowing insider's look at what's it's like to be at the centre of a complex cat-and-mouse game and media frenzy.


Christine Large continues a line of individualistic Bletchley Park directors. Her career began with a law degree and includes private sector business roles and voluntary work. She has been employed by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes, has been a university lecturer in business studies, a CBI London council member, chaired the governing body of London’s largest state primary school and chaired a national charity.
She helped Bletchley Park as a volunteer for eighteen months before being appointed its director in 1998. Christine’s mother-in-law worked at Bletchley Park during the war and her father-in-law retrieved Allied spies from overseas for Special Operations Executive. Her mission is to build on the codebreaking pioneers’ work, transforming the site into a heritage park famed for education and technology innovation.
Christine lives in London and is married with two daughters. Her hobbies include playing the cello and learning Russian.


About the Author.



1. Alice Digs In.

2. The Vanishing.

3. Rules and Regulations.

4. A Mock Turtle.

5. The Alphabet Cipher.

6. Nonsense From Letters.

7. Serpent!

8. The Hunting.

9. A Little Bill.

10. Rules of Battle.

11. Dream of Money-Bags.

12. Cold, Cold Sea

13. Cat And Mouse.

14. Misunderstanding.

15. Knots.

16. Man At The Helm.

17. The Landing.

18. A Cunning Conspiracy.

19. The Professor's Song.

20. White Knight.

21. Lobster Quadrille.

22. Birthday Presents.

23. Petty Cash.

24. Hush! Hush!

25. Knave In Chains.

26. Stuff And Nonsense.

27. Alice's Evidence.

28. Magic Watch.

29. A Tangled Tale.

30. White Kid Gloves.

31. Golden Afternoon.

32. Dead Reckoning.





"...this book is an excellent read, and well paced throughout. It is also surprisingly, full of humour." (Sunday Mercury, 28 March 2004)

"...with spies and detectives, history and extortion , this is more astounding than a Bond film." (Good Book Guide, April 2004)

"...detective story that describes the cat-and-mouse plot played out between the police and the thief of ...[the] Enigma machine..." (Museums Journal, April 2004)

"...a fascinating story with many photographs and flashbacks..." (Cryptolgia, July 2005)

The hijacking of the Enigma  machine and its dramatic return to the glare of the Newsnight programme certainly brought Bletchley Park to the public’s  attention in a way that the villain who perpetrated the crime had probably never intended. There are many excellent books and articles and a website covering the various aspects of Bletchley Park’s  codebreaking activities and the uses made of  its secret intelligence in helping to win the war. Christine Large has now cleverly succeeded in bringing the story up-to-date in Hijacking Enigma by linking codebreaking and the successful police work in recovering Bletchley’s jewel in the crown, the German Secret Service, Abwehr machine. The skills are remarkably similar; determination to crack the problem whatever the odds, lateral thinking and connecting seemingly unrelated evidence, exploiting the psychology of the quarry and waiting for him to make the fatal careless mistake that allows a ‘way in’, the art of double cross and above all  total commitment to the job and keeping your mouth shut in the knowledge that men’s lives depend on it. Christine Large, the Director of the Bletchley Park Trust, who has herself  demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the job and resourcefulness, says that she hopes that the wartime Bletchley ethos might inspire a ‘new generation of pathfinders’. The Trust’s efforts and aspirations  deserve all the support the public can give and it is to be hoped that the heritage bodies will come together to ensure the  long-term future for Bletchley Park that it deserves; this book cannot but help the cause.

Mavis Batey, World War II codebreaker at Bletchley Park.

Congratulations, I enjoyed the book enormously. The construction is ingenious and it is pacey and well-written.

Sir Christopher Chataway.

An intriguing book - two intertwined tales of mystery and intrigue.

Adam Hart-Davis, TV presenter and best-selling author of What the Romans Did for Us.

A mystery worthy of the codebreakers of Bletchley Park.

Robert Harris, best selling author of Enigma, Pompeii and Selling Hitler.

An astonishing tale of mystery with more twists than a Jeffrey Archer novel.  

Michael Smith, best-selling author of Station X: The Codebreakers of Bletchley Park and other works.


With delightful irony, this book combines the fascinating history of Enigma with a modern detective story. Hijacking Enigma gets right under the skin of the investigation, in which the famous Enigma machine was instrumental in its own recovery. I have heard it said many times that ‘you don’t get many of these in your career!’, meaning this type of extraordinary, high-profile case, where an intelligent criminal plays a cat-and-mouse game with his prey. The full essence of the police work is vividly captured in the story, which features many unusual characters and events.

Sir Charles Pollard, Chairman of the Justice Research Consortium, and former Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police.