A very smart man - one of the few who took down the Shark - Richard Pendered
Richard Pendered, who has died aged 89, was one of the small team of Bletchley Park codebreakers who broke the “Shark” Enigma cipher used by Nazi German U-boats during the Second World War; his work also led directly to the sinking of the battlecruiser Scharnhorst.
He was just 18 when he joined the Government Code and Cipher School (GC&CS) after a year spent reading Mathematics at Magdalene College, Cambridge. It was 1940.
By November 1942, with the wolf packs sinking ever increasing numbers of Allied ships and the codebreakers working night and day to try to find a solution, tempers became frayed. The Admiralty sent Hut 8 a tersely written memorandum, urging it to pay “a little more attention” to Shark and complaining that the Battle of the Atlantic was the only area where Bletchley was having no impact. Then a “pinch” of two “short signal” codebooks, captured by the Royal Navy destroyer Petard off Egypt, allowed the codebreakers back in. It was a vital breakthrough, to which Pendered contributed with what Hugh Alexander called “notable individual feats”.The Telegraph has the details.
We owe Richard Pendered a great deal.
He was "a generous and patient man".
Ave et Vale.