14 years well spent to live to see return of friendly giant

This is the Colossus, rebuilt after its valves and bones were burnt, popped and scattered, post-WWII, so as not to fall into the wrong hands – even in peacetime – on Mr. Churchill’s orders. In its day, it was the fastest.

The size of a truck, truly colossal, it reduced the length of time it took to decode German messages, encrypted in Enigma, from six days to six hours. Boffins at Bletchley spent 14 years reconstructing Colossus. Let loose on an encrypted radio signal for the first time in over 60 years, said boffins were disappointed at what they thought was a failure. Several valves refused to fire. However, just as they’d given up hope, Colossus’s wheels hummed and whirred with the good news.

We now know what the Germans are up to and it’s all thanks to Colossus, the giant brought back from the brink of oblivion.