Tommy Flowers MBE (Thomas Harold Flowers, 22 December 1905 – 28 October 1998) was a British engineer. During World War II, Flowers designed Colossus, the world's first programmable electronic computer, to help solve encrypted German messages.
Thomas Harold Flowers
Tommy Flowers - possibly taken around the time he was at Bletchley Park
|Died||28 October 1998 (aged 92)|
Mill Hill, London, England
|Spouse(s)||Eileen Margeret Green|
A Mark 2 redesign with 2,400 valves had begun before the first computer was finished. The first Mark 2 Colossus went into service at Bletchley Park on 1 June 1944, and immediately produced vital information for the imminent D-Day landing.
Flowers had a crucial meeting with Dwight D. Eisenhower and his staff on 5 June. A courier handed Eisenhower a note summarizing a Colossus decrypt. This confirmed that Hitler wanted no additional troops moved to Normandy, as he was still convinced that the preparations for the Normandy invasion were a diversionary feint. Eisenhower announced to his staff, "We go tomorrow".
Earlier, a report from Field Marshall Rommel on the western defences was decoded by Colossus and showed that one of the drop sites for a US parachute division was the base of a German tank division. The site was changed.
Years later, Flowers described the design and construction of these computers.
- Flowers, Thomas H. 2006. D-Day at Bletchley Park, in Copeland B.J. (ed) Colossus: the secrets of Bletchley Park's codebreaking computers. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 78–83. ISBN 978-0-19-284055-4
- 'Station X'
- Howard, Campaigne (1983). "The design of Colossus: Thomas H. Flowers". Annals of the History of Computing. 5 (3): 239. Retrieved 2007-10-12.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)