Codes of WWII

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by rconn525
Last updated 8 years ago

Social Studies
World War II

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Codes of WWII

2 other codes used during World War II were the SIGABA and the Enigma. These were machines that sent messages through rotating wheels. SIGABA was never deciphered by the enemy, therefore proved to be better than Enigma. THe SIGABA was extremely hard to crack because the machine had fifteen wheels rather than three or four like the Enigma. The Enigma machine was used mostly by the Germans. Although Enigma was occasionally used by the British and Americans, SIGABA was the favored code machine for these Allied countries.

Codes were essential during World War II to send messages of when and how to attack, or the strategies for how to defend. Cracking these codes was even more important. The Allies were very successful at this, and won many battles because of intercepting these messages. Captain Joseph Rochefort was very successful at this. He was the one who desiphered the Japanese codes about their attack on Midway. Capt. Rochefort was able to warn the Navy giving the Allies a head start.

Another form of coded messages used were book chiphers. This form was used mostly by the Japanese. Chiphers were common words that were replaced with a combination of letters and numbers. Each end had a corresponding book that they could look up what each combination meant. Becuase these codes and their meanings were all written on paper, it was easier for the enemy to decipher once they got the books.

America's secret weapon:Navajo Indians were used to pass messages. They carried messages faster and more accurately than any machine available at that time. Their language is one of the rarest spoken, and hardest to learn in the world. Thier language could not be deciphered by non-Navajos, and was never broken. The Navajo messengers were not publically known untill many years after the war had ended.

Back to the Book:Codes were used not only by the military, but also by people hiding Jews, or smuggling Jews out of the country. In the book "The Hiding Place", Corri Ten-Boom, while in solitary confinement, gets a package from her sister-in-law Nollie. When Corrie sees the letter she realizes that the handwriting is slanted. Because she knows Nollie's handwriting and knows that it is never slanted, Corrie looks closer. She sees a little message that says: "The watches are safe in the closet." Throughout the book watches were code name for the Jews they were hiding. This message reassured Corrie that all the Jews were safe and not found by the Nazis.

Codes of World War II


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