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World War I Letters - 1 - University of Arizona

Scherbius, the inventor of the ENIGMA machine, initially had trouble selling his idea to the German military. It was not until 1925, when Germans discovered that the British had broken their codes in World War I that they decided to implement the expensive, but extremely secure, ENIGMA (Singh, 141-142). In 1914, the German cruiser Magdeburg ran aground, and in haste to abandon ship, only destroyed three of their four copies of the German naval codebook. The Russians subsequently recovered the codebook, and turned it over to the British, who conveniently monitored the majority of German naval traffic throughout the war. British cryptanalysis also decoded the famous Zimmerman telegram, a major factor in the US decision to enter the war. Germany did not realize the cause of her naval frustrations until Churchill made public the dramatic tale of the Magdeburg. Germany now knew the importance of having a strong cryptosystem (Kahn, Codebreakers 972).

Actress Jane Fonda visited North Vietnam in 1972, making her infamous with American war supporters

Kelly Moore, Disrupting Science: Social Movements, American Scientists, and the Politics of the Military, 1945-1975 (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2008); Michael Albert, Remembering Tomorrow: From SDS to Life After Capitalism-a Memoir (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2006), pp. 97, 99; and Richard Lyman, Stanford in Turmoil: Campus Unrest, 1966-1972 (Palo Alto, CA: Stanford University Press, 2009), pp. 136, 180-181. On Bechtel, see Sally Denton, The Profiteers: Bechtel and the Men Who Built the World (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2016), pp. 84, 85.

Letter World War Ii and Letters Sent Home Essay - …

Nixon’s secret plan to end the war (Herb Block, Aug. 1972, Library of Congress)

With the JN25 code sufficiently broken, OP-20-GY began to use its deciphered information to aid in the US war effort. Perhaps their greatest contribution to World War II resulted in the US victory at the Battle of Midway. In April and May of 1942, US cryptanalysts learned of a massive offensive being planned at a location simply called 'AF' by the Japanese. The Japanese would have a small diversionary strike on the Aleutian Islands, and then attack with the majority of her Navy on 'AF'. Admiral Nimitz and other military and cryptological advisors suspected Midway Island as the target 'AF', so they sent the message 'Midway is short on fresh water' through a channel that was known to be broken by the Japanese. Fortunately for the Americans, a few days later codebreakers read a Japanese message stating 'AF is short on fresh water', confirming their suspicions. As a result, the US ignored the diversion in the Aleutians, and caught the Japanese Navy off guard at Midway (Kahn, Codebreakers 567-573). In the battle, the Japanese lost four carriers and 3500 men, while the US only lost only one carrier and 307 men. This victory gave the US the advantage in the Pacific theatre. Admiral Nimitz said that the victory at Midway "was essentially a victory of intelligence," giving credit to the cryptanalysts who provided his information (Singh 191-192). After Midway, Japanese military leaders suspected that their naval codes had been compromised, but considered this possibility too outrageous, and instead attributed it to chance. They continued to use the same compromised codes ("Secrets of War").

Racial violence tested blacks' patriotic resolve. On July 2, 1917, in East St. Louis, tensions between black and white workers sparked a bloody four-day riot that left upwards of 125 black residents dead and the nation shocked. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) responded by holding a Silent Protest Parade in New York City on July 28, 1917. Eight thousand marchers, the men dressed in black and the women and children in white, solemnly advanced down Fifth Avenue to the sound of muffled drums and holding signs such as the one that read, Mr. President, why not make America safe for democracy.

World War 1: American Soldier's Letters Home

Jeffrey Race, War Comes to Long An (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), p. 67.

Another great achievement in the Pacific attributed to US codebreakers was the assassination of Admiral Yamamoto, the Japanese Commander in Chief. Cryptanalysts informed Nimitz when they received information that Yamamoto's plane would be flying within the attack range of fighter planes at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal Island. However, Yamamoto would be at the very end of their range, making it an extremely risky mission. However, Singh describes Yamato as renowned for being "compulsively punctual" (191), so Nimitz felt confident that they could successfully attack the plane even though fuel limitations gave them little room for error. But more importantly, would the Japanese realize that the US had been reading their mail? Would they believe that US fighter planes just happened to stumble on Yamamoto's plane at the end of his fuel range? Probably not, but Nimitz was willing to take the risk. Thus, on May 12, 1943, eighteen P-38 fighters engaged and successfully destroyed Yamamoto's plane (Kahn, Codebreakers 595-603). And, as Nimitz and his codebreakers predicted, the Japanese did suspect that codes had been broken. But they assumed that different, less significant codes had been compromised, so they continued to use their primary naval codes ("Secrets of War"). Nimitz's decision represents one of the core principles of cryptography, which is the balance of using knowledge gained through codebreaking and keeping the enemy from knowing that the codes are broken. In this case, Nimitz chose to use the information to kill Yamamoto and risk the Japanese realizing their codes had been broken, and subsequently changing the codes. Fortunately for the US, this choice worked out to their advantage.


By far, the most significant codebreaking feat in the European theatre was the breaking of the ENIGMA cipher machine, used by German U-boats. In terms of secrecy and availability of public information after the war, this German cipher differs from those broken in the Pacific. Much of the classified information regarding the MAGIC secret in the Pacific was declassified soon after the war. Perhaps because Nazi Germany was viewed as a more threatening enemy than the Japanese, the public did not learn about the ENIGMA machine until the last functional ENIGMA machine physically wore out. Only then did the British government allow The Ultra Secret to be published, detailing the story of the ENIGMA. The breaking of the ENIGMA machine had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the war. The New York Times reviewed The Ultra Secret as "the greatest secret of World War II after the atom bomb" (Kahn, Codebreakers 979). Churchill said "the Battle of the Atlantic was the dominating factor all throughout the war." The breaking of ENIGMA allowed allies to read messages between German U-boats at sea and Berlin, mitigating the U-boat threat to precious allied convoys (Singh, 143).

Former Navy Lieutenant John Kerry (center), after addressing a massive antiwar rally in Washington on April 24, 1971 (AP Photo)
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World War 1 Essay - Download as Word ..

A third development was the signing of an international peace treaty ending the civil war in Laos in July 1962. The agreement was welcomed across the world as a step toward reducing Cold War tensions. Along with de Gaulle, British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan helped to convince Kennedy that a negotiated solution in Laos was the most realistic option and would not hurt U.S. interests in the region. After conferring with Kennedy in March 1961, Macmillan wrote to de Gaulle: “I think that the President really accepts the necessity for a political solution if we can get one.” It took thirteen months of negotiations, but in the end, an agreement was signed by fourteen nations, including the belligerent parties in Laos and the governments of South Vietnam, North Vietnam, the United States, Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, and China. Laos became a “neutral and independent” nation led by a coalition government under prime minister Souvanna Phouma, with power shared with the communist-led Pathet Lao. As the U.S. had been supporting anticommunist guerrillas in Laos since the late 1950s, approval of the treaty marked a significant change of policy.

World War 1 A Letter From The Trenches WW1 | HubPages

Yet Lyndon Johnson chose war. In the aftermath of his election, he waited only for the right moment to bomb North Vietnam and to deploy large numbers of U.S. combat troops in the south, judging that such actions must be seen as defensive. The moment came on February 7, 1965, when NLF soldiers attacked Camp Holloway, a small airbase near the city of Pleiku, killing nine Americans and wounding 126, and destroying ten aircraft. Johnson immediately initiated a bombing attack on four pre-selected targets in North Vietnam (Operation Flaming Dart), carried out by 132 U.S. and 22 South Vietnamese planes. A few days later, on February 13, he approved a sustained bombing campaign (Operation Rolling Thunder) against North Vietnam. China, meanwhile, declared on February 15 that it would enter the war if the United States invaded North Vietnam.

World War 1 A Letter From The Trenches WW1

Diem’s repression reached a new low in the spring of 1963. On May 8, the 2,527th birthday of the Buddha, the GVN decided to enforce a law banning the display of any flag other than the national flag. It was clearly selective enforcement as Vatican flags blanketed the city of Hue where Diem’s brother, Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc, resided. As the Buddhist celebrated with their flags, Diem’s troops opened fire, killing nine people. Two days later, ten thousand Buddhists marched in protest. Diem responded by jailing leading Buddhist monks and placing armed guards around pagodas. On the morning of June 11, a sixty-six-year old Buddhist monk, Quang Duc, sat in the middle of a busy Saigon intersection and assumed a lotus posture. As other monks chanted nearby, two helpers doused the seated monk with gasoline. Quang Duc then lit a match and set himself on fire, sitting motionless and silent as the flames consumed him. The press had been alerted beforehand and photographs were taken. They appeared on the front pages of newspapers around the world the following day.

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