Espionage During Wwii

Topics: World War II, Code talker, Allies of World War II Pages: 4 (1258 words) Published: October 14, 2005
Espionage was vital in the war effort of both the allied and axis powers during World War II. Espionage can take many different forms. Deception, leaking of false information, coding and encryption of information, sabotage, and sending spies in to gather intelligence are all were all used during the war and were all effective. Many of the turning points for the allied forces occurred due to various forms of espionage and deception. Depending on which side of the fence you're sitting on, espionage was either a blessing or a curse. Coding and encryption were two very important elements in the use of espionage. Enigmas were cipher machines that were based mainly on a wired code wheel. The wired code wheel, known more commonly as a rotor, would be shaped similar to a hockey puck made of non-conductive material, such as rubber, and have two sides, an input plate and an output plate and around the circumference are 26 evenly spaced electrical contacts. The 26 contacts on the input plate would be connected by wired through the body of the rotor to the 26 contacts on the output plate. An alphabet ring would then be placed around the rotors 26 contacts therefore creating a cipher alphabet. The sender would type the message in plaintext (not encrypted) and the letters would be illuminated on a glass screen. With the press of each typewriter key the rotor would shift 1/26 of a revolution giving each letter a different encryption each time, which made the code so difficult to crack. Due to the complexity of the code the enigma became very useful for the Germans for radioing messages to u-boats. The cipher was finally broken when the British were able to capture some key documents from a German warship. Navajo code talking became an extremely useful tool in the Marines war effort. In the beginning of the war Philip Johnston came forth and suggested an unbreakable code to the marines; that code was Navajo. Philip Johnston, WWI veteran, son of a missionary to the Navajos, who...

Bibliography: Websites
David Gange "Codebreakers Through the Battle of Midway" 4/30/03
Research by Alexander Molnar Jr., U.S. Marine Corps/U.S. Army (Ret.)Prepared by the Navy & Marine Corps WWII Commemorative Committee "Navajo Code Talkers: WWII Fact Sheet" 4/30/03
Rina Mody "The Enigma Machine" 4/23/03
Major Richard G Ricklefs "Fortitude South"
"Midway, Battle of," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2003
Prange, Gordon W., Miracle at Midway, New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1982
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