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Breaking Codes and War

The art of code breaking is one that many countries use to protect citizens, and to gain the upper hand during times of conflict. Codes are used by enemy militaries to send instructions to the battle field. They are also used to direct attacks from the sea and the air. With so many battle fronts to guard against, decoders become an essential weapon. Knowledge is power, and it is the best weapon that a military force can have. Over the decades, different wars have come and gone. However, all of those wars involved the use of secret codes to defend positions, and to attack the enemy.

Those who served in Vietnam are quick to point out how gruelling the campaign turned out to be. The physical toll that the war took on U.S. soldiers was astounding. The climate was tropical, and the jungles were dense and hard to navigate. Vietnamese soldiers were formidable on their own turf. They knew the landscape like the back of their hand, and this left allied troops at a disadvantage. Further complicating matters, was the fact that the enemy sent messages through code. Decoders were a huge piece to the puzzle because they were able to find out where the enemy was going to attack next. This saved countless lives in the jungle.

World War 2 was one of the most infamous wars of the common era. It involved countries from all over the world. Nazi Germany was a formidable power, and they aimed to exterminate anyone who was not of German descent. Concentration camps were set up to kill scores of people. The U.S. and its allies used decoders to find out where these concentration camps were located. Hitler used a code called an Enigma to hide his true plans, but the U.S. was able to crack this code on several occasions. Without code breakers, more Jewish lives would have been lost. Additionally, the allies would not have been able to devise sound battle plans to stop the Nazis once and for all.

Without code breakers, it would be nearly impossible to come up with a great battle strategy. Third world countries who find themselves in conflicts cannot keep up with others who have decoders. They must guess what the enemy plans to do, as opposed to deciphering the plans before they have a chance to carry them out. A sound battle strategy is the key difference between victory and defeat. Knowing your attacker and the methods he plans to use, provides a tremendous advantage.

Prisoners of war, or POW’s, face a bleak future if decoders are not able to come to the rescue. Code breaking has been directly responsible for the successful rescue of many POW’s over the years. Chatter is intercepted, and much of it has to do with the prisoners. These prisoners are valuable bargaining chips, so attackers tend to keep them close by. Unfortunately, prisoners are moved frequently. Code breakers are able to analyse what is read and heard so that strategists can come up with a rescue plan.