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(Gizmodo)   Native Americans were crucial for America to win WW2 even after America screwed them for a century   (sploid.gizmodo.com) divider line 43
    More: Interesting, Native Americans, Chester Nez, Congressional Gold Medal, Navajo, British Forces, Native American Languages, Iwo Jima, War Against Japan  
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1490 clicks; posted to Geek » on 15 Apr 2014 at 6:19 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



43 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-04-15 02:52:51 PM  
This can't be upvoted enough.
 
2014-04-15 03:41:33 PM  
A geographically isolated complete language would naturally be nearly impossible to break, especially if it's all code talk with no words used in context, so they couldn't really learn it either.  Unless they got a hold of a Navajo (I'd assume they were scarce in Germany) who wanted to be a Nazi.  Of course that didn't stop the government from enacting policies aimed at eliminating indigenous languages.
 
2014-04-15 04:29:17 PM  
WWI also, and it wasn't just the Navajo language.
 
2014-04-15 05:21:47 PM  
You think the Nazis or the Japanese would have let them keep their slot machines?

www.casino.org
 
2014-04-15 05:31:51 PM  
Someone should make a movie about this. Maybe get Nicholas Cage on board...
 
2014-04-15 06:17:19 PM  
You think they stopped treating them like crap? Heh. You should see their water agreements out here.
 
2014-04-15 06:17:35 PM  

nekom: A geographically isolated complete language would naturally be nearly impossible to break, especially if it's all code talk with no words used in context, so they couldn't really learn it either.  Unless they got a hold of a Navajo (I'd assume they were scarce in Germany) who wanted to be a Nazi.  Of course that didn't stop the government from enacting policies aimed at eliminating indigenous languages.


No, it's not nearly impossible to break.  In fact, it just wouldn't work today against pretty much anyone.

The reason why it worked as well as it did was for a few reasons not actually related to the reconditeness of the language, or the security of the code itself.

First and foremost, the Japanese were singularly bad at signals intelligence.  Of all the major WWII combatants, they were hands down the worst at exploiting SIGINT.  They couldn't even reliably break strip ciphers and Playfairs even though the principles of breaking them were known for decades.   As an example, the messages that were sent back and forth to the coast watchers about the rescue of the crew of PT-109 were in the Playfair cipher and the Japanese don't seem to have been able to solve them, even though a competent cryptanalyst, given the amount of traffic sent, could have broken it with relative ease.

In fact, the Japanese had a native Navajo speaker, and they had him listen to recordings of the messages sent by Navajo code talkers, and he told them it was gibberish, which to him, it was.  So they gave up on him after a short-ish amount of time.  Which was stupid and short-sighted of the Japanese SIGINT organizations.   What they should have done is say "That's OK.  Just write down what you hear, phonetically, even if it's gibberish to you".   Then any competent analyst would be able to eventually figure out what sounds mean what concepts.  Even if you aren't going to be able to speak like a Native, you can pick up enough to gain useful intelligence.

Secondly, the Navajo code talkers were operating in an environment when really all they were doing was passing tactical messages of pretty much zero long-term importance* using short-range radios, so in partial defense of the Japanese, it's not like there was that much to be gained by breaking them:  By the time you figured it out, hours or at most a day or two later, the information would have been too stale to be of any use to them.  Plus, the use of short range radios meant that actual opportunities to intercept the messages were also limited, due in large part to the island-hopping nature of that theater of War.  If your main intercept station is 100 miles from where the action is, and the enemy is using radios with a range of 10 or 20 miles, your opportunities to intercept those transmissions will be limited.

In fact, all the important, strategic and long-term messages were passed using sophisticated rotor machines like the ECM Mark II.

The *ONLY* real advantage that the Navajo code talkers had over other contemporary methods of encryption and decryption is that they were "online" encryption/decryption.  Instead of having to compose a message, encrypt it, then transmit it, the code talkers telescoped the encryption and transmission (and reception/decryption).  This could save seconds to several minutes depending on the nature and length of the message.

That's the big advantage.

And don't get me wrong, this isn't a knock on the personal bravery of those who served as code talkers, it's just a sober assessment of the cryptanalytical properties of their code.

*Doesn't mean that they weren't important in the moment.
 
2014-04-15 06:21:59 PM  
Oh, and honestly, even if we had sent every tactical message in plain English, without any encryption, we still would have beat the Japanese handily.  It would have been more expensive, but there was zero chance they were going to win.
 
2014-04-15 06:24:11 PM  
There are people who don't know about the code talkers? They even made a movie (sort of) about them: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0245562/
 
2014-04-15 06:27:08 PM  
Wow, someone really should name a sports team after them, they deserve that sort of respect!
 
2014-04-15 06:36:31 PM  
Just a century? Someone needs to crack a few more history books
 
2014-04-15 06:38:36 PM  

Watubi: Wow, someone really should name a sports team after them, they deserve that sort of respect!


I know right? Think about it....."The Braves"!

that sounds friggen awesome to me
 
2014-04-15 06:42:13 PM  
Hey guys!  What's going on in this thread?

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2014-04-15 06:43:13 PM  
The Canadians and British used Cree.
 
2014-04-15 06:47:49 PM  

foo monkey: Hey guys!  What's going on in this thread?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 355x444]


upload.wikimedia.org

Not much, Newb.
 
2014-04-15 06:48:04 PM  
FTFA:  If it weren't for him and the other 28 Native Americans who created the secret code language used in the Pacific theater during World War II, America would have probably never won the war against Japan.

this is complete and total arsebiscuitry. what is it with american journalism and hyperbole?
 
2014-04-15 06:50:34 PM  
nekom: A geographically isolated complete language would naturally be nearly impossible to break, especially if it's all code talk with no words used in context, so they couldn't really learn it either.  Unless they got a hold of a Navajo (I'd assume they were scarce in Germany) who wanted to be a Nazi.  Of course that didn't stop the government from enacting policies aimed at eliminating indigenous languages.

No, it's not nearly impossible to break.  In fact, it just wouldn't work today against pretty much anyone.

The reason why it worked as well as it did was for a few reasons not actually related to the reconditeness of the language, or the security of the code itself.

First and foremost, the Japanese were singularly bad at signals intelligence.  Of all the major WWII combatants, they were hands down the worst at exploiting SIGINT.  They couldn't even reliably break strip ciphers and Playfairs even though the principles of breaking them were known for decades.   As an example, the messages that were sent back and forth to the coast watchers about the rescue of the crew of PT-109 were in the Playfair cipher and the Japanese don't seem to have been able to solve them, even though a competent cryptanalyst, given the amount of traffic sent, could have broken it with relative ease.

In fact, the Japanese had a native Navajo speaker, and they had him listen to recordings of the messages sent by Navajo code talkers, and he told them it was gibberish, which to him, it was.  So they gave up on him after a short-ish amount of time.  Which was stupid and short-sighted of the Japanese SIGINT organizations.   What they should have done is say "That's OK.  Just write down what you hear, phonetically, even if it's gibberish to you".   Then any competent analyst would be able to eventually figure out what sounds mean what concepts.  Even if you aren't going to be able to speak like a Native, you can pick up enough to gain useful intelligence.

Secondly, the Navajo code talker ...


Japan was notoriously bad at cryptography. It even played a role in the severity of Pearl Harbor. It had been planned that at the time the attack occurred, the Japanese ambassador would deliver a declaration of war to the State Department. However, the staff cryptographers were so bad at their job that they didn't decode the instructions to the ambassador and the declaration of war until several hours after the attack occurred. The Japanese ambassador had been in negotiations with the State Department right up until the attack was announced, further inflaming US anger at the attack. The Japanese appeared to be two-faced in negotiations and traitorous.
 
2014-04-15 06:57:43 PM  

dittybopper: foo monkey: Hey guys!  What's going on in this thread?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 355x444]

[upload.wikimedia.org image 482x608]

Not much, Newb.


woosh!
 
2014-04-15 06:58:20 PM  
Americans had been screwing them for more than a century by that point, Subster. At least that's what the birth records say.
 
2014-04-15 07:01:37 PM  

foo monkey: dittybopper: foo monkey: Hey guys!  What's going on in this thread?

[upload.wikimedia.org image 355x444]

[upload.wikimedia.org image 482x608]

Not much, Newb.

woosh!


OK, so it's a thread about cryptography, and you post Alan Turing, and then I post Marion Rejewski, who is the actual person most responsible for breaking Engima, and so what am I missing?
 
2014-04-15 08:10:08 PM  
Rejewski? Sounds like the world's worst fake name.

An obvious jew very poorly disguesed fleeing Germany gets to the airport. The Nazi guards stop him.

Guard: Halt. What is your purpose?
Herschel: To visit my family, why not.
Guard: And what is your name?
Herschel: Herschel the Je- ahem, Rejew. Rejewski. Yeah, Herschel Rejewski.
Guard: Hershel Rejewski?
Herschel: That's my name.
Guard: Very well. Enjoy your trip.
Herschel: Shalom.
He gets on the plane. A few moments later, a rabbi appears.
Guard: Awful lot of Russians today.
 
2014-04-15 08:37:01 PM  

dittybopper: Oh, and honestly, even if we had sent every tactical message in plain English, without any encryption, we still would have beat the Japanese handily.  It would have been more expensive, but there was zero chance they were going to win.


I think Hiroshima and Nagasaki expedited a lot of that.

An uphill battle on the Japanese mainland when they're already bound and determined to launch suicide attacks (whether at sea, on land, or in the air), knowing there is absolutely no chance of winning. It would not have just been more expensive, but we'd have had taken so many casualties from fighting on their home turf that any victory we'd have from a land invasion would have been bittersweet at best.

And no amount of Navajo code-talking would have prevented that from happening, either.
 
2014-04-15 08:38:32 PM  

greentea1985: nekom: A geographically isolated complete language would naturally be nearly impossible to break, especially if it's all code talk with no words used in context, so they couldn't really learn it either.  Unless they got a hold of a Navajo (I'd assume they were scarce in Germany) who wanted to be a Nazi.  Of course that didn't stop the government from enacting policies aimed at eliminating indigenous languages.

No, it's not nearly impossible to break.  In fact, it just wouldn't work today against pretty much anyone.

The reason why it worked as well as it did was for a few reasons not actually related to the reconditeness of the language, or the security of the code itself.

First and foremost, the Japanese were singularly bad at signals intelligence.  Of all the major WWII combatants, they were hands down the worst at exploiting SIGINT.  They couldn't even reliably break strip ciphers and Playfairs even though the principles of breaking them were known for decades.   As an example, the messages that were sent back and forth to the coast watchers about the rescue of the crew of PT-109 were in the Playfair cipher and the Japanese don't seem to have been able to solve them, even though a competent cryptanalyst, given the amount of traffic sent, could have broken it with relative ease.

In fact, the Japanese had a native Navajo speaker, and they had him listen to recordings of the messages sent by Navajo code talkers, and he told them it was gibberish, which to him, it was.  So they gave up on him after a short-ish amount of time.  Which was stupid and short-sighted of the Japanese SIGINT organizations.   What they should have done is say "That's OK.  Just write down what you hear, phonetically, even if it's gibberish to you".   Then any competent analyst would be able to eventually figure out what sounds mean what concepts.  Even if you aren't going to be able to speak like a Native, you can pick up enough to gain useful intelligence.

Secondly, the Navajo code talker ...

Japan was notoriously bad at cryptography. It even played a role in the severity of Pearl Harbor. It had been planned that at the time the attack occurred, the Japanese ambassador would deliver a declaration of war to the State Department. However, the staff cryptographers were so bad at their job that they didn't decode the instructions to the ambassador and the declaration of war until several hours after the attack occurred. The Japanese ambassador had been in negotiations with the State Department right up until the attack was announced, further inflaming US anger at the attack. The Japanese appeared to be two-faced in negotiations and traitorous.


You try doing a one time pad for Hiragana and see how fast it takes you to work out a message.
 
2014-04-15 08:52:35 PM  

kidakita: This can't be upvoted enough.


Who the hell doesn't know this story by now? But yeah, exactly. It's a damn shame Navajo speakers didn't get their due recognition at the time, the least we can do is find new ways to honor their sacrifices.
 
2014-04-15 09:06:15 PM  
I'm related to a couple of the Comanche code talkers, and my Choctaw grandfather helped pass along messages in WW I.  I have very little experience speaking either.
 
2014-04-15 09:14:32 PM  

Weatherkiss: dittybopper: Oh, and honestly, even if we had sent every tactical message in plain English, without any encryption, we still would have beat the Japanese handily.  It would have been more expensive, but there was zero chance they were going to win.

I think Hiroshima and Nagasaki expedited a lot of that.

An uphill battle on the Japanese mainland when they're already bound and determined to launch suicide attacks (whether at sea, on land, or in the air), knowing there is absolutely no chance of winning. It would not have just been more expensive, but we'd have had taken so many casualties from fighting on their home turf that any victory we'd have from a land invasion would have been bittersweet at best.

And no amount of Navajo code-talking would have prevented that from happening, either.


That's why the plan was to arm three million Chiang Kai-Shek' soldiers intent on revenge, ship them to Japan after the initial landings, and then look the other way while rape and murder ensued.

MacArthur was sure the Japanese would be exhausted after raping and kill all those Chinese.
 
2014-04-15 09:21:57 PM  

TheOther: Weatherkiss: dittybopper: Oh, and honestly, even if we had sent every tactical message in plain English, without any encryption, we still would have beat the Japanese handily.  It would have been more expensive, but there was zero chance they were going to win.

I think Hiroshima and Nagasaki expedited a lot of that.

An uphill battle on the Japanese mainland when they're already bound and determined to launch suicide attacks (whether at sea, on land, or in the air), knowing there is absolutely no chance of winning. It would not have just been more expensive, but we'd have had taken so many casualties from fighting on their home turf that any victory we'd have from a land invasion would have been bittersweet at best.

And no amount of Navajo code-talking would have prevented that from happening, either.

That's why the plan was to arm three million Chiang Kai-Shek' soldiers intent on revenge, ship them to Japan after the initial landings, and then look the other way while rape and murder ensued.

MacArthur was sure the Japanese would be exhausted after raping and kill all those Chinese.


Wasn't MacArthur the arrogant jackass that left us with the current North Korea based on his poor intuition regarding the chinese?
 
2014-04-15 09:49:53 PM  

fusillade762: Someone should make a movie about this. Maybe get Nicholas Cage on board...


It's been done. http://wantsome.ytmnd.com/
 
NFA [TotalFark]
2014-04-15 10:05:07 PM  
The same is true for  Blacks,Irish,Chinese,Italians, etc.  When they came to this country many of them were slaves, indentured servants and always treated less than human.  But it was through their personal sacrifice both as workers and soldiers that America is the great country it is.
 
2014-04-16 12:47:18 AM  

dittybopper: Oh, and honestly, even if we had sent every tactical message in plain English, without any encryption, we still would have beat the Japanese handily.  It would have been more expensive, but there was zero chance they were going to win.


This.  The claim in the article that America probably would have lost against the Japanese if it weren't for the codetalkers is bullshiat.  Japan never had a chance of winning the Pacific War.
 
2014-04-16 01:07:29 AM  
Before the development of this code, Japanese intelligence broke every single encryption created by the US military, something that costed thousands of lives and millions of dollars in material losses.

That word rebooted my brain and I couldn't read the rest of TFA.
 
2014-04-16 03:10:05 AM  
Well, duh, who doesn't know that?

Oh, yeah, I forgot there are kids here.
 
2014-04-16 07:45:56 AM  

jst3p: Before the development of this code, Japanese intelligence broke every single encryption created by the US military, something that costed thousands of lives and millions of dollars in material losses.

That word rebooted my brain and I couldn't read the rest of TFA.


Not only that, it's *WRONG*.

The US used, before the code talkers, a variety of systems, some of them of rather weak, but the Japanese struggled with all of them.

And we knew that, because we were monitoring their SIGINT units.

Prior to Midway, we had broken their main naval code and it's superencipherment well enough that we knew pretty much everything about the impending attack, except *WHERE* it was going to happen.  That's because the Japanese didn't say "Midway Island", they used a miniature 'code within a code', location designators instead of names.  So we knew the attack was going to be against "AF", but while there were some indicators that AF was Midway, it was by no means certain.

So the US codebreakers concocted a plan:  They wired the garrison on Midway Island using an undersea cable and told them to send a message back to Pearl Harbor via radio in a low-level code the US knew the Japanese could break that their desalination plant had broken down and they were running short of fresh water.

Sure enough, a couple of days later we intercepted a Japanese message that said "AF is short of water".

That let us know that the target for the impending operation was indeed Midway Island, and we planned accordingly.

A mere 6 months after Pearl Harbor, we turned the tide against the Japanese.   From then on, they were mostly on the defensive.

That's how powerful SIGINT can be, when exploited properly.  And the Japanese just didn't exploit it like they could have.
 
2014-04-16 07:52:39 AM  
Further proof it's wrong:  The US military ECM Mark II was introduced prior to the entrance of the US into WWII, and as far as anyone can tell it was never broken.

It's a much more complicated version of an Enigma machine.

The Allies pumped a huge amount of resources into breaking Engima, which, because of the regular stepping of its rotors was much easier to break than the SIGABA/ECM Mark II.

No possible way the Japanese, who couldn't reliably break strip ciphers and Playfairs, could break it.  I doubt the Allies, if faced with a similar machine, could have broken it.
 
2014-04-16 07:55:56 AM  

Crotchrocket Slim: kidakita: This can't be upvoted enough.

Who the hell doesn't know this story by now? But yeah, exactly. It's a damn shame Navajo speakers didn't get their due recognition at the time, the least we can do is find new ways to honor their sacrifices.


Don't forget they were still being actively recruited and used through Korea.  That means that they were, in essence, still a military secret.
 
2014-04-16 09:30:36 AM  
1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-04-16 12:21:16 PM  

dittybopper: nekom: A geographically isolated complete language would naturally be nearly impossible to break, especially if it's all code talk with no words used in context, so they couldn't really learn it either.  Unless they got a hold of a Navajo (I'd assume they were scarce in Germany) who wanted to be a Nazi.  Of course that didn't stop the government from enacting policies aimed at eliminating indigenous languages.

No, it's not nearly impossible to break.  In fact, it just wouldn't work today against pretty much anyone.

The reason why it worked as well as it did was for a few reasons not actually related to the reconditeness of the language, or the security of the code itself.

First and foremost, the Japanese were singularly bad at signals intelligence.  Of all the major WWII combatants, they were hands down the worst at exploiting SIGINT.  They couldn't even reliably break strip ciphers and Playfairs even though the principles of breaking them were known for decades.   As an example, the messages that were sent back and forth to the coast watchers about the rescue of the crew of PT-109 were in the Playfair cipher and the Japanese don't seem to have been able to solve them, even though a competent cryptanalyst, given the amount of traffic sent, could have broken it with relative ease.

In fact, the Japanese had a native Navajo speaker, and they had him listen to recordings of the messages sent by Navajo code talkers, and he told them it was gibberish, which to him, it was.  So they gave up on him after a short-ish amount of time.  Which was stupid and short-sighted of the Japanese SIGINT organizations.   What they should have done is say "That's OK.  Just write down what you hear, phonetically, even if it's gibberish to you".   Then any competent analyst would be able to eventually figure out what sounds mean what concepts.  Even if you aren't going to be able to speak like a Native, you can pick up enough to gain useful intelligence.

Secondly, the Navajo code talker ...


link to this?
 
2014-04-16 12:23:45 PM  

whither_apophis: greentea1985: nekom: A geographically isolated complete language would naturally be nearly impossible to break, especially if it's all code talk with no words used in context, so they couldn't really learn it either.  Unless they got a hold of a Navajo (I'd assume they were scarce in Germany) who wanted to be a Nazi.  Of course that didn't stop the government from enacting policies aimed at eliminating indigenous languages.

No, it's not nearly impossible to break.  In fact, it just wouldn't work today against pretty much anyone.

The reason why it worked as well as it did was for a few reasons not actually related to the reconditeness of the language, or the security of the code itself.

First and foremost, the Japanese were singularly bad at signals intelligence.  Of all the major WWII combatants, they were hands down the worst at exploiting SIGINT.  They couldn't even reliably break strip ciphers and Playfairs even though the principles of breaking them were known for decades.   As an example, the messages that were sent back and forth to the coast watchers about the rescue of the crew of PT-109 were in the Playfair cipher and the Japanese don't seem to have been able to solve them, even though a competent cryptanalyst, given the amount of traffic sent, could have broken it with relative ease.

In fact, the Japanese had a native Navajo speaker, and they had him listen to recordings of the messages sent by Navajo code talkers, and he told them it was gibberish, which to him, it was.  So they gave up on him after a short-ish amount of time.  Which was stupid and short-sighted of the Japanese SIGINT organizations.   What they should have done is say "That's OK.  Just write down what you hear, phonetically, even if it's gibberish to you".   Then any competent analyst would be able to eventually figure out what sounds mean what concepts.  Even if you aren't going to be able to speak like a Native, you can pick up enough to gain useful intelligence.

Secondly, the Nava ...


Hiragana and Katagana aren't too bad once you've learned it.  Kanji OTOH.

//Speaking Japanese isn't too much of a learning curve
///Writing/reading it OTOH...
 
2014-04-16 12:38:05 PM  

Rwa2play: dittybopper: nekom: A geographically isolated complete language would naturally be nearly impossible to break, especially if it's all code talk with no words used in context, so they couldn't really learn it either.  Unless they got a hold of a Navajo (I'd assume they were scarce in Germany) who wanted to be a Nazi.  Of course that didn't stop the government from enacting policies aimed at eliminating indigenous languages.

No, it's not nearly impossible to break.  In fact, it just wouldn't work today against pretty much anyone.

The reason why it worked as well as it did was for a few reasons not actually related to the reconditeness of the language, or the security of the code itself.

First and foremost, the Japanese were singularly bad at signals intelligence.  Of all the major WWII combatants, they were hands down the worst at exploiting SIGINT.  They couldn't even reliably break strip ciphers and Playfairs even though the principles of breaking them were known for decades.   As an example, the messages that were sent back and forth to the coast watchers about the rescue of the crew of PT-109 were in the Playfair cipher and the Japanese don't seem to have been able to solve them, even though a competent cryptanalyst, given the amount of traffic sent, could have broken it with relative ease.

In fact, the Japanese had a native Navajo speaker, and they had him listen to recordings of the messages sent by Navajo code talkers, and he told them it was gibberish, which to him, it was.  So they gave up on him after a short-ish amount of time.  Which was stupid and short-sighted of the Japanese SIGINT organizations.   What they should have done is say "That's OK.  Just write down what you hear, phonetically, even if it's gibberish to you".   Then any competent analyst would be able to eventually figure out what sounds mean what concepts.  Even if you aren't going to be able to speak like a Native, you can pick up enough to gain useful intelligence.

Secondly, the Navaj ...


Just how bad the Japanese were:

http://books.google.com/books?id=SEH_rHkgaogC&pg=PA561&lpg=PA561&dq= th e+scrutable+orientals&source=bl&ots=_1mqn9q8z1&sig=eEw5q_rEYXSh1y1Au1x K6q35IXA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SbBOU7axGZK0sASAn4GIAw&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBA#v=onepag e&q=the%20scrutable%20orientals&f=false

I suggest reading the entire book, but that chapter ("The Scrutable Orientals") pretty well outlines the failures of the Japanese SIGINT effort.

As for the Japanese having a native Navajo speaker, and having him listen to recordings of the code talkers, his name was Joe Kieyoomia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Kieyoomia

He was captured in the Philippines in 1942.  The Japanese knew enough to have him listen to the recordings, so they knew it was Navajo based.
 
2014-04-16 01:04:11 PM  

dittybopper: Just how bad the Japanese were:

http://books.google.com/books?id=SEH_rHkgaogC&pg=PA561&lpg=PA561&dq= th e+scrutable+orientals&source=bl&ots=_1mqn9q8z1&sig=eEw5q_rEYXSh1y1Au1x K6q35IXA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=SbBOU7axGZK0sASAn4GIAw&ved=0CDwQ6AEwBA#v=onepag e&q=the%20scrutable%20orientals&f=false

I suggest reading the entire book, but that chapter ("The Scrutable Orientals") pretty well outlines the failures of the Japanese SIGINT effort.

As for the Japanese having a native Navajo speaker, and having him listen to recordings of the code talkers, his name was Joe Kieyoomia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Kieyoomia

He was captured in the Philippines in 1942.  The Japanese knew enough to have him listen to the recordings, so they knew it was Navajo based.


Interesting...so the Japanese had it in their hands but didn't have the "creativity" to understand what was being said.
 
2014-04-16 01:57:04 PM  

Rwa2play: Interesting...so the Japanese had it in their hands but didn't have the "creativity" to understand what was being said.


Pretty much.

But like I said, even if they managed to break it, they'd have had to forward base the linguists and analysts for it to matter.

Which they did do, to an extent, but you can't have a full-blown SIGINT infrastructure on every little dinky island with a garrison of 200 soldiers.

And they'd have to be essentially reading the messages in real time for it to matter:  If there is a delay of just a few hours between when the message is transmitted to when the Japanese understand it, the fact that Unit X was calling for flamethrowers on the East side of the island isn't going to be much use.

Heck, even if you can read the tactical messages, if you aren't in a position to do anything about it, it doesn't help you.  Knowing that the enemy just called in air support isn't going to help you if you don't have anything to counter it with.
 
2014-04-16 02:02:06 PM  
It amuses me to no end that diversity was fundamentally the weapon that won the war against an enemy that began a fight to establish hegemony.
 
2014-04-16 02:34:40 PM  

evilmousse: It amuses me to no end that diversity was fundamentally the weapon that won the war against an enemy that began a fight to establish hegemony.


Except, if you had been paying attention to this thread, it wasn't the weapon that fundamentally won the war.  Had you replaced every single Navajo code talker with a CSP-642 strip cipher or an M209 cipher device, or even just short lived tactical codes, the outcome of almost every battle in the Pacific would have been basically the same.

Sometimes we build up mythologies that aren't true.  The code talkers performed a valuable service, but it wasn't an irreplaceable one, nor did it win the war.
 
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  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

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