Representation Of Native American Code Talkers

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Representation of Native American Code Talkers

Representation of Native American Code Talkers


American Indians also played a crucial role in World War II as “code talkers.” Starting in World War I, radio operators in the field realized that they could put two American Indians speaking their own native languages on either end of a radio and virtually ensure that vital information would not be intercepted. In World War II, military intelligence developed this basic idea by having a group of Navajo soldiers develop a code using their tribal language[1]. The resultant code completely confounded the Axis Powers and has been widely cited as a primary reason for successful intelligence and communication throughout the war. The Navajo code talkers were instrumental in the success of the United States in the pacific campaign of World War 2.  There has been a movie about them, and a few awards given years later, but initially little fanfare surrounded this group of soldiers.  Kept secret for decades, it wasn't that long ago the public finally heard about them[2].  

Who were the Code Talkers? 

In general terms, code talkers were United States soldiers used during World War I and World War 2 to transmit coded messages using their knowledge of Native American language.  Approximately 400 Native Americans joined the U.S. Marine Corps for this specific purpose[3].  The term “code talkers” is identified with bilingual Navajo speakers recruited during World War 2; however, the U.S. Army deployed other Native Americans including Cherokee, Lakota, Choctaw, Comanche, and Meskwaki soldiers to specifically work as communicators of code.  

A group of Cherokee troops used by the American 30th Infantry Division during World War I is the first known use of Native Americans in the U.S. military; but it was in the 36th Infantry Division, fourteen Choctaw men were trained to use their native language in code.   During the final big push in France from the Germans, the Choctaw language helped turn the tide to give the Allies victory[4].  In less than three days after the language was used for communications, the Germans were retreating and the Allies were in full attack mode.  These soldiers were known as the Choctaw code talkers and considered the pioneers of the code talkers.  Before World War 2 started Hitler attempted to exploit the success of the World War I code talkers.  He ordered about thirty anthopologists to learn Native American languages, but it proved too difficult because there were too many languages and dialects.   It did, however,  cause the U.S. Army to keep their talkers from entering European operations on a large-scale. Fourteen Comanches compiled a vocabulary of over 100 words and phrases and two Comanche talkers were assigned to each regiment with the rest assigned to the 4th Infantry Division headquarters.  The Comanches began transmitting messages shortly after landing on Utah Beach in 1944.  

The Navajo Code Talkers 

Most people donot know about the Navajo code talkers and their contribution to the war efforts.  In the early months of the war, Japanese intelligence broke all the codes the U.S. military devised ...