Category Archives: World War I

Ethics vs. Strategy

The Zimmerman Telegram was a telegram from Germany to Mexico containing crucial war information about The Great War. It included the Germans’ plans for unrestricted submarine warfare, as well as a proposal asking Mexico to ally with the Germans and invade the US. The Germans had hoped to attack the US on three fronts: Mexico […] Continue reading

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Britain’s Fallacy

The conclusion of World War I brought a sense of elation and confidence for Allies, as they brought upon the defeat of the Central Powers. Utterly convinced that the reparations burdened upon Germany would be sufficient from ever causing such blatant militarism again, the Allies embraced peace. A common phrase that was uttered to describe […] Continue reading

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All is Fair in Love and War

In The Code Book, Simon Singh details the codebreaking successes of the British military during World War I–successes that often needed to be kept secret and prevented the spread of some important, yet sensitive information during the war. One such piece of critical information was the Zimmerman telegram. While some may think it completely unethical […] Continue reading

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I Forgot to Tell You I Broke That Awhile Ago

Germany having no clue their ciphers were practically useless during the First World War was genius on behalf of British Intelligence. Britain, haven broken their cipher and not allowing Germany to know had turned out well for the Allies because it discouraged Germany from creating a new cipher. In my opinion, it made sense for  […] Continue reading

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British Pride and Competition

In reality, the knowledge that Britain had deciphered Germany’s codes should have remained a secret for several more decades. Regardless of the reasoning, staying ahead of the opponent, even in a time of peace, provides tactical advantages on many fronts.  I believe, however, that pride and competition with the United States ultimately lead Churchill and […] Continue reading

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Ethical? Necessary.

In the movie “The Imitation Game,” there is a scene that Alan Turing and his team deciphered a message indicating that there is going to be an attack on the British Navy. After celebrating for finally able to beat the Enigma Machine made by Germany, they calmed down quickly and decided not to present the […] Continue reading

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Necessity and Usability

The primary factor favouring the advancement of military cryptography is when a country realizes their war efforts have been compromised due to the lack of strong encryption. For example, Arthur Scherbius’ Enigma machine was unpopular with the German military prior to the publishing of the histories of the First World War as written by Winston […] Continue reading

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The Power Of The Individual

One of the main reasons the cryptanalysts at Bletchley Park were successful could be contributed to the German overconfidence in the Enigma machine. Their hubris blinded them, and this blinding trust in the strength of Enigma ultimately led to the German downfall. However, certain individuals also contributed to the ultimate defeat of the Germans – […] Continue reading

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Morality v. Pragmatism

The question of ethics comes up a lot in regards to cryptography. At its core, things tend to only require encryption if, for some reason, someone doesn’t want them seen. More often than not people do not mind others seeing their good, moral deeds. What’s interesting about the Zimmerman deciphering is that the morals in […] Continue reading

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The Road Less Traveled By

Admiral Hall’s decision not to inform the U.S. about the impending U-boat attacks was complex, to say the least. The reasons why he would share his new intelligence with┬áPresident Wilson are clear–the U.S. and Britain were allies to some degree, and it might possibly bring the U.S. into the war. However, I find his reasoning […] Continue reading

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