Category Archives: WWI

The Morals of the Zimmerman Telegram Decipherment

When the Zimmerman telegram was deciphered by the cryptanalysts of Britain’s Room 40, Admiral William Hall decided not to tell American President Woodrow Wilson about its contents because doing so might let the Germans know that Britain was capable of breaking their codes.  Given the danger posed to America by the unrestricted U-boat warfare indicated […] Continue reading

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Ethics and the Zimmermann Telegram

When Reverend Montgomery and Nigel de Gray broke part of the Zimmermann telegram and realized that German U-boats were about to unleash unrestricted warfare on civilian ships, they handed the telegram to Admiral Hall expecting him to pass it on the the Americans. Instead, Hall decided to keep the telegram secret and chose not to […] Continue reading

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Übermensch and Unterseeboots

Who has the right to say how much lives are worth? Could allowing for the death of the few to save many be moral? Do the ends just have to justify the means in order to commit crime?* Admiral Hall definitely thought so. He thought the protection of his knowledge of the decipherment of the […] Continue reading

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Sacrifice Few to Save Many

It is extremely hard to discern whether or not Admiral Hall’s decision to withhold the information contained in the Zimmerman Telegram from America is ethical or not. At first, it seems selfish to let Americans die because they are blind to the Germany and its allies’ aggression towards them, especially from an American’s perspective just so Britain […] Continue reading

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