Adolf Hitler Rises to Power in Europe While the U.S. Recruits Native Americans

Adolf Hitler Rises to Power in Europe While the U.S. Recruits Native Americans

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The instability created in Europe by World War I set the stage for another international conflict World War II, which broke out two decades later and proved to be even more devastating. Rising to power in an unstable country, Germany, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party had ambitions of world domination. Hitler's invasion of Poland in September 1939 drove Great Britain and France to declare war on Germany, and World War II had begun. Over the next six years, the conflict would take more lives and destroy more land and property around the globe than any previous war with estimated 45-60 million casualties (Stevenson). During World War II various codes were used by American soldiers to relay encrypted messages. The Axis powers, however, intercepted and deciphered every code, which put them one step ahead of the Allies. An important development during the middle of the war was the creation of the Navajo Code that helped the Allies powers to stop Hitler. An idea, proposed by an ordinary civilian turned out to be a great success because the code could not be deciphered by the Axis powers. Navajo Code was used to relay messages that helped save thousands of lives and helped end World War II. The Navajo Code, which consisted of Native American Navajo terms, was so successful that it was considered a military secret too important to divulge.
During the beginning of World War II, the United States already had an idea to enlist Native Americans to help in the war effort. The United States had started recruiting many tribes like the Oneidas, Chippewas, Sac and Fox, and the Commanches. The men that were recruited usually went into the signal corps (Aaseng 19). The signal corps is the part of the military that develops, tests, provides, and manag...


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...lkers at a ceremony held in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington in July 2001.
During World War II, there were various codes used to relay secret messages and commands between the different military commanders. Out of all the codes that were invented and used only one proved to be unbreakable by the Axis powers. The Navajo Code, the idea of an ordinary civilian by the name of Philip Johnston utilized the Native American Navajo language. Johnston was raised and lived on a Navajo reservation, so he was fluent in the language. At first military commanders were very skeptical of his idea for such a code and many thought it was doomed to fail. After the pilot program of the original twenty-nine Navajo Code Talkers succeeded, the Navajo Code was used in everyday communication of dispatch relay. The code was sophisticated and original, and its use helped to save many lives.

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