" The Marines in Guadalcanal could not sneeze on the radio without a Japanese saying 'God bless you'.... Once the Marines got the Code Talkers, they were able to turn the tide" (Miller 112). In the Pacific theater of World War II, communication was the key to winning battles. The Japanese and Americans both created dozens of codes and ciphers, each cracking the other's astonishingly quickly. The futility of the codes ceased when a group of Navajo Native Americans came to the rescue for the Marines. Using a complicated and intricate code based upon the isolated Navajo language, the Marines were able to communicate without fear of the Japanese discovering their plans. Overcoming years of discrimination and cultural disparities, the Navajo Code talkers significantly aided the Marines against the Japanese and helped bring the United States to victory in the Pacific during World War II.
After the heartless sneak attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the United States declared war against the Empire of Japan. Over the next four years, the two would battle relentlessly. They clashed over hundreds of islands in the South Pacific spread over thousands of miles of oceans in an area know as the Pacific theater. Communications were vital because battle situations changed moment by moment. Because of this, and due to combat conditions, there was no time for complicated coding and decoding (Durrett 18). One of the main disadvantages the Americans had was that the Japanese were more fluent in English than the Americans were in Japanese. Japanese troops often sent out false radio messages on different frequencies in English. If the receiver believed the message, traps could be baited and entire battle plans could be ruined. But because of the commotion of the scattered battle lines, there was no quick way to find out if it was legitimate (Aaseng 2). This posed a huge problem for the Americans. Unfortunately, codes and ciphers did help much either, for both sides. After either side created a new battlefield code, the other side usually cracked it within hours (Durrett 18).
Therefore, the side that could send secret messages quicker and more effectively held a huge advantage (Aaseng 14). An example of a code that was broken was Purple, the American name for a Japanese diplomatic code. Japan used it during and just before World War II, and it was used in the preparation of Pearl Harbor. As soon as the code was discovered to be in existence, American decoders began working at it feverishly. "The Japanese code was broken in months by the United States, which led to American naval victories in the battles of Coral Sea and Midway " (Purple). For both sides, an unbreakable code was imperative in order to win the war, yet neither had one.
In Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, the Navajo Indians lived peacefully and autonomously until the mid nineteenth century. As Americans went out west for the gold rush, tensions arose between the whites and...