A. Plan of the Investigation
This investigation evaluates to what extent did the Navajo code talkers aid the American military during WWII? In order to assess the extent to which these soldiers assisted the American military during WWII, this investigation focuses on their involvement in transmitting military messages in their native tongue, and the events surrounding these transmissions. In addition, the contribution of other Native American code talkers is considered and compared to that of the Navajos specifically within the investigation.
B. Summary of Evidence
Native American code transmission began in World War I, with the Choctaw Indians (Meadows, “Honoring”). “Because the Native languages were not based on European languages or mathematical progressions, the Germans were never able to understand the transmissions” (Meadows, “Honoring”). In fact, the Central Intelligence Agency called the Choctaw “instrumental” in the attacks on Germans in WWI (“Navajo- Unbreakable Code”). Because of this success, Native American code talkers were again called upon in World War II (Meadows, “Honoring”). Even though Germany and Japan had sent students to learn Native American culture and language after WWI, they were not prepared for the intricacy of the Navajo language (“Navajo- Unbreakable Code”). “The Navajo language seemed to be the perfect option as a code because it is not written and very few people who aren’t of Navajo origin can speak it” (“Navajo- Unbreakable Code”). First of all, to become a Navajo code talker, one had to speak both Navajo and English fluently, and have a minimum tenth grade education (Takaki, 68). Although not recruited until April 1942, the Navajo would see their first action as code talkers later that year (Meadows, “Honoring”). When the tests found that a Navajo code talker could send a code in two and a half minutes, when it would normally took a regular soldier hours, the military knew they had discovered a huge advantage (“Navajo- Unbreakable Code”). For instance, in response to the 800 flawless messages transmitted by Navajos at Iwo Jima, Major Howard Connor- who was the signal officer of the Navajos at Iwo Jima- said, “Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima” (“Navajo- Unbreakable Code”). The third Amphibious Corps was thought to have been the ones to report that, during Guam and other missions, the Navajo were “considered indispensable for the rapid transmission of classified dispatches” (Paul, 69). Besides transmitting vital information, the Code Talkers sometimes transmitted “dummy” messages (Takaki, 52). These false messages drove the enemy crazy, trying to decipher them, but getting nowhere (Takaki, 52). Meadows even puts forth the idea that if the Navajo and Comanche Indian communication units had been expanded, the war may have even been shortened (Meadows, “Comanche”, 50). As stated by Campbell, “In the year 2000, Federal legislation was enacted to award Congressional Gold...