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, …show more content…

The use of the Navajo language to create a code during World War II was the idea of Philip Johnston, the son of William and Margaret Johnston who were Protestant missionaries to the Navajo (Holm 71). Johnston was born and raised in the reservation; he was also the one of very few Americans who could speak the Navajo language precisely (Aaseng 17). In February of 1942, Johnston was able to present the language to the commanders of the Marine Corps and the idea impressed them, so that they allowed Johnston to start a Navajo Code Talker Test Program. Later in April, Johnston and the Marine Corps commanders went to the reservation and recruited thirty men (Aaseng 23). The men that were recruited marked the start of the pilot program. Of the first thirty men who joined the program, only twenty-nine completed it and went to help the war effort. The two men that had dropped out were not qualified for service as code talkers for the Marine Corps (Paul 75). This group of the twenty-nine Navajo men came to be called the “original twenty-nine.” The Navajo men that were recruited often lacked birth certificates so it was impossible for the Marine Corps to verify ages, but after the war it was discovered that some recruits were as young as fifteen and some were as old as thirty- five (Paul 14). Once the Navajo men were given the task to create the code it was not an easy task. Each military word had to be given a code name and the code name had to be

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