Historical Article: Speaking in Tongues

historical-article-speaking-in-tonguesNear an abandoned French farm in 1918 field telephones crackled with orders in a language that baffled German eavesdroppers—and the code talkers were born

By Richard Selcer @ Historynet.com

During World War II the United States used American Indian code talkers to thwart enemy decoding of battlefield radio and telephone traffic. The exploits of these men—almost all of whom were Navajos serving with the Marines the Pacific—are justly famous, thanks to several popular written histories and the 2002 film Windtalkers.

Yet few people realize that U.S. reliance on code talkers during wartime did not originate with Navajos on some jungle-covered South Sea island. It was, instead, on the shell-pocked Western Front battlefields of World War I that American Indians—mostly Choctaws in Army uniforms—were first tasked with transmitting crucial military communications in languages the enemy could not decipher.

Read on…