Chinese code breakers contribute to WWII victory

By Liu Qiang
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, August 21, 2015
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Pearl Harbor attack could have been avoided

On the morning of December 7, 1941, Japanese planes bombed the United States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor. The attack killed almost 3,000 Americans, leading to America's entry into World War II. However, just four days before the attack, Chinese code-breaking genius Chi Buzhou deciphered the plan and informed Chiang Kai-shek of this appalling discovery. Chiang immediately passed the decrypted message to the United States. However, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt underestimated China's code-breaking abilities and ignored this information.

Chi, born in southern China's Fujian Province in 1908, studied and lived in Japan for ten years and married a Japanese woman. When Japan launched the full-scale invasion of China in 1937, he returned to China with his wife and three children and engaged in the code battle between China and Japan.

In his memoir "The Code Battle: Replaying the Battleground of the Republic of China," Chi recalled his code deciphering efforts that led to the killing of Japanese Marshal Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Chi decrypted a message containing the specific details about Yamamoto's inspection tour throughout the South Pacific and the message was sent to America. On the morning of April 18, 1943, Yamamoto's flight was intercepted en route and shot down by American aircraft.

Chi died at the age of 95 in Kobe, Japan.

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