The History Place - World War I


Above Left: The coded Zimmermann telegram sent by Germany which used numbers instead of words. Above Right: Worksheet showing how British Intelligence painstakingly decoded each word. Below: The decoded telegram, revealing its message intended for the President of Mexico. Publication of the telegram by US officials, soon after its discovery, tipped the balance of popular sentiment in America in favor of declaring war against Germany.

Below Left: Portrait of Alfred Zimmermann of the German Foreign Office, Germany's mastermind of political intrigue during the war. In addition to sending the notorious telegram, he fostered the Irish Republican uprising in Dublin on Easter Monday 1916 to undermine Britain. He also helped Vladimir Lenin return via train to Russia in 1917 to spread revolutionary discord in the Russian Army. Below Right: Captain Franz von Papen, Military Attaché of the German Embassy, and involved in intrigue as well. Stationed in New York, Papen was involved in a sabotage campaign to blow up US munitions plants. He was recalled to Germany in April 1916 at the request of US authorities, and subsequently indicted by the US government for his role in a plot to blow up the Welland Canal in Canada. After the war, Papen immersed himself in German politics and was instrumental in aiding Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during his rise to power.


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