Now listen up, People! I keep telling you to take out a subscription, print or e-mail, to the very best weekly magazine in the world - The Spectator and if you want to know why just read this fascinating article from this week's edition on - yes, you guessed it - hacking, but not the current garbage, I mean truly historical and world-changing hacking.
Mr. Sinclair McKay reminds us of one of the truly great 'hacks' of history, the one that decoded the Zimmerman telegram and brought America into WWI. Why was I not surprised to find that the 'hero' of this story was an Old Etonian with, dare I add, a love of amateur theatricals! Nigel de Gray, and his equally eccentric colleagues, were serving in the Admiralty during WWI and they had devised a method of breaking into the underground telegram cables some of which, rather surprisingly, ran under England and were used by Germany.
Nigel de Gray
At the beginning of 1917 when the European 'slugfest' was at its height, Germany decided to go all out for a win by encouraging the Mexicans (ya'll readin' this, Donald?!) to attack America so that they would face a war on two fronts if they decided to join in on the side of the allies. At the same time, they had decided to unleash the policy of unrestricted submarine warfare against any shipping heading for Britain. The telegram, of course, was wrapped up in a hugely complicated code but, in an age long before computers, this Old Etonian and his equally brilliant chums managed to crack it. What is it with all these Old Etonians, they're either geniuses or total dimwits?!
Anyway, Woodrow Wilson had his mind made up for him by the famous 'Room 40' at the Admiralty and shortly there-after America was in the war. Jolly good show! Now go and take out your subscription to The Spectator, it's definitely better than 'Buzzfeed' and CNN!