Celebrating VE Day with Morse Code
VE Day (8th May 1945) signified the end of nearly 6 years of war. Germany had surrended!
When VE Day dawns on 8th May 2020 it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe.
VE stands for Victory in Europe.
The official announcement from Britain's Ministry of Information said "In accordance with arrangements between the three great powers, tomorrow (8th May), will be treated as Victory in Europe Day and will be regarded as a holiday. Thousands of people celebrated, despite rationing, and were even allowed bonfires.
Almost 6 years of carnage and destruction had come to an end and millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, mourn their loved ones and look for hope for the future.
It’s important that we remember how we got to this day, and how we communicated to our troops and allies, to eventually overcome the enemy. During the second world war one method of communicating over long distances and in secret was to use Morse code. Morse code uses a sequence of dots and dashes to represent letters and numbers. The duration of a dash is 3 times the duration of a dot. Gaps (called a space) between a dot or a dash were used to show a letter, number or word had ended. Between characters the space was equal to three dots and after a word the space was equal to seven dots.
To make Morse code easier to use the most common letters such as the letter "E", have the shortest code: a single dot. Morse code can be transmitted in many ways such as electric current, radio waves, light, or sound. Morse code operators would be trained to memorise the letters and numbers, so they could send and receive messages very quickly.
Here's how the alphabet looked…
a .- b -.. c -.-. d -.. e . f ..-. g --. h .... i .. j .--- k -.- l .-.. m --
n -. o --- p .--. q --.- r .-. s ... t - u ..- v ...- w .-- x -..- y -.-- z --..
Why don’t you have a go at translating these…
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