In cryptography, trench codes were codes used for secrecy by field armies in World War I. A reasonably-designed code is generally more difficult to crack than a classical cipher, but of course suffers from the difficulty of preparing, distributing, and protecting codebooks.
However, by the middle of World War I the conflict had settled down into a static battle of attrition, with the two sides sitting in huge lines of fixed earthworks fortifications. Vast numbers of men were sacrificed in futile offensives to break these lines, with the usual result being little more than a dent of a few kilometers at best. With armies generally immobile, distributing codebooks and protecting them was easier than it would have been for armies on the move. To be sure, trench-raiding parties could sneak into enemy lines and try to snatch codebooks, but then an alarm could be raised and a code quickly changed. They were changed on a regular basis anyway.
Other articles related to "trench code, codes, code":
... codemakers were often frustrated by the inability or refusal of combat units to use the codes—or worse, to use them properly ... badly encrypted message could undermine a cipher or code system, sometimes completely, which made an unencrypted message far preferable ... This article, or an earlier version of it, incorporates material from Greg Goebel's Codes, Ciphers, Codebreaking ...
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