|French Cipher Decryption|
|Research Points Needed|
|Building Needed||Staff College|
Decoding Napoleon’s secret plans and orders will provide valuable intelligence, improving command.
Reading an enemy general’s orders before he does so can be incredibly useful, marking the difference between victory and defeat. As the war in the Peninsular has progressed the French have developed new and ingenious ways to disguise and encode messages. Some are transported in clothes, saddles and even riding crops, but interception is only half the problem. Each message must be deciphered. However, through the dogged application of a keen mind it is possible to unlock even complicated codes, providing commanders with valuable information.
The Rossignol family name was synonymous with code creation but the name of Scovell should be synonymous with code breaking. Major George Scovell was one of Wellington’s staff who successfully cracked a number of French codes. He had no background in intelligence and was a self-taught code breaker, learning his craft from “The Art of Decyphering” by David Arnold Conradus. He established himself as Wellington’s cipher expert when he cracked the Army of Portugal code in two days. He also broke enough of the Great Paris Cipher to provide Wellington with valuable information that facilitated the British victory at Vitoria.