Camila Villafañe

By Camila Villafañe

LifeBuzz Staff

The Crazy Story Of How A Simple Typo Helped To End WWII.

Have you ever written a term paper in school that you thought was simply amazing? How about a cover letter and a résumé for your dream job? Then you discover that you have one or two typos, (or worse, several of them!) and your heart just sinks into despair. Well, it turns out that the people working for the government aren't perfect either. They're regular people just like us, and during times of war, fear, stress, and anxiety can lead to a few hiccups. But as luck would have it, not all typos are bad. In Geoffrey Tandy's case, it was a huge career booster and it changed the tides of World War II towards victory for the good guys.

A typo can have a negative impact on a job interview, especially during a war, unless you're this guy.

The UK Ministry of Defense looked into British cryptogammist Geoffrey Tandy's work. They were so impressed by how well-regarded and renowned he was in his field that they brought him in to lend a hand in deciphering some codes during World War II.

In 1939, Tandy was working at the Natural History Museum before joining the Royal Navy Reserves.

After the Ministry of Defense recruited him, he was told that he would go to the Bletchley Park code-cracker base, which was a top-secret facility that only the military knew about. Obviously, Tandy was very confused.

In 1939, Tandy was working at the Natural History Museum before joining the Royal Navy Reserves.

Wikipedia / Creative commons

It turns out that his résumé stated that he was a cryptogrammist, hence, why he was so sought after.

Cryptogrammists are pros when it comes to cracking codes, which was very useful during World War II. But Tandy wasn't a cryptogrammist; he was a cryptogammist, which is a person who studies algae, not codes.

Tandy had gone along with the ruse until the code he needed to crack was right in front of him.

Naturally, he couldn't do what they were asking him to do, and he couldn't head home either because Bletchley Park was a secret. So sadly, Tandy had to remain at the base for several years, supposedly with nothing to do.

Tandy had gone along with the ruse until the code he needed to crack was right in front of him.

Wikipedia / Creative commons

Then, something totally surprising happened when a sunken German U-boat was salvaged with important documents.

They had also found a bigram table, which makes it possible to decipher coded messages through a piece of equipment called an enigma machine. There was only one problem. The documents were soaked and virtually worthless.

Then, something totally surprising happened when a sunken German U-boat was salvaged with important documents.

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