Communicating today has never been easier. Then, you could just grab your mobile phone, and with a few clicks, you could reach someone thousands of miles away. Pair it with your Bluetooth earphones, and you can chitchat hands-free without pausing. However, it was very different some hundred years ago when the First World War broke out.

It was a time when electricity wasn’t even accessible to everyone. There were not many effective ways to communicate and efficiently dispatch information. If anything, it was a time when communication technology quickly developed out of necessity. Thanks to the advancements in communication technology, drum beats, flaming arrows, and messenger pigeons were no longer the main form of military communication. Nevertheless, it was a major key to victory.

Let’s explore the different types of communication used by the Allied forces during World War I.

Telegraph and Morse Code

Morse’s telegraph station. (Milica BuhaCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Perhaps the very first long-distance messaging device, the telegraph, worked by sending electric current to a receiving station. The current was interrupted every time the sender pressed on his telegraph key, creating an audible pulse that the receiving station would hear. As the telegraph could not carry voice or text, the message had to be relayed solely through sound pulses. It might be a little tricky if you think about it.