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CIA declassifies Soviet-era amateur radio

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by K0UO, Nov 30, 2019.

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  1. K0UO

    K0UO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    This happened a year or two ago, but I thought it might be interesting to many of you that had not reviewed it before.
    It is pretty interesting reading on these documents about how amateur radio played an important part in the Soviet Union.
    Quote from the article.
    Gen. V. I. Kuznetzov titled, “Radio Amateurism Should be Encouraged in Every Way.” In it, Kuznetzov writes, “Undoubtedly, the success of radio amateurs in short-wave amateur activity, set building, radiofication of villages, etc., would be considerably greater if the Dosarm committees and organizations gave more encouragement to the development of radio amateurism.” Dosarm, as far as I can tell, is some kind of volunteer society whose purpose is to support the military.

    What’s striking is that Kuznetzov, who was a decorated Hero of the Soviet Union, saw the very real benefits of amateur radio and having a population trained in radio techniques. He concludes his article with, “Complete development of radio amateurism is one of the most important tasks of the Dosarm in reinforcing the economic and defensive strength of the soviet state.”
    FOIA | CIA FOIA (foia.cia.gov)
    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/search/site/ amateur ham radio
     
    K8PG, KC0KEK, KN4YHP and 4 others like this.
  2. NL7W

    NL7W Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Even some generals have a modicum of common sense. :)
     
    K9ASE, W4NNF, WE4B and 1 other person like this.
  3. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The article rings a very familiar bell from my up-bringing in Cold-War Sweden.

    Although expressed in less bombastic words, the general views also here were that amateur radio was something that should be encouraged by the Authorities for national defence reasons.

    Radio amateurs were seen as a source for conscript radio operators and technical staff, which kept their competence by operating and equipment- building in peace-time.

    The sentiments in the late-40s were not if there should be a new war , but when. Little Sweden became "armed to the teeth", during this period, with a substantial conscript army and navy and also one of the largest air forces in the region.

    According to the tradition of organising everything, all forms of paramilitary volunteer organisations also surfaced.

    Amateur radio was not excluded.
    Soon after the war, the amateur radio national society formed a "defence section" which somewhat later was transformed into the still existing "Voluntary Radio Organisation", which intially was armed, but later due to legal concerns became an un-armed corps tasked with communications support for the Home Guard forces.

    In these days, loyalty and "political reliability" meant everything.
    Every prospective radio amateur was screened by both the uniformed and security police, and had to prove good conduct together with providing character references.

    Those amateurs that enrolled in the voluntary organisations were subjected to further checks by military security agencies.

    Things have changed a lot since then. Today, very few official care about amateur radio which is considered a "royal PITA", and is hoped to vanish by attrition.


    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
    K9ASE, K8PG, NL7W and 2 others like this.
  4. W4ZD

    W4ZD Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Times change, eh? Here in the USA amateur radio was once considered a national resource. Nowadays it's just a hobby. Things like dropping the code requirement are indicative of this. And, of course, the fundamental reason (I think) is the huge advancement(s) in communications technology. A guy that could drive a J38 was once worth something. Now he's just an historical anachronism.

    Times change.
     
    W0FS, N8ZL, W5BIB and 4 others like this.
  5. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Amateur radio has always been a "hobby" by definition, but a hobby with beneficial side-effects.

    For these reasons, it was encouraged by the Authorities, that had seen the amateur self-training be of value in WW2. The allied victory is actually the major, if not the sole, reason for the continued existence of international amateur radio.

    They envisioned that the next war would have a similar "look and feel", and to use a lot of conscript manual radio operators.

    Today, affordable means of international mass communications are in the hands of almost everybody. The thrill of communications that still existed in my youth has become commonplace, and is also taken for granted.

    It has become very difficult and almost impossible to "sell" the concept of studying for and pass the exams for a licence, buy expensive gear and to fight antenna permission problems just to communicate with "fossils" through slow and noisy channels.

    A small minority of "nerds" that actually conform to the definition of radio amateurs in the ITU Radio Regulations due to their serious interest in radio technology does exist, but has become more and more marginalised.
    The clubs and societies are quite indifferent to them, and just want their membership revenue.

    It remains to be seen for how long the first-world regulators will maintain their patience with a group of mostly old people that constantly bicker, only creates problems, occupies valuable spectrum and consume expensive man-hours for nothing in return.

    73/
    Karl-Arne
    SM0AOM
     
    K9ASE, K8PG, NL7W and 1 other person like this.
  6. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    We had much the same thing here in the 1950s and 60s. Much of that is still in the FCC rules - see the 'Basis and Purpose' statements. Also, RACES existed to support Civil Defense and still does for Homeland Security.
     
    K8PG and K0UO like this.
  7. W7ASA

    W7ASA Ham Member QRZ Page

    The usefulness of ham radio is relative to the situation and resources at hand:

    When a ship is sinking, the lowly life raft is king.

    73 de Ray ..._ ._

     
    K9ASE, F8WBD, W0FS and 1 other person like this.
  8. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

    DOSARM - a Soviet era department

    That structure of The Defense Society existed until August 20, 1951, when the DOSAV, DOSARM and DOSFLOT were united into The All-Union Voluntary Society for Cooperation with Army, Air Forces and Navy (DOSAAF) of the USSR.

    The Voluntary Society for Assistance to the Army, Air Force, and Navy (DOSAAF = Dobrovol’noye obschchestvo sodeystviya armii, aviahtsii i flotu – the Voluntary Society for Supporting the Army, Air Force and Navy; now called ROSTO – the Russian Defence Sports & Technical Society.) was responsible for premilitary training of Soviet youth.
     
    K0UO likes this.
  9. KL7KN

    KL7KN Ham Member QRZ Page

  10. KD0CAC

    KD0CAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just to double check what I thought was history of ham radio during WWII in US ?
    I thought I read that durning the war in the US , ham licenses were suspended / ?

    Backwards of what many might guess - US says no , and others [ especially USSR ] say yes to ham radio ?
     

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