World War II

Discussion in '"Boat Anchor" & Classic Equipment' started by KG7LEA, Jun 14, 2019.

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  1. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm both a history buff as a radio buff. In the World War II forums there are threads ad nauseam about the best fighters/tanks/bombers. I am interested in which of the combatants had the best radio technology and equipment. As a teen in the 60s in the Civil Air Patrol I operated for a week a Navy TCS-14 (photo at right) with a home-brew power supply. One of the neighbors had a FM radio from a tank with push button channel selection and crystals (he had a full set), but we had no one to talk to (and no license).
  2. N2EY

    N2EY Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    "Best" depends on the application. Example: The RBA/B/C receivers are very good, but they weigh so much and use so much power that their use in aircraft was impractical.

    The HRO receivers were so good that both the Germans and Japanese tried to copy them.
  3. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is quite easy.

    The allied side had the best development and production facilities, and could
    churn out tremendous amounts of radio hardware "for war destruction".

    In the "Surplus Schematics Handbook" from the late 50s this was expressed with these words:

    Performance and longevity were adapted to the task in hand, and everything was carefully
    optimised to use materials optimally and for mass-production. The best examples of this may have been the Command Sets.

    The other extreme was the German radio design and production philosophy.
    Everything was designed for the highest performance possible, and sometimes
    equipment became both heavily built and quite over-engineered.

    Illustrative examples can be placing the functional equivalents of equipment from both sides
    side-by-side and comparing the "insides";

    A BC-454 receiver and the EK10 which incidentally have the same tuning ranges and intermediate frequencies;
    bc-454.jpg ek10.jpg

    A BC-696 transmitter and the SK10;
    bc696.jpg sk10.jpg

    An E52 "Köln"HF receiver and the BC-312.

    E52.jpg bc312.jpg

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
    N4FZ and N2EY like this.
  4. WQ4G

    WQ4G Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would say the Germans. They are excellent engineers and were ahead of the U.S. in war material and engineering in the early days of the war. Of course toward the end of the war this condition had reversed.

    This is just a guess. But, my guess is based on the fact that the Germans are/were excellent (world class) engineers.

    Dan KI4AX
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  5. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Can you be more specific? Was a German commander less likely to have his message go through than an Allied commander? As I understand it, Lend Lease to the USSR included electronics. From what you say, an Allied company commander was better served with comms than his German counterpart. How about the Japanese?

    I should think that German quality control suffered from the use of slave labor.
  6. YO3GFH

    YO3GFH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's something about where German radio tech was back then. It was widely reflected in the russian radios (and not only) after the war :)
  7. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    Radio was more widely used in the Allied forces and farther down in the organisation,
    and the number of produced sets overwhelmed the German numbers.
    I do not have any specifics about Japanese practices.

    The whole Telefunken and part of the Lorenz development works were captured by the Soviets, and this influenced Soviet radio technology well into the 1960s.

    KG7LEA likes this.
  8. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would also be curious if any Axis developments found their way into US commercial or ham radio after the war. I suspect getting a piece of enemy equipment even after Victory would be a challenge.
  9. KE4OH

    KE4OH Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've read several boffins who touched on this subject. Quality of the German communication equipment didn't seem to be much of an issue. Rather, the command and control structure was a problem. Apparently, local commanders had little leeway in making tactical decisions. Requests had to go up the chain of command to whatever the right level was. Then orders came back down. Not very efficient. Ironic, considering the German reputation for efficiency.
  10. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    One of the German advantages in 1940 was comms by the mobile forces, i.e., radios in tanks. I know the Sovs only had radios in the commander tanks (marked by whip antennas, good targets).

    Japanese fighter planes generally did not have radios. I don't think any US airplane lacked a radio.

    At Surigao Strait in 1944 the PT boats spotted the oncoming Japanese fleet and radioed the information. The signals did not get through. Was there any analysis of the reason?

    At Arnhem in 1944 the British never gained contact between the advance force at the bridge and the rest of the landing force.

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