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World War II

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

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  1. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    I have never driven on the Garden State Parkway. However, I have driven on the Los Angeles area freeways and, for decades, on Central Expressway in the Dallas, Texas, area.

    I definitely know about "hand signals"!

    Glen, K9STH
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  2. K9STH

    K9STH Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page


    The BC-610 was also used, on a limited basis, in the Vietnam war.

    According to a friend of mine, at one of Air Force bases in Vietnam, the primary communications transmitter went down. That was the transmitter on which the encrypted messages concerning strike authorizations, etc., were transmitted. As such, for a few days, the old BC-610 was pressed into service using hand sent CW.

    The transmitter had a bad chirp but was used anyway. However, during that period, the aircraft losses dropped to almost zero. It seems that the enemy was caught "with their pants down" and could not get their fighter aircraft airborne in time to intercept the B-52 formations.

    It finally "dawned" on higher command that the enemy just might have obtained decryption equipment and was reading the messages concerning the air strikes as they were transmitted. The old "hand sent" CW was not being decoded, at least in time to prepare for the air strikes.

    Glen, K9STH
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  3. W9YAC

    W9YAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually the Germans had very sophisticated ‘RADAR’ (Radio Detection and Ranging) systems, developed independently from the British systems. Throughout the war, there was a constant measure and counter-measure between RADAR systems and ECM. Britain developed a low frequency RADAR system (and the command and control to go with it) just in time to fight the Battle of Britain, and the Germans had early warning systems from 1940 on with increasing sophistication. Since Germany was in largely in the defense from 1942 on, they also had searchlight and gun laying RADAR systems.

    Britain's invention of the Magatron, and therefore microwave frequencies, changed everything and they shared that with the US.

    The Japanese never were advanced as the western allies but did have early warning systems at Guadalcanal and independently developed a magatron and centimetric RADAR. The US used jamming and spoofing systems against this for the B-29 raids. Rivalry between the Japanese Army and Navy hampered their RADAR development.

    An interesting summary can be read with:

    Instruments of Darkness: The History of Electronic Warfare, 1939-1945 Paperback – August 1, 2017

    by Alfred Price (Author)
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  4. W9YAC

    W9YAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I meant ‘magnetron’ but my spell check auto changed that for me.
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  5. ZL3OF

    ZL3OF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I recall reading many years ago (don't recall the book so I can't reference it) where the Germans would jam the radar on Malta. The British would cease operation, change something, employ some countermeasure or whatever and operate until the Germans figured out how to jam it again. This cycle went on a few times until the Brits realised that the only way that the enemy could know that the jamming was successful was because they had turned the radar off, so they just continued to operate the radar even though it was entirely useless. After a few weeks the Germans turned the jammer off because they thought that it was ineffective. Just goes to show sometimes a little cunning beats technology.

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  6. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    A funny and brilliant young engineer named R.V. Jones was the maestro of that operation. He later had a fabulous career in aviation safety as an aircrash detective (basically writing the book on how those operations should be done).

    This is one of my favorite memoirs on the subject of WW2 radar and communications countermeasures from the British perspective. An absolutely smashing read.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  7. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    It was not a matter of the rigid "German mind".

    The Allies had spent years feeding double agent information to the Germans. Most important was the double agent "Garbo". He was known to Hitler and strongly established the story that the landings would be at Pas de Calais. Don't forget Gen'l George Patton and his phantom First Army Group, which also fed into the Calais story.

    So, the Germans were not 'rigid". They acted on what was a logical expectation based on a complete analysis of available information.

    Juan Pujol García
    MBE (14 February 1912 – 10 October 1988), also known as Joan Pujol Garcia, was a Spanish double agent against Nazi Germany during World War II, when he relocated to Britain to carry out fictitious spying activities for the Germans. He was given the codename Garbo by the British; their German counterparts codenamed him Alaric and referred to his non-existent spy network as "Arabal".[2]
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  8. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    Anyone who likes this topic should try to make time for side splitting laughter and seriousness of the highest order at the same time, with another memoir by Leo Marks, who was very young during WW2 and turned into a key participant of top secret intelligence activities, devising cypher codes and deception methods.

    Between Silk and Cyanide
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
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  9. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Highly recommend!
  10. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    He won the Iron Cross from the Germans and an MBE from the British for his efforts :)
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