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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

    What are the details of the radio sets used by agents, German and Allied? I know they used CW and when agents were blown or turned, the handlers tried to mimic their CW fist to feed bogus information back.

    I don't recall that any agents in the US used radio except from embassies.
  2. KP4SX

    KP4SX Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Anything that a ham might have used in the 30s was fair game. That often meant homebrew xmtr. A specific crystal was a difficult problem and often had to be passed physically inside lines.
    Many of the agents 'dropped' into the UK brought radio sets with them.
    There's a number of radios like the Paraset that sneaked in. The Paraset is actually a quite effective radio.
  3. W9YAC

    W9YAC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the early history of RADAR, and how fast it developed, is fascinating and very radio related. The Germans had radars operating near 600 MHz using tube technology (Giant Wurzberg), and airborne sets used to find British night bombers operating around 100 MHz. By the end of WWII British and Americans had ground mapping radar in bombers (H2S & AN/APQ-13), and the B-29 was designed with the AN/APQ-13 integrated from the beginning. Amazing wartime progress considering where radio was in 1939.

    Interesting books that are not deeply technical include:

    Giant Wurzberg below:

    Giant Wurzberg.jpg
    KD2ACO likes this.
  4. KD2ACO

    KD2ACO Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    OK, I dug through the library and found another good one.

    The Secret Wireless War, by Geoffrey Pidgeon is about the story of MI6 communications from 1939-1945.

    This memoir has many nice pictures and details of clandestine sets used by the British.
  5. K9STH

    K9STH Ham Member QRZ Page


    During the war, O.S.S. agents had all sorts of radios at their disposal. The "Paraset" units are just one of the units supplied to those deployed behind enemy lines. In neutral countries, some agents did have radio equipment outside of the embassy. However, such operation was "frowned upon" by neutral governments and using such equipment could get the agent in a LOT of hot water.

    As for Operation Quicksilver, of which FUSAG (First United States Army Group), as well as "Garbo", etc., was concerned, this deception was successful because the German high command, and Adolf Hitler, were convinced that the main invasion would come at the Pas de Calais and were very adamant that this would happen. Their rigid concept did not allow for any other possibility. Any attack, anywhere else, would be a diversion intended to draw forces from the Pas de Calais and then the main invasion would be in that area.

    It took between a week and 2-weeks before the Germans finally realized that there was not going to be any invasion in the Pas de Calais region. Hitler refused to release the Panzer divisions, held in reserve, for several days, to deploy to Normandy. Between Allied air superiority and efforts by the Maquis (primary French underground movement), the advance of those divisions was severely delayed. Had they been immediately deployed, things would have definitely been considerably more difficult for the Allied forces (not that there were problems especially at Omaha beach).

    By the way, my father's middle sister's husband went in with the 2nd wave at Omaha beach. He survived that battle but lost the hearing, in one ear, not that long after from a "potato masher" German grenade going off just a few feet from him. None of my other close relatives were in the infantry during World War II. My father's younger brother was an engineer / top turret gunner in a B-17 crew in the 8th Air Force. He was the only survivor when his B-17 was shot down. He was picked from the water by some French fishermen who just happened to be Maquis members. They eventually got him out through Spain.

    My mother's eldest brother was the chief SONARman on a destroyer escort (DE-666, U.S.S. Durik). His ship was on convoy duty in the Atlantic when the German submarine U-505 was captured. The ship joined the task force just minutes after the submarine was captured. He was sworn, under penalty of death, not to mention anything about the capture. My uncle never said anything until after the submarine was put on display at the Museum of Science and Industry, in Chicago, during the 1950s.

    My mother's younger sister's husband was in the Navy during World War II. However, I know nothing about his service. My father tried several times to enlist. But, he was born with a major heart defect and, as such, was "4-F".

    There are 2-separate wars that I have studied since I was in elementary school. One is World War II and the other is the American Civil War. I have over 100 books about the Civil War and over 50 about World War II. Finding new volumes about either war is always on my mind especially where books are on sale including garage sales, library sales, used book stores, and so forth.

    Glen, K9STH
  6. KF5LJW

    KF5LJW Ham Member QRZ Page

    You got that right Glen, Hitler was a complete idiot and could have easily won the war. The Germans were scared to death of Patton. To bad political correctness put Patton out of service for slapping down a few soldiers and later assassinated with Bradley's permission and help. Patton kicked butt and scared the Germans right out of Bastogne after being reassigned to the 3rd Army.If only if Eisenhower had let Patton take Berlin and sign an armistice with Germany, rearm Germany, and turn on Russia.
  7. W6RZ

    W6RZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    WWII segment starts at 5:09.

  8. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    From simple "which combatants had the best (communication) technology" to utterly nonsense (political) speculations - after the battle everybody is a general!

    Best technology - German.
    FuG10 as a prime example.
    Miniature tubes , modular design - replace faulty module , easy to operate ( EK10 oversized dial "knob" )...

    As far as "quality control and slave labor " - that has zilch to do with "technology".

    US ARC5
    Somewhat "modular" - RX /TX / tuner /etc
    Try to operate it using gloves.
    Advanced (during WWII time) "millennium attitude" - get a new "module" instead of repairing it ,...

    Yes, the question was whose WWII technology was best, not whose political ambitions were corrects, who was better general or solider or who can manufacture it faster , cheaper etc.

    73 Shirley

    Wurzburg radar located in an astronomic observatory in OK land - in Ondrejov was successfully used as 2 meter antenna few years back during VHF/ UHF Field Day. It is still there !ře...bor:Ondřejov_Astro_Solar_radio_telescope2.jpg
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  9. KG7LEA

    KG7LEA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    What are the details? Frequencies? Power? Antennas?
  10. SM0AOM

    SM0AOM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The "Paraset" agent set was of British manufacture, had a crystal controlled oscillator together with a 0-V-1 receiver.

    Frequency range 3 to 8 MHz about, power around 5 W into a random-wire antenna.
    More advanced agent sets were the "MkIII" or "Berit" sets that had a two-stage transmitter with about 10W and a 4-tube superhet receiver.


    This set had an instrumental role in the Norwegian resistance, and got some post-war fame as it was one of the transmitters on-board the Kon-Tiki.

    Another, lesser known, set is the Danish "ultra-portable" resistance radio "Telefonbogen" or "Telephone Book" which was the brainchild of Steen Hasselbalch OZ7T who during the war was chief engineer for the Copenhagen telephone network.

    To telefonbøger, org optagelse-2kopi.jpg
    Post-war he became CEO of Amplidan A/S which produced non-directional beacons. It was in this position I met him in 1982.


    Attached Files:

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