Tag Archives: Ian P

A close look at the Russian Woodpecker (Duga-3)

(Source: news.com.au via Ian P)

ON MAPS, this site was marked as a children’s playground. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

When the Chernobyl nuclear explosion happened in 1986, it shook the world in many ways. Not only did it put the now ghost town of Pripyat on the map for all the wrong reasons, it also exposed the world to what was really at this site in Ukraine — the dreaded Duga radar, also known as the Russian Woodpecker.

A Soviet engineering and scientific feat of its time, the Russian Woodpecker was an over-the-horizon radar system designed to provide early detection of an intercontinental ballistic missile attack.

[…]Air traffic controls, television and radio broadcasters would be irked by the mysterious pecking noises it emitted, hence its nickname, the Russian Woodpecker.

Built just outside the city of Pripyat, it was completely off limits and unknown to outsiders.
It was erected near Chernobyl due to its high power demands. On maps, it was marked as a summer camp for children hidden in the depths of the forest. Locals were told that the imposing skyscraper was a radio tower.[…]

Click here to read the full article…

Australian code breakers in World War II

Many thanks to SWLing Post contributor, Ian P, for sharing the following from the radio program, ABC Overnights:

The crucial role of Australian code breakers in World War 2

Thanks to the recent film, The Imitation Game, you may be familiar with the story of how British intelligence, led by mathematician Alan Turing, cracked Nazi codes during WW2. Did you know there were also two secret organisations in Australia working to break Japan’s military codes?

These were staffed with brilliant cryptographers, including some who had studied mathematics and the classics, and others who had lived or grown up in Japan. By patiently and carefully unravelling the codes in Japanese signals, their intelligence played a crucial role in the battles of Midway and the Coral Sea, as well as the push into the Philippines.

Trevor Chappell interviews Craig Collie, author of the book Code Breakers – Inside the Shadow world of Signals Intelligence in Australia’s two Bletchley Parks.

Duration: 36min 36sec
Broadcast: Mon 10 Apr 2017, 1:00am
Published: Mon 10 Apr 2017, 4:43pm

Listen to the full program/interview via the embedded player below:

Click here to download the MP3 or click here to listen on the ABC website.

I’ve also noted that you can pre-order Code Breakers – Inside the Shadow world of Signals Intelligence in Australia’s two Bletchley Parks at Amazon.com. There is no expected delivery time yet, however.

Code Breakers is available directly from the publisher in Australia–click here to view.