3 thoughts on “WWII Archive: “War On the Short Wave”

  1. Marty Delfin

    Thanks for sharing a very interesting piece of history— I wish I had found this book way back in the early 1980s when I was working on my thesis on international broadcasting and propaganda in Latin America during WWII– Oh well!

  2. Michael Black

    I’m reading “Station X” by Michael Smith right now, about Benchley Park in WWII and their efforts to decode Enigma. I’ve read other books about that work, but none just about it. Shortwave is mostly off stage, it’s there but not really covered. Though, if radio hadn’t been used, the messages would have been a whole lot harder to get On the other hand, maybe not as hard to decode, since a wired system likely wouldn’t use as much encryption. It does a better explanation of the move from dedicated mechanical devices to help with the decoding to an actual programmable computer than what I’ve read previously.

    The James Bond films feature shortwave in the early days, though ironically I’d have thought phone and Telex would be more commonly used by that time, if nothing else it’s less obvious than a radio station. Dr. No has shortwave in an early scene, and a receiving station with rows of Racal receivers. The sort of arrangement likely used in WWII. IN a much later film, around Goldeneye, a similar receiving station, I think with Racals, appears again.

    One book I read some years back was “Most Secret War” by R.V. Jones, about the technical work to figure out what the nazis were doing in the way of rocketry and other technical advances Some of that intelligence gathering and interpretation resulted in missions to destroy rocket launchers and heavy water plants in Norway. I’m not sure how much radio played in that book, but I remember the author (who was deeply involved in the work) said something about the value of amateur radio operators in the work .



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