Article: Ham Radio in Nazi Germany

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Article: Ham Radio in Nazi Germany

Post by sailorsam » 09 Nov 2022 02:57

saw this on an unrelated forum, thought it was interesting ... rice-90510

Though there were only a few thousand licensed German hams, their technical expertise was too valuable to the regime to be completely dismissed. In fact, German ham radio operators and their clubs found themselves with several powerful Nazi supporters – including in the German military – who protected them from being shut down as other hobby groups had been. The government even doubled the number of available ham transmission licenses.

Hams could continue their hobby, but only if they collaborated, at times in ways antithetical to the hobby’s previous culture.

today one can buy ready-made ham kits and be on the air in minutes (with a license of course). Ham Radio back then was much more complicated, equipment and usage (lots of morse code instead of voice).

the potential problems with personal radio to a dictatorship are obvious. uncontrolled communication, especially with outsiders, was not to be tolerated, then and now. (modern equivalent; China and Cuba throttling the internet.)

I wonder if some of the Ham operators were forced to parachute into England to be spies.
I'm no expert but I've seen several accounts about espionage agents frustrated by the difficulty in transmitting information to their home countries. one of the first things a spy ring would do would be to train or recruit a radio operator, who would often handle multiple agents. for technical reasons a lot of radio stations were located in South America, as they could contact Europe with fair consistency. (apparently the radio worked better North/South than East/West.)
Saint Peter, let these men enter Heaven; they served their time in hell.

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Re: Article: Ham Radio in Nazi Germany

Post by heerheer1938 » 01 Dec 2022 23:57

As a Ham (qrp) guy myself I found this very interesting and something I had Bern wondering about for a very long time.

Do have any photos of the keys and equipment they were using?
Die russische Front?!?

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