WW II SWL'ing?

WW II SWL'ing?

Post by Mark Langenfe » Tue, 25 Feb 1997 04:00:00

A good many American homes must have had SW (then often called "all-wave")
radios in the living room during WW II. Silenced hams probably still also
had good SW receiving equipment. Can anyone describe first-hand
what SWL'ing was like during the "big one?" Could you hear Tokyo Rose's
broadcasts here in the States? BBC London? Could you monitor military
traffic?

Seems to me this could be grist for a VERY interesting book or article.

Mark -- WA9ETW

 
 
 

WW II SWL'ing?

Post by j.. » Tue, 25 Feb 1997 04:00:00


Date: Mon, 24 Feb 1997 22:06:14 GMT


Subject: Re: WW II SWL'ing?
X-Newsreader: Forte Free Agent v0.55
Newsgroups: rec.radio.shortwave

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>A good many American homes must have had SW (then often called "all-wave")
>radios in the living room during WW II. Silenced hams probably still also
>had good SW receiving equipment. Can anyone describe first-hand
>what SWL'ing was like during the "big one?" Could you hear Tokyo Rose's
>broadcasts here in the States? BBC London? Could you monitor military
>traffic?

Listening to shortwave in those days was as common as
watching TV today.  Most radios had shortwave bands and
people were still thrilled to hear voices from half way
around the world.

In 1943 our family lived next door to an elderly lady from
Britain in a suburban New York City community on Long
Island.  I heard my first shortwave radio transmissions at
her house when I was 7 years old.  She listened to the BBC
often. I distinctly remember hearing Big Ben.

Those who would like to hear what WW2 domestic and shortwave
broadcasting sounded like should check out a cassette tape
produced by The National Archives Trust Fund Board,
Washington DC. The tape is entitled, "Sounds Of History from
THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES WORLD WAR 2" It is sold in museum
shops. I bought mine at the shop at the FDR home in Hyde
Park NY.  The cassette contains voices of FDR, Eisenhower,
Truman, Churchill, Hitler, and Mussolini.  Many radio
commercials for war bonds and morale boosting are included.
News broadcasts are by H. V. Kaltenborn, George Hicks, John
Daily, Arthur Godfrey, Bob Hight, and Bob Trout.  On the
flip side they have propaganda broadcasts by turncoats over
Radio Berlin including "Radio Charlie", "Lord Haw-Haw
(William Joyce)", "Paul Revere (Douglas Chandler)" and "Axis
Sally (Mildred Gillars).  Also heard are Ezra Pound over
Radio Rome, and "Tokyo Rose (Iva Toguri D' Aquino) over
Radio Tokyo.

The tape is accompanied by a pamphlet with the full text of
the transmissions to aid the sometimes hard to understand
voices.

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WW II SWL'ing?

Post by Jeffrey Donohu » Wed, 26 Feb 1997 04:00:00

That would be interesting.
You don't see much about what people were hearing at home during WWII.
Everytime time I do see and article by someone who was into SW during the
war, they we IN the war. Everyone, especially someone with an interest in
things technical, was part of the effort!



Quote:> A good many American homes must have had SW (then often called
"all-wave")
> radios in the living room during WW II. Silenced hams probably still also
> had good SW receiving equipment. Can anyone describe first-hand
> what SWL'ing was like during the "big one?" Could you hear Tokyo Rose's
> broadcasts here in the States? BBC London? Could you monitor military
> traffic?

> Seems to me this could be grist for a VERY interesting book or article.

> Mark -- WA9ETW

 
 
 

WW II SWL'ing?

Post by Kim Andrew Ellio » Fri, 28 Feb 1997 04:00:00

You might look for _Radio Goes to War,_ by Charles Rolo, published
in 1942.  It is an account of foreign broadcasts as heard by
professional monitoring services in the USA.

Kim

 
 
 

WW II SWL'ing?

Post by Adam Trent Philli » Fri, 28 Feb 1997 04:00:00


Quote:>A good many American homes must have had SW (then often called "all-wave")
>radios in the living room during WW II. Silenced hams probably still also
>had good SW receiving equipment. Can anyone describe first-hand
>what SWL'ing was like during the "big one?" Could you hear Tokyo Rose's
>broadcasts here in the States? BBC London? Could you monitor military
>traffic?

>Seems to me this could be grist for a VERY interesting book or article.

>Mark -- WA9ETW

        From conversations with Hams' and vets I know that there was a
millitary band VERY near 11metres (now CB) and that the DX conditions where
great during the war (I think the solar max was close). I knew also of
people in Europe picking up signals from Feild Martial Erwin Rommel, in his
own voice, messages where not really "in the clear", because commands where
in reference to a "thrust line" on a map. If you did not know where the
thrust line was, the info was useless.

--
"All our times have come. Here but now they're gone. Seasons don't fear the
reaper / Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain. And we can be like they are.
(Come on baby) Don't fear the reaper."
                              --Blue Oyster Cult  "(DON'T FEAR) THE REAPER"

 
 
 

WW II SWL'ing?

Post by Steven F. Scharf » Tue, 04 Mar 1997 04:00:00

Another good source for WW2 radio is Radio Yesteryear (sorry, I don't have
their address, but they're the same people behind Video Yesteryear). One of
their releases is HITLER IS ON THE AIR. Which includes a speech by Adolf
himself (with simultaneous English translation via Reichrundfunk), and a
batch of other broadcasts, including Mildred Gillars (Midge at the
Mike/Axis Sally), Bob Best, the signal identifier for "Radio Debunk" (a
mostly ineffective SW propaganda station aimed at the Eastern US), and even
"Lord Haw Haw"'s final broadcast (He was furiously drunk, and kept beating
his fists against the table as he spoke).
--
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