Author Topic: One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'  (Read 2435 times)

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Terry_Maker

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One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'
« on: 30 November, 2009, 09:20:43 AM »
NOW DID IT REALLY HAPPEN!

Hi all,

This is one for the over 80's! As you all know I am researching my family, during WWII, and from time to time, other 'snippets' of information pass by my eyes. This one is a beauty!

The story goes:

In mid 1944, the Special Operations Executive, (The Baker Street Irregulars and 'Dirty Tricks Department'), captured the German Troop's Radio station "Soldatensender Calais".

They then transmitted a message, (dreamed up by the American, Office of Strategic Services), that there was a $50,000 dollar reward waiting for any Luftwaffe pilot, who would 'defect' to the Allies, with one of the new Me-262 jet fighters! (The worlds first practical jet aircraft). 

Before the offer was taken up, the end of the war intervened, and the whole thing vanished into the woodwork!

Evidently it became the stuff of after dinner speakers for a while, then it faded away.


End of story

It sounds plausible, and I wonder if it did really happen! As I said, this one is for the over 80's!

Did anyone hear it? It was in German, so they would have had to be able to understand it so W/Op's and 'Secret Listeners'!

Any thoughts on this one, anyone?

Terry

Offline ALANF

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Re: One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'
« Reply #1 on: 30 November, 2009, 01:04:56 PM »
Terry

"Soldatensender Calais" was never a German radio station. It was set up and run by British Intelligence. It was run by a man from the BBC called Sefton Delmar. It became very popular with the German military, because of the naughty stories it was revealing about the German Military hierarchy. It used a brand new transmitter that was bought from America. The name including Calais, was used to fool any German direction finding equipement, as it was located just across the water from Calais. It was also being fed information from a British spy in Berlin. It fooled everyone, except of course those in the German government. Indeed, at the end of the War, it is on record that a German officer claimed he was "The Chief" ie the one who gave out all the salacious details of those in government.
I have several books on the subject, unfortunately, my eldest daughter is staying with us while the builders have been let loose in her house, her belongings are blocking my access to the bookcases. When I can dig my way through, I will let you know the book titles.
I believe there is a lot more to this story than has been revealed.
I don't remember reading about the jet plane incident, but we only know a fraction of what went on in the intelligence services during the War.

Offline ALANF

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Re: One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'
« Reply #2 on: 30 November, 2009, 01:19:17 PM »
Terry

Further to my last, the story about the jet plane, would never have been sent on "Soldatensender Calais", because that would have revealed the station as being run by the Allies. The Americans did use propoganda radio stations themselves, and it would have  been put out on one of those. "Soldatensender Calais" was a very sophisticated operation, and nothing would ever have been done to have it being compromised.
Alan

Offline ALANF

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Re: One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'
« Reply #3 on: 30 November, 2009, 02:14:33 PM »
Terry

I still cant find the book on the history of the station, but the contents were not very revealing I recall. Another book, "The Berlin Bunker" by James P O'Donnell, has a very interesting chapter titled The Security Leak. This book is by far the best ever written on the subject of the last days of Hitler. The chapter mentioned has a direct relevance to "Soldatensender Calais" as their is mention of the female spy who was involved in sending infornation back. But that is another story.

Alan

Terry_Maker

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Re: One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'
« Reply #4 on: 30 November, 2009, 03:43:52 PM »
So it would appear that the story is, apocryphal and was probably just another "After Dinner Anecdote" to allay those "Just what? Did you do during the war?" questions posed by S.O.E.'s peers!

My own knowledge of Soldatensender Calais, (later Soldatensender West), was that it was set up by the S.O.E. using a 500Kw Transmitter, purchased from RCA of America for $165,000!

But that doesn't mean that the story wasn't true! That could only be proven by someone who heard it, which now doesn't seem likely.

Pity though it would have been one heck of a blockbuster movie!

Terry

Terry_Maker

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Re: One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'
« Reply #5 on: 30 November, 2009, 03:50:00 PM »
PS to my last,

I forgot to add, it was codenamed 'Aspidistra' after the song, " The Biggest Aspidistra in the World" by Grecie Fields.

Terry

Offline ALANF

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Re: One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'
« Reply #6 on: 30 November, 2009, 07:34:49 PM »
Terry

Being a little pedantic as I have just found my notes. As you say, it was named after the Gracie Fields song. The search was on for a transmitter that would drown out the German broadcasts. It was estimated that they would need a at least a 500kW transmitter. This was a bit beyond the capabilties of the British at the time, but they were told of such a transmitter had been built by RCA in America, but they were not allowed to use it commercially because it was too powerful. An engineer from PWE spent 2 months in America raising its power to 600kW. It was the most powerful transmitter in the world. It was located on Ashdown Forest in Sussex and first went on the air 8th November 1942.
There, I feel better for that!!

Alan
« Last Edit: 01 December, 2009, 06:45:46 AM by ALANF »

Terry_Maker

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Re: One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'
« Reply #7 on: 01 December, 2009, 09:05:00 AM »
Good for you Alan! It's always good to feel better!

If you are interested, I have a group of my own, on Yahoo, that discusses, and researches, these kind of things, and the Special Duties Squadrons, (148 Squadron mainly, at the moment, due to my personal search.), and if you wish to you are welcome to join us at:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/operationdarkofthemoon/

You would have to join as a 'member'. As it's my group, your acceptance is assured!

Thanks for the chat, and I look forward to the next one.

Terry

Offline JOHNL

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Re: One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'
« Reply #8 on: 02 December, 2009, 10:08:23 PM »
NOW DID IT REALLY HAPPEN!
hi , I just found this,and was reading that a u-boat crew were so demoralised by the broadcasts they too surrendered to the allies.http://militaryhistory.about.com/od/worldwariiaircraft/p/me262.htm
Hi all,

This is one for the over 80's! As you all know I am researching my family, during WWII, and from time to time, other 'snippets' of information pass by my eyes. This one is a beauty!

The story goes:

In mid 1944, the Special Operations Executive, (The Baker Street Irregulars and 'Dirty Tricks Department'), captured the German Troop's Radio station "Soldatensender Calais".

They then transmitted a message, (dreamed up by the American, Office of Strategic Services), that there was a $50,000 dollar reward waiting for any Luftwaffe pilot, who would 'defect' to the Allies, with one of the new Me-262 jet fighters! (The worlds first practical jet aircraft).  

Before the offer was taken up, the end of the war intervened, and the whole thing vanished into the woodwork!

Evidently it became the stuff of after dinner speakers for a while, then it faded away.


End of story

It sounds plausible, and I wonder if it did really happen! As I said, this one is for the over 80's!

Did anyone hear it? It was in German, so they would have had to be able to understand it so W/Op's and 'Secret Listeners'!

Any thoughts on this one, anyone?

Terry

another one moves from london!

Terry_Maker

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Re: One for Ex-Wireless Op's, and Wartime 'Secret Listeners'
« Reply #9 on: 05 December, 2009, 08:48:34 AM »
Yes, it's amazing the effect it did have, and I suppose that's how the story grew up around it
Terry