Recent information gathered from German sources refers to the radio facilities that are
part of the equipment of these batteries. The equipment consists of two 30-watt transmitters, one
mounted on an armored reconnaissance car, the other, on a truck when on the march, or near
battery headquarters while stationary. In addition a battery has at least three portable
transceivers known as "Fritz." This is a two-man outfit; one carries the transceiver, the
other, the accessories, batteries, and antenna. Each radio set has two microphones, throat
and mouth; however, the latter are preferred. The "Fritz" radio set is not a walkie-talkie and
must be set up for operation. It has a range of about 5.5 miles. The battery also
has direction-finding equipment.
a. Tactical Use of the Radio Equipment
The two 30-watt sets are only used when on the march. Then the armored reconnaissance car is
sent out ahead and keeps in contact with the battery by radio. When in stationary position, it
is stated that the 30-watt equipment was not used and that no radio net existed among the
various batteries; only telephone was used.
Two advanced observation posts are set up by each battery. The forward advanced post is
equipped with telephone and radio, the radio being used only as a standby. The forward
observation post reports directly to the battery, and only in emergencies will it communicate
with the other observer. Direction-finding equipment is theoretically to be used to locate
enemy stations, but was also used in the Libyan desert by the observers to orient themselves
in case they got lost or detached from their battery. Under ordinary circumstances, so it
appeared, the direction-finding device was little used.
b. Use of Codes
Codes are used by the observers. The radio-station call signs and frequencies are changed
every 4 hours. The call signs are made up of letters and numbers. The signal operation
instructions concerning call signs and frequencies are issued every 3 days. No authenticators
are used. It is thought that changing call signs and frequencies every 4 hours is sufficient
signal security. All messages transmitted to the battery headquarters and all orders to
observers are sent in a prearranged code. All points in view of the observer, and the
area in general, have previously been mapped and designated points given code numbers. As
a result, the observer gives all points mentioned in a report in code. Reference was
here made to the fact that the sending of false messages by enemy troops either
to the observer or to battery headquarters would be difficult. Only fire commands are
given in the clear; otherwise, code is strictly used. The only exception to this is the
case where the officer originating the message signs a statement that he wants it sent
in the clear.
The statement was made that considerable trouble was experienced because the German radio
equipment was not watertight. It was felt the British equipment was superior to the
German in this respect. It usually took 3 days to get a set back when it was sent in
for repairs. Other than the equipment getting waterlogged, no troubles were encountered.