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"Trends in German Signal Equipment" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following intelligence report on WWII German signal equipment was originally published in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 46, May 1, 1944.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Examination of German signal equipment used in the Sicilian campaign, has indicated that the Germans are again throwing into their holding operations older type sets of the Infantry Division T/BA. Many of these sets were so-called commercial designs and were listed in the Telefunken and Lorenz catalogs of 1938.

Another notable trend in types has been observed and that is the apparent abandonment by the Germans of the use of heavy, bulky, two-men pack sets. They are now using one-man pack sets, particularly in the forward echelon to talk from company to company and to the rear, utilizing the so-called type Feld fu Type b and c, operating between 110 and 130 mcs. Our nearest sets in technical use are the SCR-194, SCR-195, and SCR-300.

A recent examination of a German Wurzburg gun-laying type transmitter has indicated that the Germans are not finishing off the sets, either because of lack of time or because of effective bombing of factories. For example, the particular transmitter inspected (S62) showed the rough machine tool and grinding tool marks; there was also no attempt made to paint the equipment, which would be considered unpardonable under previous productions.

Captured red synthetic field wire indicates that the Germans have abandoned the use of braids and rubber coverings formerly used. This particular field wire, which has insulation similar to the General Electric Flamenol, has eight steel conductors and one large copper conductor which makes it difficult to handle; it is comparable to our W-110-B. The hidden reason for the German's use of this wire is to relieve industrial "bottle-neck" by reducing the footage rejected caused by "kinking" of the field wire in processing.

The characteristic red color was ideal from the standpoint of camouflage in the red desert areas of North Africa. It is also valuable to follow through the dust storms and smoke occurring during action.


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