Radio Enthusiasts Who Helped Win A War

16-year old Bob King was visited by a Royal Signal sometime during the start of World War I. The teenager had no idea why a captain would come to his doorstep or that he would be instrumental in helping win a war. He was hired to be one of the voluntary interceptors which would work alongside 1500 other radio amateurs to intercept the secret codes that the Nazi army shared over the radio. As a young boy, he was politely asked to be a part of the mission, and Bob King was more than happy to assist in doing something he loved. 0ver 50 years later he spoke to reporters telling them the story about how thrilling the experience was and the information they were able to unearth.

Amateur radio enthusiasts had been active on the RSGB for some time, and the British Royal Signal had heard them work on the amateur radio channel and decided to speak to the best ones of the lot. The British Military Intelligence used the services of the lads and ladies on the RSGB and made them sign disclaimers about keeping their mouths shut and doing what was required to win the war.

Code Crackling

The young boys were allowed to work from their own homes and were all over the country. They were allowed to use the equipment that they already had and eavesdrop on the messages that were exchanged by the allies and the enemies. By the year 1941, over 10,000 messages were passed through the radio every day by the recruits who worked for the secret service. For five years they worked hard and provided all the information that they had intercepted. The report was not straightforward, and the recruits became very good at being able to understand the military jargon of the other nations. The encoding and the decoding of the data was a challenge and that the radio amateurs loved.

The enthusiasm of the young men was curbed and contained, and they were not allowed to breathe a word about their involvement in the secret mission. Finally, after so many years several of the radio amateurs have been allowed to speak and have given useful information on how to develop a passion for amateur radios. The successful invasion of Normandy is a credit that has to go to the radio interceptors of the time. The real success of the interceptors lay in what they were able to decipher. Most often the Morse code that was used in the radio was a tough nut to crack. However, once they were able to understand the inner workings, the mission became easy. Their understanding of the enemy allies was far greater than the actual men on the field at times. The skills and the tactics of the amateurs have been a beneficial find for the British army and truly helped in winning the war and overthrowing the Germans. While the battle was won, there were other activities such as sabotages and deception that was monitored and found during the radio intercepting phases. These young men are now celebrated with the likes of war heroes for their immense contribution to Great Britain.


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