|This article was originally material for a broadcast of “Wavescan” via Adventist World Radio in September 2001, and now forms part of the Radio Heritage Collection ©. All rights reserved to Ragusa Media Group, PO Box 14339, Wellington, New Zealand. This material is licenced on a non-exclusive basis to South Pacific DX Resource hosted on radiodx.com for a period of five years from september 1 2001. Author: Adrian Peterson|
It is indeed a fascinating experience to thumb through old radio magazines and to discover again the radio events of yesteryear. Gone now are the stations, at least the simplistic form in which they were on the air at the time, and no longer associated with them are the technical staff and on-air personalities that made them newsworthy at the time.
The events of the Great Conflct in Europe are now more than half a century old, and many today know nothing about these things, except as they read about them in history, or as perhaps some elderly acquaintance happens to share some of his memories. Such is the case with radio stations in continental Europe in the middle of last century.
During the era of occupation in continental Europe, most of the international shortwave stations were taken over by the occupation forces, and in several notable cases, the callisigns were temporarily changed to a new designation.
Radio magazines at the time report that four shortwave stations in continental Europe were taken over and re-activated by the occupation forces. These stations were located in Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg and Yugoslavia.
The small 6 kW transmitter at Skamlebaeck in Denmark, OZU, was re-activated on its 41 metre band channel by the occupation forces in mid April 1940. However, this station was closed again in early 1942 because of the restricted coverage area of the single small transmitter. The equally low powered 5 kW shortwave transmitter in Luxembourg without callsign was also apparently in use for only a limited period of time.
However, the famous 40 kW Dutch station, PCJ, in Hilversum, Holland with its equally famous rotatable antenna system was heard widely throughout the era of conflict, though apparently without change of callsign. This station was heard in Australia under the German callsign DXL15. The reference for this item of very interesting information is found on page 42 in Radio & Hobbies for February 1942
Construction work on a small 4 kW shortwave transmitter at Zenum, near Belgrade in Yugoslavia, began early in the year 1939. This station went on the air just as the European Conflict broke out and it was taken over by the occupation forces as Sender Belgrade.
During the war, German authorities constructed two new shortwave stations; one at Vichy in France and the other at Bratislava in Czechoslovakia. It is likely that the Vichy transmitter was around 20 kW and apparently it was later taken into service as a regional shortwave station with a relay of the National Program. Little is known about the station at Bratislava; just that it was launched in mid 1941 and that it was on the air as Radio Bratislava on 9525 kHz.
However, in four different countries on continental Europe, the familiar callsigns of four well known shortwave stations were changed.
The shortwave station in France was located just outside Paris and it was on the air with two transmitters at 15 kW with callsigns TPA & TPB. During the era of occupation, this station was on the air under a German callsign DXL.
In Norway, a single 5 kW transmitter was installed at Lambertseter in 1938 with the callsign LKJ, and under occupation, it was given a German callisgn DXI.
In Poland, a 10 kW transmitter was co-sited with two lower powered units at the shortwave site near Warsaw with the callsign SPW and it was given a German callsign DXC.
In Czechoslovakia, two 30 kW Tesla transmitters at Podebrody with callsign OLR were re-designaled with several different callsigns; DZ & DBZ; DH DHE & DHE.