ROYAL SIGNALS Royal Signals operated communications at all levels down to infantry battalion, or to engineer company/squadron, armoured squadron and artillery battery. Usually signals were organised as small groups, often under an NCO. This section details al the signals units in 21 Army Group. Many of them are duplicated in the pages detailing the various arms since signals were fully integrated with other units. ROYAL SIGNALS CONTENTS Headquarters Signals. Headquarters Signals. War Establishment III/301/1. January 1944 Headquarters Signals (Modified). War Establishment III/301/1 Army Group Signals Army Signals. Air Formation Signals (Tactical Air Force) Supreme Headquarters Signals Allied Force Headquarters Signals General Headquarters Signals Line of Communication Signals Air Formation Signals (Strategic) Chief Signal Officer, Air Formation Signals. War Establishment XIV/1786/1. December 1944. Corps Headquarters Signals. War Establishment III/286/1. November 1943 Corps Headquarters Signals. War Establishment III/343/1. February 1945 Headquarters Railway Telegraph Company. War Establishment IV/23A/2. March 1944 Signals Sections. GHQ 2nd Echelon Signal Section. War Establishment XIV/1759/1. March 1945 HQ Army Troops Signal Section. War Establishment XIV/1750/1. September 1944 HQ 10 Garrison Signal Section. War Establishment XIV/1751/1. September 1944 Line Section. War Establishment III/23/5. March 1945 Telegraph Operating Section. War Establishment III/25A/3. December 1943 Wing Signal Section. War Establishment III/29C/3. December 1943 Terminal Equipment Section. War Establishment III/30C/4. February 1945 Technical Maintenance Section. War Establishment III/30D/5. June 1944 Cipher Section. War Establishment III/180/2. November 1943 Construction Section. War Establishment III/24/6. March 1945 Telecommunication Specialist Section. War Establishment III/327/1. July 1944 Despatch Rider Section. War Establishment III/268/1 Beach Signal Section. War Establishment III/303/1. January 1944 Field Force Pigeon Section. War Establishment III/329/1. June 1944 Field Force Pigeon Section. War Establishment XIV/1745/1. June 1944 High Speed Wireless Section. War Establishment IV/275/1. February 1945 Wireless Carrier Section (WS No10). War Establishment IV/276/1. February 1945 Independent Administration Company HQ. War Establishment XIV/1746/1. June 1944 Independent Administration Company HQ. War Establishment III/344/1. March 1945 Army Group Independent Administration Company HQ. War Establishment. XIV/1766/1. June 1944 Long Lines Control Detachment. War Establishment XIV/1767/1. February 1945 Army Group Signal Park. War Establishment III/338/1. February 1945. 21 Army Group Signal Park. War Establishment XIV/1753. September 1944 Army Signal Park. War Establishment III/339/1. February 1945 Corp Signal Park. War Establishment III/340/1. March 1945 Signal Park Company. War Establishment III/342/1. March 1945 Field Broadcasting Unit Signal Section. War Establishment XIV/1748/1. August 1944 Field Broadcasting Unit. War Establishment XIV/1572/1. March 1945. Press Communication Company HQ. War Establishment IV/280/1. June 1945 Army HQ Press Communication Section. War Establishment IV/281/1. June 1945 Information Control Unit Signal Detachment. War Establishment XIV/1756/1. February 1945 21 AG Signal Security Section. War Establishment XIV/1765/1. November 1944 HQ Signal Company ATS. War Establishment III/336/1. January 1945 Cipher Section ATS. War Establishment III/337/1. January 1945 Telegraph Operating Section ATS. War Establishment III/334/1. January 1945 Telephone Switchboard Section ATS. War Establishment III/335/1. January 1945 Headquarters Army Group RA Signal Section. War Establishment III/224/1. March 1943. Independent Regiment Signal Section. War Establishment III/297/1. December 1943. Anti Tank Regiment Signal Detachment (Non Divisional). War Establishment III/341/1. February 1945. Anti Aircraft Brigade Headquarters Signal Section. War Establishment III/187/2. August 1943 Searchlight Brigade Headquarters Signal Section. War Establishment III/187/2. August 1943 Anti Aircraft Operations Room Signal Section. War Establishment III/188/3. March 1945 Group Operations Room AA Signal Section. War Establishment XIV/1758/1. March 1945 HQ. GHQ AA Troops Signal Section. War Establishment XIV/1755/1. December 1944 Headquarters Armoured Replacement Group Signal Squadron.War Establishment III/242/2. March 1944 Armoured Delivery Squadron Signal Detachment. War Establishment III/243/2. March 1944 Armoured Replacement Group Signal Squadron 21AG. War Establishment XIV/1754/1. November 1944 Armoured Car Regiment Signal Section. War Establishment III/240/2. December 1943. Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment Signal Troop. War Establishment XIV/1752/1. September 1944 Tank Brigade Signals. War Establishment II/214/1. January 1944. Divisional Signals. Armoured Divisional Signals. War Establishment II/213/2. May 1944 Armoured Divisional Signals. War Establishment II/215/1. March 1945 Infantry Divisional Signals. War Establishment II/219/1. November 1943 Infantry Divisional Signals. War Establishment II/219/2. March 1945 79 Armoured Divisional Signals. War Establishment VIII/729/1. April 1944 79 Armoured Divisional Signals. War Establishment XIV/1760/1. May 1945 Air Support Signals. Air Support Signals Unit. War Establishment III/285/1. November 1943 Air Support Signal Unit. War Establishment XIV/1757/1. January 1945. HQ, 21 Army Group Air Support Signals Unit. War Establishment XIV/1749/1. September 1944 Air Liaison Section. War Establishment III/5D/2. April 1943. Army Air Liaison Group. War Establishment XIV/351/1. 123 Air Liaison Section. War Establishment XIV/350/1. August 1944. 260 Air Liaison Section. War Establishment XIV/352/1. October 1944 Special Wireless Group. War Establishment III/299/1. December 1943 Special Wireless Section Type B. War Establishment III/129/3. July 1944 Special Wireless Section Type D Royal Signals personnel on duty might wear a blue and white armband. This readily identified them and conferred priority. Royal Signals were responsible for providing the correct official time throughout 21 Army Group. SIGNALS VEHICLES COMMAND VEHICLES Command vehicles are signals vehicles with the following characteristics - they have accommodation for staff officers as well as for signals personnel - they have a main wireless set for communication to higher headquarters and tp subordinate units but also have a short range set for intercommunication with other nearby vehicles. - Wireless sets can be operated on the move. Armoured Command Vehicle AEC 4 X 4 Armoured Command Vehicle, Low Power (LP) 19HP/19 The most common variant in 21 Army Group was the later Maximum Staff version. This was a redesigned body which put the staff and signals personnel into separate compartments and gave more space to the staff. The signals compartment was at the rear and contained a No 19 set on the offside and a No19 High Power set on the nearside. A 1260 Watt charging engine was fitted into a closed compartment in the rear nearside corner. Batteries were stored under the floor but it was necessary to fit a bank of batteries in the operator’s compartment and the operators sat on top of these. The staff had a large front compartment. This contained a large L shaped table for three officers plus a folding map table for a further officer. Some older vehicles remained in service and these had a single compartment which was shared by signals and staff. The signals were still located at the rear but there was no partition and the staff had less space. Some vehicles had originally been built as armoured engineer vehicles and later converted to ACV roles. At least one even earlier Guy 4 X 4 Armoured Command Vehicle survived and went to Normandy. This was modified to the AEC 4 X 4 Armoured Command Vehicles standard AEC 4 X 4 Armoured Command Vehicle, High Power RCA/19 The High Power version was externally similar to the LP version but the interior arrangement was very different. There was a large staff table at the front of the body. This had a hinged centre section to allow access to the rear of the body. Three staff officers sat at the table, two facing to the rear and one on the offside facing to the front. The offside of the table normally carried a cipher machine. The operators section was fairly large but because of its weight the RCA set had to carried in the centre thus taking much of the space. There was a generator compartment in one rear corner and No 19 set in the other. On earlier versions the generator was on the nearside and the No 19 set on the offside. On later versions this was reversed. There was a rack with an R107 Receiver set and other equipment. AEC 6 X 6 Armoured Command Vehicle, Low Power 19HP/19 In 1944 a new version of the Armoured Command Vehicle was introduced on a 6 X 6 AEC chassis. The new body was longer and lower, and the longer wheel arches took much of the floor space. The staff compartment was at the front and benefited from having a flat floor which allowed a full width staff table for two officers, a side table for a further officer and a folding map table for a fourth officer. The operators compartment had a narrower floor space so that equipment was placed over the wheel arches and operators sat in the centre facing outwards. There was a No 19 set on the offside and a No 19 HP set on the nearside. The rear corner on the nearside had a compartment for a charging engine while the offside corner could hold a spare No 19 set. AEC 6 X 6 Armoured Command Vehicle, High Power, 53/19 The High Power version was generally similar to the Low Power version but the operator’s compartment was even more cramped. The staff compartment was identical except for the fitting of a cipher machine on the offside end of the staff table. The operators compartment had racks across the front and this held wireless equipment which completely filled the space. The No 53 set was too large to be fitted in one unit so it was divided into two parts with the transmitter, modulator unit and aerial coupling unit on the nearside, a power supply unit, relay unit and rejector on the offside. An R107 receiver was fitted between the two parts of the No 53 set with a control unit, remote control unit and a switchboard jammed in the little remaining space. There was a No19 set on the offside wheel arch. A roof high compartment for the generator and charging engine was fitted in the rear nearside corner and the operators sat on the batteries. Lorry Command Vehicle. Lorry Command Vehicles were introduced for use when an armoured vehicle was not required. They had similar roles and layout to the Armoured Command Vehicle. In 21 Army Group all were special bodies fitted to Bedford QLR chassis. The QLR was a standard QL but with electrical suppression. Lorry Command Vehicle HP Type A, 12HP/19 This was the earliest of the special LCV bodies. The basic body was used for a variety of signals roles but in the LCV HP role it used a three compartment body on a Bedford QLR chassis. The front compartment was for the generator and batteries, the middle compartment for wireless sets and the rear compartment for staff. There was also a LCV HP Type B which had cooled rectifiers for use in hot climates. The front compartment had removable louvred panels at the sides and a door either side behind them. This compartment had a Coventry Climax 4 KVa generator on the nearside. This was on runners and could be run in the compartment, on a platform outside the compartment, or removed from the vehicle altogether and operated remotely. Since the wireless sets used a lot of power the generator was always run when they were transmitting. There was a stop/start control in the wireless compartment. A 300 watt chore horse was carried on the offside of the compartment. This was used to charge the batteries which were stowed on the nearside floor. There were six 6 volt batteries wired in banks of two and there was a seat cushion over the batteries to accommodate one crew member. The chore horse could be removed from the vehicle and operated remotely. A sliding door led to the centre compartment. The centre compartment had the Wireless set No12 HP in the centre of the front bulkhead. The operator sat on the offside, facing forward, and there was a Reception set R107 in front of him. The No 19 set was on a shelf at the rear nearside of the compartment. The operator for this set sat on a folding seat. On the offside there was a door to the rear compartment. The rear compartment had a full length staff table at the front. The offside end of the table could be hinged upward to allow access to the wireless compartment. There were three staff seats. There was a swivel arm chair in the centre, a chair on the nearside and a folding seat on the offside. Most vehicles could be fitted with a tent at the rear and this was stowed in a compartment on the roof when not in use. The vehicle was comprehensively equipped to allow a variety of methods of operation. - Control units and wiring harness allowed both of the wireless sets to be operated from any of seven positions. Each of the positions had a control unit with headphones and microphone. This allowed each crew member except the driver to speak to each other and speak or listen on the wireless sets. Only the operators in the centre compartment could send Morse. - The 12 HP set and the 19 set were connected to allow re transmission. This meant that a message received on one set could automatically be transmitted by the other set. Thus key personnel had access to all the sets, all the vehicles and could talk to anyone on the various nets. - There were telephone sets Type L in carrying cases. Two were under the staff table and one next to the main set operator. The phones could be used internally, could be connected direct to other vehicles or could be connected to a switchboard to give access to a whole HQ. Telephones could not be used on the move. - On the move the 19 set could be used with only a slightly reduced range. The R107 could receive as normal on the move. The main set could be used on the move but since it had to use a short aerial the range was greatly reduced. Lorry Command Vehicle HP Types D and E, 53/12. These were an improved design which used the Body No2 with a two compartment layout. The front compartment was for the staff and was much roomier than the earlier types. There was a full width table with three seats mounted over the battery stowage. A fourth seat was placed at the front of the compartment and had a folding table fixed to the offside door. The rear compartment had a full width operators table with three seats. At the offside end was a 19 set. In the centre was a R107 receiver. The main set was a Wireless set No 53 and was fitted in the rear nearside corner. A generator was housed in the offside corner. His was in a sound proofed compartment and was normally accessed from outside the vehicle. The generator was the only difference between the two types. Type D had an Onan 3 KVa and the Type E had a 4KVa version. All had a tent at the rear and along the nearside. Lorry Command Vehicle LP Types A, 19HP/19 There were three different bodies which shared the same Type A designation. Signals were more concerned with the wireless equipment than the vehicle/body type. Like the LCV HP A the LCV LP A used a three compartment body on a Bedford QLR chassis. The front compartment was for the generator and batteries, the middle compartment for wireless sets and the rear compartment for staff. There was an almost identical LCV LP Type B which had the addition of cooled rectifiers for the main set. This was for use in hot climates. The LP vehicle did not carry a generator but the 300 watt chore horse was carried. This was used to charge the batteries which were stowed on the nearside floor. There were six 6 volt batteries wired in banks of two and there was a seat cushion over the batteries to accommodate one crew member. The chore horse could be removed from the vehicle and operated remotely. A sliding door led to the centre compartment but this was in the centre of the bulkhead rather than to the nearside. The No 19 HP set was fitted to the offside of the compartment and the operator sat facing it. The No 19 set was on a shelf at the rear nearside of the compartment. The operator for this set sat on a folding seat. On the offside there was a door to the rear compartment. The rear compartment had a full length staff table at the front. The offside end of the table could be hinged upward to allow access to the wireless compartment. There were three staff seats. There was a swivel arm chair in the centre, a chair on the nearside and a folding seat on the offside. The aerial for the No 19 A set was mounted on the drivers cab roof so that it was as far as possible from the main No 19 HP set aerial. Lorry Command Vehicle LP Type A, 19HP/19. Maximum Staff Although it was sensible from the point of view of production the use of the same body for the LP version as for the HP version meant that there was far more space than necessary in the two signals compartments while the staff compartment was cramped. The Maximum Staff version had only two compartments. The front compartment was for the signals equipment and personnel. A full width table had a No 19 HP set on the nearside and a No 19 set on the offside. The three operators seats were placed on top of the battery boxes. The rear compartment was the largest and had a full width staff table with three staff seats. There was a map table and a staff seat in the rear nearside corner and a cupboard in the rear offside corner. A tent could be erected at the rear. Lorry Command Vehicle LP Type A, 19HP/19. Body Type 2. This latest type used the same Body Type 2 as the LCV HP Type D and E. This had a two compartment layout. The front compartment was for the staff. There was a full width table with three seats mounted over the battery stowage. A fourth seat was placed at the front of the compartment and had a folding table fixed to the offside door. The rear compartment had a full width operators table with three seats. At the offside end was a 19 set. The main Wireless set No 19 HP was fitted in the rear nearside corner. There was a tent at the rear and along the nearside. LORRY 3ton WIRELESS HP The role of the Wireless HP vehicle was to provide medium to long range communication by voice and Morse. They differed from the Command Vehicle in that they did not have staff accommodation and no short range wireless set. They were found at Corps, Army, Army Group and Lines of Communication headquarters. Wireless HP Type C. 33 This vehicle used a body similar to that of the early Lorry Command Vehicle but with only two compartments. The centre and rear compartments were merged into one large wireless compartment. The chassis was the Bedford QL with side mounted fuel tanks. The front compartment had panels which could be removed for cooling and for running out the generator. Behind these panels were doors on each side. A sliding door led to the rear compartment. The main power units were two Onan 2 KVa generators which supplied 220 volt AC power to the transmitter and 15 volt power for batter charging. The generators were water cooled petrol units and could be operated in the vehicle in which case they were linked to an exhaust pipe. They were light enough to be man handled out of the vehicle and operated on the ground. There were six 12 volt batteries and a 300 watt charging engine. The wireless compartment had the Wireless set No 33 situated in the centre of the bulkhead. A R107 reception set was mounted on a rack to the offside. A signals table occupied the offside. This was equipped for two operators, each having a Morse key, a microphone and a headset. One chair was fixed and the other swivelled so that the main set could be operated. There was a speaking tube to the drivers cab. The offside had a cupboard with spares and equipment for the wireless sets. There were two tip up seats, one on the nearside and one on the rear. An important part of the Wireless HP vehicles role was to be able to operate the main set remotely from a headquarters, signal office or similar. A Remote Control Unit C allowed the remote sending of Morse or teleprinter via cable. A second R107 set was provided for use at the remote station. The remote station would normally be up to a mile from the vehicle but greater range was possible. The remote station equipment was carried in two transit cases stowed in the wireless compartment. Wireless HP Types E and K. 12 HP These vehicles differed only in minor detail. Type E was the earliest type. Type K could use an external power source. Later War Establishment tables specify towed generators for some roles. Both were used the same body as the Type C but mounted on the Bedford QL chassis with fuel tank between the body and the cab. The differences from the Type C were - A more powerful Onan 3 KVa generator was used. This could not be manhandles but was on rails so that it could be slid out onto a platform. - Two batteries were moved from the front compartment to the rear offside of the wireless compartment. - The second R107 receiver was mounted on a shelf on the nearside so that it could be used in the vehicle to listen to a second frequency. It could still be removed for remote operation. - The main set was a more powerful Wireless set No 12 HP. This had a range of 1500 miles using Morse. Wireless HP Types G, H and J. 53 These types used the new Body 2 as used for the later LCV types. They differed only in the generators, which were progressively more powerful. Type G had an Onan 3KVa generator. Type H had a Coventry Climax 4 KVa generator. Type J had a Coventry Climax 6 KVa generator. The operator’s compartment had a full width table for three operators across the front. In the centre of the table was a R107 receiver. The main Wireless set No 53 was in the rear nearside corner and a generator was carried in the rear offside corner. The front compartment also had a full width table with the spare R107 set on the offside. A spare generator was stored in the front nearside corner. Batteries on these vehicles were stowed under the body. TERMINAL EQUIPMENT VEHICLES. There were several types of Terminal Equipment Vehicle (TEV). All carried switchboards and teleprinters. These vehicles could not move rapidly since they had up to sixty telephone lines connected to them. To make things simpler there was usually a junction box mounted on a telegraph pole outside the vehicle. A number of wires were strung on the pole and connected to the junction box. A single connection then led from the junction box to the vehicle although there could be several poles and several junction boxes. There are photographs showing several vehicle parked together, surrounded and festooned by cables. 16 foot body on Bedford QLT chassis. A modified QLT troop carrier chassis was used to accommodate the longer body. The chassis had both fuel tanks mounted on the offside of the chassis so as to leave room for equipment lockers on the near side. The body was divided into two compartments. The front compartment carried switchboards for telephone lines while the rear compartment contained teleprinter equipment. There was a door at the rear and a door at the front nearside. A large hatch gave access for cables at the front offside. A tent could be erected on the nearside of the body to accommodate table, chairs and personnel. There were three different sets of equipment fitted into the body according to role. TEV Division. This body had two twenty line switchboards in the front compartment. In the rear compartment there were four Fullerphones and operators. TEV Corps. This body had two thirty line switchboards in the front compartment and two teleprinters in the rear compartment. TEV Army. Little is known about this version except that it carried three teleprinters. It may have relied on a second vehicle to carry switchboard equipment. Wireless House Body No 1 on a Bedford QLR chassis. The basic Wireless House No 1 body was used for a wide variety of roles. As a TEV vehicle it existed only in Corps and Divisional versions. These were much as for the QLT based versions but were more cramped. There was a front compartment and a rear compartment as for the QLT. There was no side tent on these early versions but a small tent over the rear entrance was added to later production. This body was also used for a Terminal carrier which carried only switchboard equipment. Wireless House Body Type 15 on a Bedford QLR chassis. This was a redesigned wireless house body with the compartments reversed. The smaller switchboard compartment was at the rear. The new arrangement was introduced to give more space for command versions and gave no advantage in TEV roles. Again there were Division and Corps versions. QLT with teleprinters Teleprinters were also carried in standard QLT Troop Carrying Vehicles. These could be removed from the vehicle and used inside a building. They also provided additional capacity and could operate through the switchboards of a TEV. 15cwt WIRELESS VEHICLES. For many roles, especially those for use as terminals or in forward areas, various 15cwt vehicles were modified. Truck 15cwt halftrack FFW Fitted for Wireless vehicles were normally intended for use by unit signallers but some were used by Royal Signals attached to units. Most were M14 but some were M5. Which ever version halftrack was used the layout was similar. There were mountings across the front of the body for either two Wireless sets No19 or one Wireless set No19 and one Wireless set No 19 High Powered. Each set was operated by a signalman (Royal Signals) or a signaller (unit) but the control units and vehicle harness allowed the sets to be used by unit officers in the rear of the vehicle. According to the role being filled the remaining space carried staff tables, map boards, artillery boards etc. These vehicles had tilts fitted, standard M14s did not, and most had internal lighting. Some were customised with more substantial protection from the weather. Truck 15cwt wireless. This type of vehicle was used by the Royal Signals. They were M5A1 and did not have staff accommodation. In these vehicles the wireless sets, usually a Wireless set No19 and a Wireless set No 19 High Powered, were fitted down the left hand side with seating for the operators on the right hand side. These vehicles operated as message centres. The wireless sets were continuously manned and the signalmen used Morse as well as voice. Signal logs were kept and messages written on signal forms. Truck 15cwt 4 X 4 These were similar to the halftracks but were shorter. As wireless vehicles they were cramped and there was no rear door. Where these vehicles were used by units they had two Wireless set No 19 across the front of the vehicle but it left little room for staff. When used by the Royal Signals there was a Wireless set No19 at the rear right of the body and a second Wireless set No19 on the left hand side. The rest of the space was filled by the operators, batteries and charging engine. A tilt was usually fitted. These vehicles were popular for their powerful engines and four wheel drive rather than for their thin armour. Truck 15cwt 4 X 2 Fitted for Wireless. This was a Bedford MW with a GS body adapted for carrying a wireless set and batteries at the front and signals stores in lockers down each side. A charging engine was carried on the offside running board. Truck 15cwt Wireless House. This was a Morris C4 with a house type body. It was used mainly by Royal Signals and intended to act as a terminal vehicle for communications to a battalion sized unit from its higher formation headquarters. Such vehicles were manned 24 hours a day and received messages by voice or Morse and wrote them on message forms for delivery to the addressee. 3ton 4 X 4 Signal Office. This was a house type body externally similar to Command Vehicles. This vehicle was manned by Royal Signals and provided the reception point for incoming signals through the Royal Signals system. It had telephones, usually secure Fullerphone, and teleprinters. It was also the point to which despatch riders reported and incoming wireless signals forms were sent. Similarly it was the point to which outgoing signals were given for delivery by whatever means was available. Liaison officers and other officers leaving the regimental area reported here. On the way out they collected information on the location of units, and on return reported any changes in locations. Royal Signals needed to know where units were. 3ton 4 X 4 Wireless I This was Bedford QLR wireless lorry with a modified Wireless House body. It was equipped with four R107 receivers and was used for monitoring divisional signals traffic to ensure that correct procedures were followed. An enemy could learn a great deal by listening in to wireless traffic. The British used a similar QLR for listening to enemy traffic and wireless intercepts of careless enemy transmissions helped greatly in cracking German codes, including Enigma. Staghound Armoured Car 19HP/19. These were Staghound Armoured Cars stripped of armament, ammunition and stowage and fitted with Wireless set No19 and Wireless set No19 HP. Staghounds were well armoured, comparatively fast, comparatively roomy and available in quantity. 3ton 4 X 4 cipher office This was another version of the standard QLR house body. It carried cipher machines and personnel for encoding and decoding messages for transmission by Fullerphone, Morse wireless or teleprinter. SIGNALS EQUIPMENT WIRELESS SETS In the British Army wireless was short for wireless telegraph (WT) and used Morse code. Voice transmissions used radio telephony (RT) and were thus radio sets. Many sets of course could be adapted to use either or both. The numbering of British Army wireless sets dated from 1929 when the following needs were identified and numbers allocated - No 1 set Short range between brigade and battalion - No 2 set Short range between division and brigade - No 3 set Medium range between corps and division - No 4 set Medium/long range between GHQ and corps - No 5 set Long range between base and GHQ - No 6 set World wide range for Army Chain Later models followed the same numbering system with a prefix so that No1 set developed into No11 set, No 21 set and No 31 set. The original series had not envisaged wireless sets being provided for use within battalions or by armoured vehicles. Thus the following were later added to the series - No 8 set Infantry man pack set - No 9 set Armoured Fighting Vehicle set Just to confuse the matter the following series were also added - ‘6’. No 6 set saw limited service and the number six was then used for special types (No 16, No 26, No 36, No 46 and No76. - ‘7’ . No 7 set was originally to have been an armoured fighting vehicle set but this role was taken by the No 9 set so the number was also used for special types. - No 10 set. Microwave set The Canadian Army developed their own sets using the same specifications as the British sets. Few of these were used by the British. There were also wireless sets which lay outside the series. There were sets purchased from the USA, there were commercial sets and some Admiralty or War Office sets were used. Wireless set Canadian No 9 This was developed from the British Wireless set No9. It was a general purpose set and was designed with the same dimensions as the British set and it could be fitted into the same vehicle mountings. It was however a much simpler set to use and was very reliable. The Canadian Wireless set No9 could be tuned to two different frequencies and the channels selected by a two way switch. When on the move and using a sixteen foot rod aerial it had a range of 50 miles using Morse. This could be increased when stationary and using different aerials - A 22 foot rod aerial - A 34 foot steel antenna which came in six sections. This could only be ground mounted. - A horizontal aerial between 110 foot and 250 foot long depending on the frequency range being used. A remote control unit was available which allowed an operator to use the set via a cable up to three miles long. This was useful when the headquarters to which the patrol was attached were concerned about tall aerials being mounted near the headquarters area itself. The wireless set could be dismounted and used as a ground station. A tent was provided as a standard part of the equipment. Wireless set No 10 This was a radio relay system for lines of communication. It used the then new microwave system. It provided eight two way telephone links and since they worked on a narrow line of sight beam they were more secure than other wireless sets. In 21 Army Group they were able to provide a voice link from Tactical headquarters all the way to the War Office in London, and to Headquarters 2nd Army and 1st Canadian Army. Wireless set No 10 had a theoretical range of 50 miles as long as the two stations were in line of sight of each other. For practical purposes the range was 20 miles. The equipment was carried in a four wheel trailer and had two parabolic aerials, one for receiving and one for transmitting. These were mounted together and the whole assembly could be rotated. Power was supplied by two Onan 3KVa generators. Only one generator was required at any one time, the other being a back up and to allow for servicing. No 10 stations were fully operational continuously and all major components were duplicated. The towing vehicle was a 3ton house type signals vehicle which provided first line servicing. Normally seven channels were used for communications and the eighth channel was used by signals personnel for maintenance, administration and local communication between stations. A radio link was also provided in the towing vehicle. The complete station in its cabin could be set up in a variety of ways: - on the trailer with four stabilizing jacks - on stabilizing jacks with the trailer removed - on a permanent base - on a building to give greater height - cabin on the ground but the aerials mounted on a sixty foot sectional tower. A relay station required two No 10 stations and spare stations could be added where the path was difficult. In 21 Army Group a link was established from the Isle of Wight to Main Headquarters 21 Army Group where ever it was located. Links were then established to Tactical Headquarters and the Headquarters of the two armies under command. Wireless set No 12 High Power The No 12 High Power set was developed from the No12 set which lacked sufficient power for its intended role. It was a general purpose set intended for mobile stations for command and line of communication use. The range was On the move with rod aerial 200 miles Morse 100 miles voice Stationary 1500 miles Morse 200 miles voice The basic station consisted of a Power Supply Unit No 1, a Modulator Unit No 1, an Amplifier Unit RF No 1, and an aerial coupling unit No 2. Remote control unit G could be used for remote operation of the set from a distance of up to 10 miles from the set. A telephone set type L and a R107 receiver were provided for communication between the operator and the vehicle. A teleprinter could also be used. Aerials could be - Aerial horizontal end fed No 1 100 foot - Aerial horizontal dipole No 4a 52 foot, or 4b 94foot - Aerial horizontal dipole no 5 50 foot - 16 foot V rod aerial for use on the move - 24 foot or 36 foot rod aerial for use when stationary - Masts 36 foot, steel, with shoes, stayplates and insulated stays for the horizontal wire aerials. Vehicle stations included Lorry Command HP, 12 HP/19 Type A This was a three compartment body with compartments for staff, wireless and generator. Lorry, Wireless HP This was a two compartment vehicle with a large rear compartment for the wireless and a front compartment for generators. Wireless set No 17 This was a searchlight control set intended for voice communication between searchlight section headquarters and searchlight detachments. It was later also used by AA batteries and RE detachments. The range was With an H shaped dipole 3.5 miles voice With a dipole and reflector 8 miles voice The set was installed in a wooden carrying case with a handle. It contained a combined transmitter/receiver, two six volt batteries and a compartment for earphones and microphone. Wireless set No18 This was a manpack short range set for communication between battalion headquarters and companies in infantry units. In Royal Artillery units it was used by Forward Observers to communicate with the infantry unit being supported. It was carried by one man in a case containing the receiver, transmitter and a dry battery. Range was With an 11 foot rod aerial 10 miles Morse 5 miles voice With a 6 foot rod aerial 4 to 10 miles Morse 2 to 5 miles voice With a ground aerial 2 to 6 miles Morse 1 to 3 miles voice Wireless set No19. This came to be one of the most widely used sets. Originally developed for armoured fighting vehicles it was designed to provide the following - A set. A high frequency transmitter and receiver for both voice and Morse. - B set. A very high frequency transceiver for voice only. - C set. An intercom for crew communication. It gave priority to those features required by an armoured fighting vehicle in action - Reliability - Ease of Operation - Clear speech in battle conditions. Two frequencies could be pre selected and then a single switch changed from on to another. Tuning the receiver also automatically tuned the transmitter making netting fairly simple. Range was A set 15 miles Morse 10 miles voice B set 1000 yards voice The station consisted of one of a variety of carriers designed to fit into different vehicles plus the transmitter/receiver, a power supply unit and an aerial variometer. Remote Control Unit E could be used to operate the set from up to a mile away. A range of aerials was available including A set - Aerial base No8 - Aerial base No 10 - 8 or 12 foot vertical F rod aerials for use on the move - 34 foot D and F rod aerial for use when stationary - horizontal wire aerial No 1 in six lengths from 70 foot to 250 foot B set - Aerial base No 9 - 4 foot G rod - 6 inch rod for very short range (eg. Between command vehicles) The set was also available as a ground station. In this case the A aerial was mounted on a ground spike and the B aerial base was fitted with a clip for attaching to any convenient surface. Wireless set No19 High Power An amplifier RF No2 could be added to a Wireless set No19 to make it into a Wireless set No19 High Power. This gave considerably greater range. Wireless set No 21 This was intended as a simple to operate, light to transport and easy to manufacture set for infantry brigade and Royal Artillery use. It was used until the end of the war but was overshadowed by the Wireless set No 22. Range. There were two frequency bands High Band gave a range of up to 2miles Low Band gave a range of up to 5 miles The complete station was carried in a single metal case. There was a detachable control unit which consisted of a Morse key, headphone, microphone, telephone jacks and receive/send switch. Two 180 foot connectors allowed the set to be operated from a distance. When using a Telephone Set Type D and D3 cable the set could be operated from a distance of half a mile. The following aerials were used Ground Station - Aerial Base No 11 - Up to 16 foot vertical F rod aerial mounted on a ground spike - Up to 12 foot vertical B rod aerial mounted on the set - A horizontal wire aerial, 45 foot long and laid on the ground or hung in a tree. Vehicle Station - Aerial Base No 10 - 8 foot or 12 foot vertical F rod aerial. Wireless set No22 This was a short range general purpose set designed primarily to be carried in a vehicle and either operated from the vehicle or dismounted and used as a ground station. It was introduced in 1942 and widely used for the rest of the war. It was a very reliable and easy to use set. Range was 15 miles Morse 10 miles voice The most usual aerial was a 12 foot or 16 foot F rod. A 34 foot rod could be used when stationary. A 140 foot horizontal wire aerial was an option for ground stations. The station consisted of a transmitter/receiver and a Power Supply Unit No4. It came with a waterproof cover as standard but an immersion cover was available for beach landings or river crossings. A Remote Control Unit F could be used to operate the set from up to a mile away. A ground station could be carried by three men for short distances. There were three loads each of about 40 lbs. - The set - The Power Supply Unit with aerials and accessories - A portable 12 volt battery This set could be operated while being carried if special aerial mounts and long leads were used. Wireless set No 26 This was a multichannel telephone system working over a VHF radio link. It could provide six two way voice channels. It was developed from similar equipment used by the General Post Office. The range was 40 to 60 miles in line of sight. The transmitter was carried in two stacks - The modulator unit with a two stage power supply unit - The HF unit with a two stage power supply unit Both the transmitter and the receiver could operate on two frequencies so that in a two set relay the sets would not interfere with each other. Usually aerials consisted of large and complex Koomans arrays strung between 72 foot high masts. Later rhombic aerials were also used. A vehicle station consisted of two Thorneycroft Tartar 3ton 6 X 4 with Wireless House Type Body No 7. Vehicle 1 carried a transmitter and modulator. It towed a trailer carrying two 3.5 KVa charging engines. Vehicle 2 carried a receiver and telephone equipment. It towed a trailer with aerial equipment. In emergency one vehicle could carry all the equipment. Each vehicle was identical and carried fittings for both types of equipment. In 21 Army Group Wireless Set No 26 provided a link across the Channel and communications on the Lines of Communication where the greater security of the No 10 set was not required. Wireless set No 36 This was an anti aircraft gun control set. It provided broadcasting communication from an Anti Aircraft Operations Room to gun sites. For preference anti aircraft units used landline communications but the No 36 set provided communication until lines could be laid and were then kept as a back up. The range was 25 miles. The set was carried in two wooden cases, one with the transmitter unit and on with the power supply unit and modulator. A receiver R208 or R106 was also needed. The aerial was a special dipole on a 36 foot or 72 foot mast. Wireless set No 38 was a manpack short range set for communication between company headquarters and platoons. It was also used for infantry to tank liaison. This was a small set carried on the chest of the operator. A dry battery was carried in a standard small haversack on the back. A throat microphone and earphones were provided. Controls on top of the set could easily be seen and used by the operator. Range was With 4 foot rod aerial half a mile, voice only With 12 foot rod aerial 2 miles, voice only Weight – complete set including batteries and accessories 22 lb. Wireless set No 46 This was lightweight manpack set for communication in beach landings. It was completely water proof and simple to operate. Wireless set No 53 This was a general purpose medium range transmitter intended to replace Wireless set No12 High Power. The range was On the move with rod aerial 500 miles Morse 100 miles voice The basic station consisted of a Power Supply Unit No 26, a Modulator Unit No 27, an Amplifier Unit RF No 4, and an aerial coupling unit No 2A. These were stacked in a vertical rack No 12 which had a heater in the base to prevent condensation. Remote control unit H could be used for remote operation of the set from a distance of up to 10 miles from the set. A telephone set type L and a R107 receiver were provided for communication between the operator and the vehicle. A teleprinter could also be used. Aerials could be - Aerial horizontal end fed No 2 185 foot - Aerial horizontal dipole No 9 92 foot, 9a 53 foot or 9b 210 foot - 16 foot V rod aerial for use on the move - 34 foot D and F rod aerial for use when stationary - Masts 36 foot, steel, with shoes, stayplates and insulated stays for the horizontal wire aerials. Vehicle stations included Lorry Command HP, 53/19 This was a three compartment body with compartments for staff, wireless and generator. Lorry, Wireless HP 53 This was a two compartment vehicle with a large rear compartment for the wireless and a front compartment for generators. Armoured Command Vehicle 6 X 6 HP 53/19 Wireless set No 57 This was part of the Wireless set No 26 station. It was developed from an Admiralty set specifically as an auxiliary link for the No 26 set. It was carried in the receiver vehicle and used as a communication channel for the No 26 set operators and as an emergency channel. RCA Transmitter ET 4332B Before the Golden Arrow was available Phantom headquarters used an RCA set for daily transmissions. This was a commercial US set. They were bought for use in N Africa, or elsewhere where long distance voice and teleprinter transmission was required. They were largely replaced by specially designed military sets such as Wireless 12 HP and Wireless 53. However they did remain in use in some armoured command vehicles and they were available as static sets. It is thought that the set used by Phantom was an RCA Transmitter ET 4332B. This was transported in wooden crates in unit transport. It was intended for static use, installed in headquarters buildings. It could be linked to a high speed Morse or teleprinter set or it could be used for voice, in which case it needed an RCA voice amplifier. There was a companion RCA receiver but it is not thought thus was used. The transmitter weighed 585lb. Golden Arrow The Golden Arrow was actually a complete wireless station and consisted of two large semi trailers containing the transmitter and a receiver. There were also three ton lorries carrying aerials, and several mobile generators. The heart of the Golden Arrow was a commercial SWB 8E 4kw Short Wave Band wireless transmitter with a 2,500 mile range. In normal use it was linked to a High Speed Teleprinter which fed punched tapes through at many times the normal speed. The use of this relied on the intended recipients having the necessary equipment for recording and printing the messages sent in this form. Aerials were large arrays set up at some distance from the transmitter vehicle and fed by telephone line. Reception set R107 Reception set R107 was a very sensitive receiver and was widely used in conjunction with powerful wireless transmitting sets which did not have a built in receiver. In Phantom it was also widely used as a listening set for J work. It could be powered from the mains or from 12 volt batteries. It could be used to receive voice or Morse. Since it was a sensitive set it could operate with a small aerial. A twenty foot rod aerial gave all the performance that could be wished for. Usually much smaller aerials could be used. R107 was a fairly heavy set. The set itself weighed 96lb with the carrying frame weighing a further 10lbs. It was also fairly large being two foot long, 13inches high and 17 inches deep. TELEPHONE EQUIPMENT Teleprinters Teleprinters enabled fairly large amounts of information to be sent in reasonable security. The teleprinter worked much like a typewriter except that the message was not typed on paper but converted to signals which were sent down a telephone cable. A teleprinter at the other end received the message and typed it out. Since the signals went down a telephone line they were secure from interception in the sense that wireless signals were, but they could be tapped. Messages could be converted into code before being handed to the operator for typing. Teleprinters could be connected to wireless transmitters and the message sent by wireless. For wireless transmission messages could be recorded and speeded up. This increased the capacity but meant more time for processing the message at each end. Fullerphones These were used nearer the front and were telegraph instrument with a Morse key. A telephone connection was established and then the operator could send a message in Morse. The message could be sent over a line which was simultaneously being used for speech and was difficult to intercept. It was portable and weighed only 14lb. It had a normal range of 15 – 20 miles but more was possible. It was used in conjunction with a telephone set D Mechanical Cable Layer. The mechanical cable layer was mounted on a variety of vehicles. It was mounted on a turntable so that it could rotate 360 degrees although in practice this was not necessary. The rotating platform had a simple seat for the operator, a small JAP or Lyon Alco 1¼ hp petrol engine and a belt drive to a cable drum. In operation the engine rotated the cable drum and ejected the cable via a chute. The cable could be thrown clear of the vehicle and the road or track, and could be guided into the desired position by a crew member with ring mounted on a pole. The cable could be laid at speeds of up to 20mph. The cable layer could also recover cable. The vehicle also carried racks for two ladders, eighteen assorted poles for carrying the cable over roads, gateways or obstacles and three spare cable drums. It is not clear what vehicles were used to carry the mechanical cable layer in 21 Army Group. Earlier 30cwt lorries had been used. Three hundred Loyd Carriers were built to carry the equipment but were probably not in 21 Army Group. The vehicle listed in War Establishment tables is the 15cwt truck but no photographs seem to show this. Finally the Universal Carrier is a strong candidate and is shown in photographs. Hand Cable Layer. The hand cable layer was smaller and simpler. A platform could be clamped onto the side of a 15cwt truck. The platform carried a cable reel and an arm to carry the cable clear of the vehicle. Cable could be paid out, and recovered, by turning hand cranks. This cable layer was only suitable for the lighter cables. A platform with guard rails could be fixed to the tailboard of the vehicle. A crew member with a ring mounted on a pole stood on this platform to guide the cable. Signallers within units laid cable on foot using a cable reel with a carrying handle. This light cable paid itself out as the signaller walked, or ran, forward.