Soldatensender Calais 70th Anniversary

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by PsyWar.Org, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    On this day 70 years ago, Sefton Delmer's clandestine radio station Atlantik was relayed on medium wave as Soldatensender Calais for the first time.

    To mark the anniversary, I've added a number of archival documents to the Sefton Delmer archive regarding Soldatensender Calais and Atlantik.

    A summary of the broadcast of 14 November 1943:

    Proposed use of the Aspidistra transmitter for psychological warfare purposes.
    These two proposed uses of the powerful medium wave transmitter known as Aspidistra for psychological warfare purposes were suggested by Sefton Delmer in late August 1943. The first proposal was acted upon in November 1943, to relay the shortwave Atlantik station on medium wave under the Soldatensender Calais name. Intruder radio operations had to wait until the closing months of the war with Germany:

    The controversy between the BBC and PWE over Soldatensender Calais.
    This is one of the most interesting documents. Of all PWE clandestine radio stations broadcasting in German, undoubtedly Soldatensender Calais developed the furthest reach and acquired the largest audience. This was due in part to being broadcast on Europe's most powerful medium wave transmitter, known as Aspidistra, because of its high production values with much of its programme devoted to specially recorded Jazz dance music and because of its frank news reporting and comment. The combination of these elements, however, made it difficult for Soldatensender Calais to maintain the pretext of being a real German forces station. The BBC in particular was against the concept of a "grey" propaganda radio station that could be identified as being of British origin and could by association damage the BBC's reputation for trustworthiness:

    Evidence of Reception reports (radio, leaflets and rumours)
    In an attempt to ascertain the effects of its clandestine psychological warfare, the Political Warfare Executive routinely monitored neutral and enemy media looking for comment and reaction to its radio broadcasts, underground rumour-mongering and leaflets. The comments of enemy prisoners of war, captured documents and other intelligence sources were also studied. Any comebacks to PWE propaganda campaigns were circulated to interested parties through the following "Evidence of Reception" reports:

    Sefton Delmer archive:


    [Edit to correct date typo - thanks for the heads up Owen]
  2. Quarterfinal

    Quarterfinal Well-Known Member

    A separate piece about Otto John led me here. Perhaps Lee will refresh his links as we come up to the 80th anniversary. However, I attach below an interesting snippet from David Garnett's Secret History of PWE, which has intrigued me for a while:
    davidbfpo and dbf like this.

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