German shortwave transmitter Atlantic

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The German shortwave transmitter Atlantik (also called Atlantic transmitter ) was a camouflage transmitter of the British War Ministry in the German language during World War II . It operated from February 5, 1943 to May 1945. The transmitter was the first large-scale attempt to undermine the morale of the German population, especially the marines, by broadcasting a wide-area radio program. Its main target group were the crews of the German submarines that attacked British and American convoys in the North Atlantic .

The station, like the Calais soldier station, was directed by Sefton Delmer . Both programs were broadcast from the Aspedistra transmitter near Crowborough ( South East England ).


The background to the creation of the station was the concern of the English Prime Minister Winston Churchill about a blockade of England by German submarines. The Political Warfare Executive thereupon commissioned the journalist Sefton Delmer , who had already gained experience in "Black Propaganda" with the establishment of the soldier channel Calais on medium wave , to set up a second camouflage transmitter, the name of which was to be based on the German foreign propaganda transmitter operated by the National Socialists : the German Shortwave transmitter . The studios, which were highly equipped for the standards of the time, were located in Milton Bryan in central England, like those of the Calais soldier station.

The programs broadcast over shortwave in the 30, 38 and 49 meter bands began with the identifier:

“German shortwave transmitter Atlantic. In all of our programs we bring news from the front, news from home and from all over the world and in between always the latest dance music. We start."

For the first time, the broadcaster used the technology of “ surfing ” to reproduce third-party programs via its own frequencies. So he took over broadcasts of the Reichsrundfunk and thus aroused the appearance of even greater authenticity. The station report between five and eight in the morning could therefore read:

"German shortwave transmitter Atlantic, connected to the soldiers transmitter Mediterranean."

The program ran daily from 5.30 p.m. (or 6.30 p.m.) to 8 a.m.

The New York Times described immediately after the war the function of the Atlantic sender and deceptively real.

“Refugees from Germany [...] spoke all possible urban and rural dialects fluently and were masters of colloquial language. The partner station on medium wave was called Soldatensender Calais. There were at least two such stations left, but Atlantic became the most famous. Atlantik reported to civilians and soldiers about military setbacks and problems in the Nazi hierarchy. "

The station's success is uncertain. A call on April 29, 1945, i.e. immediately before the surrender, to the German submarines to break up and surrender was unsuccessful.

Individual evidence

  1. Timo Wittner: "Soldatensender Calais" and "Messages for the Troops" as simulated Wehrmacht organs. GRIN, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-640-17826-1 , p. 5 ff.
  2. ^ New York Times, May 12, 1945, translated from the American
  3. German Broadcasting Archive [1]

Coordinates: 51 ° 2 ′ 33.7 ″  N , 0 ° 6 ′ 15.1 ″  E