Soldier transmitter Calais

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The Soldatensender Calais was a British German-language propaganda station of the Political Warfare Executive during the Second World War . The broadcaster used the impression of an official German Wehrmacht broadcaster by broadcasting a large part of the original Wehrmacht news and only scattering its own contributions in a very targeted manner, but all the more effectively. After Allied troops had conquered or taken Calais, the name was changed to "Soldatensender West".

The program, together with that of the German shortwave transmitter Atlantik, was broadcast from the Aspedistra transmitter near Crowborough ( South East England ).


Sefton Delmer (1958)

The studios were in Milton Bryan . With an output power of 600 kW, the transmitter was the most powerful medium-wave transmitter in Europe at the time and was only set up for the purpose of influencing the opinion-forming of German listeners with targeted messages. It transmitted on the wavelengths 360, 420 and 490 meters (833, 714 and 612 kHz).

The first broadcast went on the airwaves on October 24, 1943, the last on April 14, 1945. The broadcast began as a “current” broadcast, without saying “here is new” or a similar announcement. The programs ended in the same way, without saying goodbye. The station manager was the British journalist Denis Sefton Delmer . His staff consisted of international journalists, psychologists , German emigrants and former prisoners of war . Otto John and Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg were among the employees .

The station was mainly used for "black propaganda". In contrast to “white propaganda”, where the nationality of the station is known, it was specified here that it was a German Wehrmacht station , but that it was actually maintained by the British. The camouflage was rated as almost perfect, as not only Delmer, but all the moderators spoke fluent German. Delmer himself described the method in his book "BLACK BOOMERANG" as "cover, cover, dirt, cover, dirt". Reports of interest to German Wehrmacht members were sent in order to preserve the appearance of authenticity and to prepare them for interspersed propaganda. A lot of music popular with Germans was played and reports on sports results and other events in Germany were made, but occasionally "information that degrades morale" was also interspersed. The person Hitler was never attacked personally, but always only made his surroundings responsible for "grievances".

The Psychological Warfare Division of the USA had a similar project with the night broadcaster 1212 , which broadcast from Luxembourg .

In 1960, the film Soldatensender Calais was produced in Germany under the direction of Paul May .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Johanna Lutteroth: "Cover, cover, dirt.", October 24, 2013, accessed October 24, 2013

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