24 Sept. 2015 – Friedrichshafen 2015 by Bryan, M0BIK

ExhibitionIn June 2015, Brian, M0BIK, Don, G4LOO, Terry, G4UEM and Andy, G8ATD set out in a nine seater bus to drive to the Amateur Radio Exhibition at Friedrichshafen. They could have flown but since they might have bought large items to bring back, the bus was the best option. The trip was viewed as a holiday, so stopping at interesting places along the way would break up the long drive. The first night was spent in Belgium at a pre-booked hotel. On day two, they arrived at Stuttgart  to visit the Mercedes Benz museum. This modern building housed many of the notable vehicles the company had built in the past starting with the first Benz car from 1886 powered by petrol.
Upon arrival at the ‘Ham’ radio exhibition they found three large halls filled with 200 exhibitors from 34 countries. The number of visitors was expected to reach 17,100, and that didn’t include the flea market with 297 exhibitors from 25 countries! Nearby were the Dornier and Zeppelin Museums which were very interesting. Later, by way of a break, the four took a boat ride on Lake Constance, known in Germany as Bodensee before starting the long drive back home. They had decided to take a different route home via Maastricht and upon nearing Dunkirk found that the Police had closed all routes due to the lorries being backed up waiting for a crossing.
After studying the maps, it was decided to try for the Hook of Holland and they managed to book a place on the ferry to Harwich. They arrived in the UK at 8pm but still had to make the journey down to Dover where Andy lives. The rest of the group arrived home about 2am after having driven a total of 1800 miles and Bryan had to work the next day!

A few 'Old Favourites'
A few ‘Old Favourites’

Mercedes- Benz Museum
The Mercedes- Benz Museum

In the blue shirts, L to R Don, Andy, Bryan and Terry enjoying the sunshine!
In the blue shirts, L to R, Don, Andy, Bryan and Terry enjoying the sunshine!

17 Sept. 2015 – Natter Night

Richard, N3NII gave an in depth review of the club’s data interface project. Some problems with suppliers have resulted in a short delay, but that will soon to be resolved.
A short discussion followed about aspects of the interface. The meeting continued with the addition of tea and biscuits.

WW2 Spies & Double Agents

Stan Ames, G4OAV gave a talk about German spies active in the United Kingdom and the work involved in intercepting their communications to their handlers in Germany and attempts to turn them into double agents.

At the start of the war there was a “spy mania” with a poster campaign warning of the danger of careless talk. German agents were run by German Military Intelligence, the Abwehr, from near Hamburg. The Radio Security Services was established to try and intercept messages from the continent to German agents in the UK and to find the agents by direction finding. As well as intercept stations such as Hanslope Park equipped with HRO receivers individual listeners operated from their homes. Some of the members of the RSS were Radio Amateurs recruited through the RSGB. At the end of the war there were some 1200 listeners who listened in 2-3 hour spells to CW messages which included the Q code. Some of these intercepted messages were de-coded by Hugh Trevor-Roper without the aid of Bletchley Park.

One agent who was caught soon after landing by parachute near London Colney was Karl Richter. He was apprehended with £551 and US 1400 which he was to give to another German agent, known to the British as agent Tate. Richter was given the opportunity to become a double-agent but declined and was tried for treason and executed.

The first double-agent was a British battery salesman, known as agent Snow, who visited Germany before the war and was recruited by the Abwehr. On returning to Britain he told MI5 and became a double-agent, supplying identity cards to the Germans so they could be forged for use by German agents. These had subtle differences in the way the address was laid out that indicated to the British authorities that they were forged documents. The first radio message from the Abwehr to agent Snow was on 2 October 1939 requesting information on the disposition of RAF squadrons.

The most audacious double-agent was Juan Pajol, code name Garbo, who was recruited in Spain and flown to England. He managed to convince the Abwehr that he had a network of agents and supplied the Abwehr with many false reports of allied shipping movements.

Another double-agent was Eddie Chapman, code name Zigzag, who was a career criminal and was recruited by the Abwehr when he was released from prison in occupied Jersey. He was flown to England with the mission of sabotaging the de Havilland factory at Hatfield. Chapman was turned and the sabotage on the DH factory was faked to such an extent that an aerial reconnaissance flight convinced the Germans that the attack had been successful.

                                                        (report written by Owen, G0PHY for SADARS)

A WREN operating an HRO receiver

A WREN operates an HRO at Bletchley Park