The are aspects of World War II that would be more appropriately taught as courses in Humanities rather than History. Or perhaps Ironies 101 would be a better name for the following series of events and the personal connections involved.
Behind the battles, strategies, treaties and death counts that we are taught as students, there are other, more fulfilling stories to be told. Stories of men (and women) who did amazing things under circumstances that are difficult to imagine and, in so doing, forged friendships that crossed political boundries at a time when those boundries were lethal.
If you haven’t yet read my Knickebein post, please do so before continuing.
Late in 1939, a letter (in German) arrived at the British embassy in Oslo Norway inquiring as to whether there would be any interest in German technology related to the war. If so, the Brits were to respond in the affirmative by changing the BBC’s sign-on in one of their broadcasts to Germany from “This is London” to “Here is London” (Hier ist London). Continue reading '“Hier ist London” and the coining of the term “ionosphere”'»
Regardless of what one’s politics may be, it’s interesting to get a perspective on western values from the “other camp” – in this case from behind the Iron Curtain.
Radio is most definitely involved so we’re on topic…
As I and many other western hams were listening to Radio Moscow in the 1980′s (and earlier), Oleg Atbashian was listening to western radio via his shortwave receiver in the Ukraine.
Here is his story of a period that helped shape his values – and a heartfelt tribute to one person responsible.
Oleg now lives in New York and I thank him for permission to post this and for the interesting email aside from this article.
by Oleg Atbashian:
A story of how Margaret Thatcher brought down the Iron Curtain inside of me and how I paid her back.
It wasn’t just Margaret Thatcher’s steadfast economic and foreign policies that helped to defeat the Evil Empire and to bring down the Iron Curtain. She also changed hearts and minds — and this author, who grew up on the other side of the Iron Curtain, has a personal story to tell.
As many Soviet kids did in the 1970s and 1980s, I occasionally tuned my shortwave radio to Voice of America or the BBC Russian Service, hoping to hear their alternative take on world events and, if I was lucky, get the latest rock-music updates. One of the functions of the Iron Curtain was to keep us, the “builders of communism,” blissfully unaware of the outside world. All our news had to be processed by the state-run media filter and approved by the formidable censorship apparatus. Continue reading 'How Thatcher changed a Soviet man’s heart and mind'»
Now I understand!
From Modern Mechanix, Feb 1932:
From Mechanics & Handicaft, October 1937:
For the past few months I’ve been following along on a few websites devoted to modern construction of early mechanical televisions.
The first TV stations in the US operated just above 2 MHz from NYC and other large metropolitan areas in the 1920′s.
There were a lot of them and very little standardization as yet with WLEX even operating on the 80m ham band, transmitting full-motion video with a bandwidth no wider than a typical phone signal.
As you might expect, hams were involved.
Old radio magazines from that period contained instructions on how to build receivers – more often than not, the receiver was simply a regular audio receiver with additional components added in order to “demodulate” and display the video.
Not real video, but moving pictures nonetheless. Continue reading 'Narrow-band television kit received'»
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