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"Wavescan" is a weekly program for long distance radio hobbyists produced by Dr. Adrian M. Peterson, Coordinator of International Relations for Adventist World Radio. AWR carries the program over many of its stations (including shortwave). Adrian Peterson is a highly regarded DXer and radio historian, and often includes features on radio history in his program. We are reproducing those features below, with Dr. Peterson's permission and assistance.

Wavescan 352, September 23, 2001

German Radio Stations During World War II

It is indeed a fascinating experience to thumb through old radio magazines and discover again the radio events of yesteryear. Gone now are the stations, at least the simplistic form in which they were on the air at the time, and no longer associated with them are the technical staff and on-air personalities that made them newsworthy at the time.

The events of the Great Conflct in Europe are now more than half a century old, and many today know nothing about these things except as they read about them in history, or as perhaps some elderly acquaintance happens to share some of his memories. Such is the case with radio stations in continental Europe in the middle of last century.

During the era of occupation in continental Europe, most of the international shortwave stations were taken over by the occupation forces, and in several notable cases the callsigns were temporarily changed to a new designation.

Radio magazines at the time report that four shortwave stations in continental Europe were taken over and re-activated by the occupation forces. These stations were located in Denmark, Holland, Luxembourg and Yugoslavia. 

The small 6 kw. transmitter at Skamlebaeck in Denmark, OZU, was reactivated on its 41 metre band channel by the occupation forces in mid-April 1940. However, this station was closed again in early 1942 because of the restricted coverage area of the single small transmitter. The equally low powered 5 kw. shortwave transmitter in Luxembourg without callsign was also apparently in use for only a limited period of time.

However, the famous 40 kw. Dutch station, PCJ, in Hilversum, Holland with its equally famous rotatable antenna system was heard widely throughout the era of conflict. During the era of German occupation it was heard in Australia under the German callsign DXL15.

Construction work on a small 4 kw. shortwave transmitter at Zenum, near Belgrade in Yugoslavia, began early in the year 1939. This station went on the air just as the European Conflict broke out, and it was taken over by the occupation forces as Sender Belgrade.

During the war, German authorities constructed two new shortwave stations, one at Vichy in France and the other at Bratislava in Czechoslovakia. It is likely that the Vichy transmitter was around 20 kw., and apparently it was later taken into service as a regional shortwave station with a relay of the National Program. Little is known about the station at Bratislava; just that it was launched in mid 1941 and that it was on the air as Radio Bratislava on 9525 kHz.

However, in four different countries in continental Europe, the familiar callsigns of four well known shortwave stations were changed.

The shortwave station in France was located just outside Paris, and it was on the air with two transmitters at 15 kw. with callsigns TPA and TPB. During the era of occupation this station was on the air under a German callsign DXL.

In Norway, a single 5 kw. transmitter was installed at Lambertseter in 1938 with the callsign LKJ, and under occupation it was given a German callisgn DXI.

In Poland, a 10 kw. transmitter was co-sited with two lower powered units at the shortwave site near Warsaw with the callsign SPW, and it was given a German callsign DXC.

In Czechoslovakia, two 30 kw. Tesla transmitters at Podebrody with callsign OLR were redesignaled with several different callsigns: DZ and DBZ, and DH, DHE and DHE.

It is probable that no QSL cards were ever issued by any of these stations during this turbulent period of radio history.