Aspidistra And The Broadcast Group Of The Diplomatic Wireless Service Including The Wartime Transmission Of Black Propaganda


This is the story of Broadcast Group of the Diplomatic Wireless Service (DWS) which had its origins in the Political Warfare Executive (PWE) at the beginning of WW2.   In 1972 it was amalgamated into the administrative structure of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and was renamed Communications Engineering Department (CED).  The latter had two groups, Broadcast Group which was responsible for transmitters carrying many of the BBC’s World  and Vernacular services, and Communications group which provided radio communications to embassies for diplomatic traffic. In 1986 CED’s Broadcast Group was taken over by the BBC. 

In this illustrated talk we will learn first about the transmission of black propaganda and associated activities during WWII.  Also such activities as trying to interfere with enemy rocket guidance systems. Then about the various Medium-Wave and Short-Wave transmitting stations of Broadcast Group with transmitter stations at Crowborough, Orfordness, Cyprus and the island of Masirah, a part of Oman.  Transmitters ranged from 1 kW carrier power to 600 kW.  Several of these were designed and manufactured in house. There will be many pictures and descriptions of the equipment and aerials used at these stations.   Also covered will be an introduction to the progress of amplitude modulation techniques which enabled transmitters to become more compact. 

So, what is Aspidistra? Please register to hear the story of Aspidistra and the Broadcast Group of the DWS with the engineering used to build and operate these stations.

8th September 7pm

Blog IET Anglian Coastal Network 05/08/2021 8:47am BST


Log in to view

Log in to post your comments on this blog.