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Tactical Communication in WWII

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Hi there!


I just asked myself how radio communication in WWII for aircraft and tanks on a tactical level was organized.


I read that Japanese for most of the war had such bad radio equipment they prefered to use hand signals for communications (hence close vic formation)


But all other major powers (soviets at least in the second half of the war) I believe had one radio per aircraft/tank.


So my question is who talked to whoem and had leaders in any armed forces two radios on their platform?


I could imagine that in USAAF and RAF, that used squadrons as largest tactical formation, it could be possible to coordinate an airial engagement with all squadron members on the same frequency (althogh this means thy'd not talk to the bombers they were escorting).


But the Luftwaffe used its Gruppen as tactical formations - and forty men on the same frequency seems like chaos - but if every Staffel had its own frequency how could the Gruppenkommandeur lead his Staffeln in the air?


And I have no idea how the VVS employed its regiments at all?


Same for tanks of all major powers - here even a whole company on the same frequency can lead to chaos, nevertheless a batallion....


Do you have any infos on how the diffrent powers organised their radio frequencies?

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American tank radio equipment (like nearly all other nations) varied based on the position in the chain of command of the TC commander. For the platoon members, most would have only a receiver or receiver and transmitter to communicate between themselves and with the Platoon Leader. The Platoon Leader's tank would have two receivers and a transmitter to monitor both the platoon and company net and talk. The Company Commander (and presumably First Sergeant) would have two receivers and a transmitter to monitor both the company and battalion net and talk. I'm not quite certain about the battalion radios, as they are probably more powerful and not all mounted in a tank.


For communications with ground troops, the US Army was pretty late to establish effective means of tank - infantry communication. American tanks used FM radios, while infantry radios were AM and thus not compatible. The solution devised in 1944 was to jury rig a telephone on to the tank that cut into the tanks intercom system, or for the tanks to carry AM radios, infantry to carry FM radios, etc.

Edited by NateLawrence

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