Of the other black propaganda stations, purporting to be run by anti Nazi electronic engineers, employed on the manufacture of radio transmitters in the Siemens factory, their programmes began with Lili Marlene as a call sign and the broadcasts then addressed various grievances in German factories. Instructions for sabotage would follow!
By May, 1943, to eventually direct a staff of around 100, Delmer had been promoted to the position of Director of Special Operations against the Enemy and Satellites. The heads and servicing personnel of all the Enemy and Satellite R.U.s were now moved into the Milton Bryan compound and on Lockhart’s authority new pre-fab barracks had been speedily erected, to house the associated intelligence teams, editorial writers, speakers and secretaries. These dealt with Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania but the Italians were the first concern. Earlier preparations now helped in the selection of suitable personnel
Sefton Delmer
for, in February, 1942, Sir Guy Williams, Overseas Establishment Officer, had made efforts to identify potential candidates amongst Italians in a Pioneer Corps, at Maidenhead,. With so many R.U.s now in operation, literally tons of recording discs were being used and although many were supposed to be destroyed, when no longer required, in fact they were stored at Milton Bryan. Amongst the black Italian stations set up to ‘encourage’ the surrender of the Italian Navy, the most important became Radio Livorno (Leghorn), which first broadcast on 25th. July, 1943. It was a counterfeit of the German sponsored ‘Radio of the Italian Fascist Republic’.

Supposedly run by an Italian naval officer and a naval wireless operator, from the radio cabin of an Italian warship, moored in the port of the

Pre Fab huts. As the operations at Milton Bryan increased, so pre-fab huts were needed to provide extra accommodation
station’s name, the station gave the nightly impression of transmitting to other ships on behalf of the Italian Resistance. Broadcasts were themed so as to prevent any action by Resistance members, unless cleared though the station. The implication was made that negotiations were in hand with the Allies to liberate the Italian navy from German command. As part of the Intelligence section, on September 8th. Donald McLachlan came to M.B. to advise news of the Italian capitulation and on September 10th, 1943, following Italy’s unconditional collapse, Livorno became the instrument by which the order to sail was given. From Spezia and Genoa, the Italian battle fleet then duly sailed forth, to surrender to Admiral Cunningham at Malta!

Of the other M.B. stations, on September 17th. Air Commodore Blandy rang to say that he had been asked by the Director General to send a note to Sir Archibald Kinday with a definite proposal to use Aspidistra on W6. Harold Robin was to arrange the frequencies.

As for ‘Soldiers Radio Calais’, assisted from time to time by American black propaganda contributions from the O.S.S, this began broadcasts from October, 24th, 1943. Despite arguments with the B.B.C, who were then using the transmitter to reinforce their European service, from November 14th, 1943 Delmer gained permission to use Aspidistra for Soldatensender, between 8pm and 11pm linked with short wave Atlantiksender. In January of the following year the programme was then allotted an extra hour and until the end of the war, commencing with a German march the station transmitted every night at 6pm.
Josef Goebbels, the German Minister of Propaganda
In a crisp German voice the announcer would declare; Here is Soldiers Radio Calais’ broadcasting on wave bands 360 metres 410 and 492 metres together with the German short-wave Radio Atlantic, on wave bands 30.7 and 48.3. We bring music and news for comrades in the command areas West’. On November 28th., 1943, even Goebbels declared a grudging admiration, confiding in his diary; ‘In the evening the so called Soldatensender Calais’, which evidently originates in England and uses the same wavelengths as Radio Deutschland - when the latter is out during their air raids - gave us something to worry about. The station does a very clever job of propaganda, and from what is put on the air one can gather that the English know exactly what they have destroyed in Berlin and what they have not’.
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