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Burst encoders
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Glossary of expressions ralated to spy radio sets

ACC   Allied Clandestine Committee

Berlin Wall   Barrier that divided Berlin in East and West from 1961 to 1989. Under influence of the USSR, the communist German Democratic Republic (DDR) cut themselves off from the capitalist west. The wall came down in 1989, following a series of radical changes in the countries of the Eastern Block, marking the beginning of the end of the Soviet Union (USSR) a few years later.  Wikipedia

CIA   Central Intelligence Agency
 More  Wikipedia  Website

Cold War   State of political and military tension in the period after WWII (1947-1991), between the Western Block (US, Europe, NATO) and the Eastern Block (Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies).  Wikipedia

CW   Continuous Wave
Mode of operating a transmitter, whereby a continuous wave is switched on and off repeatedly in a changing pattern, in order to transmit information. CW is commonly used to send messages in morse code, and has therefore become virtually synonymous with morse.

DWS   Diplomatic Wireless Service
British communication system used by the Foreign Office from 1945 onwards for communications with their representatives overseas. It was established by Brigadier Richard Gambier-Parry and grew out of the wartime Special Communications Unit (SCU) of MI6. Originally based in Whaddon Hall, but moved to Hanslope Park at the end of 1946. It was succeeded by HMGCC.  Wikipedia

GCHQ   Government Communications Headquarters
British intelligence agency.  More  Wikipedia  Website

Gladio   Italian Stay-Behind
Name of the Italian Stay-Behind organisation in the Cold War era, that would be activated as soon as Italy was invaded by the Russians. In polular culture, the name 'Gladio' is often used to identify the Stay-Behind organisations of other European countries as well.  Wikipedia

HARPOON   Telefunken FS-5000 spy radio set
Codename of a a secretly developed pan-European spy radio set, that was intended to be used by all Stay-Behind organisations in Europe and in some other countries, including non-NATO countries.  More

HMGCC   Her Majesty's Government Communications Centre
British development centre for secure communications, hardware and software. Mainly aimed at HM Government use, both in the UK and overseas. Also known as Hanslope Park.  Wikipedia  Website

Iron Curtain   Ideological and physical border that divided Europe into two separate areas from the end of WWII to the end of the Cold War (1945-1991). To the west of this border was the free Western Block (NATO and West-European countries). To the east of the border was the Soviet Union and its Soviet-controlled satellites of the Warsaw Pact, also known as the Eastern Block.  Wikipedia

Morse   Morse Code
Method for (manually) transmitting text based messages, by encoding them into a series of dashes and dots, and sending them by means of sound, light or radio waves. Often used on narrow-band (short wave) radio channels.  More

NATO   North Atlantic Treaty Organization
 Wikipedia  Website

O&I   Operatiën en Inlichtingen
Name of the Dutch Stay-Behind organisation during the Cold War. The secret organisation is also known as A&B.  More

OSS   Office of Strategic Services
Clandestine US organisation for infiltration and sabotage activities during WWII. The predecessor of the current CIA.


OTP   One-Time Pad
Theoretically unbreakable cipher, that involves mixing of plaintext with random data on a pad of numbers or letters, which was used only once.  More

OTT   One-Time Tape
Teleprinter variant of the One-Time Pad (OTP).  More

OWVL   One-Way Voice Link
Method of sending messages to (secret) agents without revealing the recipient's location, commonly by means of unaddressed voice broadcasts via short-wave radio. Also known as Numbers Stations.  More

SAC   Strategic Air Command

OTS   Office of Technical Services
Technical applied research and developemt (R&D) department of the CIA from 1973 onwards. Previously known as TSD.

SAS   Special Air Service
Special Forces (SF) unit of the British Army, established in 1941, specialised in covert reconneaissance, counter-terrorism, direct action, hostage rescue and human intelligence gathering.  Wikipedia

SDR   (1) Software Defined Radio

SDR   (2) Surveillance Detection Route
Method used by an agent to ensure that he or she is not being followed. Commonly involves several changes in direction and means of transport. Also known as Surveillance Detection Run.

SF   Special Forces

SHAPE   Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
Headquarters of the Allied Command Operations (ACO), one of NATO's two strategic military commands.  Website

SIGINT   Signals Intelligence

SIS   Secret Intelligence Service

SOE   Special Operations Executive
British espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance organisation during WWII, active from 22 July 1940 to 15 January 1946. Also known as Churchill's Secret Army and as the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Approx. 13,000 people were involved in the SOE, 3200 of which were women.  Wikipedia

Soviet Union   The USSR, or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, often abbreviated to Soviet Union, was a Marxist-Leninist federation of states on the Eurasian continent that existed between 1922 and 1991. It was controlled by the Communist Party with Moscow (Russia) as its capital.  Wikipedia

SRAC   Short-range agent communications
One-way or two-way short-range wireless communications used for intelligence purposes. Generally consisting of a small transmitter that allows an agent to deliver or collect a message whilst being in the vicinity of an electronic dead drop.  Example  Wikipedia

USSR   Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Soviet Union

WP   Warsaw Pact
Collective defense treaty among eight communist states in Central and Eastern Europe, lead by the Soviet Union (USSR), that existed during the Cold War. The members were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East-Germany (DDR), Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union (USSR).  Wikipedia

Further information

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