Making Waves

Admiral Mountbatten's Radio SEAC 1945–49

Eric Hitchcock

The story of British Forces Broadcasting began officially on 1st January 1944 in North Africa. Mobile stations were used in the advance northwards through Italy, and followed closely behind the troops after D-Day as they fought their way into Germany. However, this approach was not suitable for the war east of Suez.
Publication date:
March 2014
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Series :
Helion Studies in Military History
Illustration :
45 b/w photos, 11 diagrams
Format Available     Quantity Price
Paperback
ISBN : 9781906033958

Dimensions : 234 X 156 cm
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£19.95
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Overview
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• An alternative history focusing on the development of forces radio during WWII

The story of British Forces Broadcasting began officially on 1st January 1944 in North Africa. Mobile stations were used in the advance northwards through Italy, and followed closely behind the troops after D-Day as they fought their way into Germany. However, this approach was not suitable for the war east of Suez. The India and South-East Asia Commands (SEAC) covered such a huge area that other means were needed to deliver programmes to the forces in that theatre. A start had been made in Delhi in 1944, where a station had been set up which used air time provided by All-India Radio on one of its transmitters. Efforts to improve welfare facilities were made by Vice-Admiral Mountbatten, but he found there were financial constraints on what could be achieved.

Discussions involving the War Office and the BBC reached the conclusion that the best solution for a viable mobile transmitter for this terrain was a powerful short wave transmitter, supported by another with less power. What was much more difficult to resolve was the issue whether to have the station in Delhi, as some wanted, or in Ceylon, where Mountbatten wanted it under his command. The furious argument was decided in his favour, and the result was Radio SEAC.

Eric Hitchcock presents a balanced and fascinating account of the untold story of Radio SEAC, and Mountbatten's pivotal involvement, blending military, social, political and scientific history.

About the Author
Eric Hitchcock has always been fascinated in electricity and magnetism thanks to a physics master he had at school. During WWII he was put in charge of operating and maintaining transmitters carrying Radio SEAC's programmes. Demobilised in 1947, he spent the 60s helping to design early computer systems.