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Visitors Since 22 October 1998
Designed by Ben Azari


  Army Radio Sales Co. :: Field Telephone Communications Equipment

  Field Telephone Communications Equipment
Field Telephone Communications Equipment

Field Telephone Communications Equipment

With the German invasion of Russia in June 1941, the Soviets were forced to evacuate their electronics industry along with all other industries further east. The first priority was re-establishing radio production. To keep the Russian communications system functioning, the United States supplied large quantities of " Lend Lease " equipment.

LendLease Field Telephone Type EE8
LendLease Field Telephone
Type EE8

Among the many items supplied were a special version of the Standard EE 8 Field telephone. During the inter war years, there was limited funding for signal equipment research and the US spent it's money on Radios rather than field telephone research. The US did go through a series of telephones going from the 1918 Service Buzzer in a leather case to the EE 3 Field telephone in a wooden case to the EE 5 Field Telephone in a leather case and then to the EE 8 telephone. By the start of WW II, the EE 8 in a leather case was standard issue. Early experience in the Pacific showed that leather did not hold up well and the EE 8 was then put in a canvas case.

Soviet Lend Lease was co-ordinate by AMTORG, a Soviet consortium set up as a purchasing commission. They organised the purchase of a special version of the EE 8 telephone that was about 2" wider than the standard EE 8 telephone. The EE 8 was powered by two 1.5 volt D-Cell batteries. The Soviet version had an extra compartment in the handset recess which would hold an additional two D cells.

Field Telephone TAI-43
Field Telephone TAI-43

As the war progressed, the Soviet industry recovered and they began to manufacture their own telephones. The first telephone they began to make was the TAI-43 which was an almost exact copy of the German field telephone developed in 1933. This telephone was the standard issue field telephone until 1957. This telephone was also copied by the Hungarians and by the Chinese, and is still in service with the Chinese Army.

In 1957, the Soviets introduced a new field telephone, the TA 57. This telephone was flatter than the TAI 43 set, took up less space and had a transistorised amplifier. These sets have begun to show up in North Vietnam so it is assumed that the Russians began supplying the Chinese and they in turn supplied the North Vietnamese Army. To date, no examples of Chinese made versions have been encountered.

Field Telephone TA-57
Field Telephone TA-57

10 Line Switchboard
10 Line Switchboard

There are two types of Soviet switchboards known, a cordless version and a corded version. Cordless version cost more to make and require more training of the operators. Both versions were copied by the Chinese. Switchboards are not something that the average G.I. brings home as a war trophy consequently very few Soviet/Russian or Chinese switchboards exist in the Western World. The one shown in the picture is an R-193 corded switchboard. I was fortunate to get one that had never been in service and had all the "extras". A small tool kit!

Along with telephones and switchboards are wire and wire laying reels. The one in the picture shows the standard Russian wire reel. It is much wider than the standard US wire reel and holds considerably more wire. While it can be carried by one person, it is bulky and cumbersome to handle.


Russian TA 57 Field Telephone
Russian TA 57 Field Telephone
Russian TA 57 Field Telephone
Hungarian Field Telephone
Hungarian Field Telephone

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