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 "
LendLease Field Telephone
|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
|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
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
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
Hungarian Field Telephone
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