Russian Army Wire Communication W.W.II to the
The basic circuits in all field telephones were the ringing circuit and the
talking circuit. The ringing circuit consisted of a small hand cranked magneto
producing about 65 to 85 volts AC. Cranking the magneto sent a current down the
line and at the other end, caused a ringer to ring. If connected to a switch
board, a line drop also dropped down to indicate an incoming call. The talking
circuit was a DC battery powered circuit which went through what is called the
net work. This consisted of a transformer and capacitors. The transformer served
as a step up transformer, providing some amplification of the incoming signal.
This was two of the three windings in the transformer.
To talk, the operator pressed the “Push to talk” button. This brought the
local microphone and battery into another winding in the transformer and thus
down the line to the other telephone.
WWII Russian Telephone Equipment
|At the start of WW II, the Russian Army had several types
of telephones and switchboards which are shown in the picture.
Set on top
left (YHA -N -42) UNA-i-42 and the centre one (YHA-O-42) UNA-F-42 were
Russian in origin. The set on the top right looks like the so called
"Forest Service Set" made in the USA and supplied to Russia but with a
different hand set. The third telephone is the TABIP-1 without DC dry cell
elements. The next generation telephone is the TABIP-2 w/out dry cell
elements and the next row shows the telephone handset TAT-F with tone call.
The next row shows 3 switchboards: Russian names ONH-6, ONH-10 and UbK 19/14
which convert to FIN-6, FIN-10, and a Feno-inductive (FIN) switchboard, used
along with but not shown, on photo PK-10 and PK-30 field switchboards, the
LBK-19/14 which was a Telegraph switchboard. May stand for (Lineinyj Baudot
Kommu tator) which was a telegraph switchboard for big Army communication
For Army Front communication centres another TKF-30/60 type telegraph
switchboards was used. In the Soviet system, a "Front" was roughly equivalent to
an Army in the US, British, or German scheme of things. Each Front command
normally controlled two or more Armies, but the Armies themselves were smaller
than their western counterparts, though usually a bit stronger than the average
western Corps. I think three to five divisions was average, plus additional
assets of artillery and/or mobile units, although there was no standard
composition so it varied widely depending on the situation and the forces
available. The Soviets did not generally utilize the Corps as a formation,
except for mobile troops.
Stalingrad Wire Communications Map
|These Russian Corps usually came in two types, Cavalry
Corps or Mechanized Corps. In this case the Corps would usually have two or
three divisions (cavalry), or an equivalent mix of motorized and tank units,
some of which might be brigades rather than divisions, as the Soviets
usually organized their tank units into brigades rather than divisional
formations. The bottom item, is a field LF amplifier, maybe for cable or
wire long lines, designated the PNU-42. Which stands for 'Promezhutochnyj
Nizkochastotnyj Usilitel' Ver. 42 - 1942 delivery, and was the successor for
older TOU and TOU-D. Very little of this material survived as the advancing
Germans captured or destroyed at least 99.99% of this stuff during 1941. Ham
radio operators had no use for the remaining .01% in the post war era. Some
of these sets may possibly be found in the VIM Museum in Saint Petersburg,
LendLease Field Telephone
|The basic field telephone of the U.S. Army during WW II
was the EE 8 which had evolved from the EE 3 and the EE 5 field telephones.
Originally issued in leather cases, these were quickly replaced by canvas
cases as the leather cases did not hold up well in the jungles of the
Pacific. An interesting variation of the EE 8 was the EE 8 set made for Lend
Lease export to Russia. The same basic field telephone but with a larger
case to accommodate special batteries for use in the extremely cold
temperatures in Russia during the winter. There are two known examples of
these telephones in the USA.
Forest Service Telephone Set
|Another interesting U.S. made field telephone is one that
is believed to have been developed for use by the Forrest Service but the
entire production was apparently sold to the Russians and the instructions
and markings are all in the Russian alphabet. It was made in a metal case
and seems to be similar in concept to the EE 8 field telephone, but with the
components re arranged. It may possibly be that the Russians brought one of
their sets to America and contracted for it’s manufacture here in the United
States. Outwardly it resembles the TABIP-1 but is made with U.S. components
such as the TS 13 handset.
By 1943, the Russian communications industry
had recovered from the evacuation to east of the Urals and began producing
the TAI 43 field telephone, an almost exact copy of the captured German
Forest Service Telephone Set
Forest Service Telephone Set
Field Telephone TAI-43
|By 1943, the Russians began making the TAI - 43 field
telephone, dubbed the “Hitler Phone” by Russian troops. It appears to be
almost an exact copy of the German Field Fernsprecher 33. There were some
slight improvements. It was later supplied to their Chinese allies and the
Chinese fielded it as the Type 0743 and 0745 telephones. It was also
supplied to the Warsaw pact allies and samples of East German, Hungarian
versions have been found. The battery for this set is the 165 Y and is 1 1/2
volts. In shape, it copies the WW II German battery but is 1 1/2 volts as
opposed to the German 4 volts.
Field Telephone TA-57
|In 1957 the Russians fielded the TA 57, a very much
improved telephone with a transistorized amplifier built in. This set used a
9 volt battery, a GB-10 for TA-57 and the battery was also used in the P
Field Telephone Switchboard and Telephones
Both the US WW II BD 71 and BD 72 had a jack panel for each subscriber, which
consisted of a cord with a plug, a socket, a switch and a line drop. These
panels were easily replaced by removal of two screws. The BD 72 was issued with
two spare jack panels. There was also the operators pack built in, which had a
magneto, a ringer and connections for the operators head/chest set. In the rear
were the network transformers, capacitors and line connections.
In operation, a subscriber would ring the switchboard, the ringer would ring
to alert the operator to an incoming call and the line drop would drop down so
he could see who was calling. The operator plugged in, found out what number he
was calling and then inserted the callers cord into the jack panel of the called
number and then crank the switchboard magneto which would cause the called
number to ring. In practice one or two lines were called trunk lines and were
connected to the switchboard of the next higher headquarters. This meant the BD
71 would connect to 5 field phones and the BD 72 to 10 or 11 field phones.
In contrast, the Germans, Russians and Japanese also had switchboards but
with out an operator pack which required the switchboard operator to have a
telephone. Provisions were also made for connecting an external ringing device
such as a bell. The Germans and Russians used corded switchboards while the
Japanese used cordless switchboards. Cordless switchboards cost more to
construct, require more training of the operator but are less prone to damage to
one or more of the cords.
At this time it is uncertain what the Russians used at the outset of WWII.
There have been samples of the so called Forrest Service Switchboard located in
the Ukraine and offered for sale on eBay auction.
German Field Phone Wire Dispenser
Page From a British Manual
|K 10 Switchboard
The earliest reference that I have on this switchboard was dated 1955 and
was done by British Intelligence Service. It resembles the WW II German
switchboard but better constructed. The British manual states that it is
close in appearance to the British 10 line magneto switchboard. In fact,
the K 10 more closely resembles the British switchboard. The K 10
switchboard also came in a metal case as opposed to the German switchboard
which was in a wooden case. The K 10 did not have any operators pack but
required the use of operators telephone, unlike the British switchboard.
The unit is 12” x 7 1/2” x 6” and weighs approximately 15 pounds. The cords
are stored in a compartment at the bottom of the set. The front cover opens
up and folds under the set to provide a platform for the set with four
rubber feet. Once open, the lower compartment is opened, the cords brought
out and the compartment cover is closed after sorting out the cords. The
cords are either black or brown and alternate. The operators cord is brown
with a red line running the length of the cord. The top rear cover is opened
to reveal the line connections and the connection for the operators
telephone. Unlike the German switchboard, there are no pushbuttons or master
reset button. There is also a set of terminals to connect an external bell
The K 10 also has four clamp like attachments, held in place by screws
which can be loosened and will allow the switchboard to be mounted on a
wall. I assume that a screw driver was issued with the set as well as
several spare cords. The set in my collection came with one spare cord. The
major components of the switchboard are mounted on the front panel. By
loosening four captive screws the entire unit can be removed from the metal
case, making any needed repairs much easier.
K-10 Switchboard Internal View
P 193 M
The P 193 M (R - 193 M) was an improvement over the K 10. It is also sometimes
referred to as the LP-10 MR Field Telephone Exchange. This switchboard had a
ringing generator and what would be considered an operators pack. As issued it
came with and extension cable and a terminal board. Subscriber lines could be
connected to the switchboard or to the terminal board. The switchboard is 320mm
x 170mm x 220mm and weighs 10 Kg. It takes 6 to 7 minutes to set up. As issued
it came with the switchboard, a 1 meter cable for telephone connections and one
set of spares (line cords) a tool kit and accessories and a manual. It had a
ringing range of 20 Km. (Over 2 - wire RTF-7 cable). The crosstalk attenuation
was 9N, (at least 1 Khz).
The internal components of the exchange are mounted on a metal frame which
can be pulled from the housing. The frame is composed of the front panel,
connecting angles and terminal board.
The answering/calling push buttons connect the operators telephone set to the
individual extensions to answer calls, to ring the extension wanted, as well as
monitor the conversation; when operated, they disconnect the the respective drop
indicator. Once operated, an answering/calling pushbutton remains in the
pressed-in position until it is release by operating another answering/calling
pushbutton or by use of the common release button. This is exactly like the WW
II German switchboard.
P 193 M Switchboard Connections
As issued to their allies, you also got the switchboard with handset. The
"Line Board" with connecting cable, two canvas cases and manuals in Russian
and English. There is a warning in English on the front of the switchboard
that says "HEED THE ENEMY". Peeling it off, the original Russian label is
underneath. The cases are metal painted a pea green colour. One of these in
my collection comes from a supply given to the Nicaraguan Military back in
the early 1980s by the Cubans and the Russians.
P 193 M Switchboard
P 193 M Switchboard Terminal board
P 193 M Switchboard Manual
P 193 M 2
The P 193M 2 (R -193M 2) entered service and were also exported to Nicaragua in
the 1980s. The set in my collection also came from Nicaragua. This is a more
complex switchboard than the P 193M and is powered from an external power
supply. It also has provisions for a dial system. The technical manual with the
set has no date but what seems to be a maintenance log was dated 1989. The
technical manual has 14 pages of text and pages 15 to 29 are schematic diagrams
or PC board layouts.
P 193M 2 Switchboard
P 193M 2 Switchboard
P 193M 2 Switchboard Terminal Board
Wire Dispensing Equipment
Telephone wire, commonly referred to in the US Army as WD 1 was a seven
strand wire, with 3 steel wires and 4 copper wires making it a very strong wire
line. It was dispensed from a 1 mile reel which was hand carried or a larger 5
mile wire reel which was used on a vehicle mounted dispensing system. The
Germans had a hand held wire reel and a very “over engineered” back pack wire
dispenser. The Japanese also had similar systems. US, German and Russians used
black covered wire while the Japanese used a yellow covered field wire.
Russian Wire Reel
|The Russian also had a similar wire reel system but does
not appear to have been copied from someone else but rather was a design of
their own. Two metal plates approximately 9 inches square were held together
by four spacing rods which gave it an over all length of just over 12
inches. It appears to hold about 1 and 1/2 the amount of wire as the US wire
reel. The sample in my collection came from Russia, had about 1/3 of the
reels wire capacity and I was told that the wire was extremely valuable in
Russia. I assume this must be the 2 - wire RTF-7 cable, but this is not
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