The Radio crew


Radio operator on board of U-124.

What you can see in this photo. Left below the Enigma machine, in front of the operator, is 200 Watt transmitter. Behind his head is a Telefunken receiver and a long wave receiver to catch the signals on the 600 mtr frequency.

Where did the radio and sonar crew work in the boat?


The area is twofold; aft (left) is the radio room while the listening room is forward of it. Type VIIC.

The Commander "cabin" was located across from the radio and sonar rooms.

The duty of the radio crew


Schedule
The day between 0800 hrs and 2000 hrs was divided in three four-hours watches. The 12 night hours were divided in two six hours watches. So the night watch time changed every day for the two men of a watch. The daily duty time was twelve hours.

Duties

The radio crew also was responsible for medical duty if there wasn't a doctor on board and for the most part they wrote the war diary (KTB) for the commander.


Funkmaat Paul Plettner and Funkobergefreiter Werner Schneider on U-431 using the hydrophone devices.


Funkobergefreiter Brüggemann on duty on board of U-129.
(photo provided by the former Funkmaat of U-129, Hans-Wilhelm Engelke)

The radio-crew on the several types

VIIB
  Oberfunkmeister
(Senior Radio Petty Officer)
Funkmaat
(Radio Petty Officer)
Funker (Funkgast)
(Radio Operator)
Ranks Stabsoberfunkmeister
Oberfunkmeister
Stabsfunkmeister
Funkmeister
Oberfunkmaat
Funkmaat
Funkhauptgefreiter
Funkobergfreiter
Funkgefreiter

Type of U-boat

Number of men
I A - 2 2
Types II
A/B/C/D
- 1 1 - 2
VIIA - 2 2
- 2 2
VIIC
(1939 - ~1943)
- 2 2
VIIC
(~1944 - 1945)
- 2 3 - 4
VIID - 2 2
IXC
(1939 - ~1943)
- 2 2
IXC
(~ 1943 - 1944)
- 2 3
IX-IXC
(~ 1944 - 1945)
1 1 2 - 3
IXD  
(1940 - ~ 1943)
- 2 3
IXD  
(~ 1943 - 1945)
1 1 2 - 3
XIV 1 1 2 - 3
XXI
but also usual
-
1
2
1
4
4
XXIII - 1 1

Radio men using the hydrophone devices

One ear only. Note that the radio operators on all 4 photos wear the headset only on the right ear, because they have to listen with the left ear for commands given inside the U-boat.

The training of the radio crew

  1. Basic military training in a Schiffsstammabteilung (naval boot camp)
  2. General radio training on the Marine-Nachrichtenschule Aurich (naval radio school)
  3. U-boat radio course on the Marine-Nachrichtenschule Flensburg-Mürwik
  4. General U-boat course in the Unterseeboot-Lehrdivision Gotenhafen (U-boat training division)
  5. Some special courses for hydrophone and radar detecting devices


Radio operator in the small radio room of a type II U-boat.

Recommended books on the radio crew

Wolfgang Hirschfeld was the senior telegraphist on the U-109. His book is based on his wartime diaries (highly forbidden practice).

Selected media links


Hirschfeld

Brooks, Geoffrey told by Wolfgang Hirschfeld (1996)


amazon.com
($ 40.00)

The U-boat Crew