They were poorly lit, fuzzy, grainy, and far away, those pictures were.  Yes, most of those German submarine ("Unterseeboot" or "U-boat") radio-equipment photographs taken before, during, and even after World War II, left much to be desired. The Germans wanted to guard the secrets of their U-boat wireless equipment, and they did it very well.

The purpose of this website is to give you, the viewer, close-up, high-definition photographs of U-boat radio equipment in  a non-technical, English format that is easy to scan and enjoy. We want you to see the Funkraum (radio room) through the eyes of the radio operator -- up close.  Sure, at the beginning of each radio's section, we will give you an overall look at the entire radio so that you can get your bearings.  But things really get fun when we click my Nikon 60mm 1:2.8G macro lens into place and start counting the hashmarks between even the finest gradations on the smallest dials.  I call it "macro radio."  Once you have been there, regular U-boat radio photographs--if you can find any-- don't quite measure-up anymore.

 For many of you, the first three radios (the S406S/36 XMTR, the E437S RCVR, and the T3PLLa38 RCVR) are on the click-menu ribbon at the top of this page.  To view other radios, hover over "More" at the end of the ribbon.  Each radio has its own ID number.  Scroll-down and click on the same radio ID number followed by a different "dash" number to get a different view of the same radio. Go below each photograph of a radio to learn general information about the unit.  Go to the Technical Pages at the end of each radio's section to  learn detailed electronic information about the unit. Return to the selection bar and re-click on your radio in order to choose another photograph of the radio you are viewing.  Standard amateur-radio abbreviations will be used for transmitter (XMTR), receiver (RCVR), and transceiver (XCVR).   (Continued below.)

This is a blueprint drawing showing the location of the radio room (Funk-Raum) and the adjoining listening/sound room (Horch-Raum, in which some radio equipment was kept), inside a Type VII U-boat.  The bow of the boat is to the right, the Captain's cabin is across the passageway and close to the radio room, and the control room is the open area to the left.  The radio room was near the hub of all the boat's command activities.            *Blueprint courtesy of Dieter Blumenthal

 

Acknowledgments:  Many thanks to my advisors and colleagues without whose assistance this project would not have been possible:  Dieter Blumenthal, DJ9BW (U 995); Arthur Bauer of Stg.C.D.V.&T.; Dr. Jann Witt of the Deutscher Marinebund e.V.; Horst Beck, owner of the www.Horst-Beck-Collection.com,; Klaus Mattes, Deputy Chairman, U-2540 Wilhelm Bauer; Captain Jerry Mason, U.S. Navy (Ret.); and Hans-Juergen Kempe, DK9OS.