Click for homepage
Glossary of expressions related to spy radio sets

ACC   Allied Clandestine Committee
Secret NATO organisation that was responsible for the coordination between the individual Stay-Behind Organisations of its members and of allied states, during the Cold War.
Berlin Wall   Barrier that divided Berlin in East and West from 1961 to 1989. Under influence of the USSR, the communist German Democratic Republic (DDR) cut themselves off from the capitalist west. The wall came down in 1989, following a series of radical changes in the countries of the Eastern Bloc. It eventually led to the dissolution of the end of the Soviet Union (USSR) in 1991.  Wikipedia
CBME   Combined Bureau Middle East
Cover name for the regional Government Code and Cypher School (CG&CS) head­quarters in the Middle East during WWII. Established in May 1941 by Col. Freddie Jacob, and operating from the King Farouk Museum in Heliopolis.
CIA   Central Intelligence Agency
Independent civilian foreign intelligence service of the United States.  More  Wikipedia  Website
CICI   Combined Intelligence Iraq
The principal British intelligence collection agency in Iraq (and later also Persia), based at Habaniyah and run by RAF officer Robert Dawson-Sheppard.
CIFE   Combined Intelligece Far East
MI5's regional organisation in the Far East during WWII. Established in 1943 at Kandy (Ceylon) by Courtenay Young, who was MI5's only Japanese-speaking officer.
Cold War   State of political and military tension in the period after WWII (1947-1991), between the Western Bloc (US, Europe, NATO) and the Eastern Bloc (Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies).  Wikipedia
NATO codeword for classified (top secret) material about Western Stay-Behind Organisations (SBO) that were active during the Cold War, until approx. 1992.
CSDIC   Combined Services Detailed Interrogation Centre
British prisoner of war (POW) interrogation service, also known as MI19, operating during WWII from facilities in the UK and from regional centres in Cairo (Egypt) and Delhi (India).
CW   Continuous Wave
Mode of operating a transmitter, whereby a continuous wave is switched on and off repeatedly in a changing pattern, in order to transmit information. CW is commonly used to send messages in morse code, and has therefore become virtually synonymous with morse.
DDR   Deutsche Demokratische Republik
The German Democratic Republic (GDR), commonly known as East Germany or the DDR, was a nation state that existed during the Cold War from 1949 to 1990. At the end of World War II (WWII), the territory — with the exception of West-Berlin — was administered by the Soviet Union (USSR).  Wikipedia  Spy
DF   Direction Finding RDF
Drittes Reich   Nazi Germany
DSO   Defence Security Officer
Cover for MI5 personnel posted overseas to British garrisons and colonies. DSOs were based in Aden, Bermuda, British Honduras, Cairo, Gibraltar, the Gold Coast, Iraq, Jamaica, Malta, Palestine and Trinidad.
DWS   Diplomatic Wireless Service
British communication system used by the Foreign Office from 1945 onwards for communications with their representatives overseas. It was established by Brigadier Richard Gambier-Parry and grew out of the wartime Special Communications Unit (SCU) of MI6. Originally based in Whaddon Hall, but moved to Hanslope Park at the end of 1946. It was succeeded by HMGCC.  Wikipedia
Eastern Bloc   During the Cold War, Europe was divided into two separate areas, divided by an ideological and physical border known as the Iron Curtain. The area to the east of this border was commonly known as the Eastern Bloc, and consisted of the Soviet Union (USSR), the Soviet-controlled satellite states, and the countries of the Warsaw Pact.  Wikipedia
GCHQ   Government Communications Headquarters
British intelligence agency.  More  Wikipedia  Website
Gladio   Italian Stay-Behind
Name of the Italian Stay-Behind organisation in the Cold War era, that would be activated as soon as Italy was invaded by the Russians. In polular culture, the name 'Gladio' is often used to identify the Stay-Behind organisations of other European countries as well.  Wikipedia
HARPOON   Telefunken FS-5000 spy radio set
Codename of a a secretly developed pan-European spy radio set, that was intended to be used by all Stay-Behind organisations in Europe and in some other countries, including non-NATO countries.  More
HMGCC   Her Majesty's Government Communications Centre
British development centre for secure communications, hardware and software. Mainly aimed at HM Government use, both in the UK and overseas. Also known as Hanslope Park.  Wikipedia  Website
Iron Curtain   Ideological and physical border that divided Europe into two separate areas from the end of WWII to the end of the Cold War (1945-1991). To the west of this border was the free Western Bloc (NATO and West-European countries). To the east of the border was the {Soviet Union and its Soviet-controlled satellites of the Warsaw Pact, also known as the Eastern Bloc.  Wikipedia

MfS   Ministerium für Staatssicherheit
Ministery for State Security of the former DDR (East Germany); one of most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies in the world. The agency is commonly known as Stasi, which is the abbreviation of Staats-Sicherheit, and had its headquarters in East-Berlin. The Stasi had strong ties with the Russian intelligence service KGB.  Wikipedia  Wikipedia Germany
Morse   Morse Code
Method for (manually) transmitting text based messages, by encoding them into a series of dashes and dots, and sending them by means of sound, light or radio waves. Often used on narrow-band (short wave) radio channels.  More
NATO   North Atlantic Treaty Organization
Intergovernmental military alliance between 31 North American and European countries, responsible for the implementation of the 1949 Atlantic Treaty.  More  Wikipedia  Website
Nazi Germany   In English, Nazi Germany is the common name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party (NSDAP) ruled the country through dictatorship. It is also known as Drittes Reich (English: Third Reich, or Third Empire) and Großdeutsches Reich (Greater German Reich).
O&I   Operatiën en Inlichtingen
Name of the Dutch Stay-Behind organisation during the Cold War. The secret organisation is also known as A&B.  More
OSS   Office of Strategic Services
Clandestine US organisation for infiltration and sabotage activities during WWII. The OSS is one of the predecessors of the current CIA.
OTP   One-Time Pad
Theoretically unbreakable cipher, that involves mixing of plaintext with random data on a pad of numbers or letters, which was used only once.  More
OTS   Office of Technical Service
Technical applied research and developemt (R&D) department of the CIA from 1973 onwards. Previously known as TSD.
OTT   One-Time Tape
Teleprinter variant of the One-Time Pad (OTP).  More
OWVL   One-Way Voice Link
Method of sending messages to (secret) agents without revealing the recipient's location, commonly by means of unaddressed voice broadcasts via short-wave radio. Also known as Numbers Stations.  More
POW   Prisoner of War
Combatant or non-combatant person held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict.  Wikipedia
RDF   Radio Direction Finding
Direction Finding (DF) or Radio Direction Finding (RDF), is the measurement of the direction from which a received radio signal was transmitted, with the ultimate goal to locate the transmitter.  More  Wikipedia
RSS   Radio Security Service
Secret British WWII organisation for intercepting and locating illicit wireless radio stations operated by enemy agents, established in 1939. The RSS was largely staffed by licenced amateur radio operators, which were known as Voluntary Interceptors (VI). Also known as MI8c.  More  Wikipedia  Website
SAC   Strategic Air Command
SAS   Special Air Service
Special Forces (SF) unit of the British Army, established in 1941, specialised in covert reconnaissance, counter-terrorism, direct action, hostage rescue and human intelligence gathering.  Wikipedia
SBO   Stay-Behind Organisation
Secret organisation, consisting of intelligence and operational agents, tasked to gather information, pass this information to the government (in exile) and execute orders and (sabotage) operations, activated in the event of a war. During the Cold War, many West European countries had an SBO.  More
SDR   1. Surveillance Detection Route
Method used by an agent to ensure that he or she is not being followed. Commonly involves several changes in direction and means of transport. Also known as Surveillance Detection Run or Surveillance Detection Routine.
SDR   2. Surveillance Detection Routine Surveillance Detection Route
SDR   3. Software Defined Radio
Receiver (or transceiver) in which (most of) the analogue circuits have been replaced by digital alternatives implemented in software.
SF   Special Forces
SHAPE   Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe
Headquarters of the Allied Command Operations (ACO), one of NATO's two strategic military commands.  Website
SIGINT   Signals Intelligence
SIME   Security Intelligence Middle East
Regional MI5 branch in the Middle East during WWII. Established in December 1939 based at the Grey Pillars compound in Cairo (Egypt) and represented by local defence security officers (DSOs) in Aden, Palestine, Iraq, Türkiye and Syria. The main task of SIME was conducting counterespionage investigations.
SIS   1. Secret Intelligence Service (UK)
Foreign intelligence service of the UK government, also known as MI6.  More
SIS   2. Signals Intelligence Service (US)
SIS   3. Special Intelligence Service (US)
SIS   4. Servizio di Informazione Segrete (Italy)
SOE   Special Operations Executive
British espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance organisation during WWII, active from 22 July 1940 to 15 January 1946. Also known as Churchill's Secret Army and as the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Approx. 13,000 people were involved in the SOE, 3200 of which were women.  More  Wikipedia
Soviet Union   The USSR, or Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, commonly abbreviated Soviet Union, was a Marxist-Leninist federation of states on the Eurasian continent that existed between 1922 and 1991. It was controlled by the Communist Party with Moscow (Russia) as its capital.  Wikipedia
SRAC   Short-range agent communications
One-way or two-way short-range wireless communications used for intelligence purposes. Generally consisting of a small transmitter that allows an agent to deliver or collect a message whilst being in the vicinity of an electronic dead drop.  More  Example  Wikipedia
Stasi   Ministerium für Staatssicherheit
Third Reich   Nazi Germany
USSR   Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Soviet Union
VI   Voluntary Interceptor
Private individual working voluntarily as a radio interceptor for the Radio Security Service (RSS) during WWII. Most VIs were licenced amateur radio operators working from their homes.
WP   Warsaw Pact
Collective defense treaty among eight communist states in Central and Eastern Europe, lead by the Soviet Union (USSR), that existed during the Cold War. The members were Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East-Germany (DDR), Hungary, Poland, Romania and the Soviet Union (USSR).  More  Wikipedia
WWI   World War I
Global war from 1914 to 1918. Also known as the First World War, WW1 and The Great War (the war to end all wars).  Wikipedia
WWII   World War II
Global war from 1939 to 1945 between two military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread and probably also the most well-documented war in history. Also known as The Second World War and WW2.  Wikipedia
Further information
Any links shown in red are currently unavailable. If you like the information on this website, why not make a donation?
Crypto Museum. Last changed: Monday, 10 June 2024 - 16:27 CET.
Click for homepage