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WWII spy radios dropped by parachute

Paraset is a nickname for certain types of clandestine radio stations, or spy radio sets, dropped during World War II (WWII) by the British Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and also by the Special Operations Executive (SOE) over German-occupied European countries like France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Norway. The name Paraset or La Paracette applies to the following radio sets:

  • British Mk V — La Paracette
    This is the first British spy radio set dropped by parachute over occupied France in 1941, which is why the French nicknamed it Le Paraset or La Paracette [1][2]. It was used by the SIS (MI6), SOE, BCRAM and by several European resistance organisations, such as the OD.

  • British Mk VII — Paraset
    This spy radio set was introduced in late 1942 and is commonly known by collectors and amateur radio operators as the Paraset. The name was probably introduced in 1972 by Pierre Lorain in his book Secret Warfare [3], and might be based on incorrect assumptions. It was used by the SIS (MI6) and several others, but not by the SOE.

  • Belgian RST-101 — Paraset
    This post-war miniature spy radio transceiver was made in 1958 by Philips subsidary MBLE in Belgium, for use by the Belgian Cold War stay-behind organisation SDRA-8 and by the Belgian Special Forces — Equipes Speciales de Reconnaissance (ESR). The name Paraset is mentioned in the original manual and refers to the use by parachutists (Paras).
Parasets on this website
Whaddon Mk V spy radio set (La Paracette)
Whaddon Mk VII spy radio set (Paraset)
Belgian RST-101 spy radio set (MBLE)
  1. Dave Gordon-Smith (G3UUR), The Agent Killer, A Spy Set with a Bit of a Reputation
    Electric Radio Magazine #352, September 2018. pp. 2-15.
    Reproduced with kind permission of Electric Radio Magazine.

  2. Geoffrey Pidgeon, The Secret Wireless War
    ISBN 978-09560515-2-3. August 2008.

  3. Pierre Lorain, Secret Warfare
    ISBN 0-85613-586-0. 1972. pp. 45-46.
Further information
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Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 09 November 2021. Last changed: Thursday, 08 February 2024 - 10:41 CET.
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