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Union-Radio Studios at San Sebastian
This San Sebastian station, like all other Spanish broadcast stations, is now used exclusively for the dissemination of propaganda.

Radio's Role in the Spanish War
An interesting report from an Official RADIO NEWS Listening Post Observer who has seen actual fighting in Spain.
By T. E. Goote´Radio News, January 1937

A war necessitates many radical emergency measures. These changes manifest themselves in many forms. but only recently has radio played such an important part. The present Spanish civil war has caused a complete radio metamorphosis throughout Spain.

Shortly after hostilities broke out, the Spanish rebels seized EAJ5 at Seville, and immediately began broadcasting propaganda, war news, claims of victory, and other military news meant for the public. Within three days the Loyalist forces began broadcasting Loyalists news from Madrid. Within one week every major broadcasting station in Spain was directly controlled by either the Rebels or the Loyalists solely for the dissemination of propaganda. Music and entertainment was forgotten in the effort to promulgate this propaganda. This system has continued, and has evidently proven successful to both sides.

Any afternoon or evening it is possible to tune in fifteen or twenty powerful stations, each equipped with several dynamic orators who delight in speaking at great length over the success of the side that they may represent. A station never uses the same wave-length twice. This is necessary in order to keep interference, from the opposing army, from rendering the transmission unintelligible. Shortly after the war broke out, opposing sides would "blanket" the other's transmission by sending out an "empty" carrier wave at the same frequency as the opposing station's transmission. The stations do not vary their frequency any great amount; a change of five or six kilocycles representing the average.

Military Training in Radio

The Loyalist forces now control the majority of Spain's more powerful stations. These include all of the Madrid stations: EAQ, EAJ2, etc., as well as EAJ at Barcelona. There are now in operation in Spain fifty-three radio stations broadcasting propaganda. There are only thirty or forty communications transmitters. Most of the broadcasting stations are of such low power that their carriers travel but a few miles. Before the present conflict, most of them were privately owned.

The Rebel army is now using a network of six portable short-wave transmitters for communication between the northern and southern armies and between Spain and Spanish Morocco, which is now held by the Rebel forces. This network operates on a frequency which is changed daily. Both code and 'phone are employed; the transmitters having an output of about 200 watts each. Four of these transmitters are of American make and are operated by Spanish army operators.

The Loyalist army does not employ radio as a direct means of communication, but depends upon the telephone and telegraph systems.

A Field Radio Station Working

There is no amateur-radio activity in Spain for obvious reasons. Wherever possible, the Rebel forces have seized all radio apparatus of any kind suitable for transmission, and have destroyed or mutilated the equipment in many cases.

Thus radio Progress in Spain is in one sense definitely brought to a standstill, while at the same time radio is employed as an important medium for communications and to report progress of the war to the people.

Spanish Morocco is now in the hands of the insurgents. All communication between this colony on the Mediterranean and Spain must be effected by means of radio. This is done by short-wave transmitters, three of which are located at strategic points on the northern coast of the colony. There are no broadcasting stations in this African colony, as the signals from some of the larger Spanish stations are sufficiently strong to keep the Moroccans informed of conditions on the mainland.

One important point has been realized by both sides. That is, that radio can always be depended upon for reliable communication when telephone and telegraph cannot.


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