The British Wireless set no 19 High Power (HP),

The British Wireless set no 19 HP

 WS 19 HP britisch

This is the Wireless set no 19 HP in my collection.

This radio was used also in The battle of Arnhem,  by The Royal Artillery Brigade radio net, for asking artillery support. They landed  near Arnhem at 17 september 1944.

The task of the Royal Artillery was demanding to ask fire support to the paratroopers. They also  were  with the paratroopers in the first lines, marching on to the bridge, as scout troopers to give information about the german situations ahead. This information came to the Command Division Net 1,  by radio’s, like WS 68 R. The 1e- and the 4e Paracute Brigade did have  7 teams under command. By lack of sufficient airplanes, only a part Of the Royal Artillery was dropped at the landingzones. Because of the weight of  the Wireless set no 19 HP transported by the gliders, only 2 WS 19 HP sets were permitted to be dropped.

Because of the limitted amount of airplaines, the landings and droppings of material and troops, were over 3 lifts. Because there were so many troops and material.

At the 1st lift at 17 september , there would be only radio contact by the WS 68 portable transceiver. This because, the second lift with the more powerful WS 22 radiosets in the  heavy armoured Jeeps, were dropped at 18 september. These was the socalled Para Report Centre. At 16.07 a contact was between the HQ (TAC) and The 1e Para Brigade, the 1 Air landing Brigade and the 21e Para Brigade with their WS 68 radio sets.

Frequency in use was 2096 Khz., the range with the WS 68 should belimited to 3 miles.

At  17 september , the 1e Airlanding Brigade  together with the Division Command net 1,  with the Commander General Major URQUHART in this net, were positioned in the woods  east of landingzone “Z”. They had also in use a Wireless set no 22, the range should increase to 5 miles by using this WS 22.

At 24.00, the net results with  the Division Command Net  were not so well:

Para Brigade no contact,

1e Airlanding Brigade  from 23.00 no contact,

so even the 21e Independent Para Company from 23.00.

At 17 september The Division Command net 2 with radio telegraphy (Wireless transmitter 76 and R109 ) with England was broken at 21.45. Just some moments,  the contact was there.

At  18 september, 08.00, the Division Command moved to near Arhem. A new headquarter was housed now in Huize Hillock at the Utrechtse weg. At 16.30, they went to Hotel Hartenstein at Oosterbeek.

Also the Royal Artillery  went at 18 septembert to Hartenstein. They tried to get contact in the afternoon with a Wireless set no 22, with the  Forward Observation Officers (FOO) at the south of the river Rhine .  They used  a 10 meter longwire antenna. But this failed. They did a  second trial, now with   the WS 19 HP from the Royal Artillery, because of its bigger power output . It failed again. By removing it to the second floor, they finally could make, for artillery support, contact with the artillery of the 30-st Corps at Groesbeek. This because of the constantly heavy shell and mortar fire.  But soon they had to remove the radio to the cellar basement , because of this heavy fire. It was functioning the first days very well, all though later on a relay station was used on the southern border of the Rhine river.  Other wireless sets, by lack of sufficient output power, had sometimes contact with the 30e Corps. But the WS 19 HP contact was very good all these last days.

The headquarter, with a small amount of men at  Hotel Hartenstein, in a well defended perimeter, had to stay there, because of increasing German attacks. They wanted to reach the brige, but because of the heavy German resistance, this failed. They had to stay there till the 25/26e september.  

Position got worse by the hour. The perimeter got very difficult to defend. Many men were killed and wounded. So the loss of material and radio’s which were destroyed,  they AT LAST decided to leave this perimeter. This was called Operation Berlin. A small group of men escaped by small boats across the river, with the help of the Polish division at the southern side of the river. A few men  stayed behind with the wounded and were keeping the Germans busy with all kind of radio signals etc. Also some other survivors , who could not be transported across the Rhine, were hidden by the local resistance. At 21e of oktober, another small group escaped.  At the end of october another trial:  but this trial failed. All remaining working radio’s and other communication materials were destroyed then. Some survivors, wounded, were left behind and were later transported to prisoner camps in Germany.

But the Wireless set no 19 worked very well at Arnhem. This because his bigger output power, so the larger range.

Posted in British-wireless-sets-and-receivers.


  1. I have been to Hartenstein twice. Last time there is was specifically to photograph the no 19 sets. (Apr 2015)I am a Canadian Ham. (VE3LYX) I have two WS 19 sets one of which is operational and I use it on 40m and 80M AM. Despite its low power It does a fairly good job. What I haven’t yet figured out is why they kept an 807 tube down to only 5 watts output. My father, still living,(92) was a Wireless mech Instructor at No 1 Wireless School in St Herbert during the war. My Mother aka “Flt Sgt Danny” was one of a handful of Canadian women to make the rank of flight sargent and spent most of her time at the Service Training Flying School in Dauphine Manitoba.

    • Hello Don,

      I have been also very often to Hartenstein. A few years ago, they changed the the museum internally. My opinion about is, in the past it was a more beautiful museum, also more radio’s to seen. Now only the WS no 19 HP and a german Torn. FU. d2 display. No WS 22, it could be seen in the cellar, but not well.
      Why they kept the 807 below 5 watts, it must be 2,5 watt at AM (voice), this because of the type of modulation. They modulation of the 807 has been done at his first grid. To have a nice modulation, the power output must not be higher then 2,5 watt. Other wise at higher output the modulation index becomes too low.

      Regards Peter, PA0PZD

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