The Signal Office


The Signal Office

Be quick on the keys!

Fast communication is imperative for a strong defence. If the fortification was attacked, the defence operation should be implemented as soon as possible. The primary means of communication at that time were the permanent telephone system, the field telephone, and the telegraph using the Morse system and messengers in cars or young boys on bicycles.

In the Signals Office of the fort, you can send messages using the Morse code and try to invent a secret code.

Vital signals

At war, it is essential that all units in the big army can cooperate in a complete organisation. This demands efficient communications.

Many vital messages have been transmitted through the telegraph using the Morse code – this includes the German-Danish War 1864 and the First World War. The American, Samuel Morse in the years 1837-1843, invented the code, and Morse obtained patent on the system in 1847.

The Morse code came into use all over the world

In the Morse code, the letters and figures are transferred to dots and dashes in different combinations. When you signal with light or sound, a dot is a short signal and a dash a long signal. If you make a misspell, you can delete by transmitting eight dots for deleted the last letter and nine dots for deleting the last word.

The Morse code was distributed all over the world as a language to use in military as well as civilian communication. At sea, the Morse code was used up till 1999. And in 2004 the code was updated for the first time in 60 years adding an @ which is transmitted as · — — · — ·

Telegraph and telephone

The telegraph came into use from the mid 1800’s. In Denmark, Statstelegrafen (the State Telegraph) took the electrical telegraph into use in 1854. From the end of the 1800’s, the telegraph communication was supplied with the telephone both civilian and military.telegraf kopi

The first telegraphs and telephones were connected with cables, so this technology was not the handiest in the field, where you had to lay out the cables according to the operations.

As Garderhøjfort was a permanent fortification, the cables were already in position. The fort was the first building in the area to install the telephone, which happened in 1894 with the telephone number Lyngby Number 1.

What happened if the enemy was listening?

Around 1900, wireless radio communication came into use. As the enemy could monitor the transmissions, various code systems were implemented. However, this inflicted on speed and precision, so often the risk was taken to send without coding. After the First World War more advanced systems in coding and cryptography were developed.telegrafister kopi

Military inventions to the benefit of the civilian society

In Europe the armed forces played a great role in the development of the telegraph, the telephone and later also the radio technology. In the beginning of the 1900’s, the radio system meant that you could transmit wireless and do without complicated systems of cables. It was quite a revolution, and the armed forces quickly realised the possibilities. Modern and more efficient means of communication enabled you to be ahead of the opponent.

The walkie-talkie was developed as a field radio

During the Second World War, the walkie-talkie was developed as a light field radio, which played a great role at the front. By the combination of radio broadcasting and telephony, the walkie-talkie was developed to the modern mobile phone. Radar systems are another example of a technology developed for military purposes, which then came into civilian use at e.g. the surveillance of air traffic.