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Digital Archive International History Declassified

March 31, 1953

POLISH PROPOSAL FOR BLOC-WIDE COORDINATION OF RADIO JAMMING

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    This unsourced document prepared in March 1953 in only three copies, one of which went to Politburo member Jakob Berman, suggested the need for multilateral Soviet bloc coordination of jamming efforts.
    "Polish Proposal for Bloc-wide Coordination of Radio Jamming," March 31, 1953, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Institute for National Remembrance (IPN). Obtained by Lechoslaw Gawlikowski. Translated by Irena Czernichowska. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121535
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    https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/121535

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March 31, 1953
Top Secret
[originating office not given]

Official Note

1. In December 1951 (when preparations for defense against hostile radio propaganda began) the enemy broadcast in Polish 45 ½ hours daily, using up to 12 frequencies.


By March 1953, however, the total time of all hostile broadcasting had increased to 176 hours daily (an increase of 272% from December 1951), using 32 frequencies (an increase of 166%); in some cases the power of the hostile transmitters increased by 200% and more.

In response, our technical defense measures [i.e., jamming] increased significantly from December 1951 through March 1953. In December 1951, on shortwave, we had nine [jamming] transmitters with a total power of 62 kilowatts available for 7h45m daily; currently there are 29 transmitters (an increase of 223%) with a power of 355 kilowatts (an increase of 472%) available for 428 hours daily (a 55-times increase); in addition, there are now three working local stations equipped with 37 transmitters with a total power of 25 kilowatts.

Also, by the end of 1953, we will have added another 11 transmitters of about 10 kilowatts each, and seven local stations. Sixty special antennas have already been built for higher-power transmitters to protect Poland and friendly states.

Technical protection for medium and long wave has also significantly increased.

In spite of enormous and decisive assistance from the Soviet Union, especially for shortwave, and the build-up of our own measures, our present defenses should be considered insufficient.

On average, we are able to block just over 30% of all hostile broadcasts. It has been especially difficult with shortwave because the physical properties of these frequencies make it difficult to intercept them from Polish territory (during the night, almost impossible).

Fragmentary cooperation with Hungary and Czechoslovakia has only marginally improved the situation.

Effective defense against shortwave broadcasts should be based on coordinated operational management of [jamming] transmitters outside the secured region [i.e., outside Poland]. Current coordination, despite some positive elements, is fragmentary, insufficiently planned, and unable to concentrate its efforts on sectors that are quickly and powerfully attacked. (The enemy for several months has employed the tactic of concentrating its [transmitter] resources on specific countries at different times.) Lack of planned and systematic coordination means insufficient utilization of existing measures here, and most probably not only here.

Conclusions:

The technical defensive measures in our countries can be far more effective for each country if we create a permanent system for operational coordination of our efforts.

Thus we propose calling a meeting of representatives of the appropriate services from the countries concerned in Warsaw to:

a. Set up a permanent, efficient system of coordinating all existing technical [jamming] measures.

b. Coordinate the development of technical measures in each country with the aim of increasing cooperation.

c. Establish the principles of mutual assistance in developing such defensive measures.

Typed in three copies
Copy One to Comrade Berman
Copies Two and Three [addressees not specified]