First the animation and then to the right, the legend


A = Raising & Lowering control for main W/T aerial, for many years the Type AWO as fitted to Alliance.
B = Main W/T transmitter for a lengthy period the Type 623, but before that the Type 89Q and before that the Type 55M
C= Aerial Change over Switch for use with the main aerial [AWO] or with the AWJ [hand riggged telescopic aerial sited starboard site forward on fin top from which the commissioning pennant was usually flown.  The AWJ was referred to as the "emergency aerial".
D= The SHF D/F set Type UA3.  Sited in the W/T office but operated by the watch Radar Plot rating.  It was an extremely useful tool against ASW aircraft. Its aerial was the SHFDF [known as shuffduff] telescopic aerial , the mast closest to the bow of the boat [raised and lowered as for a periscope}, on the very top of which was  the V/UHF communications aerial
E= UA3 's operators seat but used by others of course.
F = The main AWO transmitter send/receive relay.  A submarine could either transmit or receive but not both together when using MF and HF frequencies
G= The cathode follower. A device which controlled the reception on LF/VLF from the Port/Stardboard, Forward/Aft loop aerials which were built into the upper parts of the fin.  It was known as the ALF. Before such a device  submarines were fitted with jumping wire aerials stretched from forward to aft over the top of the periscope stanchions, when the submarine steered a course pointing towards the distant transmitter for best reception.
H= Is No 1 MF/HF B40 receiver for general communications requiring signals to be sent from the submarine to word wide stations. Before the B40, Type B28's were used, and after the B40, the Racal RA117 [modified for naval use and fitted with a LF/VLF adaptor known as the Type CHC/CHB series] was used.
I= The No2 B40 receiver where the same data as above applied.
J= This was the Type B41 used for LF and VLF reception. Before it was the Type B29.  When the CHC/CHB receivers were fitted, the B41 was taken away and the space it occupied [although now smaller because the CHC/CHB receiver was wider that a B40/B41] was used for other non-equipment purposes.
K= The standard pussers typewriter which replaced the original old Imperial model
L= The built in pussers standard Morse Key
M= The standard naval tape recorder, originally a commercial Phillips device but later a naval device known as the REH1. It became more modern when the REH5 was introduced in the early 1960's.
N = An under bench deck mounted V/UHF transceiver. Originally VHF using the Type 86M but later changed to UHF and the Type 696 transceiver.
O= A seat designed for two operators to use the office simultaneously but very cramped.
P= The fleet cryptographic machine.  Originally the Type X/CCM and replaced in the 1950's with the KL7 machine for off line encrypting/decrypting.
Q= The Type TCS. A USN piece of equipment from WW2. It was fitted as the emergency MH/HF world wide transmitter.
R= A control panel adjacent to the main passageway and sited at the entrance to the W/T Cage for routing and power distribution.  It also involved heavy cables which the W/T staff dragged and connected to the services most needed.
S=  In the Cage was the emergency diesel generator supplying power to basic W/T equipments when main battery power was lost.


The W/T office was also the home of three naval issued clocks. The first of these was the all important chronometer which was in a wooden case sitting alongside a similar looking watch, the type our grandfathers used to wear on a chain outside their waist coat.  Both watches were wound daily at 1200 [or as near to as possible] and their errors, measured against a Morse Code time check received from Rugby Radio or Washington USA,  was recorded in a book.  The Chronometer was never adjusted, but the known error was applied to the morning and evening star-shoots taken with a sextant on a heavenly body[ies] when it was light enough to see a star [or a planet] and also the horizon.  The time of the shoot was critical because this helped to give an accurate longitude, when the shoots, usually of five stars/planets, was applied to the chart. There were many "crimes" one could commit in a submarine, and four of them were to miss a time check; not wind the chronometer; not record the error; to alter the chronometer so that it showed the correct time. Such was the importance of the chronometer, that the task was the direct responsibility of the radio boss man, be he a Chief Petty Officer or a Petty Officer. The other clock was for the use of the wireless operators and was used mainly for the coordination of receiving our signals, sent from shore every four hours - see this file for more detail  . This other clock was much larger, wound as required [7 days motion] and regularly polished - yes, even in a dirty old diesel submarine. This file shows details of the type of clock issued to many departments in a warship, submarine or surface vessel, and this one is part of my pride and joy naval artefact collection, once adorning the captains bridge on the battleship HMS Vanguard -'S%20BRIDGE%20CLOCK.htm .  The admirals bridge immediately below the captains bridge also had one, as did the chart room in which the navigator worked his magic, long before the days of SINS and GPS.

Finally, a little bit of nostalgia !

Now in  2013, I have taken some of the salient features from various UK and NATO publications for the period 1965 onwards [48 years ago] , many at that time with high security caveats, but now of course, very much de-restricted and de-classified.

They come from a time when our submarine fleet was mainly made up of diesel electric boats with a smattering of nuclear submarines.  All the nuclear boats had very sophisticated communications employing RN Integrated Communication System [ICS]  or the Van der Heem system used by the Dutch and fitted into our boats.  ICS and Van der Heem  [SSA – See below for details] systems employed the use of RATT for both in and out traffic to and from the submarine.  The diesel  boats also were split into two separate systems, RATT [using teleprinters] and CW [ Morse Code].  In this case, the RATT fitted boats used either Van der Heem or a adhoc build of equipments to be found on surface vessels. CW [Continuous Wave]  boats were fitted with conventional  pre Radio Automatic TeleType [RATT] equipments which were simply Morse Code and Voice systems, where all classified traffic, in and out, was processed by hand, typing into a crypto machine plain language to get groups of CODE out ready to transmit, and on the receiving side, typing in groups of CODE received to get out Plain Language.  With the RATT system, signals could be automatically coded and decoded, or, as for CW, done manually.

The previously mentioned “mainly diesel electric submarine fleet”, were made up of boats built in the latter part of WW2 but never used in a combatant role, and those built to modern post war specifications which were the Porpoise ‘P Class’ and the Oberon ‘O Class’ known to be the fastest and quietest diesel electric boats in the world.  Some of the earlier ‘P’ Class boats where designed and built as CW Boats but this class plus all the ‘O’ Boats were very soon converted fully to be RATT Boats.  Of the diesels designed and built during the war, they more or less remained CW boats all their operational  lives even though their hulls, casing, sailfins and torpedo tubes were altered and made to look and function as more efficient and much quieter boats  than hitherto.  Thus, the boats operating  in the 1950’s [U-Class, S-Class] which saw war service, were never modified and were CW Boats throughout to the time of their scrapping, plus T-Class [which saw war service] and some of which were structurally modified, also CW Boats, plus A-Class, most structurally modified but all CW Boats to the end.  When the A-Class was scrapped, so too was the old concept of CW Boats.

OUTFIT   SSA.  Click here and then select SSA at number 120 of the matrix

These then were some to the procedures at and around the 1967 times when CW and RATT Boats roamed the oceans.

It might bring some memories back ? All plates verbatim and {sic} - for example KHz would never come from my pen - it should of course been kHz