In All Quiet on the Western Front, the narrator says,

In the meantime we receive visitors, a couple of wireless-men, who are generously invited to the feed. They sit in the living-room where there is a piano.

Could someone please explain to me what "Wireless-men" means? I've looked on google, and I can't find anything remotely useful. It might just be because I'm bad at using it though :P.

I'd greatly appreciate any help!

  • 2
    I would assume the same as "radio operators". – Hot Licks Jan 25 '18 at 3:56
  • Please pick one site to post your question on. Cross posting is not OK. – Laurel Jan 25 '18 at 4:35

All Quiet on the Western Front was published in November 1928 in Germany.


'Wireless Telegraphy', which is the transmission of signals (not the sound of a voice), was still only in the hands of Governments, not the general public or commercial companies.

The transmission of sound (radiotelephony) began to displace wireless telegraphy by the 1920s for many applications, making possible radio broadcasting. Wireless telegraphy continued to be used for private person-to-person business, governmental, and military communication, such as telegrams and diplomatic communications, and evolved into radioteletype networks.


'Wireless-men' would have referred to Government employees engaged in Signals Intelligence. (Our equivalent would be GCHQ in the UK or the NSA in the USA.)

From the mid-twenties, German Military Intelligence Abwehr began intercepting and cryptanalyzing diplomatic traffic. Under Hermann Göring, the Nazi Research Bureau (Forschungsamt or “FA”) had units for intercepting domestic and international communications.


| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.