B2 Spy Radio Set
From the collection of the Crypto Museum
h 16 cm x w 52 cm
Walking down the street with a suitcase isn’t particularly unusual and it wasn’t during the war either. It was, however, a different story if the case contained an illegal radio transmitter. Many Resistance fighters risked their lives to maintain contact with a free England using a B2-transmitter.
Some individuals were trained in England and dropped back into the Netherlands as secret agents to gather strategic information about the German occupation. It was too dangerous to transmit from a permanent spot. The Germans actively went after these illegal radios and whoever was caught, risked the death penalty. Secret messages about for instance weapons being dropped were passed via Morse code: a series of short and long beeps transmitted the text letter by letter. Originally these transmitters were hidden in an English brand of luggage. But because the Germans soon recognized these cases, members of the Resistance switched to carrying these spy radio sets in suitcases made in the Netherlands.