Downstairs, Thomas fiddled with the dials of the battered old radio in the front window. The speakers crackled with static as he sought a voice or the chattering of a telegraph key. When David spoke behind him, he startled and swung the dial.
"Sorry, Tom. I hope you weren't closing in on something."
"No. I'm trying to reach the OPP in Bancroft. I found their call letters and channel but so far, nothing."
"Depends on the atmosphere?"
"Yes, somewhat. At least I don't have to worry about enemy agents standing outside my door, waiting to burst in."
"What are you talking about? What enemy agents?"
Thomas twirled around in his chair, and David pulled one up.
"In WW11, thousands of radio-equipped agents communicated with the allies from inside occupied Europe. They worked in the cities and the country, in networks or alone. The guys alone in the cities had no one to watch for the scanning vehicles in the streets nor had any way except their own tradecraft to prevent discovery. Their work was vital, but the Nazis captured many of them because they got sloppy, talked to a girlfriend, or broadcast from the same location at the same time instead of randomly. The solo ones in the country were dependent on the goodwill of the communities and their own skill. Some were embedded with the Underground. It was the amateur radio operators who alerted the people of France that the invasion was coming on June 6, 1944. The radio service in London broadcast a nineteenth-century poem by Verlain on June 1."
He quoted the poem,
"Les sanglots longs
The verse signalled the resistance to be ready for further alerts, and that Operation Overlord would begin within two weeks. “
He continued, “ On June 5, at 23:15 hours they broadcast the next three lines, a signal for the resistance to begin sabotage on the railway system.
Blessent mon coeur
The invasion began before dawn on the 6th, a few hours later."
"How do you know all this? Was ham radio a hobby when you were a kid?"
"No," said Thomas. "I had some training in it for a job I did."
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