It must have been in the early 1980's. Norddeich Radio did have much
active traffic on radiotelegraphy, and "QRY 8" with ships was normal. In
a completely normal morning, shortly before Easter, I worked the
school-ship, the "Deutschland." What insider doesn't remember the
"Deutschland," with callsign DBWH, which made many voyages throughout the
world as an outstanding representative of the German Federal Navy since
WWII. This ship, with about 5,600 tdw was in service from 1963 to 1990,
and was broken up in 1994 in Alang/India. It had a crew of 175 men, and could
additionally carry 250 cadets for training. During voyages private radio traffic
mostly handled through German coastal stations of the Federal
Post Office, mostly through Norddeich Radio.
As I said, the "Deutschland" announced 50 telegrams, which was quite normal
before a holiday. Conditions were good for smooth radio traffic; the ship
was very loud, and the on-duty operator had an excellent "fist," like all
operators at that time in the German navy. Thus, I sent "QSG QRV K."
(Send the telegrams in line.) Everything went well, and I typed telegram
telegram into the typewriter. After 30 telegrams I noticed that the
colleague on the Deutschland was developing a heavy arm; the speed was
slowing and the pauses longer. I interrupted, and the following funny
dialog followed in plain language:
DAN: I think you have earned a cigarette break.
DBWH: Thanks, but I don't smoke. If you wish, smoke one with pleasure.
DAN: Thanks. I smoke the whole time anyway.
Note that private and informal radio traffic with units of the navy was not
at all the rule, and strictly only the usual abbreviations and Q-groups
were used. We made a break, and after about five minutes we handled the
End of the connection:
DAN: "DBWH DE DAN QSL 1-50 TU NIL 73 SU"
DBWH: "DAN DE DBWH R TU GW 73 SU"
That's the way it was - a time we will never see again.