Broadcast radio or known technically as one-way transmission broadcast, has changed the world quite dramatically over the past 100 years. And this sentiment was never truer than in the First and Second World War. Here you will look at the benefits, and highlight some of the negative impacts that the radio had during these times of political and social turbulence.
First let’s consider the impact of the radio from a military communication perspective A serving officer in the Second World War famously coined the phrase ‘no comms, no bombs’. What he was essentially saying is that without the use of radio communication, it would be impossible to fight. If you consider that up until the invention of radio, writing was the most efficient way of communication, organizing combat would have been almost impossible without the use of radio. Radio communication played an incredible role in the war. Everybody undertaking their training would receive a basic 3-week course in communication, but the experts in the field would study the full competencies of radio communication for up to three years before they were deployed in the field.
Another crucial element of radio in the First and Second World Wars was the ability of the government to communicate with people. There are multiple reasons why this was useful. Firstly, given the fast nature of the War, it was important to inform people about the developments but perhaps more crucially, it could inform people of when an attack was imminent and therefore gave people time to seek safety in a bomb shelter thus saving countless lives.
Radio was also an excellent way of boosting morale. Churchill famously gave many speeches via radio known as “wireless” in his time, to help unite and raise the spirits of the British people. It was most effective many believe because people could hear the emotion and spirit in his voice.