Field telephone

Field telephones are mobile telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

s intended for military
A military is an organization authorized by its greater society to use lethal force, usually including use of weapons, in defending its country by combating actual or perceived threats. The military may have additional functions of use to its greater society, such as advancing a political agenda e.g...

 use, designed to withstand war
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

time conditions. They can draw power from their own battery
Battery (electricity)
An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Since the invention of the first battery in 1800 by Alessandro Volta and especially since the technically improved Daniell cell in 1836, batteries have become a common power...

, from a telephone exchange
Telephone exchange
In the field of telecommunications, a telephone exchange or telephone switch is a system of electronic components that connects telephone calls...

 (via a central battery
Common battery
In telecommunication, a Common battery is a single electrical power source used to energize more than one circuit, electronic component, equipment, or system....

 known as CB), or from an external power source. Some need no battery, being sound-powered telephone
Sound-powered telephone
A sound-powered telephone is a communication device that allows users to talk to each other with the use of a handset, similar to a conventional telephone, but without the use of external power...

Field telephones were first used in the First World War to direct troops. They replaced flag signals
Flag signals
Flag signals can mean any of various methods of using flags or pennants to send signals. Flags may have individual significance as signals, or two or more flags may be manipulated so that their relative positions convey symbols...

 and the telegraph as an efficient means of communication. The first field telephones had a wind-up generator
Electrical generator
In electricity generation, an electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge to flow through an external electrical circuit. It is analogous to a water pump, which causes water to flow...

, used to power the telephone's ringer & batteries to send the call, and call the manually-operated telephone central. This technology was used from the 1910s to the 1960s. Later the ring signal has been made electronically operated by a pushbutton, or automatic as on domestic telephones. The manual systems are still widely used, and often compatible with the older equipment.

Field telephones used by the United States Army

  • EE-8, World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

     era through Vietnam War
    Vietnam War
    The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

  • TA-43
  • TA-312
  • TA-838, includes touch-tone key pad.

Torture of POWs

According to the Army's Vietnam War Crimes Working Group Files
Vietnam War Crimes Working Group Files
The Vietnam War Crimes Working Group Files is a collection of documents compiled by Pentagon in the early 1970s during Army investigations into atrocities by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War. They detail 320 alleged incidents that were substantiated by United States Army investigators — not...

, field telephones were sometimes used in Vietnam to torture POWs with electric shocks during interrogation
Interrogation is interviewing as commonly employed by officers of the police, military, and Intelligence agencies with the goal of extracting a confession or obtaining information. Subjects of interrogation are often the suspects, victims, or witnesses of a crime...


Field telephones used by the Royal Norwegian Defence Forces

  • TP-6N Developed in Norway for the armed forces early 1970s.
  • TP-6NA Versions of TP-6N A to C
  • M37 Swedish field telephone used by the Norwegian Civil Defence. This phone is fully interoperable with the EE-8, TA-1, TA-43 and TA-312 series of US Field Phones.
  • EE-8 A part of The Marshall Plan
    Marshall Plan
    The Marshall Plan was the large-scale American program to aid Europe where the United States gave monetary support to help rebuild European economies after the end of World War II in order to combat the spread of Soviet communism. The plan was in operation for four years beginning in April 1948...

     (from its enactment, officially the European Recovery Program, ERP) The EE-8* was used in USA from WWII to late seventies, and in Norway from WWII until the TP-6 could replace it.
  • FF33 This phone was widely used from mid 1950s until it was replaced by TP-6 (after the EE-8) FF33 was left by the Germans when WWII ended, but was not used immediately due to political reasons.
  • Mod 1932 Developed by Elektrisk Bureau
    Elektrisk Bureau
    Elektrisk Bureau or EB was a Norwegian manufacturer of telecommunication equipment. It was founded in 1882 and lasted until 1993 when it became part of Asea Brown Boveri . The company was located at Billingstad in Asker.-History:...

    for the Norwegian forces, approved in 1932 (as the 1st std. field telephone), but never made in great numbers, due to bureaucracy and the start of WWII. Based on a model made for the Turkish Army by Elektrisk Burau.

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