Goliath transmitter

Goliath transmitter was a very low frequency (VLF) transmitter for communicating with submarines, built by Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine navy near Kalbe an der Milde in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany, which was in service from 1943 to 1945. It was capable of transmission power of between 100 and 1000 kW and was the most powerful transmitter of its time.[1][2]


Submarines are shielded by conducting seawater from ordinary radio communication frequencies, but radio waves in the very low frequency (VLF) band from 30 to 3 kHz can penetrate seawater to depths of about 50 feet, allowing submarines to receive communications without surfacing and becoming vulnerable to detection. From 1943 to the end of World War II, Goliath was the main radio transmitter for German submarine radio communications, operating on frequencies between 15 and 25 kHz with a main working frequency of 16.55 kHz. Transmitting up to 1000 kilowatts of power, Goliath's transmissions could be received worldwide including submerged submarines in the Caribbean, but had difficulty penetrating Norwegian fjords.[3][4][5]

Technical characteristicsEdit

Goliath used three umbrella antennas, which were arranged radially around three 210 metre tall guyed steel tube masts and were insulated against ground. At their edges these antennas were mounted on grounded 170 metre tall guyed lattice steel masts. Three of these masts carried two umbrella antennas to comprise 15 lattice steel masts.[6]

Legacy of Goliath after 1945Edit

A panorama of Goliath transmitter towers in Nizhny Novgorod's suburban Kstovsky District

Shortly after World War II, the Goliath transmitter buildings and antennas were reportedly destroyed by the Soviet Union. Today only one 170 meter mast base remains of the original installation.[citation needed]

According to the interview given in 2007 by the commander of the present-day Goliath facility in Russia, Captain 1st Rank Yuri Gorev, to the Nizhny Novgorod edition of Argumenty i Fakty,[7] Goliath was rebuilt between 1949 and 1952 in the Kudma River valley, in the southern suburbs of Nizhny Novgorod (Kstovsky District; 56°10′19″N 43°55′54″E / 56.17194°N 43.93167°E / 56.17194; 43.93167). Since then, the station has been transmitting commands and time signals RJH99[8] for the Russian Navy. Since the 1960s, it has also participated in tracking spacecraft. The nearby settlement for the staff of the facility is known under the name Druzhniy.

The antenna system of Vileyka VLF transmitter greatly resembles that of Goliath, but all its masts are about 100 metres taller.[9]


  1. ^ Misac N. Nabighian (1988). Electromagnetic Methods in Applied Geophysics. SEG Books. pp. 523–. ISBN 978-1-56080-022-4.
  2. ^ Arthur D. Watt (17 September 2013). VLF Radio Engineering: International Series of Monographs in Electromagnetic Waves. Elsevier Science. pp. 144–. ISBN 978-1-4831-5230-1.
  3. ^ http://uboat.net/articles/index.html?article=35 UBoat.net
  4. ^ Klawitter, G.; Oexner, M.; Herold, K. (2000). Langwelle und Längstwelle (in German). Meckenheim: Siebel Verlag GmbH. pp. 47–52. ISBN 3-89632-043-2.
  5. ^ Jak P. Mallmann Showell (2000). ENIGMA U-boats. Ian Alan Publishing. pp. 14–15. ISBN 0-7110-2764-1.
  6. ^ Goliath Long-Wave Truss Masts at Structurae
  7. ^ The naval "Goliath" (Морской "Голиаф"), Argumenty i Fakty Nizhny Novgorod (АиФ Нижний Новгород), No. 36, 05-Sep-2007 (in Russian)
  8. ^ NSNL 121 - Military stations
  9. ^ Klawitter, G. (1997). 100 Jahre Funktechnik in Deutschland. Berlin (Germany): Verlag für Wissenschaft und Technik. pp. 114–128.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 52°40′09″N 11°25′19″E / 52.66917°N 11.42194°E / 52.66917; 11.42194