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101 Signal Group
101 Verbindingsgroep (101 Vbdgp)

Operational Role: The Corps Area Communications System | ZODIAC


117 Lkvbdbedcie119 Lkvbdbedcie118 Lkvbdbedcie150 Divvbdbedcie123 Rayonvbdcie114 Atsdet121 RayonvbdcieStstdet 108 Vbdbat108 Vbdbat122 Rayonvbdcie132 Rayonvbdcie143 Rayonvbdcie142 Rayonvbdcie131 Rayonvbdcie133 Rayonvbdcie11 Vbdbat115 Divvbdbedcie141 Rayonvbdcie107 RdcieStstdet 41 Vbdbat41 Vbdbat106 Vbdbat140 Rayonvbdcie130 Rayonvbdcie116 Divvbdbedcie120 RayonvbdcieStstdet 106 VbdbatStstdet 11 VbdbatStstdet 101 Vbdgp101 Vbdgp

Unit Location Peace Strength War Strength
Staff and Staff Detachment
101 Signal Group
Stroe 14/13/25 (52)
19/24/38/2 (83)
 
107 Radio Company [a] Stroe 8/32/158 (198) 8/33/231 (272)

11 Signal Battalion
Staff and Staff Detachment
11 Signal
Battalion
Arnhem 10/8/25 (43) 12/20/91/2 (125)
115 Divisional Signal Operations Company [b] Stroe 7/25/119 (151) 7/25/128 (160)
130 Area Signal Company Arnhem 6/30/119 (155) 6/32/135 (173)
131 Area Signal Company Arnhem 6/30/119 (155) 6/32/135 (173)
132 Area Signal Company [c] 6/32/135 (173)
133 Area Signal Company [d] 6/31/126 (163)
 
41 Signal Battalion
Staff and Staff Detachment
41 Signal Battalion
Harderwijk 10/8/25 (43) 12/20/91/2 (125)
116 Divisional Signal Operations Company [e] Harderwijk 7/25/119 (151) 7/25/128 (160)
140 Area Signal Company Harderwijk 6/30/119 (155) 6/32/135 (173)
141 Area Signal Company Harderwijk 6/30/119 (155) 6/32/135 (173)
142 Area Signal Company [f] 6/32/135 (173)
143 Area Signal Company [g] 6/31/126 (163)
 
106 Signal Battalion
Staff and Staff Detachment
106 Signal Battalion
Ede 10/8/25 (43) 12/20/91/2 (125)
114 ATS Detachment [h] Ede 4/27/17 (48) 5/48/29 (82)
120 Area Signal Company Ede 6/30/119 (155) 6/32/135 (173)
121 Area Signal Company Ede 6/30/119 (155) 6/32/135 (173)
122 Area Signal Company Ede 6/30/119 (155) 6/32/135 (173)
123 Area Signal Company [i] 6/31/126 (163)
 
108 Signal Battalion
Staff and Staff Detachment
108 Signal Battalion
Stroe 10/8/25 (43) 8/8/27/2 (45)
117 Corps Signal Operations Company [j] Stroe 7/26/93 (126) 7/29/107 (143)
118 Corps Signal Operations Company [k] Stroe 7/26/93 (126) 7/29/107 (143)
119 Corps Signal Operations Company [l] Stroe 9/34/153 (196) 9/35/165 (209)
150 Divisional Signal Operations Company [m] 7/24/126 (157)

101 Signal Group Peace Strength: 145/450/1710 (2305)
101 Signal Group War Strength: 190/744/2853/10 (3797)

Notes

a. Played an important role in (Close) Air Support operations.1
b. Likely to be assigned to 1 Division "7 December" in wartime.2 
c. RIM company, filled by the mobilisable personnel that had formed 131 Area Signal Company in their active-duty period between four and twenty months prior to mobilisation.3 14
d. RIM company, filled by mobilisable personnel that had fulfilled their active-duty period in 130 Area Signal Company between four and twenty months prior to mobilisation.3 14
e. Likely to be assigned to 4 Division in wartime.4
f. RIM company, filled by mobilisable personnel that had fulfilled their active-duty period in 141 Area Signal Company between four and twenty months prior to mobilisation.3 14
g. RIM company, filled by mobilisable personnel that had fulfilled their active-duty period in 140 Area Signal Company between four and twenty months prior to mobilisation.3 14
h. ATS: Automatisch Telegrafie Systeem, an automated telex system developed by Philips and HSA (Hollandse Signaal Apparaten) in the late 1970s. 114 ATS Detachment operated three, in wartime probably four ATS centres (Dutch military designation TTC-4809).5
i. RIM company, filled by mobilisable personnel that had fulfilled their active-duty period in 120 Area Signal Company between four and twenty months prior to mobilisation.3 14
j. Would set up and operate the staff signal centre for the command post of 1 (NL) Corps.6
k. Would set up and operate the staff signal centre for the reserve command post of 1 (NL) Corps.6
l. Would set up and operate the staff signal centres for the command posts of 1 (NL) Corps Artillery and Corps Logistic Command.6
m. RIM company until mid-1985, filled by mobilisable platoons that had fulfilled their active-duty period in 115 Divisional Signal Operations Company between four and twenty months prior to mobilisation. After mid-1985 the company lost its RIM status, retaining the same personnel until 1988.3 14 Likely to be assigned to 5 Division in wartime.7

Operational Role: The Corps Area Communications System 8

The primary mission of 101 Signal Group in wartime would be to set up and sustain the main component of corps communications, the corps area-communications system (legerkorpsrayonverbindingssysteem).9 This was a mobile grid-type tactical area communications network, comprising
  • Twelve mobile area signal centres, serving as the trunk nodes of the network, interconnected through link-encrypted 30-channel radio relay links which carried telephone and telex traffic. Each area communications centre (rayonverbindingscentrum, rvcen), set up and operated by an area signal company, was able to maintain twelve link-encrypted radio relay links (of which generally six 30-channel and six 15-channel) and set up and operate one relay station. Each centre would be linked to at least two other centres. The area signal company operating the centre would send out up to five staff signal detachments that would link major units and formations to the network (see below), whilst lower level units within the area of the centre would be able to connect to the network by their own means;
  • Staff signal detachments sent out by the area signal centres for the staffs of
  • - 101 Signal Group, including relocation reserve;
  • 1 (NL) Corps Administrative Centre;
  • - The brigades, including relocation reserves;
  • - The field artillery groups, including relocation reserves;
  • - 101 Antiaircraft Artillery Group, including relocation reserve;
  • - 101 and 201 Engineer Combat Group;
  • - Other outfits such as logistic units, reconnaissance or engineer battalions, special staffs or units, as needed;
  • - Adjoining allied formations or units, or formations placed under corps command;
  • Three divisional staff signal centres (stafverbindingscentrums, stvcen), including relocation reserves, serving as access nodes in the network, one for each division, each set up and operated by a divisional signal operations company;
  • Three corps-level staff signal centres (stafverbindingscentrums, stvcen), including relocation reserves, serving as access nodes in the network for 1 (NL) Corps Staff, 1 (NL) Corps Artillery Staff and Corps Logistic Command Staff, set up and operated by the three corps signal operations companies;
  • An automated telex system, set up and operated by 114 ATS Company, comprising two to four mobile ATS centres, each of which would be attached and linked to an area signal centre;
  • Syscon (System Control), incorporated in 101 Signal Group Staff Detachment. As needed, elements of Syscon would be attached to area signal centres.
The corps area communications system would be augmented and supplemented as needed with combat net radio, wire and messenger subsystems. In addition the system could tap into both the Dutch and the West German civilian telephone and telex networks (of PTT and DBP respectively).10 The (hierarchical) combat net radio subsystem would in principle serve as a backup for the radio relay communications described above, whilst the messenger subsystem would be used where other means of communications would be inefficient or impossible. The wire subsystem would still be of importance, not only to avoid enemy electronic warfare measures such as radio jamming, but also because the multitude of radio nets within 1 (NL) Corps was expected to cause interference problems. Radio silence would be maintained as long as operationally feasible, with communications running through an extensive wire network, to be laid out through the corps sector by the line teams of the area signal companies as soon as
1 (NL) Corps had deployed.11 Vast quantities of cable and wire had been forward-stored in depots in West Germany for this purpose. <


Possible configuration of the corps area communications system (schematic, partial)

atc130 RvcenrelaisstatatcStvcen 1 LkStstdet 101 Vbdgp / Syscon132 RvcenStvcen 1 Div "7 Dec"relaisstat120 Rvcen122 RvcenStvcen 4 Div123 Rvcen121 Rvcen102 VagpI (GE) Corps3. PzDiv12 Painfbrig101 Vagp41 Pabrig103 Verkbat111 Lkvzgbat101 Luagp104 Verkbat103 Vagp13 PabrigGPLVAlcbt-129 Afdva42 Painfbrig114 Lkvzgbat43 Painfbrig41 Gnbat101 GnggpDBP131 Rvcen11 Painfbrig103 AvplbatDBP

Possible deployment of the corps area communications system (main elements) 12
Stvcen 4 DivStvcen 1 Div "7 Dec"Stvcen 1 LkStvcen 101 Vbdgp123 Rvcen120 Rvcen122 Rvcen121 Rvcen131 Rvcen130 Rvcen132 Rvcen133 Rvcen141 Rvcen140 Rvcen142 Rvcen143 Rvcenrelaissttroposcatter linkGebied beveiligde strijdmacht3. PzDivStvcen 5 DivLegerkorpsachtergebied


ZODIAC 13


Since 1979 the Royal Army was in the process of implementing ZODIAC, a complete automated mobile tactical communications system that was being developed by HSA, with Philips and GTE Products Corporation as subcontractors. ZODIAC was the acronym for Zone, Digitaal, Automatisch, Cryptografisch Beveiligd (Zone, Digital, Automatic, Cryptographically Secured). Designed in accordance with EUROCOM standards it would be connectible to and partly interoperable with several other allied communication systems, such as AUTOKO (West German), PTARMIGAN (British) and RITA (French). In June 1987 ZODIAC successfully connected with the other systems used in the Northern Army Group (NORTHAG) for the first time. 

ZODIAC was introduced in five phases, of which the first two had been completed in 1980, involving the digitisation and link-encryption of the radio relay network (see previous section) and the automation of all telex traffic (see note h above). The implementation of phase three, the automation of all telephone traffic, and phase four, the addition of more nodes to the network, commenced after 1985 and took well into the early 1990s to be completed. The last phase, which would involve the incorporation of sub-divisional staffs and mobile users into the network through Single Channel Radio Access (SCRA), was never realised.

From the above it becomes apparent that in 1985 the corps area communications system was only half-modernised. Telephone exchange was still operated manually, and despite the new radio relay network and automated telex system it still took too long to establish connections (often more than five minutes), whilst, moreover, staffs and units regularly found themselves disconnected from the network altogether for longer periods of time.
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1. Elands et al., Van telegraaf, 184-185, 230. <
2. Elands, Van Gils en Schoenmaker, Geschiedenis 1 Divisie, 237. Schulten, Zwitzer en Hoffenaar, 1 Divisie, 153. <
3. NIMH 205A/10, Aflossing van mobilisabele eenheden en -aanvullingen d.d. 11 november 1983. Ibid., d.d. 17 juni 1985. <
4. Felius, Einde Oefening, 161. <
5. Elands et al., op. cit., 206. Website 114 Ats, Verguisd en geprezen. <
6. Elands et al., op. cit., 184, 236, 254-255. <
7. Ibid., 183. <
8. VS 2-1392/11, 3-3 t/m 3-5, Hoofdstuk 5, Bijlage C. VS 11-12, 7-1 t/m 7-5, 8-1. VS 11-50, passim. Elands et al., op. cit., Hoofdstuk vijf t/m zeven. Van de Fliert, PTT op wielen, 8-9. <
9. The corps communications system (legerkorpsverbindingsstelsel) further included combat net radio (sub)systems, a wire communications system and messenger subsystems. VS 2-1392/11, 3-4 t/m 3-5. VS 11-12, 7-2. <
10. PTT: Posterijen, Telegrafie en Telefonie. DBP: Deutsche Bundespost. In peacetime PTT and DBP prepared for military use of their telephone and telex lines. VS 11-12, 5-4 t/m 5-5. VS 11-50, 2-7. <
11. The problematic nature of the maldeployment of 1 (NL) Corps becomes apparent in this respect as well. <           
12.Elands et al., op. cit., 228. < 
13. Elands et al., op. cit., 202-207, 223-227, 235-239. Hoffenaar en Schoenmaker, Met de blik, 318, 402-403. Raggett, Military Communications, 837. Huijsman, Geboorte, 53-55. Omlo, Afscheid, 36-37. Wennekes, Zodiac, 109-115. Website Crypto Museum, ZODIAC. < 
14. RIM was the Dutch acronym for Direct Influx into Mobilisable Units (Rechtstreekse Instroming in Mobilisabele Eenheden). For a survey of the Royal Army's unit filling and reserve system see Gijsbers, Blik in de smidse, 2222-2231; Selles, Personele vulling; Berghuijs, Opleiding, 14-23. In English: Isby and Kamps, Armies, 341-343; Sorell, Je Maintiendrai: The Royal Netherlands Army within the Alliance, 94-96; Van Vuren, The Royal Netherlands Army TodayMilitary Review April 1982, 23-28. <