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Table of Contents

War History of the Australian Meteorological Service




Chapter 1: D.Met.S.—Australia's Wartime Weather Service

Chapter 2: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 3: Met in the Retreat

Chapter 4: Met in the Advance

Chapter 5: Meteorology in Aviation

Chapter 6: Central Forecasting Services
General Reorganisation for War
Security and Censorship
Code and Cipher Development
National Synoptic Broadcasts
Services to Armed Forces
Services to Private Industry

Chapter 7: Met With the Army

Chapter 8: Research and Personnel Training

Chapter 9: Instrumental Development and Maintenance

Chapter 10: Scientific Developments in the RAAF Meteorological Service

Chapter 11: Divisional Bureaux and Their Work

Appendix 1: List of Reports Provided by D.Met.S. for Advances Operational Planning and Other Purposes

Appendix 2: List of Service Personnel RAAF Meteorological Service

Appendix 3: List of Civilian Personnel Who Worked Together with Service Personnel of the RAAF Meteorological Service

Appendix 4: List of Locations at which RAAF Meteorological Service Personnel Served


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Security and Censorship

In accordance with national security regulations, immediate action was taken by the censor's officer at the outbreak of war, to suspend transmission of plain language weather messages by wireless telegraphy and to bring censorship of meteorological information into operation. After consultation with the censorship authorities and intelligence sections of the fighting services, arrangements were made to authorise transmission of official messages in secret codes or ciphers provided by the Directorate of Meteorological Services, while regulations were also drawn up to enable essential weather information to be supplied confidentially to private industries.

After a few months of war, however, it became evident that active enemy operations were not immediately probable in the Australasian theatre, so censorship restrictions were relaxed and normal meteorological services again made available to the public until 23 December 1940.

Relaxation did not apply to the collective broadcasts of synoptic weather reports. These were carried on in cipher, using at first a British naval recoding table which was supplied from Admiralty, London, and was changed periodically as instructed through naval channels. The tables remained in operation in the Australasian region from the outbreak of war until 15 November 1941 when it was replaced by the ANDUS systems agreed at the inter-Allied conference at Batavia in the previous June.

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Haldane, T. 1997 'War History of the Australian Meteorological Service in the Royal Australian Air Force April 1941 to July 1946', Metarch Papers, No. 10 October 1997, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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