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Old 14th March 2018, 17:44
mongoose44 mongoose44 is offline
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German searchlioght accuracy

Does anyone know even approximately what was the % chance of a BC aircraft being caught for more than say 5 seconds and coned by radar controlled searchlights?
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Old 14th March 2018, 17:55
Delmenhorst Delmenhorst is offline
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Re: German searchlioght accuracy

What target and what year/month ? What type of a/c (Stirling or Lancaster) ?
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Old 14th March 2018, 18:00
Theo Boiten Theo Boiten is offline
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Re: German searchlioght accuracy

For the new Nachtjagd Combat Archive series, I have documented some 800 instances where Bomber Command aircraft were coned for a prolonged period of time, which contributed decisively to the destruction of the a/c, by Flak and/or night fighters.

Many of these are presented in vol 2 and vol 3 (1943) which are due to be published later this month and in May this year by Wing Leader Publishing.

In the Helle Nachtjagd procedure, I have also documented many cases where BC aircraft were coned for up to as long as 11 minutes before their were shot down by German night fighters; these will all be presented in detail in the NCA early-war volumes that are due out later this year and in early 2019.

Cheers, Theo
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Old 14th March 2018, 19:50
mongoose44 mongoose44 is offline
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Re: German searchlioght accuracy

Thank you for the replies, I do in fact have several of Theo's books already. In this case, at the moment, my inquiry is more general. I am discussing with friends, the overall or average % of success of searchlights actually coning an aircraft long enough; say 22s plus. I suppose one should separate the period before general use of radar controlled lights from earlier ones probably tracking though sound. Both are of interest but I assume the radar controlled lights had a much higher rate of success.

Last edited by mongoose44; 14th March 2018 at 23:09.
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Old 14th March 2018, 22:38
Delmenhorst Delmenhorst is offline
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Re: German searchlioght accuracy

There are a difference of where and when. There were always a chance to get coned over the target, but quite often it was easier to cone a bomber on its way to the target. In Denmark the German navy regularly coned British bombers at Esbjerg for several minutes. I would way that sometimes something like one out ouf five got coned. That is not the same as they were shot down. Kiel, Bremen and Wilhelmshaven were also feared by BC. And yes, it got easier with radar controlled Master Serchlights, but it was also done without radar. I would say that the highlight of coning bombers were in 1942 to mid 1944.
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