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Old 4th January 2010, 12:35
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RADAR buff needed!

Can anyone help a US student on these questions?
Could be of general interest?

= Tim

1. How closely was the secret of radar guarded by the British?

2. What did radar mean to the pilots of the RAF?

3. Did the system of radar stations affect the morale of the pilots in any way?

4. Was a gap in the radar system ever created by German raids on radar stations?

5. How much did radar affect the casualties of both sides?

6. Did any Germans ever suspect the importance of the radar stations?

7. What is your opinion of the role the WAAF played in the Battle of Britain (in terms of radar)?

8. Was there ever any talk among the British of implementing a radar system centered around various industrial and urban centers? Would this have been necessary or useful?
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Old 4th January 2010, 13:46
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Re: RADAR buff needed!

A quick answer to question 1:

Canada ran a radar technician training centre in Ontario from 1941. All staff and students were sworn to secrecy for 50 years, and they stuck to it. They began to tell their stories in 1991, leading to the foundation of the radar museum here in London, Ontario. Take a look at http://www.secretsofradar.com/
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Old 4th January 2010, 16:18
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: RADAR buff needed!

I can answer some of your questions: others would need a thesis for an advanced degree.

1. very. It were given the misleading name Radio Direction Finding. On the other hand, how secret were the tall Chain Home masts? Explosive devices were fitted to radar sets in aircraft to ensure their destruction rather than capture.

2. To which pilots, when? To night fighter pilots, very. To others, to a lesser extent depending upon their appreciation of the system.

3. BoB pilots were unhappy about poor altitude guidance. Presumably those with prewar experience would initially be pleased at being directed at enemy formations rather than relying on much poorer information, but the novelty would have worn off rapidly.

4. Yes. The Ventnor attack. Possibly also the Biggin Sector station, but I'm not sure the links were broken.

5. Immensely. There would have been much less warning , poorer guidance, and hence many more raids would have got through unintercepted. Isn't this obvious?

6. Yes. Clearly the Germans planning and running their own radar system knew the value of such a system.

7. The radar stations in themselves were only part of the net. We would nowadays term it Command and Control, and it was the entire integrated system of Filter Rooms at Sector Stations, etc., that made it work. As WAAFs played key roles as operators in this sytem they were important.

8. Not that I know of. The early system could not give valuable returns over land - the stations were at the coast looking outward and movement inland relied upon visual and aural reporting. So such an idea would not have been useful until after the tiome when the whole country could be covered. Do not imagine current levels of performance from early technology. The UK being a small country, with many targets scattered around, this would not be particularly helpful anyway.
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Old 4th January 2010, 16:54
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Re: RADAR buff needed!

He will be MOST grateful for those V speedy answers - many thanks.

= Tim
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Old 4th January 2010, 18:32
Amrit1 Amrit1 is offline
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Re: RADAR buff needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by timothy View Post
1. How closely was the secret of radar guarded by the British?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Boak View Post
1. very. It were given the misleading name Radio Direction Finding. On the other hand, how secret were the tall Chain Home masts? Explosive devices were fitted to radar sets in aircraft to ensure their destruction rather than capture.
Actually, "radar" wasn't a secret at all. What was secret were the actual systems and technologies involved, and more importantly, how these technologies were incorporated into the whole defence system.

Academic papers, patents and physical componenets had been discussed by and between the various European scientists during the 1930s. Patents (both British and German) were often declared in the scientific magazines, and even in Flight magazine.

And one needs to remember that the term RADAR wasn't used at the beginning of the war because it hadn't been invented. The acronym (for Radio Detection And Ranging) was invented by the Americans in 1940.

K
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Old 4th January 2010, 18:57
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Re: RADAR buff needed!

This is the joy of Forums, isn't it?
Great for sharing.

Thanks once more.

= Tim
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Old 4th January 2010, 19:50
palmtree palmtree is offline
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Re: RADAR buff needed!

Tim

As Stephen Bungay emphasises in his book, don't understimate the importance of the telephone network and the Observer Corps in completing the early warning system.
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Old 4th January 2010, 22:34
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Re: RADAR buff needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by palmtree View Post
Tim

As Stephen Bungay emphasises in his book, don't understimate the importance of the telephone network and the Observer Corps in completing the early warning system.
Very true. The Germans had radar as early as the Brits, but what they didn't have for the first few years of the war was a method to collect, process, and redistribute the information. The British developed this part of the solution before radar was operational, using telephones and human "data processors" in the filter centers. This complete system was one of the key reasons for the German failure in the Battle of Britain.

The Observers Corp was one of the original sources of data, before radar, and continued in use for several years because early radar was of reduced effectiveness over land. The other data source for the pre-war data processing system was huge concrete listening posts. I think these were all abandoned by the outbreak of war, but a few of the concrete parabolic reflectors still exist.

The key difference here is that the British developed and refined radar to meet the needs of a unified defence system. The Germans also invented radar, but didn't realize how to really use it. Until the end of the war they were playing catch-up in terms of defence systems, although their individual components, such as radar, were often as effective as anything the British had.
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Old 5th January 2010, 00:12
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Re: RADAR buff needed!

Hi Tim !
You can read more about the importance of RADAR here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tizard_Mission

"When the members of the Tizard Mission brought one (radar magnetron) to America in 1940, they carried the most valuable cargo ever brought to our shores."[
Although it's a completely different subject (WW2 development of the atomic bomb as an combined effort of the british/americans) the following book is one of the most interesting an well written books I have ever read, and beside that it's also an almost full history of WW2:
Richard Rhodes: The Making of the Atomic Bomb; 13.60 US$ very well invested ;-)
http://www.amazon.com/Making-Atomic-...2646688&sr=1-1
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Old 5th January 2010, 08:46
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Re: RADAR buff needed!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Walker View Post
The key difference here is that the British developed and refined radar to meet the needs of a unified defence system. The Germans also invented radar, but didn't realize how to really use it. Until the end of the war they were playing catch-up in terms of defence systems, although their individual components, such as radar, were often as effective as anything the British had.
That is a myth, albeit frequently aired by anglo-saxon researchers. When night bombing started in 1940 the Luftwaffe very quickly developed a very effective command, control and reporting system, which continuously adapted as the allied air threat changed.
And as a side-note it was the German concept of air warning, reporting and tactical control, which was adopted by NATO in the integrated air defence system.
Please see:
http://www.gyges.dk/Himmelbett.htm
and please note nine parts.
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