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Bomber decoys and deception

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by RichardReccon, Oct 20, 2020.

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  1. RichardReccon

    RichardReccon New Member

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    Decoys and deception were extremely important already in WW2. Since it was almost impossible to stop the bombers from getting through the next best thing was to make them bomb the wrong target, preferably a fake one. Another way was to have the enemy guess wrong and divert fighter units to the wrong place. This was done in all theatres of war. The Q-sites in England, the “Scheinanlages” in Germany an even a lot in the US. I have made a video: Search for Historiespanarna on YouTube and you will find the video: Fake targets - Bomber decoys and deception with some lesser known facts that I hope you will enjoy! And you will probably teach me something new...
     
  2. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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  3. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Welcome!
    I also recall several German spies in the UK who were caught sent false messages of the V1 hits so the Germans thought they were hitting central London when they fell short of the target.
     
  4. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    I came across a short memoir by a local man (Teme Valley) who had worked at the Wireless Station at Wooferton (which is still operating) on developing decoy/jamming techniques for the V2. It was believed, incorrectly, that these were radio controlled.
     
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  5. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    There was belief By some that there was a man in top part of the V2 guiding the missile...
     
  6. ARWR

    ARWR Active Member

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    I think that is a post war interpretation of a different project - There was also a grandiose plan to build a two stage rocket to hit the US mainland and an extended range A-4 was envisaged as the top component. It was considered that putting wings on an A-4 would allow it to glide at supersonic speed at the end of its trajectory. This could extend its range by over 200 miles. The new rocket was to be designated the A-4b. However the existing guidance systems were inadequate and the accuracy of the
    missile would be considerably reduced. In the case of a transatlantic missile this would be critical. The solution devised was to put a pilot in the rocket. Radio beacons could be released by U boats to provide a guide that he could follow to the target. In theory he could bail out shortly before impact (and a special parachute design that could cope with opening at supersonic speeds had been designed). In reality the pilot’s chances of survival were effectively zero.


    Two unmanned A-4bs were launched in test firings, these were intended to prove the stability of the missile during the ascent phase and to this end they were successful. The descent phase revealed some serious problems with the wings and that further design work would be required. A revised wing shape was devised, this looking very like that used on the much later American X-15 rocket plane, the new form was redesignated as the A-9 (the transatlantic missile project being known as A-10/A-9).. In the chaos at the end of the war no further work seems to have been possible. Other A4bs had been constructed, possibly with cockpits fitted, but as far as is known none were launched. Had a manned A4b been fired its pilot would have had the posthumous distinction to be the first man to reach the edge of space (albeit sub
    orbitally).


    The manned missile projects were at the edge of current technology but even if brought to fruition would have been a massive waste of resource. The best payload they could have delivered was about one ton of explosive, less than the bomb load of a single medium bomber. To build a massive two stage manned missile to deliver such a relatively small payload to a US city would have been futile (and would probably also caused the detection and loss of many of the various U boats acting as radio beacons). It might have been strategically effective if the missile were carrying a mass destruction weapon as a payload. The German nuclear programme was more advanced than many credit (the first pile would probably have gone critical by 1946) but even the most optimistic projection would not see a bomb being produced before the end of that year (and even then it would have been too bulky and heavy to fit in a rocket). There is one outside possibility, that of a ‘dirty’ bomb. Although of a very different design to that produced by Enrico Fermi in the USA, the German atomic pile could have produced some highly radioactive material during 1946. Packed in powdered form around a high explosive core this could have spread serious (and potentially lethal) contamination over a wide area especially if detonated in an airburst. Some American writers had already mooted such a weapon in the early 40s (one short story published in1941 portrayed the RAF bombing Berlin with such a weapon). In 1962 rumours existed that German scientists working for the Egyptian President Nasser had not only developed missiles with a range capable of hitting Israeli cities but also ‘dirty’ warheads that they could carry, one may wonder if this was a coincidence.
     

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