Which country had the best radar/ Aerial protection system?

Discussion in 'Radar' started by Soundbreaker Welch?, Nov 7, 2007.

  1. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    Germany? It was pretty good. They even had a device that could tell how many Allied bombers were coming to bomb them, just from the sounds of the engines.

    The British got very good during the BOB finding out where the attacks were coming from. They didn't miss too many runs I think.


    I don't know how good the US system was, pobably on the East Coast it wasn't as high tech as on the West Coast, since Japan was more of a threat than Germany.


    Russia probably had a hard time with their system, since their border was so huge.
     
  2. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I would have to say it would be either Germany or England. They had great networks set up and used them at great efficiency. As to which of those 2 are better I can not say. England and Germany also made the most use of there radar networks.
     
  3. net_sailor

    net_sailor Active Member

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    I would say British, their radar network was very effective. The BoB is the best example (despite Coventry raid ofcourse). I recall only one major failure - on February 1942 during "Operation Cerberus" when almost all coast radars were blinded by german jamming stations. But this was single blunder. Later radars helped to throw back the V-1 attacks and the "Little Blitz" offensive.

    Germans, that's good question. They made sophisticated network which works fine till Allies didn't using countermeasures. Germans were very flexible so they worked out counter-coutermeasures methods but researches take a time. There were months when radar stations were jammed permamently.

    Russian radar network is a little known matter. Of course Russians couldn't take control over all teritory. They focused on defence the most impotrant areas. Their equipment was very primitive and couldn't be used for figher guidenance - there were difficulties with altitude as well speed measuring, so the only sure information there was that intruders were crossing the radar line. At the beginning (ie. 1939/40 - during the campain known as Winter War) such critical target was Leningrad bombed by Finnish AF. But radar line was too close of the object to give an suficient early warning (the cause was a front line which run about 100 km away the city). Second area defended by radar line was Caucasus oil fields threated by British and French bomb raids ("Opreation Pike" was on the last stages but preparations were stopped after German invasion on France).
    The most known Russian radar network was build around Moscow on 1941.
    ddr_783.jpg
    Again radars quite effective in early warning but not suitable for figter interception, especially there were no radar-equiped nightfigter at that time, they appeared "a bit" later ;)

    Enough for tonight... I'll post something about US and Japan tommorow.
     
  4. drgondog

    drgondog Well-Known Member

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    The Brits certainly led us, I suspect Germany was close, don't have a clue about USSR - Japan pretty good early on relative to USN but I believe we were far ahead at end of war.

    Our night fighter radar (as was Germany and Britain) at end of the war as well as fire control systems for USN - but if we stacked up everything I would believe Brits were number one.
     
  5. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Does anybody have any info on British nightfighter radar capabilities through the war? I tried to look everywhere, but I found no figures about range, beam width etc.

    I only know that late ones had a very narrow beam and were continiously sweeping the area ahead of the aircraft with their invisible searchlight.. but never seen any figures about effective range.
     
  6. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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  7. magnocain

    magnocain Member

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    The US had the best (by far) aerial protection system. The system was several thousand miles of open ocean.
     
  8. ChrisMAg2

    ChrisMAg2 Member

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    Have a look here:
    Martin Streetly, Confound and Destroy.
    It is an old (1980), but very comprehensive book on British and German e-warfare technology.
     
  9. Kurfürst

    Kurfürst Banned

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    Thanks I'll take a look if the book is obtainable..
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    My guess is Germany. They had plenty of incentive to have it working.

    I do believe the USN had the better radar systems for aerial defense. I think they even pioneered the CIC concept and improved upon it till it was quite efficient.

    I wonder if the AAF or RAF were looking at having an AWACS type plane using a Lanc or B24/B29 airframe?
     
  11. red admiral

    red admiral Member

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    Technical History of the Beginnings of Radar by S Swords is a compilation of lots of articles. There are many details on the radar capability of different countries at the time. There are a few other technical titles in the university library on the subject but I'm not there at the moment. Radar Days by Bowen has a lot on the development side of things.

    Early AI radars had a range directly proportional to height above ground (5km height = 5km range) and minimum range of around 800ft IIRC. Later centrimetric AI was good for about 15km and 600ft IIRC.

    For the original question, the late war defences of Germany have no real comparison. The anti-radar countermeasures that had to be used by the UK to get around it put them in the lead of this area for decades, that arguably continues with ALARM.

    The RAF did use AWACS during WWII in the form of converted Wellingtons with a parabolic antenna dorsally mounted. They ran into processing problems because the target bearings changed depending on the course of the aircraft.
     
  12. Hop

    Hop Member

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    The RAF started work on an AWACS Wellington (under the designation ACI, air controlled intercept) in 1941. They fitted a rotating aerial above the fuselage, a 100 kw peak radar transmitter, the results were displayed on a ppi.

    The aircraft was intended to counter the menace of FW Condors, but by the time the aircraft had completed trials in April 1942 the Condors were no longer very effective, and the Wellington was used instead to hunt for E boats.

    Because centimetre wavelength radars were seen as the future, further trials with the Wellington were dropped in the summer of 1942.

    The idea was resurrected in 1944 when the Germans were using aircraft to air launch V-1s across the North Sea. Several Wellingtons used modified ASV radars to hunt for the launching aircraft.
     
  13. starling

    starling Member

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    g.b..once g.b was safe,the war was over...kaput.starling.
     
  14. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    How was that?

    Also what does that have to do with radar systems?
     
  15. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    I would mention both the RAF and LW. the Himmelbett system became defunct only with the invasion of France, and even with that sound equipment was extremely good for the day fighter force of the LW as they could literally hear the US heavy bombers starting up at their fields before they were airborne giving a good approx as to how many were going to be dealt with over the Reich, though on the other hand this was also very disheartening to the LW gruppen once this was all called in and off to their fighters in 44-45
     
  16. trackend

    trackend Active Member

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    In 1942 Britain suffered a total radar blackout it was at first thought to be a super German jamming device but after investigation it was found to be caused by sunspot activity meaning the sun gave of radio waves this was the start of radio astronomy.
     
  17. Guns'n'Props

    Guns'n'Props Member

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    To get a really good overview of the development of Radar and electronic warfare try reading "Instruments of Darkness" by Alfred Price (Greenhill 2005).

    Essentially by late '44 - 45 the RAF had an impressive repertoire of jamming and deception techniques that could sow utter confusion in the Luftwaffe's night fighting infrastructure. While not totally immune to the German's night defences Bomber Command could deliver massive strikes and keep losses to acceptable levels.

    The Japanese also developed some radars for AA fire control which led the B-29s to carry some jammers. Apparently the USAAF were concerned that the radars modified to make the A-bombs explode at 2000 feet could be triggered off prematurely by emissions from Japanese radar.
     
  18. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    My opinion is that the British enjoyed a clear advantage in radar and especially airborne radars. However the germans enjoyed the advantage in passive systems. Its very difficult to say which system was the more successful overall.

    The Russians used several thousand complete sets for airfield protection (mostly). These were the latest sets developed and supplied by the Allies.

    The Japanese were years behind the west in terms of radar detection. The ship rasrs they were installing in 1944 were a fraction the power of the allied counterparts.
     
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