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Luftwaffe searchlight equipped night-fighters?

Discussion in 'Air War in Western Europe 1939 - 1945' started by Fred Wilson, Jun 4, 2014.

  1. Fred Wilson

    Fred Wilson "The" Rogue of Rogues

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    Luftwaffe searchlight equipped night-fighters.
    Does anyone know more about this? First and only time I had heard of it.

    P/O Alfred Alexander Balcome RCAF (J18378) - Mention in Despatches:
    http://rcafassociation.ca/awards.php?search=1&keyword=&page=29&mem=&type=rcaf

    I have heard of Luftwaffe team work where one would put on his landing lights to distract the bomber crew.
    Never this.

    Interesting.

    Why did this idea not take hold? It could have been a game changer... endless possibilities.
     
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I have no reason to have doubts about this account. However it seems more a personal initiative rather than an official experience or a collective strategy.
    The aim was not to be seen. Such a trick could be puzzling once, but if used every night it would have been pointless.
     
  3. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Skipper, you turn your lights on then you can be seen. You have an advantage of a few seconds before the defender can react and they may be temporarily blinded.
    I guess radar was more effective albeit more complex and expensive.
     
  4. Doc Sausage

    Doc Sausage Member

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    The RAF operated a handful of Douglas Havocs fitted with the 2700 million candela GEC Turbinlight searchlight during the blitz
    Because airborne interception radar was almost non-exisitant at that time the aircraft would be guided onto the bombers by ground radar and would then illuminate the attackers for the supporting fighters.
    Because the current draw was so high operation time was around two minutes but that's probably a minute and 55 seconds longer than you want to be lit up for every enemy gunner to see
     
  5. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    One German motto those days was "Verdunkeln" It means "switch your lights off!" This particular one was meant for the civilians who did not want to be seen by bombers, but one can imagine planes did not want to be seen either.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. m kenny

    m kenny Member

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