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Bomber decoys and deception

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 on that subject - Search for Historiespanarna on YouTube and there it is: "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...:
 
I've spent years trying to determine the location of the decoy airfield for Ridgewell in N Essex . Any ideas ?
 
I've spent years trying to determine the location of the decoy airfield for Ridgewell in N Essex . Any ideas ?

This you have probably seen?

A Second World War bombing decoy at Stambourne that was built to deflect enemy bombing from Royal Air Force Debden airfield. It was later used as a decoy for Royal Air Force Ridgewell airfield. This was a 'Q-type' night decoy, which displayed a sequence of lights to simulate an active airfield. The site included an earth-covered bunker that housed the generator and provided shelter for the crew who manned the decoy. The Stambourne site is referenced as being in use between June 1940 and August 1942. By the 1980s the site had been given over to agricultural use and no features of the decoy survive. A further bombing decoy site for Royal Air Force Ridgewell was located at Poslingford.

A Second World War 'Q-type' bombing decoy located at Stambourne (TL 727 394). It was constructed to deflect enemy bombing from RAF Debden, and later also used for RAF Ridgewell. It is referenced as being active between 19-JUN-1940 and 12-AUG-1942. (1)

NGR concords with that given in source 1. (3)

Essex SMR number for this decoy is 20304. An earth-covered bunker housed the generator the the lighting of the 'Q-type' decoy, which also provided shelter for the decoy crew. (4)

A further bombing decoy for RAF Ridgewell was located at Poslingford. (5)

Found at: Pastscape - Detailed Result: AIRFIELD BOMBING DECOY Q40A
 
Epping forest was used as a major decoy site I believe.

Until the late 1970s the TA EOD squadrons would train by searching, excavating and neutralising live German bombs, until the practice was stopped. Still a lot there, as I imagine there will be on these other sites.
 

HCL

War Hero
Epping forest was used as a major decoy site I believe.

Until the late 1970s the TA EOD squadrons would train by searching, excavating and neutralising live German bombs, until the practice was stopped. Still a lot there, as I imagine there will be on these other sites.

If it was a live bomben, it was typical of the 70s MOD not to pay the full rate for defusing it by calling it a training ex.
Don't suppose they've changed much in that regard since my day, the tight fisted s0ds.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Has anybody mentioned the BBC during the V2 raids, announcing that Hatfield etc were taking a hammering so the Germans changed the angles and they started blowing the sh¡t out of largely unpopulated Kent fruit orchards?
 
Has anybody mentioned the BBC during the V2 raids, announcing that Hatfield etc were taking a hammering so the Germans changed the angles and they started blowing the sh¡t out of largely unpopulated Kent fruit orchards?

There was a deliberate plan to place stories in the media saying that SE London had recevied lots of V1 / V2 hits, so the German int types would cleverly read this and adjust accordingly.

The fact that the bombs initially fell on target meant that central London escaped the worst of the onslaught.

R.V. Jones detailed this and many other fascinating insights in his superb book; Most Secret War.
 
Colin Dobinson's book Fields of Deception is a handy source of basic information on this topic, although I understand that more detailed info is being unearthed all the time.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
There was a deliberate plan to place stories in the media saying that SE London had recevied lots of V1 / V2 hits, so the German int types would cleverly read this and adjust accordingly.

The fact that the bombs initially fell on target meant that central London escaped the worst of the onslaught.

R.V. Jones detailed this and many other fascinating insights in his superb book; Most Secret War.
I knew it was something like that and someone more knowledgeable would be along.
 

tiv

LE
Epping forest was used as a major decoy site I believe.

Until the late 1970s the TA EOD squadrons would train by searching, excavating and neutralising live German bombs, until the practice was stopped. Still a lot there, as I imagine there will be on these other sites.
Remember the TA excavating some bombs from a crashed Ju88 along a turning off the Epping Road by Amesbury Banks in 1980 IIRC.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Remember the TA excavating some bombs from a crashed Ju88 along a turning off the Epping Road by Amesbury Banks in 1980 IIRC.
For balance. In 1985, one afternoon I returned to Mercer Barracks Osnabrück from MSQ in Dodesheide after lunch. Hardly sat back down in office, phone rings. "It's Zero Alpha. I'm in the Mercer/Imphal NAAFI with Alien Minor 1 and 2. Everybody's been evacuated. Seems the RAF bombed the place and the UngesprengteOrdnanzMannschaft have just found one." Just across Dodeshausweg opposite Buchenstraße (where we lived) in the cemetery that gives Dodeshausweg and Dodesheide in general its name iirc.

To say the estate hierarchy's ability to cope with the entire estate in one place in high dudgeon left room for improvement would be an understatement.

Story went that a couple of weeks later they found the second bomb in the stick outside the estate office. They quietly loaded it into a Land Rover to mag to grid and not annoy the wives again.

Zero Alpha recounted story to her mother next time we called. Dragon had lived through the Blitz and queried whether or not there'd have been three bombs in the stick. Expletives may have been exchanged.

Pity. Had they gone off, they'd have caused hundreds of thousands of pounds'worth of improvements. And they'd probably still be recovering bodies from the cemetery.
 
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