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Did RAF or USAAF use any equipment in bombers which would have interfered with ground-based infra red equipment?

Background: years ago I spoke to a (reliable) former German ww2 tank driver. He later became a scientist (physicist) and lived in the UK.
During our chat - which was in pre-internet days, hence my not chasing info up at the time - he said he'd been in a unit with IR - equipped Panthers, to the North of Berlin, in 1945. That's why I think what follows may be accurate - although I had seen a photo of the IR Panther and linked halftrack, there was not as much information available then, as now, so he wasn't repeating something he'd read.
Anyway, the chap said that they'd stopped using the kit due to interference from something used in Allied aircraft. I assume this meant that he and his colleagues had noticed a link between the presence of allied aircraft, and the kit not working very well. This means allied aircraft at night, so either bombers or night fighters.
I had only one chance to have a chat with the bloke about the war as his wife wasn't, at the time, happy for him to discuss it.
I haven't read anything about this issue with German late war IR - do any arrsers know of any RAF kit which might have interfered with the IR used on (a very few) German tanks in WW2? Thank you.
 
I assume this meant that he and his colleagues had noticed a link between the presence of allied aircraft, and the kit not working very well. This means allied aircraft at night, so either bombers or night fighters.

That's very curious because the intensity of aerial night operations in WW2 was very low compared to the geographical area covered. To interfere with the small number of Panthers and halftracks involved would have required active effort, not something incidental.

As Tiv notes, Bomber Command did have Type Z IR IFF on the heavies and Mosquitos but compared to the 60cm IR searchlight of the halftracks it was just candlelight and didn't project downwards.

Very late in the war the RAF started to deploy Type F IR IFF on fighters, but the chances of those picking-up a searchlight in a forest would seem fleeting.

Anyway I've filed that anecdote in the memory banks in case I stumble across something in the future.
 
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Anyway, the chap said that they'd stopped using the kit due to interference from something used in Allied aircraft. I assume this meant that he and his colleagues had noticed a link between the presence of allied aircraft, and the kit not working very well. This means allied aircraft at night, so either bombers or night fighters.

I wonder if the link is more to do with increased activity and stress in the tank due to the presence of ground attack aircraft. Perhaps manoeuvring the vehicle in a certain way or increased pressure on the crew led to the equipment being degraded in some way through mis-handling or not operating it correctly? Eg. Aircraft overhead - forget to switch it on/don't turn it on properly before closing down/forget to turn on searchlight/forget to turn off headlights.

So the correlation would be Allied ac overhead, equipment goes down.

Just a thought, sometimes the simplest explanation is user error.
 
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Background: years ago I spoke to a (reliable) former German ww2 tank driver. He later became a scientist (physicist) and lived in the UK.
During our chat - which was in pre-internet days, hence my not chasing info up at the time - he said he'd been in a unit with IR - equipped Panthers, to the North of Berlin, in 1945. That's why I think what follows may be accurate - although I had seen a photo of the IR Panther and linked halftrack, there was not as much information available then, as now, so he wasn't repeating something he'd read.
Anyway, the chap said that they'd stopped using the kit due to interference from something used in Allied aircraft. I assume this meant that he and his colleagues had noticed a link between the presence of allied aircraft, and the kit not working very well. This means allied aircraft at night, so either bombers or night fighters.
I had only one chance to have a chat with the bloke about the war as his wife wasn't, at the time, happy for him to discuss it.
I haven't read anything about this issue with German late war IR - do any arrsers know of any RAF kit which might have interfered with the IR used on (a very few) German tanks in WW2? Thank you.

It seems that the issue of IR-equipped German units is quite emotive. Nothing on the link about any interference (other than by snow), but a discussion about how rare German IR equipment was.

 
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I wonder if the link is more to do with increased activity and stress on the in the tank due to the presence of ground attack aircraft. Perhaps manoeuvring the vehicle in a certain way or increased pressure on the crew led to the equipment being degraded in some way through mis-handling or not operating it correctly? Eg. Aircraft overhead - forget to switch it on/don't turn it on properly before closing down/forget to turn on searchlight/forget to turn off headlights.

So the correlation would be Allied ac overhead, equipment goes down.

Just a thought, sometimes the simplest explanation is user error.

Unlikely to be any ground attack aircraft around at night, when IR would have been used.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
A punt. Bombers doing what bombers do. Every detonation produces a pulse of broadband radiation across the entire spectrum, including IR and heat.
 
It seems that the issue of IR-equipped German units is quite emotional. Nothing on the link about any interference (other than by snow), but a discussion about how rare German IR equipment was.

I was surprised when he mentioned the IR tanks. I had heard of them and seen photos. He raised the matter in-prompted, which is one reason why I take it seriously.

Thanks for that link BTW - some egos at play there, as well as some v useful info.

I wonder if, in late 45, the Wa Pruf system of reporting technical issues might have broken down, hence the lack of info about the reported issue?
 
Unlikely to be any ground attack aircraft around at night, when IR would have been used.
Very true. Although I'm sure it'd get pretty emotional if you think you're in a Target Area of Interest and the heavies start rumbling overhead...
 
I was surprised when he mentioned the IR tanks. I had heard of them and seen photos. He raised the matter in-prompted, which is one reason why I take it seriously.

Thanks for that link BTW - some egos at play there, as well as some v useful info.

I wonder if, in late 45, the Wa Pruf system of reporting technical issues might have broken down, hence the lack of info about the reported issue?

The whole issue of Heer 'Nachtjager' was something I only stumbled across in the last couple of years. Your OP prompted me to do some more internet searching, and that was the most interesting bit I've turned up so far. I thought it interesting that the whole concept with the Panther and 251/20 'team' was reminiscent of a ground-based IR variant of the failed RAF Turbinlite Boston/Hurricane combo of 1940/41.
 
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I was surprised when he mentioned the IR tanks. I had heard of them and seen photos. He raised the matter in-prompted, which is one reason why I take it seriously.

Thanks for that link BTW - some egos at play there, as well as some v useful info.

I wonder if, in late 45, the Wa Pruf system of reporting technical issues might have broken down, hence the lack of info about the reported issue?

Some interesting images floating around of the various IR fits.
2795b0bdd772227046d2f02bcd171c1b.png


panther.png


FG1250_front__25790_1425691962_1280_1280.jpg


SdKfz_251_Falke_night_vision.jpg


contentwide-01-abb-1.jpg

Apparently the back-packed battery weighed over 30lb!
 
Some interesting images floating around of the various IR fits.
View attachment 466375

View attachment 466366

View attachment 466367

View attachment 466369

View attachment 466370
Apparently the back-packed battery weighed over 30lb!
Thank you.
A poster in the link you posted mentioned the Allies having IR kit:

'The German army only ever fielded IR on the Panther in the manner that is well documented. It was only used in small numbers and was not really field-ready, but good results could be obtained when the temperamental gear worked. Conversely the Western allies had 10,000 infrared TABBY sets manufactured and in store west of the Rhine and would have pummeled any mass use by the Germans there (The Germans knew this and did not deploy IR, per Guderian's orders, on the western front). The Russians also had IR technology.'

There is some information about TABBY, here:


I had no idea of this, so the linked post is appreciated. Thank you.
 
Conversely the Western allies had 10,000 infrared TABBY sets manufactured and in store west of the Rhine and would have pummeled any mass use by the Germans there (The Germans knew this and did not deploy IR, per Guderian's orders, on the western front). The Russians also had IR technology.'

There is some information about TABBY, here:


I had no idea of this, so the linked post is appreciated. Thank you.

Every day's a school day! The M3 was the only bit of WWII Allied IR ground equipment I was aware of, although I'm pretty sure this image is Korean War era.

1ff3c4da4ddaae94c63c348818e19f9c.jpg
 

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