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    Re: Lose the war if it's cloudy
    From: David Pike
    Date: 2016 Sep 9, 14:47 -0700

    I think we have to remember that until the arrival of GNSS, there was no standard navigational aid.  There was a selection of aids optimised for particular roles, which sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t.  This was particularly so in WW2.  There were a number of Theatres and a number of Formations completing a number of Roles.  The preferred method for one Role was not necessarily the preferred method for another, but in any case, reliability wasn’t always very high, so the Navigator had to use whatever he could, and this might be a mixture of aids. In late 1944, a Bomber Command Navigator in No 5 Group on a night-time sortie to Germany might start with Gee, which generally worked well close to the UK.  As he flew deeper into enemy territory, he would hang onto Gee as long as he could, but eventually he’d loose the signals to jamming, so he might start to experiment with his sky wave synchronised LORAN, which No 5 Group had recently installed instead of H2S, because it was felt H2S transmissions were too easily homed on.  Some fixes seemed reasonable; others didn’t, so it was keep the DR going.  Eventually, the Pilot or Air Bomber might see the glare over the target (or decoys) and press the Navigator to alter course towards it.  On the way home he might accept a visual fix from the Air Bomber of a coastal or river feature lit up by moonlight.  Over the North Sea the Air Signaller might manage to tune into and obtain a bearing from one of the limited number of MF beacons programmed to transmit during the return.  Eventually, with luck, he’d begin to see Gee signals again to guide his way home.  That late in the War, there doesn’t seem to have been much celestial shot in Bomber Command, whereas considerable amounts were shot on long-range transport flights.  Celestial was also used in Coastal Command, who also used Gee close to the UK, and at greater distances, the German Sonne system which the Allies felt was too useful to themselves to attempt to degrade by jamming.  DaveP   

       
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