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View Full Version : Search Lights - how were they setup for action



XyZspineZyX
09-01-2003, 02:50 AM
Anyone know how the different armies setup their search lights.

Examples

Approximately how far apart?
Did they place flak guns in close proximity?
Did they group the search lights closely?
How many did they place around airbases, etc.

The Soviets and Germans used them, I just haven't been able to find information on how they effectively used them.

I'd appreciate any links or information

-------------------- /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

XyZspineZyX
09-01-2003, 02:50 AM
Anyone know how the different armies setup their search lights.

Examples

Approximately how far apart?
Did they place flak guns in close proximity?
Did they group the search lights closely?
How many did they place around airbases, etc.

The Soviets and Germans used them, I just haven't been able to find information on how they effectively used them.

I'd appreciate any links or information

-------------------- /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

XyZspineZyX
09-01-2003, 03:00 AM
Use the tow, then plug it in to the ACME Portable Plug (Item # 1104347506.2)

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"When you hit hell, tell 'em I sent ya!"

XyZspineZyX
09-01-2003, 03:04 AM
Search lights where actually antiquated by the time of WW2. Aircraft flew too fast and too high for them to be able to track effectively. In FB the search lights are exaggerated.

Search lights where a hold over from WW1 where low flying and slow zepplins, light bombers, and the first actual 'bombers' could be spotted and illuminated for AAA. By WW2 it was more a matter of pure luck if a searchlight found an aircraft, and then keeping it in the beam is a miracle.

http://www.redspar.com/redrogue/CraggerUbisig.jpg

About after 30 minutes I puked all over my airplane. I said to myself "Man, you made a big mistake." -Charles 'Chuck' Yeager, regards his first flight

XyZspineZyX
09-01-2003, 04:40 AM
I disagree Cragger. IMHO Germany made very good use of search lights during WWII against British night bombers. By the time raids into Germany were common, the germans had search lights and flak guns that were radar controlled. In the book "The Other Battle" by Peter Hinchliffe, he explains with great detail about the technologies for both sides. Radar directed search lights were used to "cone" a bomber in light so night fighters could more readily see them. Grab this book, I think it it really facinating.

XyZspineZyX
09-01-2003, 04:47 AM
Hmm thats intresting.

All the material I've ever read from the 8th Army strategic campaign describes them as more of a nuisance than a problem. But then again the 8th Army didn't really go for low alititude night attacks. I haven't really come across much material about the British night attacks, most of what I have come across in that realm was mainly British nightfighters.

One fact about search lights however is they point both ways just like tracers, so concentrating them around potential targets is problematic.

http://www.redspar.com/redrogue/CraggerUbisig.jpg

About after 30 minutes I puked all over my airplane. I said to myself "Man, you made a big mistake." -Charles 'Chuck' Yeager, regards his first flight

XyZspineZyX
09-01-2003, 04:49 AM
Like I said, go try and find this book. There are a lot of things I never knew about the british night bombing campaign. Very interesting read.

XyZspineZyX
09-01-2003, 12:57 PM
Haven't any info that's concrete, but I do know that AA batteries would be quite separate from them, on an isolated target or small cities. As for large cities, I'm not sure, as the Big B had a huge number of guns and any number of searchlights.

I too have read books that say German searchlights were highly effective. They came in two categories (as far as British aircrew could see). One was used to cone aircraft in combination with others, while the other pointed directly upwards until a radar contact was picked up, when it would then flick straight to the contact for the AAA. Apparently the most frightening asit would follow you whatever you tried to do.

All this is unsupported so I make no claims to this being gospel, before anyone rips this to bits /i/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

XyZspineZyX
09-01-2003, 01:36 PM
I read an article in Flyplast Magazine a while ago, where an american B-45 Tornado pilot told about how the North Korean and Chinese used searchlights during the Korean conflict.
They used to have the light search the sky in a random pattern for the Tornado's contrails, and then follow the contrail to the plane. It was very difficult for even a relatively fast plane like the B-45 to get rid of the lightcone. Searchlights where not outdated even in the 50's!

Skarphol