1943 German raid on the Isle of Wight

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1943 German raid on the Isle of Wight

Post by RF » Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:18 pm

Last year a book was published about an alleged German commando raid in the summer of 1943 launched from Alderney with Ventnor radar station on the Isle of Wight as the target. The purpose of the raid was to seize the cathode ray tubes and other equipment to help the Germans counteract Allied radar.
The fact that there is no official record on this - on either side - is explained by the use of the Official Secrets Act.

There is also a suggestion that this raid was an SOE operation using men dressed in German uniforms on a practice raid.

Have other forum members come across this?

In particular I was wondering if there was any independent corroboration for this raid.

The only documented German commando raid launched from the Channel Islands was the raid on Granville on the Cotentin peninsula in March 1945.
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Dave Saxton
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Re: 1943 German raid on the Isle of Wight

Post by Dave Saxton » Sun Apr 09, 2017 8:31 pm

I don't know have any evidence to corroborate the actual raid, but a German raid to capture cathode ray tubes in 1943 does make some sense.

The Germans of course used cathode ray tubes, which they called Braun tubes, but they lacked cathode ray tubes with long persistent phosphors suitable for PPI display. Long persistent phosphors will cause the image on a PPI (plan position indicator) last for several seconds after the sweep has passed. The Germans had PPI radars also of course, but in many cases the lack of long persistent CRTs made applying PPI to a Seetakt, for example, at sea impracticable. The practical continuous rotational speed of the rangefinder apparatus on a large German warship, which Seetakt was often mounted, was about 1 full rotation every 70 seconds. The Germans would know that the rotational speed of the Ventor radar was about 2 RPM, so would have by necessity a very long persistent CRT. CRTs of recovered H2S and H2X sets still required a rotational speed of 60 rpm.

As it was the Berlin PPI radar, mounted on warships by mid 1944, rotated at speed of about 400 RPM so that a continuous image would be displayed, without using long persistent CRTs, which were in short supply among the Germans.
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