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Technology at work

Meanwhile, the attacking hostile aircraft had been detected, although this was not realised until later. By land based radar or CHL (Chain Home Low. This new equipment was designed to detect low flying aircraft at moderate distances). On the morning of the 25th September boffins at RAF Yatesbury near Calne in Wiltshire, were flying a test aircraft, and became aware of a signal some distance away on the Bristol Channel. Initially they thought it was a system fault but it soon became apparent that they were tracking a large group of hostile aircraft. Officers at Yatesbury witnessed the attack on Filton in what became the first use of an inland radar system for tracking enemy aircraft. Later Fighter Command showed great interest in this and asked for a watch to be kept and observations fed through to the control room at Box.

In clear blue skies however, the German formation thundered on toward Filton in text book style. New technology was not a concern. Their navigators were concentrating on following their excellent briefing notes which led them to the distinct rectangle made by the railway lines just to the east of the airfield, making sure of an accurate bomb run.

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This is page 4 of Air Raid at Filton 25th September 1940.
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The railway rectangle clearly showing the runway and factory buildings on the east side.

The railway rectangle clearly showing the runway and factory buildings on the east side.
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The primary target marked heavily in red as A with the engine division beyond marked as B

The primary target marked heavily in red as A with the engine division beyond marked as B
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