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Thread: Passive Air Defence Sites

  1. #1

    Default Passive Air Defence Sites

    Hi,

    I have copies of 3rd Battalion Carmarthen Home Guard documents stating that they formed Passive Air Defence sections for RAF Pembrey. English Heritage defines a Passive Air Defence Site as 'Sites, buildings or structures involved in passive air defence, usually by forcing hostile aircraft to fly high or drop their bombs on the wrong targets'. Does that mean barrage balloon sites and decoy sites became known as passive defence sites? Grateful for any clarification.

    Cheers,

    VP

  2. #2
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Passive Air Defence Sites

    Passive Defence can mean any form of non-combatant defence, from buildings being planned and built that in plan view take on several different directions (like a barrack block with an 'H'-shaped plan-form) or huts aligned along headgrows for concealment, to various forms of camoulflage such as hedge painting to disguise runways, or shadow generators forming roofs of buildings to create a shadow of a tree canopy etc. The list is endless.

    Edit

    Barrage balloon sites are not passive, as the balloon cables were designed to bring down enemy aircraft (hardly passive), where as a decoy site is passive as it diverted an enemy aircraft away from its intended target and created the illusion that the bomb aimer and pilot had found their target. If however there was a Bofors gun in the field opposite to bring the enemy aircraft down then that is not passive.

    Dare I also say that after 1942 and generally speaking (so not in all instances) a lot pillboxes took on a more passive role as they were abandoned as fixed defences and were replaced with more mobile defences and defence localities. The pillbox being used as a dummy pillbox.

  3. #3
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Passive Air Defence Sites

    The EH definition is a bit nieve

  4. #4

    Default Re: Passive Air Defence Sites

    Naive?! (Sorry, been proof-reading today...)

    OK, so what would the Home Guard folk be up to on the airfield in their 'passive defence' role? I agree that the pillboxes were largely abandoned as defensive structures by this time.

  5. #5
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Passive Air Defence Sites

    Camo duties I guess but I dont really know.

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