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Thread: Decoy Manual

  1. #1
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    Default Decoy Manual

    After studying the things for numerous years, a bit of a stupid question and a bit late, but does anyone out there have a Design Manual for WW2 Decoy Sites ?

    Was there ever such a publication?

    cheers

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    Default Re: Decoy Manual

    I would say that 'Fields Of Deception' by Colin Dobinson , English Heritage-Methuen , 2000 , 25 appears to be the definitive work on decoy sites . He quotes individual chapter notes , sources and bibliography with no obvious design manual as such but many references to Air Ministry Registered Files in AIR2 in the TNA .
    The first two chapters set the scene with Chapter 2 'Colonel Turners Department : September 1939 - May 1940 detailing the involvement of the British film industry in the construction of dummy aircraft and buildings with later chapters having layout plans for decoy sites , details of lighting and fire decoy construction and control building construction .
    I thought the book a bit pricey at first but remaindered copies could be found much cheaper which also applies to the other books in this EH 'Monuments of War'
    series .

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    Default Re: Decoy Manual

    I've had a copy for years, indeed it's falling apart and the pages are all muddled up now - I bought mine in Monterey, California and it cost me $5 (including the HAA book as well !).

    There must have been a manual (like the RAF Bombing Practice Targets design manual), that told you how to lay them out on the ground, how many fires to put in a group, what type of baskets to use, how to make the baskets, how many groups to have, what were the best positions (on a moorland) to have them, where to put the bunker etc etc. The RE (or whoever) would not have had such simple instructions as "build a decoy over there chaps"

    The bunkers all appear to fall into several design types according to Decoy type. There does appear to be some commonality in design between Humberside and Merseyside, suggesting some design manual (or built by the same people). The moorland decoys do seem to follow a pattern - perimeter trench, individual groups inside the perimeter (with their own trench?). One aspect that intrigues me is that there appears to have been a "trapezoidal" design school, and a "circular" design school, and frequently a "frying pan" design with a group at a remote distance at the end of a track (ie Ringinglow).

    There must have been something published. I need to find it.

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: Decoy Manual

    I am sure that there were documents or a 'manual' of sorts defining layouts etc. But, it is quite likely that they were part of the thousands of publications and documents that were destroyed post-war as unwanted.

    But, if it was a (say)an RAF Air Publication then many copies would have been printed and something, somewhere may survive.

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    Default Re: Decoy Manual

    There's a possibility a copy is "buried" in TNA under a misleading heading.

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    Default Re: Decoy Manual

    In his book some of Dobinson's diagrams are based on Air Ministry Drawings with a CTD prefix . Perhaps Carnaby or norwichpaul know more ?

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    Default Re: Decoy Manual

    There is a narrative at TNA - AIR 41/3 "Decoy and Deception" dated 1950. Could this be an official history or a red herring?

    Incidentally I notice that "Fields of Deception" by Colin Dobinson is being republished in February 2013. W H Smith have it on pre-order at 13.29! Bargain.

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    Default Re: Decoy Manual

    My copy has loose pages falling out now, and lots of scribble in the back. It was second hand for 5 with HAA off Amazon, postage included. I was even more surprised when it came from Elephant Books, Monterey CA.

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    Default Re: Decoy Manual

    Quote Originally Posted by a10694 View Post
    My copy has loose pages falling out now...
    In my review of another Dobinson book in Airfield Review a while go I said:

    Perhaps the most disappointing factor in Dobinson is the publication itself. I showed my copy to an established publisher who noted:
    1) The binding is not sewn; this is a cost-cutting exercise which will result in pages coming loose in a few years.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Decoy Manual

    Yes, my copy has many loose pages now and there seems to be no way to re-attach them.

    I will be interesting to see if the reprint has better binding.

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