Operation Moonlight Sonata: The German Raid on Coventry

By Allan W. Kurki | Go to book overview

Part III
The RAF and the Battle of Britain

Part III looks at the different types of fighter aircraft, defensive equipment, and tactics used by the British. It also analyzes the various phases of the official Battle of Britain, that is, the July to October 1940 time period. Chapter 7 begins by tracing the development of the two primary RAF fighters used during the Battle of Britain, the Spitfire and the Hurricane. This chapter also briefly reviews the organizational structure of the RAF, the development of the British radar network, and details the anti-aircraft guns, the barrage balloons and the searchlights utilized by the British during the fighting.

Chapter 8 reviews the breaking of the German Enigma code machine traffic by the Allies and the use of electronic countermeasures (ECMs) to disrupt the German "flying beams." The deciphering of German Enigma code messages and the attempted disruption of GAF X-Verfahren bombing/navigational system turned out to be significant factors related to the Coventry raid.

Chapter 9 presents a brief review of the total Battle of Britain and is included to help set the stage for the bombing of Coventry. It is important to review how the Battle of Britain had been fought up to this point to better understand the various elements of the Coventry raid. The Battle of Britain had already gone through several distinctive phases, and the Coventry bombing represented still another shift in Luftwaffe bombing strategy.

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Operation Moonlight Sonata: The German Raid on Coventry
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Glossary of Abbreviations, Codenames, and Terms Used in the Text xv
  • Part I - Overview 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Coventry Before the Raid 9
  • 3 - The Raid in Brief 15
  • Part II - The German Air Force (GAF) 21
  • 4 - Gaf Development and Strategy 23
  • 5 - The Bombers and Ordnance of the Gaf 29
  • 6 - The Flying Beams 39
  • Part III - The RAF and the Battle of Britain 47
  • 7 - Raf Fighters and British Defenses 49
  • 8 - Ultra and British Electronic Countermeasures 63
  • 9 - The Battle of Britain 71
  • Part IV - The Coventry Raid 87
  • 10 - Coventry's Defenses 89
  • 11 - Advance Knowledge About the Raid 97
  • 12 - Operation Cold Water 103
  • 13 - The Raid: Operation Moonlight Sonata 109
  • Part V - The Aftermath 121
  • 14 - The Results of the Raid 123
  • 15 - Public Reaction to the Raid 129
  • Appendix A Luftwaffe 3 Bombing Report of Coventry Raid 147
  • Appendix C - U.S. Army Military Attache's Report on the Coventry Raid 153
  • Notes 157
  • Bibliography 167
  • Index 173
  • About the Author 179
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