Operation Moonlight Sonata: The German Raid on Coventry

By Allan W. Kurki | Go to book overview
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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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