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Author Topic: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal  (Read 26327 times)

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merc

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #44 on: September 02, 2014, 10:55:52 »
I've been clearing some of the other side of the Command Post. You can now see one of the gun emplacements from it, whereas before it was completely overgrown.

merc

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #43 on: August 23, 2014, 13:05:08 »
I've been clearing vegetation from around the Command Post this week. I've cleared around the front and now I've just started clearing a section around the back, facing the HAA gun emplacements.

merc

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #42 on: August 23, 2014, 12:58:20 »
Here's how it looks now (my backpack on top), 70 years on...


Offline WanPs

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #41 on: August 14, 2014, 12:35:54 »
ATS girls operating a height finder at Fort Borstal AA battery Rochester c1944.
Think you may have found the mounting for this.
Original negative is in the War & Peace collection.

merc

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #40 on: April 11, 2014, 18:35:36 »
Thanks JohnG, yeah that did occur to me to. It's possible :)

Offline JohnG

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #39 on: April 11, 2014, 18:20:53 »
It is possible that the bofors gun was a mobile gun so there may not have been a holdfast, it could have sat on top of the surface that is still there.  If the emplacement had a flat concrete floor a mobile gun may have moved around a bit when firing.

merc

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #38 on: April 11, 2014, 16:43:03 »
I have been clearing the Bofors Light Anti-Aircraft gun emplacement at the fort. One of the objectives was to uncover any surface concrete and the gun's holdfast, but several test pits only revealed soil, broken bricks and chalk. So I imagine the surface may have been demolished or removed when the fort was used by the Home Office for the nearby Borstal Institute. In one of the "ready-use" ammunition lockers there are a few bits of wood, which were probably for a shelf, but I am uncertain if it is original. I think the floor of the ammunition lockers may have been asphalt (?) but this has crumbled and worn away. In one of the bigger lockers is a layer of bricks.

merc

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #37 on: March 24, 2014, 11:09:40 »
Some of the wires still remain next to the gun emplacements....

Offline cliveh

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2014, 07:42:19 »
The Battery Command Post:

cliveh

Brian Mendes

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2014, 19:12:06 »
Have not visited the forum for some time, so may have missed a past post.  I assume that the Fort Borstal gun site accounts come from the official War Diaries for the battery manning the gun emplacement at that time ?  I did serve in a HAA Regt RA in the post war years , but never heard the WW II veterans refer to a Youngs Barrage. However, the practice of putting a " wall of steel " up in the path of an incoming raid was an accepted tactic in the early years of the war before the accuracy of HAA gunfire was improved. I have spent some time researching the development and deployment of accurate gunlaying radar, which only came about after the disclosure of the cavity magnetron, making possible centimetric wavelength tracking  AA  radars. The GL 1 and GL 2 radars were not centimetric and did little to improve the accuracy of non visual engagements. The decision to give high priority to the development of centimetric AA radar was driven by the concern of Churchill's War Cabinet who learned  from Army Operational Research that it required about 20.000 rounds to record a hit versus about 4100 rounds using GL assisted tracking. Mass raids by the Luftwaffe ceased before the GL III radars were deployed on ADGB gunsites. It was the defence agianst the V I flying bombs, that auto tracking centimetric radars really demonstrated their worth.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #34 on: January 28, 2014, 21:43:02 »
The Kerrison Projector was for the Bofors gun, but S7 and S9 were both armed with 4.5” guns.

All Heavy AA guns - 3.7” and 4.5” - used predicted fire against a specific target. The predictor operators followed the target and the predictor, by measuring the rate at which it was being moved to achieve that, and knowing the target’s range via the range finder, calculated where the target would be by the time the shells reached it – assuming the target kept flying straight and level, that is! The required direction and elevation was displayed on dials in front of the gun-layers, who moved the gun to follow.

But the target had to be visible, of course – these were the days before radar controlled guns – otherwise the target had to be tracked by far less accurate sound-locators.

The third method was that already mentioned – barrage fire which saturated an area of sky in the hope that the target would fly into it.

All previous entries where the target was visible would have been by predicted fire, which is why it seemed odd that it was specifically mentioned in the March and April entries.

It’s also odd to have specifically mentioned a ‘Young Barrage’ in earlier posts, as distinct from what I would call just a plain barrage.

Are there no ex-artillerymen on KHF? :)
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline HERB COLLECTOR

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #33 on: January 28, 2014, 20:16:02 »
A new term here and in the March entry is 'Predictor' concentrations. I wonder if that means 'aimed' fire as when firing at a specific target and the term is used because the reports are written by a different author, or whether it is a new technique.

This may be the answer.
Kerrison Predictor. Automated anti-aircraft fire-control system.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerrison_Predictor
I Wish It Would Rain The Temptations

Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #32 on: January 28, 2014, 19:57:32 »
Could it be that the gunners themselves are no longer aiming and these predictions are coming from HQ or a control centre instead?  I don't know a lot about how these worked...

Offline peterchall

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2014, 19:21:09 »
A new term here and in the March entry is 'Predictor' concentrations. I wonder if that means 'aimed' fire as when firing at a specific target and the term is used because the reports are written by a different author, or whether it is a new technique.

Pity about the glitch - it makes it difficult to look back quickly to previous posts
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Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #30 on: January 28, 2014, 17:56:30 »
Last page!

   Rochester                     
   S.9.      3.4.1941            1 Defiant was heard to crash 3/4 of a mile away.   
   S.7 S.9.      4.4.1941            During night activity 2 predictor concentrations were fired.  Visibility was fair.  There were thirteen cancelled predictions.   
   S.7 S.9.      7.4.1941            Only night activity No predictions were fired although there were many enemy aircraft plotted on the board.   
   S.7 S.9.      8.4.1941            There were Predicted Concentrations during the night hours.   
   S.9.      10.4.1941            Enemy activity was more pronounced than of late.  Heavy calibre bombs were dropped.   
                     A red smoke screen was seen in the sky, believed to be coming from a damaged aircraft.   
                     Fighters were patrolling in Thameshaven which still had a tanker ablaze 6. P.C.s were fired.   
         11.4.1941 to 25.4.1941            During this period both S.7. & S.9. were occupied by 387th Hy. A.A. Battery R.A., whilst this Battery was in Practice Camp.  At 4th Hy A.A. Practice camp, Ty Croes, Rhosneigh, Angelsey.   
   S.9.      28.4.1941            During daylight a raid of 20 plus reported - no aircraft were seen.   

 

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