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Author Topic: Dover barrage balloon mystery  (Read 106684 times)

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Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #322 on: July 23, 2015, 21:43:39 »
Here are some further thoughts on those weather records in general and Manston in particular, triggered by me being able to see as far as Essex from my back bedroom a day or two ago, then being unable to see Chatham Hill – a half mile away – for about 20 minutes, then seeing Essex again.

When he recorded the visibility at a specific time, did the observer at Manston take into account (could he take into account) a local rain shower restricting otherwise good visibility? Only one figure is recorded, with no direction being stated; so if it was level 6 towards Canterbury but level 3 looking over the channel, which would be recorded? So what value can be placed on those spot readings for our purposes?

In Climate and the British Scene there is a weather map showing a depression over Scotland which has another depression within it, meaning opposing winds between them (imagine two touching wheels rotating in the same direction), resulting in a lull between them. If that applied over East Kent it could have meant a north wind at 01:00 on 1st November 1942 as the main depression moved away eastwards, followed by the lull between them at 07:00. If the secondary low then passed to the north of Canterbury it would cause a west wind for a short time during the period of, say, 08:00 to 10:00. It would then veer through north-west, north, north-east, east to east-south-east by 13:00 as the pressure rose inland before the next Atlantic low moved in. A short time-scale perhaps, but typical of blustery weather – there was thunder at Lympne at 18:00, in November!.

My complete scenario is spread out over Replies 255, 257, 263, 278, 285, 289, 315, 320 and this one – sorry about that, but it was developed over many posts. But I believe it answers the opening questions about the location of the smoke and the balloons above, and the reason for the balloons missing from the long panoramic photo, which is the same as the ones in the ‘C Series’..
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #321 on: July 20, 2015, 08:14:32 »
The reason the two balloons in the original photo (and in C3 of the series in Reply#57/58) don’t show in the long panoramic photos from Nemo’s original link or in those of the C series is that their tops have been cut off. The higher of the balloons is well above the tops of the panoramic ones and the lower is just above their tops.

Detailed figures are available if requested.
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #320 on: July 17, 2015, 22:48:12 »
Nemo and DaveTheTrain, thanks for sorting Reply#58. I had forgotten it - always a risk with a long thread - and just now was the first chance I’ve had today to look back in detail.

C1, C2 and C5 are the same as the one I was using anyway!
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #319 on: July 17, 2015, 10:35:03 »
All I want to do is to repeat what I posted earlier:

As a result of Otis’s opening question we have ranged far and wide trying to find answers, far wider than if nobody had responded. We have barked up some wrong trees, but one can’t develop a scenario without doing that, because it’s not known to be a wrong tree to start with. We have learnt far too much for it all to be listed here* and, judging by the number of read counts, the thread is still generating a lot of interest

*For me it has included much more knowledge of radar than I had, of infra-red photography, the history of Swingate, weather systems and much else besides, as well as keeping me occupied.

I have posted my own scenario at Reply#255 (P18) but, as I also posted previously, without getting into a time capsule and going back personally to Cap Blanc Nez on 1st November 1942, it can only be intelligent guesswork.
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Offline Nemo

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #318 on: July 17, 2015, 08:36:22 »
Ah, now I never realised about the personal settings - mine, by the way, have the latest page as no.1.  To be clear, PC has posted variant C1 - there are others.

Offline DaveTheTrain

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #317 on: July 17, 2015, 08:17:26 »
Nemo, I don’t understand your reference to post 58, page 18, although DavetheTrain obviously found something

The post number is correct PC, it is the page number you must ignore, since that is based on your personal settings.  In my case the page was 5, since I elect to show about 20 posts per page.
DTT

Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #316 on: July 17, 2015, 07:54:36 »
Just to be sure, and to save having to look back, attached is what I have called the “Panoramic Photo” throughout this thread.

Nemo, I don’t understand your reference to post 58, page 18, although DavetheTrain obviously found something
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Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #315 on: July 16, 2015, 22:49:52 »
The photos I am referring to are the link in Reply#11 (P2) and the photo in Otis’s Reply#17 (P2), and form the basis of my scenario starting at Reply#255 (P18).

My Reply#303/304 was intended as a review of the thread to date and I genuinely thought Otis was referring to the same photo and regarded it as a forgery..
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Offline DaveTheTrain

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #314 on: July 16, 2015, 22:45:31 »
Thanks Nemo, It would be good if all the posts referred to this set.  It gets confusing.   :)

Offline Nemo

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #313 on: July 16, 2015, 22:05:59 »
DTT: try post 58, currently on page 18  :)

Offline DaveTheTrain

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #312 on: July 16, 2015, 21:58:34 »
I think it may help if the photos were reposted, with a Figure number to reference them by posted under each photo.  I am trying to keep up with this interesting thread, but have difficulty keeping track.

Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #311 on: July 15, 2015, 12:45:28 »
It is derived from Dover Historian’s description of the completed site, which included the sentence “There were also two shorter receiver towers” in the same paragraph. “Whatever the case” acknowledges the British Listed Buildings reference to the Buried Reserve being planned in late 1939. On the face of it there seems no reason to disbelieve Dover Historian’s version, but in either case it was before the German occupation of France.

But if, after all else has been considered, the statement is shown to be wrong then that is covered by the first of my list of four possibilities.

I agree that one of the small towers would have been a transmitter. Perhaps it was a translation error or similar.

On my computer it’s not possible to see whether the small towers are there or not in your image of 14th July – the main receivers are barely visible.

My definition of ‘completed’ is “no more work to be done, and ready for use". It does not include any earlier time when there were only 3 (or any number less than 8 for the main array)
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Offline Nemo

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #310 on: July 15, 2015, 08:49:20 »
Whatever the case it seems like that the towers were there before the German occupation of France.  I just don't see how that is derived or evidenced.  The short towers are not apparent in the image linked in my post of 14th July.  If one accepts that the short towers were constructed as part of the Buried Reserve, then one has to accept that one was a transmitter and hence the statement "There were also two shorter receiving towers" is at best ill-phrased.  Depending on one's definition of "completed", then the 4 + 4 statement is wrong also, since we have evidence of x + 3, where x could be zero.


Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #309 on: July 15, 2015, 08:09:38 »
Now that we know there was a connection between the two short towers and the Buried Reserve it raises new questions.

It requires a re-visit to the links posted by Conan at Reply#211 (P15). The Dover Historian link states Swingate Radar was completed in 1938 with 4 Transmitter and 4 Receiver towers and adds ”There were also two shorter receiving towers”. It then goes on to describe events up to the outbreak of war. So unless there is definite evidence to the contrary it seems reasonable to assume that the short towers were built about then.

However, the British Listed Buildings link says the Buried Reserve was planned in late 1939 and opened in July 1941. So perhaps the short towers were actually built then – two different sources were involved.

Whatever the case it seems like that the towers were there before the German occupation of France. There is no further mention of the Buried Reserve after July 1941 so it again seems reasonable to assume that the short towers were there until the end of the war, which means that the Germans could not mistakenly have used a photo from a time when they were not there, because there wasn’t such a time.

So what other evidence is there?
1. Conan’s GE shot dated 1/1/1940. It is well known that GE historicals carry an all-embracing date but, by the laws of chance, that one could have been right, or nearly so.
2. They are not in the photo of the Bf109s published in October 1940, but then neither is one of the main receiver towers, and that photo is an enigma.
3. They were definitely there in the photo of the shelling taken on 29th April 1941.
4. They don’t show in the October/November photo.

So what can we glean from the last item?
1. Two reputable sources that suggest they were there from at least early in the war were both wrong, or
2. The towers had been removed before 31st October 1942, or
3. The visibility conditions rendered them invisible, or
4. The photo was corrupted in some way.


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Offline peterchall

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Re: Dover barrage balloon mystery
« Reply #308 on: July 14, 2015, 17:48:25 »
Many thanks. it clears that up :)
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