Barrage Balloons ~ How much it was effective?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Diptangshu, Jul 6, 2013.

  1. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    Another invention that added to the aerial defence system to prevent air attack.
    The Axis flying machines initially faced some problems with the heavy metal moorig cables, later on they attached some special equipment attached to wings, enable to cut the wire instant.
    But how far it was successfull in its mission?
  2. Okie55

    Okie55 New Member

    Not very. Barrage balloons are static; they float there in the hope that attacking planes will hit the cables. At Taranto, the cables were 300 yards apart; the attacking Swordfish aircraft had wing spans of 16 yards. Plus, the RN had good recon photos showing the exact locations of the balloons. Active defense was required to deal with WW2 air attack: radar to detect the attackers at distance, and fighter planes to intercept them.
    Diptangshu likes this.
  3. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    Yes and these however gave some weak and easy avoidable defensive (may be a bit difficult for night low-alt fliers) measure. I think these barrage balloons made the attacking pilots bound increasing flight level which simultaneously becomes within good ack ack range.
    During weather disturbances, storms etc it was too difficult to handle. They even troublesome to their own location by snapping OH cables for telephones, electric etc (Sault Ste Marie). But it was cheap and easy to produce, comparing its ability to defend. Is it only the cause for its production, or the lost of labor !
  4. Interrogator#6

    Interrogator#6 Active Member

    While balloons may not have been very effective as a defense against air attacks they did have a positive effect for civilian moral. They did give an illusion that something was being done.
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  5. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    However, since late '38 to '45, too long years it served for the RAF with a motto ie., Vi Et Ictu.
    This RAF Balloon Command HQ was in Middlesex, with its 1st Ofcr in C was Vice-Marshal Owen T Boyd.
    There the command consisted of five groups, further divied into balloon squadrons which again consisted of some 900 to 994 balloons.
    You may found that British Barrage Balloons were existed by as early as '16 or '17, before even War 1. German night riders obviously been disgusted with these types of welcom there over London!
    The Germans too, adopted this kind of air flotilla, some of them were kite types, intend to protect their industrial areas.
    A British FE 2b of 100 squadron's, piloted by 2nd Lieut Taylor and his observer 2nd Lieut Le Fevre been dragged down by German barrage net.
  6. groundhugger

    groundhugger Member

    Barrage Balloons added an element of distraction to what would be a straightforward bombing run , forcing the bombers to fight at a height of the defenders choice enabling the Heavy antiarcraft fire or fighters to do their work.
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  7. Diptangshu

    Diptangshu Active Member

    By the introduction of bombsights like Norden, ABS Mk XIV etc, releasing ordnances from great height and more accurately became familiar to the raider groups.
    The 320th AAA Barrage Balloon Battalion (VLA) used this at Normandy, seize of Bastogen and during crossing Rhine.

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