View Full Version : U 977, Gibraltar and balloons

01-31-2005, 02:53 AM
I seem to remember reading in the 'U 977' book that when under attack crossing the Gibraltar Strait at night, the captain ordered to launch a dozen ballons (filled with helium i guess) carrying thin metal filaments to flood Royal Navy's radars. According to the book, it worked pretty well.
Anyone knows a little more about those? Name of device? Size? Was it common or not?
The concept seems to be very much similar to what the RAF did at night over Germany to confuse the Luftwaffe night fighters.

douxie douxie

01-31-2005, 03:36 AM
i read a lot of wwII history and your right that it did work well. The allies used it extensively on bombing runs but also on the water during d-day to fool germans about their intentions. Although I havn't come up against the germans using it cause their navy sucked and so they didn't let it out to see except for their excellent u boats (ofcourse). Their lufftwaffe was too strong to even need to use it. i dont think the technique was developed during the battle of brittain and after that they didn't really make regular massive bombing runs to warrant the use. In russia they kept moving forward so they probalby thought they didn't need it thats all I know but the technique was very effective the were thin aluminium strips. anyway thats all I can remeber

earthling EPO

01-31-2005, 04:15 AM
I read the same thing in the book Iron Coffins. I cant find the part of the book at the moment though, if i do i will quote it.

From memory it was a balloon weighted so it would stay low, they dropped them everyso often as they sailed on the surface so if any aircraft picked up a contact hopefully it would be one of the balloons and they would fly to it (by which time the sub would be a few miles ahead). They had a few to drop out, they were covered in silver foil to reflect radar back to the plane.

In the book they let off a few and then one gets caught on the conning tower, "painting" the sub for miles around to anyone with a radar. The captain decides not to bother using them anymore as they are in his opinion more hastle then good. (Foolish in my opinion...) I cant remember which stage of the book it was but im fairly certain it was late war (1942 on) as this is when the Airpower threat from Britain increased after they had smashed the luftwaffe in the Battle of Britain.

01-31-2005, 06:38 AM
I believe they were called "Aphrodite"???

01-31-2005, 12:59 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Lanzfeld:
I believe they were called "Aphrodite"??? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You are correct. u-boats had 2-major counter measures. 1-Bold, the bubbling decor for ASDIC and homing torp's. 2-Aphrodite which was foil strips for radar confusion.

Does any one know of other countermeasures used by the u-boats?

01-31-2005, 01:02 PM
Ejecting rubbish/spare crewmen out of the torp tubes.

01-31-2005, 01:52 PM
Although this wasn't the purpose of my initial post... Will Aphrodite counter measures be modelled in SH3? I remember reading somewhere that Bold will be, but then i could be wrong. Thinking about it, I am wrong quite often http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif

01-31-2005, 01:57 PM
I doubt it very much. It wasnt used a lot so i dont think they will have spent time putting it in the game, though just more guesswork!!