The Loss of Lancaster JA691

The German Defences

August 1943........Catching the fly in a darkened room
For the protection of Germany against air attack the final Himmelbett radar station is complete. The defensive barrier, which is shaped like an inverted sickle, runs all the way from the northern tip of Denmark to the Swiss frontier. During this year improved ground radars have been introduced and lightweight Lichtenstein radars fitted into the nightfighters themselves. By the end of 1942 the German nightfighter force numbers 389 aircraft and has been responsible for about 2/3rds of the 1,291 bombers lost by the RAF during the year.

17th August 1943
Following the success of "Window" during the Battle of Hamburg, the German nightfighter force undergoes sweeping reorganisation. The Himmelbett box system is virtually replaced by two new tactical methods. In "Tame Boar" a running commentary will be broadcast to aid the interception of radar equipped twin engined nightfighters. "Wild Boar" tactics call for the operation of fighters over the targets themselves. About 10-15% of the nightfighter force is held back to defend the Himmelbett box system. On this day there is full conversion to the Tame Boar and Wild Boar methods.

Close examination of this old Wehrmacht map shows the location of the two Würzburg radar dishes.

The Ameise radar complex viewed from a "Heinrich Peiler" transmitter tower.

Ameise was number 22 (out of 25) in the Himmelbett defensive barrier surrounding Denmark.