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Defending the Nation By 1939 Britain had the most sophisticated control and reporting system in the world. Press ‘Esc’ at any time to end the presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "Defending the Nation By 1939 Britain had the most sophisticated control and reporting system in the world. Press ‘Esc’ at any time to end the presentation."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Defending the Nation By 1939 Britain had the most sophisticated control and reporting system in the world. Press ‘Esc’ at any time to end the presentation.

3 Plotting The WAAF Key Terms and their meaning RECAP Activities

4 Who are these people? What job do you think they are doing? What do you think these pilots are talking about? Take a closer look Image courtesy of the Battle of Britain Historical Society

5 What do you think these people are listening to? Image courtesy of the Battle of Britain Historical Society

6 What do you think these objects were used for? Image courtesy of the Battle of Britain Historical Society

7 Rakes: Markers indicating how many planes were within enemy formations, their position, height, and strength were placed on a huge map table of the British Isles by operators using long sticks called rakes. What do you think these objects were used for? Image courtesy of the Battle of Britain Historical Society

8 Wherever a plot had been confirmed it became known as a raid. Each marker used to track the raid was colour coded (red, yellow and blue) to the colour coded clock that hung above the table. In this way, the controllers could tell just how old each of the plots, or raids were. Identification letters and colours were also used. Can you guess what they stood for?

9 Friendly Unidentified Hostile

10 The Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) was formed in June 1939 and provided key personnel to work at radar stations and Filter and Operations Rooms. These ‘Plotters’ would track aircraft that approached the U.K. What does Auxiliary mean?

11 Radar Set Operators Cookhouse Workers Aircraft Maintenance Switchboard Operators Aircraft Plotters General Communication Workers Parachute Packers Transport Drivers Barrage Balloon Operators Some of the jobs undertaken by WAAF.

12 The WAAF played a major role during the Battle of Britain. They manned the vital operations rooms and suffered a great number of casualties as communication centres and airfields were bombed by the Luftwaffe. By the Spring of ,000 women had volunteered to join the WAAF. Information received by WAAf working with radar was fed back to the ‘filter’ room at Fighter Command’s headquarters at Bentley Priory in the North London suburbs. What is a suburb? Why do you think that Bentley Priory was placed in a suburb of London and not in the City Centre?

13 As soon as the number of enemy aircraft, their direction and altitude were confirmed this information was passed on to separate Sector Operations Rooms. Controllers would then ‘vector’ friendly aircraft towards the enemy, giving additional information to pilots such as the suspected ‘altitude’ of enemy formations and the type of aircraft being used. WAAF’s would also have responsibility for updating the Control Room notice board. This indicated which squadrons were at readiness, which were on stand by, which were airborne or on patrol, which were engaged with the enemy and which had been released – or stood down. What does altitude mean?What does vector mean?

14 Vector Altitude Suburb WAAF Readiness Auxiliary Hostile Angels Height – in this case the height that an aircraft is flying at. A secondary service that supplements a ‘main’ service. Unfriendly –enemy aircraft that had been detected were referred to as ‘hostiles’. In a state of being ‘ready’ – in this case waiting to be called to engage the enemy in battle. A residential area on the outskirts of a city. A compass direction – aircraft were ‘vectored’ towards formations of enemy aircraft. Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. In this case ‘Angels’ refers to height. Pilots were told the height that they were supposed to climb to meet enemy formations e.g. ‘Angels 50’ meant fifty thousand feet. Slide 9Slide 11Slide 12

15 States of Readiness Squadrons were usually off the ground within three minutes of receiving the order to ‘scramble’. States of availability varied. Pilots at readiness had to be ready to run to their aircraft and take off within five minutes. However, some squadrons could have been in other states of availability. This could vary from half to one hour. Pilots could therefore be anywhere on the base. During the Battle of Britain many pilots chose to sit out in the fine weather, but many others chose to rest in their hut or walk off their nerves by strolling around the airfield. Back to Slide 12

16 Stand–by meant that … Readiness meant that … Airborne meant that … Released meant that … These are phrases that were used to describe the state that a Squadron was in. What do you think that each meant? Stand By Readiness Airborne Released ANSWER

17 Stand By Readiness Airborne Released Stand–by meant that the engine had been warmed up and the pilot was strapped into his cockpit, ready to be airborne in two minutes. Readiness meant that pilots had to be ready to run to their aircraft and take off within five minutes. Airborne meant that these squadrons were already in the air, usually on patrols. Released meant that the pilots were released from duty for a period of time. They were unavailable for use. These are phrases that were used to describe the state that a Squadron was in. What do you think that each meant?

18 What is meant by each of these ‘Plot’ markers ?

19 Radar Set Operators Cookhouse Workers Aircraft Maintenance Switchboard Operators General Communication Workers Transport Drivers Can you fill in the missing WAAF occupations? Click here to go back and see if you were right!

20 Stand By Readiness Airborne Released ~ Can you remember the meaning of the following terms?


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