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Bandits at Three O'Clock! The RAF's Chain Home Radar and British Strategic Success

Bandits at Three O'Clock! The RAF's Chain Home Radar and British Strategic Success

September 23, 2021 | 14:00 - 15:00 EDT (18:00 - 19:00 UTC)

Bandits at Three O'Clock! The RAF's Chain Home Radar and British Strategic Success

September 23, 2021 | 14:00 - 15:00 EDT (18:00 - 19:00 UTC)

“Hunter-Leader, Hunter-Leader! Bandits at angels-five, approaching Beachy!” No British Second World War film is complete without the calm voice of the Royal Air Force (RAF) fighter controller instructing the plucky Spitfire pilot on the whereabouts of his Luftwaffe targets as the Battle of Britain raged above southeast England in the late summer of 1940.

The RAF’s success was helped in no small measure by radar, particularly its Chain Home (CH) system which ringed the southern, eastern and northern coasts of the British Isles with a protective radar screen. Chain Home was at the core of the aircraft reporting system which allowed fighter controllers to vector Hurricanes and Spitfires towards their targets. Work on Chain Home commenced in 1938 and it continued to serve until 1949.

This webinar will describe how CH and the RAF fighter reporting service worked, why it was instrumental to British strategic success during the Battle of Britain, the electronic warfare efforts performed against it by the Luftwaffe, and Chain Home’s enduring legacy and influence on air power.

Dr. Thomas Withington has two decades of experience as a writer and analyst specialising in contemporary and historical electronic warfare, radar and military communications. During his career he has authored several books and written hundreds of articles on these subjects for a range of general and specialist publications. In addition, he has worked as a consultant examining these domains for an array of leading public and private sector clients. He is also a regular commentator on defence and military issues for several media organisations around the world. He has a PhD in history, and his thesis examined the use of electronic warfare in support of air operations.

Dr. Thomas Withington

Registration will close one hour prior to the start of the webinar (1pm ET)! Any registrations taken after this time will not be able to view the live webinar.

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For questions, please contact Caleb Herr.


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The entire presentation and Q&A will be recorded for viewing approximately 24 hours after the event.  On-demand viewing of recorded webinars is reserved as a complimentary benefit for dues-paying AOC members, or access to the recording can be purchased individually for Guest Non-Members. You can join the AOC here.

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With over 13,000 members internationally, the Association of Old Crows is an organization for individuals who have common interests in Electronic Warfare (EW), Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Operations, Cyber Electromagnetic Activities (CEMA), Information Operations (IO), and other information related capabilities. The Association of Old Crows provides a means of connecting members and organizations nationally and internationally across government, defense, industry, and academia to promote the exchange of ideas and information, and provides a platform to recognize advances and contributions in these fields.