All About History



WHAT: A raid on a villa in France that housed a German radar installation

WHY: To capture radar components for analysis and the development of potential countermeasures

HOW: Having suffered heavy losses of RAF bombers since the Battle of Britain it was determined that the German radar system in Europe, known as Freya, needed to be counteracted. To do this scientists would need components from the short-range Würzburg radar technology. Reconnaissance imagery of cliffs near Bruneval, France revealed a villa that excited the interest of British Intelligence. A single black object in front of the villa could be evidence of a radar installation, so a plan was put in motion.

The newly formed 1st Airborne Division was identified as the best means of raiding the villa, since Germany’s coastal defences made a naval incursion much harder. The combined operation would involve some 120 men parachuting in, dividing up to take the installation and secure the beach, and then rendezvous to escape via landing craft waiting for them. Among their number was

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