- Feb 2011
- Amelia, Virginia, USA
This is a crucial point. The German Freya was in some respects more advanced than the Chain Home array. The Germans captured a British radar set at Dunkirk and were not impressed. As you say, the system devised to take advantage of the radar was the real innovation. No one else had anything like it.Radar was not the secret weapon that won the battle, it was the system that made use of it.
The Luftwaffe did not consider radar a priority target because they presumed that it only gave the British a limited ability to see that an attack was coming and send fighters to engage, something the Luftwaffe was not afraid of, because it wanted to engage the enemy and destroy them in combat. They totally failed to grasp how effective the fighter control system of the British was, radar did warn the RAF that the enemy was coming but the system gave the British minute by minute control of their squadrons and the ability to react to the ongoing situation as it developed, this gave the British the ability to not only intercept the enemy, but prevent the Luftwaffe from catching squadrons on the ground refuelling and avoid enemy fighter sweeps .
Radar warned the British the enemy was coming, but the control system enabled the RAF to fight the battle on their terms.
But of course the British were soon to decisively surpass the Germans in radar technology with the centimetric radars.