July 1942

twoofourbest

The Luftwaffe carried out two “harassing operations” from Sicily against Malta on the nights of 2 and 3 July, the later being considered the more successful since:

The English apparatus were observed on 14 occasions to switch off for a short time. Further harassing intended night 4/5th.

It should be noted here that “harassing” here might better have been translated as “jamming” since German uses the word »Stör-« for both. A similar possible ambiguity of translation is apparent in this situation report from the Kriegsmarine Operations Staff:

In the night of 5 Jul. a heavy raid was staged on La Venezia airfield on Malta. A nuisance raid on the radar installations effectively hampered enemy night fighters.

On the 8th a Caruso installation team was in Berlin, awaiting a flight to Greece. On the afternoon of 19 July, Ob. Süd (C-in-C South) Field Marshal Albert Kesselring intended a harassing attack on Maltese airfields and testing of “anti-night fighter apparatus”. Next day, an attack on Suez was postponed until the moon was more favourable and jamming apparatus had been fitted. Before the month was out, six aircraft of II./KG 100 and 10 of LG 1 had been equipped with the transmitter. Even so, prisoners taken later in the year described Caruso as an R/T jammer which, they claimed, had to be carried in a Ju 52 because the set itself and the batteries needed to power it took up so much space. In the event of a major night raid on Malta a Catania-based Ju 52, equipped with the set and an antenna extending from cockpit to tail, would patrol south of the island to jam night-fighter R/T. The captives also spoke of another transmitter which could be carried in a Ju 88 to jam night fighter A.I.

On 20 July, Fliegerkorps X in Greece had been asked to approve the transfer of a “signals Ju" marked WT+AO to Tobruk next day with the early morning convoy. It was to work with NJG 2 whose Signals Officer, Ltn. Schulz, would provide their instructions; after an operation in collaboration with the night fighters, it was to land in Crete although personnel and equipment would remain in Tobruk. On the night of the 31st the aerodrome at Heliopolis, Cairo was raided by six He 111 of KG 100 and 13 Ju 88 of LG 1; three of the former and six of the latter carried Caruso. Wing Commander Colin Cadell of the Air Ministry’s Signals and Wireless Intelligence Section noted that no jamming of either ground or airborne radars had been reported by the defenders but he asked his counterparts in the Middle East to confirm this.

In France, U-boat Command had proposed that jamming stations be set up on the French and Spanish Biscay coasts to counter the menace of British airborne search radars, an idea rejected on the grounds that available sets were too short-ranged. A staff concference on 27 July agreed that “the only remedy at the moment” was to install warning receivers, 60 of which were ready, on submarines. It seems that the naval authorities were unaware that airborne jamming was already underway in the Mediterranean theatre.

continued on next page…

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