continued …

The following evening (21st/22nd) brought another anti-submarine patrol by moonlight, to protect a convoy. In addition there was jamming support against British reconnaissance aircraft by a Ju 52 and an He 111 of the Kommando. The Heinkel took off at 1745 and landed at Kalamaki at 2330 after operating south of Crete. This may have been GJ+JH which flew from the latter airfield to Heraklion during the following day. A Ju 52 and an He 111 were again assigned to provide “indirect” radio counter measures (RCM) protection for the Fassio convoy on the night of 22/23 August but it was an escorting Ju 88 which drove off a British shadower in a sea-level engagement. The Kdo. Koch machines were due to give cover between 1800 and 0200 while the times of the jamming operation (presumably when the sets were actually transmitting) were later given as: He 111 from 1800–2125 and 2145–2210 hours; Ju 52 from 2355–0010 and 0025–0130. For its part, Ju 52 NR+AE landed in Derna, Libya from Heraklion at 0210 and continued to Tobruk at 1000. The night also saw the Germans waging electronic warfare from the ground under the code name Nachtfalter (moth): El Daba (El Dabaa, Egypt) was to direct jamming against the Nile Delta from 1800–2000, to interfere with night fighter control radars and some other system (only part of the message was intercepted).

NOTE: Fliegerkorps X’s signals officer told Fliegerführer Afrika that this action was to take place, suggesting that WIM stations in Africa were directed operationally by the former, despite being outside his territory. This was perhaps because the WIM-Zentrale was in Crete (at Kounavi, about 11 km south of Heraklion airfield) and the network needed to operate in concert to be effective.

The next evening’s mission involved two He 111 shielding the Kreta and a damaged Axis submarine from reconnaissance and bomber aircraft. These aircraft landed at 2307 and 0345 hours respectively, having reportedly jammed one British interloper from 1900–1912, from 1922–1927 and again intermittently on 175 kHz from 2032 hours. The second Heinkel had to break off at 0130 with equipment failure then one engine cut out on the flight home but the crew managed a smooth landing at Kalamaki. Even so, when Fl.Kps. X summed up the day, it said that ten “searching aircraft” had been jammed. On the night of the 24/25th one of the Kommando’s He 111 jammed “several British aircraft” while patrolling the sea area west of Greece, before landing at Lecce at 0220.

On 22 August S/L Rowland Scott Farnie of A.I.4 (RAF Signals Intelligence) in Egypt contacted his superiors in London:

With reference to special aircraft mentioned [in ULTRA] is it your opinion that this is an ASV aircraft or an aircraft for jamming our ASV when on convoy search. So far no repeat no reports of interference with special equipment in our aircraft. Query: would not an ASV jamming aircraft make first class beacon to home [on]? … We are keeping close watch for signs activity their aircraft from W/T angle so far N.B.G. [No Bloody Good].

Four days later, G/C Colin Cadell responded:

There are at least three kinds of special aircraft in Middle East. First there are Ju 88 of 3.(F)/123 fitted with Lichtenstein, the German-built equivalent of ASV Second is an He 111 of II./KG 100 which is fitted with a captured ASV of our own. Third are the Wildschwein Ju 52 and He 111, each fitted with two jammers: one on 176 and the other presumably on 214 megacycles, for jamming our ASV frequencies. They are monitored from a station on Crete which probably also watches our other RDF frequencies in the eastern Mediterranean.

If the RAF had built up quite a good picture in the space of three weeks, the next part of Cadell’s answer would become obsolete within hours of his message being sent:

… It is odd that no ASV jamming has been noticed since Germans think they have had considerable success, including making our aircraft change frequency … Should be quite possible to home on ASV jammer and work is in progress here.

NOTE: Scott Farnie had this to add a week later: “Still cannot coincide [sic] enemy reports of changing frequency to follow changes by our ASV as ASV cannot be changed in the air. Can there be confusion with AI which can change frequency. Evident from reports that enemy monitoring of AI is good as frequency changes are very quickly followed by enemy.”

On the 24th Gen. Hans-Ferdinand Geisler had been transferred from command of Fliegerkorps X to special duties at the Reich Air Ministry (RLM) and was replaced by Gen. Otto Hoffmann von Waldau, hitherto Fliegerführer Afrika. That night one of the Kommando’s He 111 jammed “several British aircraft” while patrolling the sea area west of Greece, before landing at Lecce at 0220. The following afternoon at 1657, GJ+JH took off on a sortie that was to end with a landing at Catania at 0105. The crew reported that they had picked up no “enemy apparatus” (ASV in other words) and that two of their Heinkel’s four jamming transmitters were out of action. In planning convoy escorts for 27 August, Kesselring’s staff called for 10 Bf 110 of Kdo. Herling (an ad hoc daylight escort force) to be ready to intercept approaching ASV searchers if alerted by the Cretan WIM stations. There was to be a continuous dawn–dusk jamming operation “by Wildschwein which by then will have again been brought up” against ASV aircraft from Egypt and in the event one He 111 carried this out from 1600, apparently landing at Kalamaki shortly after midnight. There should have been three jammers but “after changing engines [one] had a failure of its signals apparatus” and another on its way from Germany force-landed in Belgrade with engine trouble.

continued on next page …

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