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David Seymour

Handley Page 0/400 use of spotlights to establish height

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David Seymour

Recently I came across a reference to the use of spotlights for establishing height on low-level operations at night. On p.103 of C H Barnes, Handley Page Aircraft since 1907, London 1976, in the chapter on the 0/400 heavy bomber of 1918, he writes 'Some 0/400s had two, three or four spotlights tilted downwards and a variation of this for very precise low-level attacks was to have the beams set to intersect at the required height, thus anticipating the method employed 25 years later by 617 Squadron's Dam-Busters.'

He offers no source for this statement and I wondered if anyone has come across this story elsewhere, or knows of the source(s) which Barnes used.

Many thanks for any help you can give.

David

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fetubi
Posted (edited)

I've spent a few decades with more than a passing interest in Allied night bombing in WW1 - I've never come across this.  Handley Pages seem not the best aircraft for "low level" attacks... and several spotlights would have made them sitting ducks to AA Fire, and other rather unwanted attention.  Let's see what others say.

Trevor

Edited by fetubi

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