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  Chain Home and Radar

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> RAF Bases

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Alma Park
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Boston Wyberton Fen
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Theddlethorpe
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Updated: 7 Oct 13

Radar was developed at Orford Ness amidst high security. By 1939 Chain Home coverage stretched from the Isle of Wight to the Scottish border at Berwick.

Chain Home was the name given to a network (chain) of early coastal radar stations. Although rudimentary in capabilities when compared with today's modern 3D systems, Chain Home was the only early warning radar network in operation when created. The stations were set up at roughly 50 mile intervals along the coast on high ground and provided early warning of enemy aircraft at up to 100 miles. System limitations at low altitude meant that an additional system, Chain Home Low, was developed. This was present at RAF Humberston and, in a variant known as COL, at RAF Skendleby.

Chain Home provided Fighter Command with the early warning it required of enemy fighter or bomber aircraft approaching the British coastline. Chain Home provided a key capability which allowed the development of Ground Controlled Intercept and aided the RAF to win the Battle of Britain.

After 1945 Chain Home was largely withdrawn from operation and put on care and maintenance. This was due to national power shortages and left only the GCI stations remained active and even these generally in daylight hours. However the chain was reactivated approximately twice monthly for Bomber Command's so-called Bullseye exercises. During a Bullseyes large formations of bomber aircraft were detailed to fly south from Lincolnshire and Yorkshire bases to the coast and then out across the North Sea towards the Netherlands. GCI was then tasked to direct fighter aircraft onto the bombers in a rear hemisphere intercept (ie from behind).

In the post-war era, Britain's air defences continued to rely upon the Chain Home (CH) radar system for air defence. Later more advanced systems such as ROTOR took Chain Home's place - ROTOR called on Langtoft and Skendleby for GCI and Stenigot as a Chain Home site.

Lincolnshire sites associated with Chain Home include RAF Stenigot, RAF Skendleby, RAF Ingoldmels and RAF Humberston.

- Stenigot overview
- Chain Home and Ace High at Stenigot
- photos of RAF Stenigot Page 1 :: Page 2 :: Training

Chain Home explained on RadarPages.co.uk

RAF Radar Museum

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire
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