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Author Topic: German Late War Radar Development  (Read 11166 times)

Offline Wurger

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #15 on: October 08, 2015, 12:44:02 pm »
Much better is this one, in german language, although far from complete:

http://www.amazon.de/Radarkrieg-Nachtluftverteidigung-Verfahren-n%C3%A4chtlichen-Luftangriffe/dp/3866190123

Some time ago I stumbled on soviet 1946 reports on german electronics. A lot of the sets refered to I couldn`t find in Trenkle, and this author is the most comprehensive. There`s a lot to be done researching for this subject.


Offline Basil

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2016, 02:04:32 am »
Wurger,

thx for the link to this book; I didn't know this one. It's a very well made research concerning German radar during WW 2. You refer to soviet 1946 reports containing descriptions of innovative German electronic sets. Which source is that? Any chance to have an insight?

After having read several books (nearly all of Trenkle, R. V. Jones, etc.) regarding the race in radar development between Germany and the allies I think it is safe to say that Germany had a lead in „the war of beams“ during the first period of war (especially in long range bomber guidance over England, but also with the introduction of the Wuerzburg air defence radar).

However, Germany missed the jump to centimeter waves in time due to several reasons although the technology was there in laboratory research scale (magnetrons, klystrons, metal-ceramic coaxial tubes). Among the reasons for not having adopted the centimeter waves until later in the war was the fact that at this time the regime forbid any research on electronics which would not be ready in the next six months (awaiting final victory) and a not very well focused strategy of common research of the major electronic manufacturers (AEG-Telefunken, Siemens; Lorenz, Blaupunkt, etc.) compared to the US. It also did not help that some scientists had for some time general reservations to the suitability of centimeter waves for radar.

During the last year of the war Germany was constantly reducing the gap in the centimeter wave field but did not quite catch up to the US and UK lead (referring to charts of Trenkle and Jones). Of course at this time the bomb raids showed its effects and slowed down all activities of research and manufacturing. Besides human resources in R&D was less than 10 % compared to the US and UK in numbers.


Offline skylon

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2016, 11:01:58 am »
"The british were well ahead on all aspects of radar"

I agree


No, Germans were ahead on all aspects of radar by miles.. Robert Watson-Watt was not the inventor of radar, as is commonly believed..Also the Cavity magnetron was invented by Germans Hans Erich (Eric) Hollmann in 1935 ,filed a patent in 1936 long before the Brits and granted a patent in 1938 ..Birmingham university scientists  Randall and Boot  simply worked on this.. Hitler didn’t support the Project because German military considered the frequency drift of Hollman’s device to be undesirable, and based their radar systems on the klystron instead but klystrons could not at that time achieve the high power output that magnetrons eventually reached..
Even after Battle of Britain Churchill firmly believed German radar technology was ahead ...The only advantage of the British was that  Germans failed to recognise the significance of the Chain Home system...

Offline skylon

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2016, 11:07:19 am »
German decimetric radar was well ahead of British radar, and they were quickly catching up on centímetric, emulating american magnetrons ( from the 3cm h2x ), but pursuing their own line of investigation. German engineering was recognized by the British to be excellent (they had this transpired after the bruneval raid ) as compared to theirs, And the Germans reckoned the British sets to be clumsy And bulky ( in their wording, "too much air in the box" ). 

True ,the British had good ideas on radar but, as the americans often said, it was up to them to put it in hardware good enough to be made in mass numbers. They had very good production engineers, the brits dont. Us radar was damn good, not the British ones.

Also, as often unrecognized by anglo-saxon sources, the resonant magnetron was not invented in the UK, it was in germany by hollman.

 Much of my amateurish arguments can be well researched in that website, as well as in the excellent fritz trenkle's books ( both published and unpublished ).

Although many cios/bios/fiat reports are interesting, those made by British officials differ from those made by us personnel, more willing to acknowledge the german achievements. From memory I recall one on German aircraft fire control, in whih they were extremely advanced, where, despite the many types refered and the interesting techniques described, the authors concluded that German technology was behind the British acomplishments, whatever they were.

Many articles in that website cite the British proclivity to underestimate foreign technology, even in the many conferences Mr. Bauer attended and participated with his own research.

Absolutely .....My own  conclusion  is  that  British  sources are and always have been extremely  biased  when it comes to technological achievements  of  ww2.

Battle of Britain and the Spitfire myth tells the whole story .

Offline PaulMM (Overscan)

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2016, 12:36:12 am »
http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=6735528 is a good account of the development of the cavity magnetron.

The winners generally write history but this seems a pretty unbiased account by three authors from Italy, France and the Netherlands.

Quote
Like many other disruptive breakthroughs, the cavity magnetron was the result of a number of related explorations, in technology, in experiment, and in theory. Many other scientists, scattered over quite a few countries, made significant advances. However, exchange of ideas and opinions in scientific forums was getting more and more difficult in the build-up for WW II, as well as between Eastern and Western scientists in the ensuing “Cold War” period. The actual global status of science and technology was known in a rather fragmented way to many engineers and scientists. The military relevance at the time led to teams working on the same type of problem, but in imposed isolation. Although the Birmingham team had brilliant ideas and their share in the development proved decisive, it is fair to say that without the contributions from others, their degree of success and the pace of the progress would not have been so great, or maybe it would have been too late for a timely development of microwave high-power radar in World War II.

British engineers and scientists combined a number of important breakthroughs in making their magnetron which gave the Allies a 2-3 year head start in microwave radar technology. The Tizard mission showed that the Brits were ahead of the US in most areas of radar technology, and the pooled Allied radar work leveraged American expertise in mass production combining the British and American strengths.

The magnetron was invented by an American, improved by a Japanese researcher, and the oxide coatings which GEC added to Randall and Boot's design to improve it came from a French scientist. The Americans commercialised production: 150 different radars derived from it by the end of the war. The MIT Radiation Laboratory textbooks which came from this Allied effort formed the basis of postwar radar and electronics industries all around the world.

The German patent mentioned is a 4 cavity design; we don't know if Randall and Boot knew of it, but even if they did their design used more cavities. Patenting a 4 cavity magnetron design is not the same as coming up with a finished, reproducible industrial product. German scientists and engineers were obviously aware of the magnetron, but mostly preferred the klystron because it gave stable frequencies and was therefore technically 'superior' for many applications - but it couldn't match the power generation capability of the magnetron. Eventually, with pulse-doppler radars needing predictable frequencies, the magnetron was largely supplanted by klystrons and Travelling-Wave Tubes (TWT).

Britain mostly surrendered their technical lead after WW2, though they remained on the cutting edge in anti-ECCM work, and Ferranti (even Marconi, occasionally) consistently delivered good products up to and including the Typhoon's Captor radar, which won against a US/German radar design.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 12:41:55 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline newsdeskdan

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2016, 02:59:20 pm »
German decimetric radar was well ahead of British radar, and they were quickly catching up on centímetric, emulating american magnetrons ( from the 3cm h2x ), but pursuing their own line of investigation. German engineering was recognized by the British to be excellent (they had this transpired after the bruneval raid ) as compared to theirs, And the Germans reckoned the British sets to be clumsy And bulky ( in their wording, "too much air in the box" ). 

True ,the British had good ideas on radar but, as the americans often said, it was up to them to put it in hardware good enough to be made in mass numbers. They had very good production engineers, the brits dont. Us radar was damn good, not the British ones.

Also, as often unrecognized by anglo-saxon sources, the resonant magnetron was not invented in the UK, it was in germany by hollman.

 Much of my amateurish arguments can be well researched in that website, as well as in the excellent fritz trenkle's books ( both published and unpublished ).

Although many cios/bios/fiat reports are interesting, those made by British officials differ from those made by us personnel, more willing to acknowledge the german achievements. From memory I recall one on German aircraft fire control, in whih they were extremely advanced, where, despite the many types refered and the interesting techniques described, the authors concluded that German technology was behind the British acomplishments, whatever they were.

Many articles in that website cite the British proclivity to underestimate foreign technology, even in the many conferences Mr. Bauer attended and participated with his own research.

Absolutely .....My own  conclusion  is  that  British  sources are and always have been extremely  biased  when it comes to technological achievements  of  ww2.

Battle of Britain and the Spitfire myth tells the whole story .

On the topic of German WW2 radar achievements, historical revisionism appears to have resulted in a degree of myth-making at the expense of the British. Here is the translated transcript of a speech given by Hermann Göring at Carinhall to the chief executives of Germany's top aircraft manufacturers on March 18, 1943. Would you regard the Reichsmarschall speaking candidly, in private, to some of the country's most important men - all of them intimately familiar with the state of radar technology in Germany at that time - as a 'British source'?




Offline Basil

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #21 on: February 10, 2017, 03:27:50 am »
Wurger,

in your post from October 8, 2015, you refer to a soviet 1946 report on German electronics. Is this source accessible? It seems German electronic experts had a great value for the soviets. Btw they were the last German technicians and scientists released from soviet union as late as 1956.

Offline Wurger

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #22 on: February 10, 2017, 12:57:54 pm »
Hi Basil,

sure, I will direct you (and others) to this website. There you can download a lot of interesting documents, mostly german and russian, but also from the US. Glad to help those who share an interest on german electronics.

http://www.rkk-museum.ru/documents/archives/archives3.shtml#books

Search for:
Совет по радиолокации при Совете Министров СССР
Обзоры трофейной техники, выпуски 1-9, 11,13. / М., 1946 г

How is your domain of Pu(s)chkin`s language?

German scientists were instrumental in the soviet electronics industry, as well as whole factories were transfered, along with their technicians. Bogdan Musial`s "Stalins Beutezug" gives an historic approach to the industrial looting of eastern Germany, much like the western allies did but at a smaller scale, although not scientific, I`m afraid.

Those reports (for which one is lacking, nº12, I believe) were just summaries. I am long after the specific, targeted subject reports, although you can read there references to otherwise unknown radars like "Kulmbach P" or "Berlin-Lampe". Work on millimeter waves are present (e.g. 0,7cm). Even Trenkle doesn`t mention them...

Offline Basil

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2017, 02:27:56 am »
Hi Wurger,

thanks for your reply and the link.

Yes, a very interesting topic and not very well documented compared to English and American developments, especially concerning airborne radar and missile guidance systems from the last months of the war. Besides Trenkle there is very little detailed information available from first hand.

However I could only find German or English documents in this link:
http://www.rkk-museum.ru/documents/archives/archives_e.shtml

Unfortunately I am not able to read Russian documents. I would be very interested in developments you mentioned in your post (millimeter waves etc.).



Offline Wurger

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2017, 07:11:10 am »
I`m still waiting for an authorised translation. Meanwhile I use the cyrilic keyboard to translate some of the more catching phrases. Time consuming, yes, but when you are motivated...

Offline newsdeskdan

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2018, 06:32:18 am »
Might be of interest.

Offline Wurger

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2018, 12:48:55 pm »
Quote
Might be of interest

It is :D :D!!

Thanks for sharing, Dan.

Offline major-1

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2018, 04:21:10 am »
It may be interesting to the Germans. I don't know if they know this book.

http://mega.dp.ua/file?source=18122014190355559333

Offline Wurger

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2018, 07:26:47 am »
It's a very good source. I have it for many years and is still a major reference.

Offline Maury Markowitz

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Re: German Late War Radar Development
« Reply #29 on: December 27, 2018, 06:56:28 pm »
I realize I'm wading into a necrothread here, but I'll pitch in as well.

Having read practically everything I can find on the radar systems of the various combatants of WWII, there is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Allied systems were far in advance of their German counterparts, and even more so over the Japanese.

While it is true that Hans Hollmann did indeed intent a magnetron, he didn't invent the magnetron. The difference is one of degree, but in this case, the degree is about two orders of magnitude. Hollmann's magnetrons generated on the order of tens to hundreds of watts, had significant problems with frequency drift, and did not use a seed signal that could be used on the receiver. As a result, the German authorities rejected them in favour of klystrons, which also generated tens to hundreds of watts, but were more robust, had no problems with drift, and used a separate seed signal which could also be fed into the receiver's superheterodyne tank.

In contrast, Randal and Boot's first magnetron was bored from a solid block of copper, and was capable of generating 1000 W. Within weeks it was up to 5 kW, and after GEC had a look, 25 kW. As a result, the UK had a practical microwave radar source in 1940, whereas no one else in the world did. The US, for instance, had followed the same train of logic as the Germans and had klystrons of a few tens of watts, and were simply blown away by the magnetron when they saw it in September. They were so taken by its promise that they had a production line set up before the British team had even managed to return home. We were even building them in Canada by the end of the year and had a (semi-)operational microwave GL radar by 1943.

Using the magnetron had the other disadvantages noted above, that is, frequency drift and the lack of a seed signal that could be sent into the LC tank of the heterodyne. Moreover, existing tube-based rectifiers used in the detector stage simply didn' work at those frequencies. Less important but still annoying was there was no RF switch that operated at those frequencies so you had to use separate antennas for transmit and receive. These are serious problems, but the UK attacked them one by one until they had them all. Frequency drift was an issue in the UK magnetrons as well, but much less of one because it was built out of a single block of metal that was then water or air cooled so the expansion and warping wasn't as much of a problem. The second was addressed by the introduction of the reflex klystron, which tapped off the output of the magnetron, modified it by a fixed amount, and fed that into the heterodyne.  A modification of this same system solved the problem of a suitable RF switch. A tube-based detector never emerged, but in its place, the UK developed semiconductor diodes that solved this problem.

By 1941 the UK had complete working microwave radar systems. This led to the introduction of the H2S, and the great debates over its use. It was captured almost immediately, on 3 February 1943, but the Germans were unable to get a similar set into action. The only one that got remotely close was the Berlin units, and they wouldn't have been available in any reasonable form until 1946. The magnetron itself was easy enough to build, Randal and Boot did it in a disused lab after all, but other parts remained huge problems. They had no semiconductor industry and two years later their crystals still didn't work for more than minutes on average, they never managed to get a working reflex klystron, and it took a full year before they even figured out how the reflex klystron switch even worked.

By that time the UK was already moving to 1.25 cm wavelengths, had deployed ASV, H2S, AI, GCI and EW microwave radars, were experimenting with Doppler radars (H2D), COHO MTI and many other technologies like microwave-relay communications systems. The US had introduced grown crystals which would lead to the transistor, highly advanced conical scanning units like the SCR-584 that could track individual artillery shells, let alone aircraft, and were well on their way to second-generation systems that were so improved no one ever caught up.

The only true success the Germans had in the microwave field was the Naxos detectors, and even they were limited in capability. Their radars never worked, and their H2S jammers were abandoned because they were useless. The UK also beat them in the introduction of IFF, beacon guidance like Rebecca, hyperbolic navigation, transponder-based landing aids, chaffe, inverse con-scan jamming (which drove the Würzburg operators absolutely batty), comm jammers like ABC and Jostle, and any number of other technologies.

The situation was so bad for the Germans that there were numerous instances where they would see targets on the radars and simply not believe they were real, to cases where they could hear aircraft flying above them which were invisible because they completely jammed, to cases where they shot down their own aircraft because they were so afraid of the British tracking their signals that they told pilots to turn off their IFFs and thus appeared to be enemy aircraft to the AA gunners. The entire radio battle was completely out of control, and the Germans were the first to admit it. They had their share of successes, like Klein Heidelberg and Cerberus jamming, but these were the exception to the rule. I mean, the situation at Malta where they simply gave up even attempting to jam UK VHR radars says it all - they had the radars jammed but the RAF operators managed to convince them it wasn't working so they went home!

Sorry, but if you're reading this and you actually believe the Germans were even close then you simply haven't read nearly enough about the topic.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2018, 07:07:03 pm by Maury Markowitz »