Aerial Reconnaissance Archive

Discussion in 'General' started by Capt.Sensible, Jun 18, 2008.

  1. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

  2. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Let's hope so - the last time it was 'launched' it was a disaster.
     
  3. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    Let's hope so - the last time it was 'launched' it was a disaster.
    Indeed, a shameful waste of a potentially very useful resource that should have been freely available to the public. I expect many people out ther already know this, but the English Heritage collection held at the NMR in Swindon is very large. It cannot be accessed on line but they will search the collection for free and provide a lits of what they have. You can then travel to the NMR and view the photos. The collection includes a lot of RAF photos taken in 1947/48, and some small-scale USAF photos generally taken in 1943/44. If anyone is very interested, I am happy to giude them htrough the process.

    CS

    Public Archive (NMR) : Learning & Resources : English Heritage
     
  4. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Thanks for that - what area do these photos cover, UK?
     
  5. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    Thanks for that - what area do these photos cover, UK?
    Just England, unfortunately. Wide time-span though, covers from the earliest about 1918 up to current coverage. One of the earliest I have seen was of an aerodrome in North Wilts taken in 1919, showing all the aircraft lined up outside the hangers. The collection is broadly divided into vertical and oblique photographs, the latter usually taken for a special purpose such as recording archaeological cropmarks etc or buildings of interest, the former taken as a record to supplement or help create mapping.

    CS
     
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    This is excellent news.Apart from aerial photographs taken of RAF airfields taken during their construction and commissioning,(these would appear to be the result of photographic reconnaissance training- some were taken after war and include montages taken of large tracts of Africa and the state of RAF wartime airfields) there should be very important wartime highly classified photographic intelligence covering the planning and execution of operations both at sea and on land.

    Intelligence photgraphs taken throughout the war as the prequisite for Bomber Command operations over Europe,the Battle of the Atlantic,the Normandy invasion, the monitoring of enermy naval forces from the Arctic down to the Atlantic Wall and the mounting of special operations such as the those at Bruneval, Dieppe and St Nazaire.

    For instance the successful operation at Bruneval depended on the correct aerial intelligence and this was provided by Squadron Leader Tony Hill taking photographs of the Wurzburg radar gear from a photographic Reconnaissance Spitfire at a speed of over 300mph.Apparently the original photographs were of the highest standard giving the precise detail of the installation.They are to be seen in many publications covering this raid.

    The list is not exhaustive and covers aerial shots of Auschwitz and the confirmation of the fact that the Wehrmacht had a rocket programme which identified the V 1 weapon and the test centre at Peedemunde.This intelligence led to the successful raid on Peedemunde in August 1943 and the Germans enforced move to Nordhausen.

    The Keele University archive was available for internet viewing but it was very difficult to access.I hope this new venture will give the era its rightful place in aviation history.
     
  7. Trincomalee

    Trincomalee Senior Member

    I understand that several of the POW camps after 1945 were located on wartime RAF camps . If there are all these photographs in Swindon , might they help those people who are researching the traces of the WW2 Camps ?
     
  8. Capt.Sensible

    Capt.Sensible Well-Known Member

    I understand that several of the POW camps after 1945 were located on wartime RAF camps . If there are all these photographs in Swindon , might they help those people who are researching the traces of the WW2 Camps ?
    Yes, if there are photos of that particular area from c 1947. The way the collection is structured and accessed means that it works on a single area or location, expressed as an NGR, a place-name or a defined 'box' . So you would need to know the location of the camp and, ideally, give them a grid reference and a radius, for example point X plus a radius of 1km. To reduce wasted effort, it's also useful to specify the scale of the photos you want to see - anything larger scale than c 1: 10,000 and you won't clearly be able to see individual buildings on the ground. If anyone wants to do a sample search, I will contact EH and sort one out. The paperwork and results can then be posted on the forum. Note that it may take a few weeks for EH to respond to this, as unless you pay a fee such requests have a low priority.
     
  9. Paul Reed

    Paul Reed Ubique

    Just England, unfortunately. Wide time-span though, covers from the earliest about 1918 up to current coverage. One of the earliest I have seen was of an aerodrome in North Wilts taken in 1919, showing all the aircraft lined up outside the hangers. The collection is broadly divided into vertical and oblique photographs, the latter usually taken for a special purpose such as recording archaeological cropmarks etc or buildings of interest, the former taken as a record to supplement or help create mapping.

    CS

    Thanks for that - always useful to know.
     
  10. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    This is news to be widely commended. I would hope that it will show details of the state the German fortifications in Northern France in 1944 and also some pictures of Luftwaffe airfields also.
     
  11. the_historian

    the_historian Pillboxologist

    I understand that several of the POW camps after 1945 were located on wartime RAF camps . If there are all these photographs in Swindon , might they help those people who are researching the traces of the WW2 Camps ?

    If you contact the (RCAHMS : Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland ) in Edinburgh, they have a massive collection of both RAF and Luftwaffe aerial photos of Scotland. Most of the wartime British installations and defences (including POW camps) have been identified from this source, as well as postwar ones.
     
  12. mfg495

    mfg495 Junior Member

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