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Thread: Air Publication Secret Document (SD) 158 - Part 1

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    Default Air Publication Secret Document (SD) 158 - Part 1

    Hi,

    I'm wondering if anyone has cited or has a text or copy of Air Publication Secret Document (SD) 158 - Routing, Recognition and Identification of Aircraft - Part 1. I'm aware copies exist in AIR 10 at TNA.

    I'm looking for SD 158 (Part I) - Para 44 (ii) - which provides a definition of the term "Attack in Progress".

    This definition formed part of a complex set of Rules of Engagement for British Anti-Aircraft defences to lower the risk of AA engagements against friendly aircraft. I'm presuming "Attack in Progress" was declared by Fighter Command Controllers when an enemy air raid was underway, but wish to confirm the definition as given in SD 158 (Part I).

    Cheers

    RodM

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    Hi Rod,

    SD 158 (Part I) [TNA 14/3943 dated June 1942 but with amendments up to June 1945] - Para 44 (ii) (underlining = italics in the original):


    H.A.A. gun crews are to regard an attack as being in progress whenever:-

    (a) They are informed through the Gun Operations Room (G.O.R.) that an aircraft plotted as hostile has entered the area covered by the guns or
    (b) the area covered by the guns is attacked from the air with bombs or other weapons or
    (c) parachute flares are dropped over the area covered by the guns without prior notification to the defences.

    HTH,

    Richard

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    I suspect the rules may have changed between 1939 and 1945, especially during 1940/41 and 1944. Restrictions on training flights off the east and south coasts were in force after the fall of France until about 1942 and a new version brought back during the anti-diver period. The lack of IFF in many aircraft in the first few years made matter worse.

    The following may also be of interest:

    From War Office Communique No.6 Dated 18 February 1942

    The War Office states that misapprehension seems to exist in some parts of the country concerning the firing of anti-aircraft guns when enemy raiding aircraft approach.

    It is not the case, as has been alleged, that orders have been given that anti-aircraft guns are not to be fired at hostile aircraft until permission is received from Divisional Headquarters.

    The fact is that all anti-aircraft guns have orders to open fire on an enemy aircraft as soon as it is recognised as such unless by doing so they would run the risk of hitting our own fighters which may be in the vicinity at the time.

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    Hi Richard and PNK,

    thanks for the replies and the precise language of the definition.


    Cheers

    Rod

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