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Thread: Exercise "Post Mortem"

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    Default Exercise "Post Mortem"

    I have stumbled across this tantalizing "Nugget":

    Exercise "Post Mortem": German raid reporting and control organisation

    Evidently Bomber Command engaged in this exercise in June of 1945, whereby a bomber force was deployed against the German air defense system.

    From: https://www.nonstopsystems.com/radio...hrd-raf-07.pdf

    "These ‘Post Mortem’ exercises involved the entire German AD network in Denmark, some 10 GCI sites and 40 individual radars linked to a Divisional Command Post.
    These facilities were manned by experienced Luftwaffe operators with RAF observers able to note at first hand the results of their EW. The German ‘defenders’ faced a fully
    representative raid of RAF bombers. Although peacetime safety required trials be flown during daylight without the involvement of night-fighters, Post Mortem provided a graphic illustration of the significance of EW upon the outcome of the night bomber offensive.

    "Luftwaffe operators proved able to overcome Mandrel but failed to maintain situational awareness on the bomber streams advance. On the most elaborate
    Post Mortem trial, RAF bombers were totally lost by the German AD system and were able to simulate an attack and re-cross the Danish coast undetected.
    Whilst the real raid progressed, false contacts derived from Window had been plotted. In other cases, Window was assessed to have been dropped when
    none was present. Luftwaffe estimates of the size of the bomber formations were also inaccurate. On one occasion Window was misidentified as a force
    of 150 bombers. Significantly, on no occasion during Post Mortem did the Germans succeed in identifying decoy from genuine raids. Perhaps more
    tellingly, one Luftwaffe radar operator involved in Post Mortem confided that he needed to be a ‘clairvoyant’ to discharge his duties in the face of RAF EW."

    Operation Post Mortem is available at the NA but is not digitized. Has anyone seen this document?

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C1222797

    Jim

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    Hi Jim
    I've got some photos from a NA file on Post Mortem. Give me a few days and I'll dig them out. Not sure if it's the file you refer to but I can see.
    PM was a series of exercises using varying numbers and types of a/c, using different tactics and equipment, to see how well the German defence systems had been able to interpret and deal with incoming 'raids', real or spoof.
    There were also details in Martin Streetly's book on 100 Group, "Confound & Destroy"
    Ian
    Last edited by ianh; 16th November 2019 at 23:02.

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    Hello,

    There is also this:

    AIR 40/1386 - https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C4105073

    The late Alfred Price devoted a few pages (pp.240-2 & 246), to a description of Operation "Post Mortem" in his, Instruments Of Darkness (Macdonald & Jane's,1977). Check later editions for any updates.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 17th November 2019 at 00:09.

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    Thanks very much Gentlemen. I look forward to learning what you have, Ian. And thanks Col for your reference. So much information isn't digitized. There are a couple of PhD dissertations on this subject, however a recent one references the Exercise but does not source the document.

    Jim

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    No probs. Always happy to help and share stuff. Just give me a few days.
    It's a while since I took the photos so I can't recall exactly what pages I photographed, but I don't think I photo'd the whole file. I probably took pics of the outline of the individual exercises, and possibly the summary results. But we'll see.
    More anon.
    Ian

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    Hi Jim
    Ok, I had a quick look over the weekend. My pics are from a different file from the ones mentioned (although could just be a different copy of the same document) and I've got pics of about 20 pages from the file's appendices, basically giving descriptions of the different exercises involved - a/c involved, routes, heights, jamming measures, etc. On some exercises they used a force of 200 Main Force a/c, on others only Mossies and/or 100 Gp a/c. There is a map (not a great photo, unfortunately) showing the 3 different routes used. But I don't think I've got any pics from the main file detailing the actual results or findings of the exercises. I can see if I have anything on that elsewhere.
    Regards
    Ian

    EDIT: 'My' file was AIR 14/2778 which seems to have been the copy of the Operation instructions issued to RAF Foulsham (references to Foulsham's 192 and 462 Sqn's are highlighted). And yes, I only photo'd the file's Appendices with the prior instructions about the exercises, not any 'results' subsequently obtained which may (I can't recall and/or didn't read it all) have been in the main body of the file. There's 21 photos in all.


    ps Carsten - many thanks for your PM. I have replied separately by PM.
    Last edited by ianh; 19th November 2019 at 13:29.

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    Many thanks Ian. It sounds like AIR 20/4464 might be worth obtaining. It probably exists somewhere.

    Jim

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    Ok. Is there anything specific you're looking for or hoping to find? Or just generally, out of interest?

    Ian

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    Ian: I am interested in what they did and what they learned from the exercises, so basically the file itself. I have read the O’Dell paper as well as the book “Crucible at War” on the RCAF on WWII by Greenhous et al and found conflicting interpretations on the evidence from “Post Mortem” so wish to read the document itself, rather than the interpretations of others. As this is the “Primary source” document, I think it would be worthwhile to review.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 21st November 2019 at 15:12.

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    Hi Jim

    Take a look at:

    Bomber Command

    AIR 14/3331

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ails/r/C590431

    This record has not been digitised and cannot be downloaded.


    Fighter Command

    AIR 16/1053

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ails/r/C507450

    This record has not been digitised and cannot be downloaded.

    AIR 16/1054

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ails/r/C507451

    This record has not been digitised and cannot be downloaded.

    Regards

    Finn Buch

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