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Thread: Shaker Operations

  1. #1
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    Default Shaker Operations

    Hi,

    Can anyone please explain what a shaker operation is, circa 1942 ?

    TIA

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Default Re: Shaker Operations

    Hi Steve, for start:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1942_in_aviation
    February 1942
    Royal Air Force Bomber Command begins using "Shaker" – long-burning flares – to illuminate targets for its aircraft.

    HTH

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default Re: Shaker Operations

    Or here in more detail:

    ORS developed attack scenarios and recommended trials. Experimental attacks proved the effectiveness of the proposed “Shaker” attack technique. Shaker would use “Gee-equipped flare-dropping ‘Illuminators,’ incendiary-dropping ‘Target markers,’ and finally, the ‘Followers’ bombing with high explosives,” on the conflagration that marked the target (62).

    http://www.miwsr.com/2009/downloads/20091103.pdf

    Pavel
    Last edited by CZ_RAF; 27th November 2020 at 13:20.
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Steve Smith (27th November 2020)

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    Default Re: Shaker Operations

    Hi Steve, hope all well. 'Shaker' was the codename for a bombing technique based on use of Gee by illuminators. It was tried on exercises against the Isle of Man (13/02/42), selected because Gee accuracy about the same as over the Ruhr, and against Brynkir railway station in North Wales on 19/20 Feb 42. The second attempt was successful - 3 Group's plan was to light the target area for 15 minutes through successive waves of Gee a/c, each carrying 12 bundles of 3 flares to be dropped at 10-second intervals. An incendiary force was to use these flares between Z - Z+15 for visual aiming. The resultant fires were to form the AP for main force. The technique was used operationally against Essen on 8/8 Mar 43, 74 Gee a/c forming the van of a force of 211 overall. However, most of the incendiary force bombed after the flares had gone out, so the spread of incendiaries was huge and the raid unsuccessful (Essen didn't notice it was being attacked). Over the next 3 months, 11 further major raids were based on the 'shaker' technique 'with minor variations'. One variation was Sampson, used on 10/11 Mar 42 when the Gee force dropped 250lb incendiaries to act 'as a beacon for the main force.' Again, the target was Essen and little damage ensued, so the overall technique was deemed insufficient for resolving the difficulty of hitting the Krupp's works. It achieved some success - notably on Cologne - but as an aid to visual marking it wasn't sufficiently effective. It was little used once Gee jamming became effective in Aug 42, and was overtaken by developments such as Oboe/TIs. Source - Harris's Despatch pp76-77.

    Hope this helps,

    Richard

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    Default Re: Shaker Operations

    X-posted with Pavel but hopefully we've nailed it between us!

    R

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    Default Re: Shaker Operations

    Richard your post is more detailed and with another useful information.
    My posts were only general with intention to give the direction:)

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default Re: Shaker Operations

    Steve: Richard provides some operational use of the technique and as Pavel references, Randall Wakelam in “The Science of Bombing” reviews the chronology of development of the methods (pages 59-63). The experimental attacks on the Isle of Man and Brynkir Wales were codenamed Crackers I and II. The relevant primary historical documents (according to Wakelam) are:

    PRO AIR 14/695 Loose Documents ORS S 30 ‘The Operational Use of Gee III The use of Flares in Conjunction with GEE,’ 24 January 1942.
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ails/r/C587807
    PRO AIR 14/695 Letter to HQ BC to AOC 3 Gp, ‘Experimental Use of Flares by Tr. 1335 Aircraft in Order to Assist Aircraft without Tr. 1335 to Locate the Target.’ 29 January 1942.
    PRO AIR 14/695 AOC 3 Gp Letter to HQ BC, ‘Exercise Crackers.’ 15 February 1942.

    See Also,
    Dickens, B.G. Operational Research in Bomber Command, manuscript, n.d. Bomber Command Operational Research Section Reports.
    If you wish, I could scan the relevant information and pass it on. However, I do not have the "PRO AIR" documents.+

    Further to this, a search of TR1335 reveals additional AIR documents, probably duplicates
    http://discovery.nationalarchives.go...ts/r?_q=TR1335

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 27th November 2020 at 17:52. Reason: Provide Link to PRO AIR

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