Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: M.R.C.P. Mobile Radar Command Post

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,495
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 17 Times in 16 Posts

    Default M.R.C.P. Mobile Radar Command Post

    Hello

    I'm asking the question on behalf of my friend Bertrand Hugot.

    In 1945, the crew of No. 342 Squadron, aka Groupe Lorraine of the Free French Air Force, undertook bombing raids in coordination with M.R.C.P.s, which were Mobile Radar Command Posts.

    A Google search didn't bring any result about the organisation of these units, only that one O.R.B. can be found at Kew, so actually out of reach !

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C4100798

    I'd like to know if any forum member has ever crossed these units during his research, and might shed some light on their work ? I wonder how these M.R.C.P.s worked with the bomber crews. Were there radar operators in trailers, checking / emitting radar frequencies with matching apparatus in the Mitchell bombers ? More or less like Oboe but closer to the front line and with mobile units ?

    Thanks in advance

    Joss

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Peebles
    Posts
    143
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Re: M.R.C.P. Mobile Radar Command Post

    Joss,

    Squadrons of No. 84 Group trained in close support operations with No. 1 M.R.C.P. (Mobile Radar Control Post, not Command) during January 1945 at Bergen-op-Zoom, mainly in trial runs of level blind bombing with Typhoons and Spitfires. Ob 6 February 1945 the M.R.C.P. moved to Hatert, south of Nijmegen, to take part in Operation Veritable (the Canadian First Army and British 30 Corps drive through the Reichswald Forest). The weather was not favourable for the Visual Control Post method of close support from the air to these army operations which began on 8 February. The M.R.C.P. was therefore used in conjunction with No. 15062 F.D.P. (Fighter Direction Post). The latter controlled the aircraft on a cab-rank principle before handing over to the M.R.C.P. The aircraft were then close controlled by the M.R.C.P. for blind level bombing of enemy troop concentrations, and good results were obtained in the two days of softening up operations on 8 and 9 February. The M.R.C.P. continued to be used until 13 February on targets at ranges between 14 and 32 miles, all attacks being made about 7/10 to 10/10 cloud.

    From this account from the official history, I don't think the M.R.C.P.s operated like Oboe, but were more like G.C.I.s, but rather than controlling fighters and directng them to intercept a hostile bomber, were instead directing bombers onto a target which they were able to bomb without sighting the target visually.

    I hope this is helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,495
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 17 Times in 16 Posts

    Default Re: M.R.C.P. Mobile Radar Command Post

    Hello Ian

    Thanks for your answer. It was useful.

    Yes, Control, not Command, a typing error of mine.

    I picked up a book I haven't opened for a long time, " 2 Group RAF" by Michael J.F. Bowyer, and the index shows 3 references to MRCP in the book. I should have thought of it before, but at least it gave the opportunity to start this thread which might be useful to others as well.

    page 410: "A very significant operation had been that of 26 February [1945] when boxes, each of six aircraft drawn from five squadrons, were directed Under the guidance of the first Mobile Radar Control Post on to gun batteries near Udem. Receiving Equipment in the lead aircraft picked up signals on the bomb run and the release order came from the control post.
    Against short-range targets the M.R.C.P. system had great possibilities and was used for the second time on 2 March when Mitchells of 137 Wing delivered a very acurate attack on the rail yards at Kevelaer."
    In pages 414 and 415 are mentions of raids under M.R.C.P. guidance, then "two-thirds of the daylight bombing in March had been undertaken relying on Gee-H or M.R.C.P. control. The results of radar bombing were studied, but the use of fragmentation bombs made the results difficult to decipher. It was concluded that about 65 % of the bombs dropped by Gee-H control within 500 yards of the target, but the average error Under M.R.C.P. was only forty yards. Little Wonder, then, that increasing use was made of the latter."

    So there was a receiving Equipment in the Mitchell leading the box, but no technical detail given so far.


    Joss

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Peebles
    Posts
    143
    Thanks
    35
    Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Re: M.R.C.P. Mobile Radar Command Post

    Joss,

    Thanks for that. This is interesting and definitely not what the official history had led me to believe.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •