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Thread: I.A.Z. Inner Artillery Zones...

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    Default I.A.Z. Inner Artillery Zones...

    I had come across this term in the Middleton St. George briefing documents and have only just determined the exact meaning as "Inner Artillery Zone" although I knew it was something to do with flak belts. It turns out that there was continual debate between Airforce commanders and Battery Commanders.

    I found this reference that reviews some of the problems with IAZ's
    https://etd.ohiolink.edu/rws_etd/sen...osition=inline

    Quite an interesting discussion. Bryon E. Greenwald is now with Joint Forces Staff College.

    Jim

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    Default Re: I.A.Z. Inner Artillery Zones...

    Ahh, the problems between the Air Forces and friendly Anti-Aircraft Artillery. I've delved into different aspects of this fractious relationship during 1945. Among the major issues: 1. Allied use of top secret and deadly proximity fuzes, which Allied aircrews were not briefed about for fear the information would get to the Germans if they were shot down and captured, 2. failures with Allied IFF systems and rules of engagement, which resulted in plenty of Allied aircraft being shot down by friendly AAA, 3. an American command snafu on the continent that lead to the Germans getting advanced warning of approaching Allied bomber formations over France in the last few months of the war (the US IX ADC wirelessly broadcast coded warnings (giving position, strength, height) to their subordinated AAA units of Allied bomber formations intending to fly over France; the Germans broke the US code in North Africa in 1943...).

    The problems weren't limited to the continent. British coastal AAA defences in the UK (mainly defending against V1s) shot down a considerable number of Allied aircraft in the last months of the war as well.

    Rod
    Last edited by RodM; 3rd June 2021 at 09:55.

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    Default Re: I.A.Z. Inner Artillery Zones...

    Thanks for that Rod. Dad had this comment as he talked about the raid to Pforzheim: ”We’d been briefed 4 times before for the same target. And you know, we didn’t know that Jerry had little or no effective spies in England. We were always frightened—we were sure that it was going to get out that somebody was reporting it …And we thought that if we went there, all hell would break loose. And of course, what happened confirmed that obviously they knew we were coming. We found out later after the war was over that of course they didn’t know. This was the attack on Pforzheim.”

    I would be very interested in seeing references that review your point 3. above.

    Incidentally, I continue to work on the op to Chemnitz. On the return route the Nav logs record they flew at much higher heights over France and England than called for in the flight plan. Icing was extreme and Dad clearly was having no part of the briefed heights. The ORBs for dad indicate “coming out over the French coast, briefed heights too low for icing conditions.” I’m still going through these logs but I do wonder what how they handled the IAZ over Dunkirk.

    https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/o...2/1121?r=0&s=3

    Jim

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    Default Re: I.A.Z. Inner Artillery Zones...

    Hi Jim,

    late in the war, Bomber Command wanted to route nighttime heavy bomber formations as low as possible over Allied-controlled territory to deprive the Germans of long-range early warning on the outward route and route tracking on the homeward route. However, they were limited by the rules of engagement around the multitude of IAZs on the continent and English coast. From memory, IFF and other radio and radar transmissions were prohibited on the outward routes over Allied-controlled territory and the bomber streams couldn't fly below 10,000 feet over the IAZs. Signals silence was enforced on the outward route until 50 miles from the German frontier. Of course, IFF was a rather handy device to have (when it worked as advertised) when crossing over IAZs that fired radar-predicted AA using proximity fuzes...

    Regarding point 3, Bomber Command intelligence could not fathom how the Germans achieved early warning against raids heading towards southern Germany in Feb-Mar 1945, considering all the tactics they employed mask the approach flights from German radar and signals intelligence units. One BC report laments the Germans obtained early warning "...by some means unknown". After the war, German signals intelligence personnel let the cat out of the bag during intensive interrogations by their Allied captors. The files and reports revealing the details (including some held by the NSA) have only been declassified in the last decade or so. In the face of strong radar jamming late in the war, the Germans had to reply increasingly on any radio signals and radar transmissions intercepted by the German Y-Service. The key was how quickly they could use intercepted transmissions for tactical purposes. The Allied Y-Service also used to listen out for German flak warnings broadcast when Luftwaffe formations were in the air and, of course, could listen in on German ground-to-air communications.

    From what I have seen, the incidences of Allied AA shooting down friendly aircraft increased dramatically after (a) Luftwaffe air attacks on the continent during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and Operation Bodenplatte on 1 January 1945, and (b) Luftwaffe intruder attacks over the United Kingdom in March 1945.

    Cheers

    Rod
    Last edited by RodM; 3rd June 2021 at 16:38.

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