In the last Propaganda Film of the third Reich “life goes on” is a strip of silver from the sky. He coasts down on the loving couple, the librarian Lenore Carius and the pilot’s main man Hoeßlin. In the Film, the strip is a somewhat cheesy love expressions of serves, the German air defense and made paralyzed this strip, in reality, the allies bombers all the way.

The Alu-snippets date back to the discovery of a woman. Joan Strothers grew up in Swansea on the coast of Wales. According to the studies, in 1938, she went to the prestigious Cavendish Laboratory at the University to begin a doctorate in physics. Then the war came. Joan moved to know in the defence research and learned later to be her husband Samuel Curran. Together, they developed the proximity Fuze for anti-aircraft weapons. Which came later, among other things, against the rockets, which were fired at by the Germans on London.

Then the Couple moved to a different Team: It is a method should be developed, in order to hide aircraft from enemy Radar. It wasn’t our aim to reduce the radar shadow of individual aircraft, as it Strealth-Jets today. If you wanted to run the Radar of the Germans in the nuts. The allies attacked the German Empire with huge bomber fleets of up to 1,000 machines during the day and at night. The sooner the Germans discovered the Bomberpulks and their course and possible target could identify, the more interceptors you could send out against them.

air war: The “Flying fortress” B-17 was the most dangerous bombers in the Second world war Fullscreen

B-17-flight in Formation.

©US Gov manufacturer Simple idea

Quickly they came up with an amazingly simple idea: Even a thin strip of metal reflected the radar signal in the right Form and in the correct bundling, you should simulate the shadow of a heavy bomber. So simple and brilliant the idea was, so it was not easy to find the right recipe for the Reflectors.

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Joan Curran worked for a year to find the right reflector. In 1942, they put on the Reflectors, which were about 25 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. It was strips of paper that were thin-coated with aluminum. They were Packed in packets of half a Kilo. They were dropped at regular intervals from a plane, generated by the fluttering strip of a “smoke-veil” for the enemy Radar. The Germans came in parallel on the same idea. However, since the time of the great bomb attacks for the Germans was already over, the Innovation, without major consequences for the German side.

In the night-time, especially effective in

For the British, the discovery was more interesting. The U.S. air force had far better and fight stronger Bomber as the Royal Air Force as the “Flying fortress” B-17. Therefore, the Americans took the risky bets during the day. The US planes were seen in the bright sky by their contrails in the distance. Here is the deception of the radar would not be able to confuse the opponent for a long time. However, the vulnerable bombers, the British were only used in the night. In the darkness, the Bomber without the searchlight could not be discovered by the eye. The German night fighters were directed fleets of radar equipment on the ground to the Bomber.

The first use of the deception technology of 1943 witnessed, as the allies of Hamburg devastated with the Operation “Gomorrah” in a hitherto unprecedented storm of fire. The British Bomber dropped about 40 tons of stripes. So they blinded the radar devices, which controlled the German anti-aircraft and anti-aircraft spotlight. In the case of the bombing of the British people, a set of 791 bombers. In use, you lost only 12 machines. The were only three per cent of the aircraft, otherwise there were often more than ten percent.


A German “Würzburg”Radar on the Atlantic wall.

©Bundesarchiv manufacturer of The “green thumb,” science

Not only in the case of the bomb attacks, including the landing in Normandy, the strip played an important role. In order to deceive the Germans, hundreds of parachutists doll is dropped. Once on the ground, provided the fireworks for the few Germans in the area, kept the dolls for a fighting force. The air fleet, which belonged to such a landing was simulated by Currans strip.

in Accordance with this invention, by Joan Curran worked in defence research, also at the Manhattan project, the construction of the atomic bomb, was you. Your boss, the legendary secret service officer Reginald Victor Jones, recalled in his obituary for Joan Curran, that their share of the work was quite bigger than her far more famous husband. Because that’s what it’s called in the garden a “green thumb”, as possessed of Joan Curran in the research work.


“The Independent” – Obituary: Joan Curran

Richard Maddox – The Window Woman.

“Smitsonian Magazine” – The Woman Whose Invention Helped Win a War and Still Baffles Weathermen

image band Fighter!: The most dangerous fighter aircraft of the Second world war are alive flies Fullscreen

battle of Britain: A group of Messerschmidt Bf 109E over the channel. It is the first major defeat of the German air force followed.

©Jim Laurier/Gera moon publishing