PortCities London
You are here:  PortCities London home > Historical events > Ceremony and catastrophe
Text Only About this Site Feedback
Explore this site
About maritime London
Early port
Tudor and Stuart port
18th-century port
19th-century port
20th-century port
People and places
Port communities
Crime and punishment
Leisure, health and housing
Thames art, literature and architecture
The working Thames
London's docks and shipping
Trades, industries and institutions
Port of science and discovery
Historical events
Ceremony and catastrophe
London in war and conflict
Fun and games
Things to do
Timeline games
Matching games
Send an e-card
   Back to The 20th-century port video gallery

Anti-aircraft battery in Southwark Park.

Anti-aircraft battery in Southwark Park.
Anti-aircraft battery in Southwark Park.
© National Maritime Museum, London
Repro ID: H3221
Description: At the start of the Blitz there was little the British could do to oppose the German bombers at night. At that time few of the defending anti-aircraft batteries were equipped with fire-control radar and the searchlights used were rarely effective at altitudes greater than 3,600 m (12,000 ft). Only a few night-fighters were fitted with AI (airborne interception) radar; and ground controlled interception radar (GCI), which tracked incoming aircraft overland, was still being developed. It was, therefore, unusual for a raider to be seen by the defenders and rare for one to be shot down. On 7 September 1940, only 92 guns were available to defend London. The fire control system for these failed miserably (as did the night-fighter squadrons) and for three nights the city was pounded with hardly a gun being fired in retaliation.
Creator: Mrs Fox
Date: c.1940
Credit line: Southwark Library collection.
Related Resources
Related Images26 Images
National Maritime Museum/Royal Observatory GreenwichNew Opportunities Fund 
Legal & CopyrightPartner sites:BristolHartlepoolLiverpoolSouthamptonAbout this SiteFeedbackText Only