Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Otto II. [Conclusion.]

This is coolbert:

During the allied effort to thwart the escape attempt of the German U-boat ace Otto Kretschmer, a secret weapon was employed.

A weapon I had never heard of before.

Diffused lighting. An early attempt at stealth technology.

"A Canadian invention, diffused lighting is a method that the naval forces of Canada, Great Britain and the United States studied between 1940 and 1945. This system of concealment at night made it difficult to identify a ship at short range and rendered it almost invisible to the eyes of a distant enemy observer."

A concept that seems to be counter-intuitive.

A naval vessel in a combat zone is able to conceal itself during HOURS OF DARKNESS BY LIGHTING ITSELF UP!!

"equipment [light projectors mounted on the side of a ship] . . . allowed a ship's visibility to be reduced by 50 per cent in most conditions, and by as much as 75 per cent in very favourable conditions."

What is this?

Seems to be based upon sound principles? Discovered by accident. Almost sounds too good to be true!

"The principle of diffused lighting was accidentally discovered in 1940 by Professor Edmund Godfrey Burr, of McGill University, while he was conducting work for the National Research Council of Canada in a field having no direct relationship with the concealment of ships in high seas."

Was to put to good use by convoys transiting the Atlantic enroute from America to England?

The versatility of this technique would be about zero today? Modern technology has far surpassed the Mark I eyeball as a means of detecting “prey” on the open ocean!

Please recall too that the Canal Defence Light [CDL/Hobart’s Funnies] had some sort of mechanism NOT ONLY to blind defenders but cause visual confusion by the use of a “flickering effect”. Also an attempt at stealth technology using lighting.

"the operation of a shutter would create a flickering effect."



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