Air Defence of Britain 1918

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Map Code: Ax00118

By 1918 Britain’s aerial defence capabilities had developed dramatically from just four years earlier. German air raids by Zeppelins, and primarily fixed-wing bombers later on, highlighted the need for a coordinated defence system. Collectively known as the London Air Defence Area, this system comprised outlook posts, ground-based anti-aircraft guns and a much-increased aerial defence presence across the southeast, primarily to protect London. Major General Edward Ashmore took charge of the operation in 1917, identifying efficiency and speed of information coming from outlook posts back to central command as a main priority. Anti-aircraft guns were focussed in areas away from British fighter squadrons to minimize friendly fire, which also allowed for more frequent patrols by Sopwith Camel fighters and the larger Bristol F2. B, whilst searchlight technology was improved to cope with increased night time bombing raids. The London Air Defence Area was only fully implemented after the war had ended.

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