RAF Radar Home

Radar Type Numbers

Chain Home Radar System

Chain Home Low

Chain Home Extra Low

Ground Controlled Intercept

Post War Planning

Rotor Radar System

Master Radar Station

Linesman Radar System


Tactical, ATC and airfield radars






"Cold War" and Radar links

Contact the Editor

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

The Chain Home radar system


1 Journal of the lEE, 93, Pt. IIIA, (Radiolocation) 1946.
2 TAYLOR, D., 'Introduction to Radar and Radar Techniques', Newnes, London, 1966.
3 WOOD, D. and DEMPSTER, N., 'The Narrow Margin', Arrow Books, 1961.
4 CLARK, R. W., 'Tizard', Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1965.

 APPENDIX I. List of 'East Coast Type' CH Stations

1. Ventnor Isle of Wight
2. Poling Sussex
3. Pevensey Sussex
4. Rye Sussex
5. Swingate Kent
6. Dunkirk Kent
7. Canewdon Essex
8. Gt. Bromley Essex
9. Bawdsey Suffolk

10. High St. Darsham Suffolk
11. Stoke Holy Cross Norfolk
12. West Beckham Norfolk
13. Stenigot Lincolnshire
14. Staxton Wold Yorkshire
15. Danby Beacon Yorkshire
16. Ottercops Moss Northumberland
17. Drone Hill Scotland
18. Douglas Wood Scotland
19. School Hill Scotland
20. Hillhead Scotland
21. Netherbutton Orkney

The Radar Chain during the Battle of Britain (map - Watching The Skies)

The Radar Chain during the Battle of Britain
(Please click on the map for a larger image)


APPENDIX 2. Extract from Siting Specification for CH - 'RDF' Stations (circa 1936)

A site well back from the coast, with a smooth slope between it and the sea, gave good height-finding and good range-finding - there was a rule by which one knew how far inland it was worth going to get height above sea level. But irregularities of ground were inevitable and these distorted the height-finding properties of the equipment and gave 'permanent echoes' similar to those produced from large aircraft. The chosen sites had also to be accessible to heavy engineering works; to have soil suitable for carrying 360 foot steel masts - they had to be convenient for electrical supplies, secure against sea bombardment, inconspicuous from the air and it was furthermore essential that they should not 'gravely interfere with grouse shooting....'.

The above article was reproduced from "The GEC Journal of Research", Vol. 3 No.2 1985 with the kind permission of the Editor. The copyright of the material remains with the owner.

The opening of the Russian Front had diverted much of Germany's bomber effort and, except for the "Baedeker raids" in 1942 and attempts at reprisals against R.A.F. and USAAF raids on German cities, the Luftwaffe never again attacked on the scale of the Battle of Britain or the Blitz. At the same time new technology, the expansion of the radar system overseas and the requirement for skilled personnel for airborne radar had put the radar manpower situation under strain. In order to ease this strain and release the skilled personnel it was decided in November 1943 that the Chain Home system would be placed into four categories;

1. Some stations would continue full operation,
2. Some stations would operate reduced watches and track handling,
3. Some stations would be placed on care and maintenance and,
4. Some stations would be dismantled.

And so began the run down of the worlds first air defence radar system. Chain Home continued in operational use into the mid 1950's when it finally relinquished its role to the new generation of air defence search radars.


Previous page

To top of this page

Return to first page of this article

Updated 14/12/2000

Web site constructed by Dick Barrett
Web site ęCopyright 2000 - 2005 Dick Barrett
The right of Dick Barrett to be identified as author of this web site has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.