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Luftnachrichten Radar Stations in Germany

The Luftwaffe intelligence service, the Luftnachrichtendienst, had a complex system for detecting and intercepting enemy bombers. The system employed an extensive a radar/electronics network set up in Germany and occupied areas. This article focuses on radar station examples in Germany, showing typical layouts and the evolution of facilities.

The main components of the system were Flugmeldmess Stellung (radar stations) to locate enemy aircraft and Jägerleit Stellung for night-time of control responding fighters. Radar stations used a variety of systems including: intermediate search (Freya-type); long-range search (Mammut, Wasserman); and acquisition radars (Würzburg-Riese). A powerful panoramic search radar, the Jagdschloss, was introduced in1944.

Jägerleit stations used tower-mounted Heinrich Peiler and Hans E-Mess Gerät antennas to established the position (control) of friendly fighters through radio range measurement. Later, radars (Freya EGON) and towers were added at selected Jägerleit and radar stations, respectively.

Radar Stations

The radar stations had a number of configurations, but always had a barracks/operations area with a central control building the ‘T-Hütte’, or ‘Stellungs Zentrale’ and a number of widely dispersed electronics positions. The number of positions varied with the function and subordination of the station. Defenses and hardening depended on location, but the ‘T-Hütte’ was often protected with a blast wall.

Good, but hazy coverage of Stellung RICKE at Mötzelbach, 240 km southwest of Berlin shows a typical radar station layout (Graphic 1). The ‘T-Hütte’ in the operations is clearly visible. Identification of the radars at the four positions was difficult, but they appeared to include two possible Würzburg and two possible Freya- types, plus some unidentified equipment (Graphics 2 - 4). Stellung RICKE was originally part of Luftnachrichten Regiment (LN Reg) 202, but was resubordinated to LN Reg 231 during a reorganization in September 1944.

Good, but hazy coverage of Stellung RICKE at Mötzelbach, 240 km southwest of Berlin shows a typical radar station layout (Graphic 1). The ‘T-Hütte’ in the operations is clearly visible. Identification of the radars at the four positions was difficult, but they appeared to include two possible Würzburg and two possible Freya- types, plus some unidentified equipment (Graphics 2 - 4).  Stellung RICKE was originally part of Luftnachrichten Regiment (LN Reg) 202, but was resubordinated to LN Reg 231 during a reorganization in September 1944.
Good, but hazy coverage of Stellung RICKE at Mötzelbach, 240 km southwest of Berlin shows a typical radar station layout (Graphic 1). The ‘T-Hütte’ in the operations is clearly visible. Identification of the radars at the four positions was difficult, but they appeared to include two possible Würzburg and two possible Freya- types, plus some unidentified equipment (Graphics 2 - 4).  Stellung RICKE was originally part of Luftnachrichten Regiment (LN Reg) 202, but was resubordinated to LN Reg 231 during a reorganization in September 1944.
Good, but hazy coverage of Stellung RICKE at Mötzelbach, 240 km southwest of Berlin shows a typical radar station layout (Graphic 1). The ‘T-Hütte’ in the operations is clearly visible. Identification of the radars at the four positions was difficult, but they appeared to include two possible Würzburg and two possible Freya- types, plus some unidentified equipment (Graphics 2 - 4).  Stellung RICKE was originally part of Luftnachrichten Regiment (LN Reg) 202, but was resubordinated to LN Reg 231 during a reorganization in September 1944.
Good, but hazy coverage of Stellung RICKE at Mötzelbach, 240 km southwest of Berlin shows a typical radar station layout (Graphic 1). The ‘T-Hütte’ in the operations is clearly visible. Identification of the radars at the four positions was difficult, but they appeared to include two possible Würzburg and two possible Freya- types, plus some unidentified equipment (Graphics 2 - 4).  Stellung RICKE was originally part of Luftnachrichten Regiment (LN Reg) 202, but was resubordinated to LN Reg 231 during a reorganization in September 1944.

Stellung FLIEGE occupied a key position 135 km west of Berlin (Graphics 5 & 6). Good, but possibly only partial coverage from April 1945, showed the station had at least two radar positions, two Peiler towers, two Hans-E-Mess towers and circular radar pedestal (still present today) was under construction. An unusual tower next to the ‘T-Hütte’ may have held another position.

Stellung FLIEGE occupied a key position 135 km west of Berlin (Graphics 5 & 6). Good, but possibly only partial coverage from April 1945, showed the station had at least two radar positions, two Peiler towers, two Hans-E-Mess towers and circular radar pedestal (still present today) was under construction. An unusual tower next to the ‘T-Hütte’ may have held another position.
Stellung FLIEGE occupied a key position 135 km west of Berlin (Graphics 5 & 6). Good, but possibly only partial coverage from April 1945, showed the station had at least two radar positions, two Peiler towers, two Hans-E-Mess towers and circular radar pedestal (still present today) was under construction. An unusual tower next to the ‘T-Hütte’ may have held another position.

According to a 1945 map of the radar network, FLIEGE was set to receive a Jagdschloss, but the 7-meter circular building at the new position more closely resembles one used for an even more powerful radar, the Jagdhaus. Only two Jagdhaus were ever produced, one of which was operational at Horstfelde (Stellung HÖCKERSCHWAN), south of Berlin.

Stellung DACHS-MITTE, south of Darmstadt, was one of only a few inland radar sites with a long-range Wasserman radar and was also reported to have a Jagdschloss. Coverage from March 1945 shows he station with at least six radar positions. Some of the radars appeared to have been removed (Graphics 7 & 8). A Wasserman radar was still deployed. No Jagdschloss or associated building was identified, but construction of a new position was in progress at the west side of the facility.

Stellung DACHS-MITTE, south of Darmstadt, was one of only a few inland radar sites with a long-range Wasserman radar and was also reported to have a Jagdschloss. Coverage from March 1945 shows he station with at least six radar positions. Some of the radars appeared to have been removed (Graphics 7 & 8).  A Wasserman radar was still deployed.  No Jagdschloss or associated building was identified, but construction of a new position was in progress at the west side of the facility.

The operations area was camouflaged and defended by several anti-aircraft positions (Graphics 7 & 8). DACHS-MITTE was originally part of a three-site complex --along with DACHS-NORD and DACHS-SUD-- supporting a command post, Jafü Mittel Rhein, at Darmstadt Airfield (see Luftnachrichten Bunkers). By 1945 the station was resubordinated to LN Regt.233.

Stellung DACHS-MITTE, south of Darmstadt, was one of only a few inland radar sites with a long-range Wasserman radar and was also reported to have a Jagdschloss. Coverage from March 1945 shows he station with at least six radar positions. Some of the radars appeared to have been removed (Graphics 7 & 8).  A Wasserman radar was still deployed.  No Jagdschloss or associated building was identified, but construction of a new position was in progress at the west side of the facility.

In a related development, at least two radars were deployed at Jafü Mittel Rhein sometime between 26 August and 19 September 1944 (Graphic 9). According to available information, this element was known as Luftnachrichten-Betriebs-Abteilung Jafü Mittel Rhein also belonging to LN Regt. 233.

In a related development, at least two radars were deployed at Jafü Mittel Rhein sometime between 26 August and 19 September 1944 (Graphic 9). According to available information, this element was known as Luftnachrichten-Betriebs-Abteilung Jafü Mittel Rhein also belonging to LN Regt. 233.

Stellung GROSSHAU at the town of Grosshau was another anomaly worth mentioning (Graphic 10). This was thought to be a rail-mounted radar (Flugmelde-Messzug) belonging to LN Reg. 233, but analysis of imagery from16 July 1944 revealed a Wasserman radar at the site and it appeared to be the only radar present.

Stellung GROSSHAU at the town of Grosshau was another anomaly worth mentioning (Graphic 10). This was thought to be a rail-mounted radar (Flugmelde-Messzug) belonging to LN Reg. 233, but analysis of imagery from16 July 1944 revealed a Wasserman radar at the site and it appeared to be the only radar present.

Jagdschloss radars were reportedly deployed at Stellung STEINBOCK, at Winzlar, near Hannover and Stellung RHEINSALM at Saerbeck, west of Onasbrück (Graphics 11 & 12). Radar positions could be seen at both sites, but a Jagdschloss could not be identified. STEINBOCK had at least one Peiler tower; the site was resubordinated from LN 202 to LN 232 in September 1944.

Jagdschloss radars were reportedly deployed at Stellung STEINBOCK, at Winzlar, near Hannover and Stellung RHEINSALM at Saerbeck, west of Onasbrück (Graphics 11 & 12).  Radar positions could be seen at both sites, but a Jagdschloss could not be identified.  STEINBOCK had at least one Peiler tower; the site   was resubordinated from LN 202 to LN 232 in September 1944.
Jagdschloss radars were reportedly deployed at Stellung STEINBOCK, at Winzlar, near Hannover and Stellung RHEINSALM at Saerbeck, west of Onasbrück (Graphics 11 & 12).  Radar positions could be seen at both sites, but a Jagdschloss could not be identified.  STEINBOCK had at least one Peiler tower; the site   was resubordinated from LN 202 to LN 232 in September 1944.

Jägerleit Stations

An excellent example of a Jägerleit Station can be seen on coverage of Stellung RÜBE from June 1943 (Graphic 13 - 15). The station, on the Baltic near Sassnitz was equipped with five Peiler towers. No other antennas were observed. The site appeared to be well-established, but new construction suggested upgrades. Three Freya EGON were eventually deployed at the site.

An excellent example of a Jägerleit Station can be seen on coverage of Stellung RÜBE from June 1943 (Graphic 13 - 15).  The station, on the Baltic near Sassnitz was equipped with five Peiler towers. No other antennas were observed. The site appeared to be well-established, but new construction suggested upgrades. Three Freya EGON were eventually deployed at the site.
An excellent example of a Jägerleit Station can be seen on coverage of Stellung RÜBE from June 1943 (Graphic 13 - 15).  The station, on the Baltic near Sassnitz was equipped with five Peiler towers. No other antennas were observed. The site appeared to be well-established, but new construction suggested upgrades. Three Freya EGON were eventually deployed at the site.
An excellent example of a Jägerleit Station can be seen on coverage of Stellung RÜBE from June 1943 (Graphic 13 - 15).  The station, on the Baltic near Sassnitz was equipped with five Peiler towers. No other antennas were observed. The site appeared to be well-established, but new construction suggested upgrades. Three Freya EGON were eventually deployed at the site.

In March 1944 construction also appeared to be in progress at Jägerleit Stellung MINERVA at Stefansberg, west of Munich. (Graphic 16). Four Peiler towers (of five known) could clearly be seen and an unidentified antenna was 1 km west of the operations area. Two areas with construction south of the operations area could have been for new antenna positions. And the station eventually came to have two Freya EGON. MINERVA was initially operated by LN Regt. 205; later in September 1944 it was resubordinated to LN Regt 217.

In March 1944 construction also appeared to be in progress at Jägerleit Stellung MINERVA at Stefansberg, west of Munich. (Graphic 16).  Four Peiler towers (of five known) could clearly be seen and an unidentified antenna was 1 km west of the operations area. Two areas with construction south of the operations area could have been for new antenna positions. And the station eventually came to have two Freya EGON. MINERVA was initially operated by LN Regt. 205; later in September 1944 it was resubordinated to LN Regt 217.

Coastal Stations

According to available information Stellung KUCKUCK was near the city Cuxhaven at Berensch, (Graphic 17). Partial coverage of KUCKUCK in March 1945 shows it had an extensive layout with defenses, but antennas could not be identified. The station was resubordinated from LN Regt. 202 to LN Regt. 232 in September 1944.

According to available information Stellung KUCKUCK was near the city Cuxhaven at Berensch, (Graphic 17). Partial coverage of KUCKUCK in March 1945 shows it had an extensive layout with defenses, but antennas could not be identified. The station was resubordinated from LN Regt. 202 to LN Regt. 232 in September 1944.

Stellung HUMMER, on the North Sea islands of Helgoland and Helgoland Dune, was also home to Kriegsmarine Submarine Pen, NORDSEE III and Helgoland Dune Airfield (Graphic18 ). On 15 April 1945, the radar station –which was earmarked for a Jagdschloss deployment—could be seen in the vicinity of a coastal defense battery. Only two radars could be confirmed on Helgoland, one of them on the roof of the sub pen with three anti-aircraft positions. Other possible positions could be seen around the island. A large excavation indicated construction for a bunker or another artillery position was planned.

Stellung HUMMER, on the North Sea islands of Helgoland and Helgoland Dune, was also home to Kriegsmarine Submarine Pen, NORDSEE III and Helgoland Dune Airfield (Graphic18 ).  On 15 April 1945, the radar station –which was earmarked for a Jagdschloss deployment—could be seen in the vicinity of a coastal defense battery.  Only two radars could be confirmed on Helgoland, one of them on the roof of the sub pen with three anti-aircraft positions. Other possible positions could be seen around the island.  A large excavation indicated construction for a bunker or another artillery position was planned.
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