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When windows were dropped from planes – History in Bytes

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Window formation Source:wiki

It was July 3, 1945, just one day before D day. The entire northern coast of France placed in high alert after receiving radar signal of a substantial naval movement in the English channel. Luftwaffe (German Airforce) scrambled their fighters to intercept the incoming Naval fleet. When the planes reached the spot, no navy found, but aluminum tins were floating in the ocean. These aluminum tins termed “Windows” by the British, and they saved many lives on D day.

Radar was the state of the art technology during the Second World war. The Axis forces and Allied forces heavily relied on Radar. Radar sents sound frequency. If there is an object in the path, the object reflects the sound frequency. The object will appear as a blip on the radar screen.


During 1940 many Radar stations of northern France were raided by the British forces and the Radar taken to Britain. One of the famous raids is the Bruneval raid, which deserves an article on its own. British scientists were able to understand German radar technology, and we’re trying to find ways to fool the system

One of their ideas was to prepare a black paper roll with aluminum foil on it. By dropping these windows on large quantities, it creates a disturbance in the radar monitor, making it look like a massive formation.

Effect of window in Radar.Source:Wiki

The deception on 3rd July midnight in the English channel helped a lot in D day landing. The defending German troops thought that there has got some fault. The next day when the real forces arrived in the channel, Germans mistook it as a false alarm like last night and didn’t alert the army headquarters.

If they would have alerted then the losses on the D day would have been much higher

The usage of windows also used in the bombing of cities in Germany. By effecting jamming the Radar, the ground aircraft guns have no clue where the Allied aircraft are, and they started shooting randomly, causing little or no effect to the allied bombing.

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