Dave Saxton wrote:
but I didn't know that they made radar sets late in the war that actually outperformed the late war allied sets so comprehensively. ☺
Fritz Trenkle was of the opinion that the FuMO26 sets on Tirpitz were actually FuMO34 sets with 125kw of power. I'm not so sure. For one thing the modulators for the 125kw transmitters were known to be unreliable, so its unlikely that they would deploy an unreliable piece of equipment on a warship such as the Tirpitz. Did they solve the reliability problem? Did they deploy the modules as an optional add on? I don't know?
The regular FuMO26 was still a good piece of equipment by the standards of 1944, giving similar performance in the FC role to the USN's MK8.
von Krogge in his history of GEMA (the company that designed SeeTakt) says that design of the 120kW modulators was complete in 1942 but that they were used on land based SeeTakt. If they 120kW modulators were ready in 1942 that gives them at least 2 years to perfect them for shipboard use.
One thing that makes me think they were installed was their detection range during Operation Catecism. The Lancaster's formed up over Lake Tornea Trask in Sweden (near Abisko and Kiruna) which is over 160 kilometres South East of Tromso where Tirpitz was moored and eventually sunk.
Some accounts say the Tirpitz picked the bombers up at 150km which would have been just as they cleared the mountains around the lake. Some accounts attribute the detection to radar but aren't clear as to whether it was the Tirpitz's radar or ground radar, some just mention observation and say it was an exceptionally clear day (Zetterling).
If the Tirpitz was observing the Bombers by radar at 150 kilometres then she probably had FuMO 34 as FuMo 26 didn't perform this well. Either way the Tirpitz was observing the Lancasters at 150km. Could a FuMO 26 have picked up a squadron of Lancasters at 150km?
http://www.bismarck-class.dk/tirpitz/hi ... chism.html
They reached the rendezvous about 0935 low over Tornea Trask, a (Swedish) lake a 160 kilometer (100 miles) south-east of Tromsø, took up formation and then they flew towards north-west, climbing to 4,267 meter (14,000 feet) to clear the mountains and gain height for the bombs. Radar picked them up as they gained height and the race was on, a race made even more tense than formerly by the knowledge that a German fighter squadron had recently been posted to Bardufoss.
This account I found on the internet:
07:38 The first observation of Lancasters are made at Mosjøen in Nordland
08:00 Reports of the sightings are sent to Division Flugmeldungszentrale (DFZ) at Bardufoss, and Commander of aa on Tirpitz Fassbender.
08:15 More sightings of bombers south in Norway gives rise to suspicion that a repetition of the raid of 29th of October is underway. (Reports of sightings starts to multiply, and there seem to have been several 'ghost planes' over Northern Norway that day. On telephone Fassbender requests permanent readiness at Bardufoss, but (maybe because they assess the threat differently) hauptflugwache Tromsø doesn't communicate that to DFZ.
08:51 Full air alarm is struck on Tirpitz. (Though there is variance about the time in different German reports).
09:05 Enemy aircraft can be observed from Tirpitz's observation posts approximately 150 km out.
09:14 Air alarm on Bardufoss. Enemy formation is to the east of it.
09:18 Major Ehrler orders highest readiness for take off at Bardufoss.
09:23 Major ehrler orders scramble and takes off in his 109. 9./JG 5 (Fw 190A) is hindered in following immidiately, as a Ju (88 or 52) attempts to land at exactly that moment. Ehrler, seing that he is not followed, and finding his radio inoperable, starts to search for the enemy planes on his own.
09:30 6 more fighters manage to take off from Bardufoss, though confusion and failures in communication abounds. Except for 2 ghostplanes dissapearing into Swedish territory, no interceptions are attempted.
09:34 Tirpitz starts shooting at the lancasters some 12 kilometers out.
09:36 All operational fighters at Bardufoss are airborn.
09:38 The bombs starts impacting around and on Tirpitz (according to the war diary of 617th the first bomb is released 09:41).
09:50 tirpitz capzises.