In 1940, the serious business of war was everywhere, I was still in school 13 years of age, and my mother was already apologising for the shortness of food rations. The darkness of the town, (in other words Cardiff, because of the blackout) when the sun set was dangerous, and many people felt concerned about air raids and wondering how older members of the family were coping.
It was the period in history when war abroad were trouble but now the war was to come to us here in the UK. At this stage it was the threat of bombing from the other side of the channel that was worrying, Would the germans bomb us into closing down? What if all our industries were disrupted? It was at this period that the minister of home security began the task of hiding our assets by camouflage and, in the dark, put lights and fires a long way from the target to the remote areas when an air raid was imminent.
This was done slowly but surely, and the real targets were rarely bombed. All this was done secretly, and the average man in the street knew very little of these places. The Luftwaffe found it very difficult to locate the targets and this was where the decoys made them drop bombs on waste ground. Of course the public was not aware of this plan, I was just as ignorant, although I was nosey about our local military effort, and I became aware of these decoys a long time after peace came, in fact the broader answer would be that I learnt about its complexities when Colin Dobson wrote his Field’s of Deception in year 2000. This book is an attempt to provide substantial detail for the decoys in Wales.
Ivor Jones has lived in Cardiff all of his life. An engineer by trade, he worked for the Ministry of Defence for many years; an active member of the Airfield Research Group, he has written four books about airfields and landing grounds in Wales. He intends this to be his last word on the subject.
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
Extent: 224 pages
Illustrations: 270 black-and-white and colour photographs