Hedge-Hopping in World War II

Defence of the Realm

Think the Panavia Tornado or Blackburn Buccaneer introduced the RAF to low level flying? Think again!

This remarkable footage from British Pathé news shows what it was like to fly at ultra-low level on a daylight raid over Holland in 1942. Aircraft include the Lockheed Ventura, the De Havilland Mossquito and the Douglas Boston. Flying low level helped the aircraft avoid German radar and improved their chances of hitting the target. It also made it harder for enemy aircraft to intercept them as they went in hugging the ground.

But of course low level flight has its own risks and as the narrator puts it;

Some of these planes returning to base have received hits while others have left bits of their fabric hanging on trees.

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