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Worth a read.

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David Holland 219/11/2017 20:58:45
197 forum posts
25 photos

Just finished reading “Spies in the Sky” by Taylor Downing, about photo-reconnaissance, mainly WW2, but from day one to date. I have been passionate about aviation in the Second World War, the Battle of Britain and the Spitfire (in ascending order) forever, in fact I think my first word was “Spitfire”, but I knew little detail of the work of the PRU. We hear a lot about Bletchley Park (rightly so) but I had never heard of RAF Medmenham though it seems that 80% of intelligence during the war came from photo-reconnaissance and the story of the interpretation of the photos is no less fascinating than that of the pilots taking them. You would not regret reading it.


Tony Harrison 219/11/2017 21:40:20
234 forum posts
3 photos

I must get hold of this book myself. I know RAF Medmenham (near Marlow, Bucks), or rather I knew it, since my late father was its last Commanding Officer - he had to shut it down, in the 1970s, his last full posting before retirement. By that time of course it had no connection with PR photo interpretation but I was aware of its history. Once, dad invited a former RAF officer to come to the station for some special occasion, a man (desperately trying to recall his name) who'd participated in early photo-reconnaissance over Afghanistan and Pakistan during the 1930s and helped to refine techniques; this was from biplanes, forget which type. He was fascinating to talk to, lovely man, quite elderly by this time of course but still lively - I think he'd written a book on the subject. He might possibly feature in Taylor Downing's book.


David Holland 219/11/2017 23:10:42
197 forum posts
25 photos

Interesting connection, Tony. Not much in the book about the inter-war years but lots of detail on people involved in the development of the techniques of interpretation. Obvious with the benefit of hindsight but the three stages of analysis of each photo were crucial in extracting some really remarkable information from photos, completely divorced from the subject of the original request for the photo. I bought my copy from Waterstones (other High Street book retailers are available!!).


i12fly19/11/2017 23:59:29
577 forum posts
21 photos

Bough a copy from Waterstones a couple of months back as I thought it looked interesting. Not read it yet as I've got to finish 'Beyond Courage' the story of Walruses in the Med. I'm a slow reader indecision

Tom Sharp 220/11/2017 01:06:23
3575 forum posts
19 photos

I remember reading long, long, ago about a Mosquito camera plane sent up the Ruhr valley to photograph the dam destruction from tree top level. Not an enviable job.

Edited By Tom Sharp 2 on 20/11/2017 01:12:45

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