Radar and air defence of Scotland during the Second World War

Ian Brown

Tuesday, 9th January 2024

Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, 7.30 p.m.

This talk will look at the growth of the air defences and their unknown achievements in defending the skies over Scotland.

Much has been written about the role of radar and how, as part of an integrated air defence system, it helped win the Battle of Britain in 1940. However, almost unknown is the fact that in the first few months of the Second World War, the German air attacks were primarily directed against Scotland and in particular against the naval bases at Scapa Flow and Rosyth. In those early months of the war, three-quarters of all German aircraft shot down in the UK were in the Lothians and Borders. German air attacks on Scotland continued throughout the whole war, and the defences continued to evolve and improve to meet these threats.

Ian Brown is a curator at the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian.

He has been researching the history of radar for more than 35 years, and last year published the first book on this subject, Radar in Scotland 1938-46.