10 July 1917 – Home defence

Following the daylight attack on 7 July the War Cabinet have once again been considering home defence. Firstl, they have reversed their decision not to give warnings and now it is planned that warnings of five minutes at the circumference of a circle with a radius of ten miles from Charing Cross will be given.

To do this, the warning would have to be given when the enemy aircraft were crossing a line twenty-two miles from Charing Cross. There was, however, no line of observers at that distance, the existing line of the London defences being closer in, at an average of sixteen miles from the centre. The idea of establishing observation posts farther out was considered, but abandoned. Instead ,the existing stations of the Medway defences were used together with some of the new gun stations which were set up as a result of the reorganisation of the defences. They formed an incomplete ring, at a distance of twenty to twenty-five miles, from the north-west, by the north and east, to the south of London. Now all that needs to be sorted is how the warning will be given.

In addition to this, 46 Squadron RFC has been ordered home for home defence. This decision was the subject of much debate within the War Cabinet with Sir John French arguing the inadequacy of his forces against massed raids and Sir Douglas Haig outlining the risks to the British offensive. In the end a compromise was reached as only one rather than two squadrons were ordered home.

The idea of carrying out retaliatory raids on Mannheim was also abandoned.



One thought on “10 July 1917 – Home defence

  1. Pingback: 14 July 1917– Supply and demand | airwar19141918

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