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Summary: Instructional film on methods of camouflage during wartime.
Description: Reel 1. Describes and shows examples of concealment eg camouflage of runways, concealment of aircraft, dummy aircraft (wood and canvas), dummy vehicles, dummy ack-ack guns and troops. Safety precautions, such as avoiding the evidence of occupation eg washing, litter and smoke. How the concealed airfield looks from the air.
Reel 2. Night deception. Air-ground shots of lights and fires and how they look. The use of false lights to represent runways. Mobile lights and decoy lamps are demonstrated.
Reel 3. Fires as decoys are described and shown: Small wood fires, baskets impregnated with creosote (burns for 1 hour), boiling oil and water to give small explosions (burns for 4 hours), paraffin fires to give a yellow flame. Protection of groups of objects or built up areas require large fires which were given the name of Starfish or SF. This system was controlled by 80 Wing and the operational system is shown (a map of the UK with decoy areas). The film ends with a brief overview of the role of RAF decoys during the war, with an emphasis (shown via maps) on NW Europe.
Production Details: Air Ministry (Production sponsor)
RAF Film Production Unit (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Technical Details: Format: 35mm
Number of items/reels/tapes: 3
Footage: 2400 ft ca; Running time: 24 mins
Notes: Production: Made with the assistance of Colonel Turner's Department at the Air Ministry
See also interviews held under TV 168 from BBC TV Norwich programme; Matter of Fact: the Decoy Men (broadcast April 2002).