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Radar Coverage 1939-1940

Chain Home Low (CHL) was the name of a British radar early warning system, detecting enemy aircraft movement at lower altitudes than and summarily used with the fixed Chain Home system which was operated by the RAF during World War II.[1] Officially, its designation name was AMES Type 2 (Air Ministry Experimental Station) and used higher power, operating at a shorter wavelength of 1.5 metres than Chain Home.[1] Such systems could be mobile[2] in which units were placed on trucks and could be strategically moved based on enemy movement, giving the RAF a wider option where and when they would engage or not engage the enemy.

Margam CHL Station, 2012

It was based on CD (Coastal Defence) and CA (Coastal Artillery) radar which were able to detect low-flying aircraft, leading to the development of CHL for the RAF.

Later in World War II, centimetric Chain Home Extra Low (CHEL) radar were often co-sited with CHL sites. As the name implies, these sets provided radar coverage at even lower altitudes than was possible with Chain Home Low.

List of Chain Home Low sites

  • Anstruther, Fife
  • Ballymartin, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Bamburgh, Northumberland
  • Bard Hill, Holt, Norfolk
  • Bawdsey, Suffolk
  • Beachy Head, Sussex – [1]
  • Beer Head, Devon
  • Bembridge, Isle of Wight
  • Bempton, Yorkshire
  • Ben Hough, Tiree
  • Bexhill, Sussex
  • Blackhead, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • Bolt Tail, Devon
  • Boniface Down, Isle of Wight
  • Carsaig, Isle of Mull
  • Cleadon, County Durham
  • Clett, Shetland Islands
  • Cockburnspath, Borders
  • Cocklaw, Peterhead, Aberdeenshire
  • Covehithe, Suffolk (CHEL site)[3]
  • Crannoch Hill, Banff, Banffshire
  • Craster, Northumberland
  • Cregneash, Isle of Man
  • Cresswell, Northumberland
  • Cromarty, Ross and Cromarty
  • Crustan, Orkney Islands
  • Deerness, Orkney Islands
  • Doonies Hill, Gregness, Aberdeen
  • Dover – [2]
  • Downhill, County Londonderry, Northern Ireland
  • Dunderhole Point, near Tintagel, Cornwall
  • Dunnet Head, near Thurso, Caithness
  • Dunwich, Suffolk – [3]
  • Easington, Yorkshire
  • Eorodale, Isle of Lewis
  • Fair Isle
  • Fairlight, Sussex – [4]
  • Foreness Point, Kent – [5]
  • Formby, Lancashire
  • Glenarm, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • Goldsborough, Whitby, Yorkshire
  • Great Orme, Llandudno, North Wales
  • Greian Head, Isle of Barra
  • Grutness, Sumburgh, Shetland Islands
  • Happisburgh, Norfolk
  • Hartland Point, Devon
  • Hawcoat, Barrow in Furness, Lancashire
  • Highdown Hill, Angmering, Sussex
  • Hopton, Norfolk
  • Humberston, Lincolnshire
  • Hythe, Kent
  • Islivig, Isle of Lewis
  • Jacka, Portloe, Cornwall
  • Kendrom, Kilmaluag, Isle of Skye
  • Kete, Dale, Pembrokeshire
  • Kilchiaran, Isle of Islay
  • Kingswear, Devon
  • Kinley Hill, Seaham, County Durham
  • The Law, Carnoustie, Angus
  • Margam, Margam Country Park, Neath Port Talbot
  • Mark's Castle, Land's End, Cornwall
  • Minehead, Minehead, Somerset
  • Mossy Bottom, Shoreham, West Sussex
  • Navidale, Helmsdale, Sutherland
  • Needles, Isle of Wight
  • North Foreland, Kent
  • Oxwich, Swansea
  • Pen Oliver, Lizard, Cornwall
  • Pen y Bryn, Caernarfonshire
  • Point of Stoer, Sutherland
  • Poling, West Sussex – [6]
  • Prestatyn, Denbighshire
  • Rame Head, Cornwall
  • Ramsgate, Kent
  • Ravenscar, North Yorkshire
  • Roddans Port, County Down, Northern Ireland
  • Rodel Park, Rodel, Harris, Western Isles
  • Rosehearty, Aberdeenshire
  • St Bee's Head, Pembrokeshire
  • St Cyrus, Aberdeenshire
  • St Davids Head, Pembrokeshire[4]
  • St Twynells, Pembrokeshire
  • Sango, Durness, Sutherland
  • Saxa Vord, Unst, Shetland
  • Shotton, County Durham
  • Skendleby, Lincolnshire
  • South Ronaldsay, Orkney
  • South Stack, Anglesey
  • Strumble head, Pembrokeshire
  • Swansea Bay, Glamorgan
  • Trevose Head, Cornwall
  • Truleigh Hill, Bramber, West Sussex – [7]
  • Ulbster, Wick, Caithness
  • Ventnor, Isle of Wight
  • Walton on Naze, Essex
  • Warden Point,Isle of Sheppey, Kent
  • Watsness, Walls, Shetland
  • Westburn, Aberdeen
  • Westcliff, Portland, Dorset
  • Whitehawk, Brighton, East Sussex
  • Whitstable, Kent
  • Worth Matravers, Swanage, Dorset

See also



  • Batt, Reg., The Radar Army: Winning the War of the Airwaves (1991, Robert Hale, London) ISBN 0-7090-4508-5
  • Bowen, E.G., Radar Days, Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol, 1987., ISBN 0-7503-0586-X
  • Bragg, Michael., RDF1 The Location of Aircraft by Radio Methods 1935-1945, Hawkhead Publishing, Paisley 1988 ISBN 0-9531544-0-8 The history of ground radar in the UK during World War II
  • Brown, Louis., A Radar History of World War II, Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol, 1999., ISBN 0-7503-0659-9
  • Latham, Colin & Stobbs, Anne., Radar A Wartime Miracle, Sutton Publishing Ltd, Stroud 1996 ISBN 0-7509-1643-5 A history of radar in the UK during World War II told by the men and women who worked on it.
  • Latham, Colin & Stobbs, Anne., Pioneers of Radar (1999, Sutton, England) ISBN 0-7509-2120-X
  • Zimmerman, David., Britain's Shield Radar and the Defeat of the Luftwaffe, Sutton Publishing Ltd, Stroud, 2001., ISBN 0-7509-1799-7

External links

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