During the night of 17 September 1940, a gale tore loose several British barrage balloons, sweeping them across the North Sea to Scandinavia. The balloons’ trailing steel cables caught up in power lines, shorting them out. They also brought down the antenna for the Swedish International radio station.
When complaints about the incident reached London, they sparked ideas for a secret weapon. Free-flying meteorological balloons might be released deliberately to “impede and inconvenience” the enemy.
“We may make a virtue of our misfortune,” noted Churchill, giving approval for what became Operation Outward.
The crews were mainly women from the WRNS. They…
View original post 153 more words