Jump to content

Help Identifying marks on areial reconnasance photographs


Recommended Posts

We came back from the Loire and stopped at Pegasus Bridge on the way to the ferry. My 16 year old son picked up a book called "the Day The Devils dropped in", about D Day to D + 6.

In it was a photograph marked up the analysist's comments and my son asked what the marks meant, no indication in the book.

Can any one help.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

The symbols are as follows;


a) Lines of x - barbed wire entanglements


b) solid zig-zags - fighting positions/trench lines


c) arrows - estimated orientation/firing lines from weapon postions - MG's


d) Triangular crenallated line - anti tank trap/ditch.


e) bridge symbols - gaps in the defence lines/crossing points


The Gun houses are reasonably obvious.


The wire shows up as it is impossble to cut the grass/undergrowth that appears and grows up amongst the wire once they are in postion.


The AT ditch info has been transposed from another photo (or was in the process of being dug when the photo was taken)


There is another AP of the site after it has been bombed on the Wikipedia entry for the assault and this shows up the AT ditch nicely (this photo is orientated 180 deg from the annotated version in your book)




Try comparing the two.


Theres a nice story in the RV Jones "Most Secret War" book that after the Bruneval raid to recover radar hardware/intelligence that the Germans helpfully installed barbed wire enclosures around all these sorts of installations (Bruneval had no such protection) which then allowed them to be identified from AP recon photos.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One other symbol


the dashed line with T symbol - probably a telephone line/power cable


The photo interpreters would be looking at stereo pairs of photos so things like telegraph poles would show up in 3D or alternatively theres a mark indicating an excavation running to another site that has been interpreted as being linked to the battery and this has been concluded to be for cables etc.


U/C - under construction

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 metres could be the height above sea level. according the Wikipedia: Elevation 0–42 m (0–138 ft)

(avg. 14 m or 46 ft)


Never thought of that as I assumed the annotation for height would be in feet as linear is marked in feet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...