Operation Corona (i)

This was an Allied ‘spoofing’ operation using the transmissions of German-speaking controllers to relay false vectoring information to German night-fighter crews, so diverting them from the bomber streams appraching to devastate German cities (22 October 1943 onward).

This tactic was first used on 22/23 October 1943 during a raid on the German industrial centre of Kassel: some 90% of the city was burned, leaving 10,000 dead and 150,000 homeless. ‘Corona’ (i) was made feasible by the pre-war movement out of Germany by large numbers of German-speaking Jews, who were of immense value to Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris’s RAF Bomber Command as they spoke German with natural accents and hence were more readily believed when they issued instructions countermanding orders given by controllers at the various German air defence headquarters, and were thus able to redirect night-fighters to other ‘targets’ or give them orders to break off their attacks and land.