Operation Shaker

'Shaker' was the British overall designation of the night bombing technique in which the attack force was divided into three sections in the form of the 'illuminators', 'target markers' and 'followers' (8 March 1942/May 1945).

The illuminators were five waves of aircraft fitted with the 'Gee' navigation aid, flying at 3-minute intervals to approach the target from upwind along a corridor they marked with 12 bundles of triple flares dropped at 10-second intervals to provide a 12-minute corridor to the target on which they dropped the rest of their load, HE bombs. Following closely behind were the target markers flying 'Gee'-equipped aircraft to mark the target with a maximum load of incendiaries. Finally there arrived the followers to bomb the marker fires with HE bombs.

The first 'Shaker' raid took place on 8/9 March 1942, when only indifferent results were gained by 211 bombers (including 20 illuminators and 62 target markers) despatched against Essen.