Starfish sites were large-scale night-time decoys created during the blitz of the Second World War to simulate burning British cities. They were designed to divert German night bombers from their intended targets so they would drop their ordnance over the countryside. The sites were an extension of the engineer Colonel John Turner’s decoy programme for airfields and factories (code named “Q” Sites). Following the near destruction of Coventry by enemy bombers in November 1940, Turner was tasked with creating decoys for seven major industrial centres – Bristol, Crewe, Derby, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough and Sheffield.
Turner referred to the new sites as “Special Fire” or “SF”. One of the first sites, near Bristol, was given the name “Starfish”, which subsequently became used for all of the decoys. The sites were positioned some miles from the target they were meant to protect, and consisted of elaborate light arrays and fires, controlled from a nearby bunker and laid out to simulate a fire-bombed town. By the end of the war there were 237 decoys protecting 81 towns and cities around the country.
The official estimate is that 730 bombing raids were diverted to these decoy sites. The historian Colin Dobinson has estimated that Starfish decoys diverted 968 tons of German bombardment.
The technical storage or access is strictly necessary for the legitimate purpose of enabling the use of a specific service explicitly requested by the subscriber or user, or for the sole purpose of carrying out the transmission of a communication over an electronic communications network.
The technical storage or access is necessary for the legitimate purpose of storing preferences that are not requested by the subscriber or user.
The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for statistical purposes.The technical storage or access that is used exclusively for anonymous statistical purposes. Without a subpoena, voluntary compliance on the part of your Internet Service Provider, or additional records from a third party, information stored or retrieved for this purpose alone cannot usually be used to identify you.
The technical storage or access is required to create user profiles to send advertising, or to track the user on a website or across several websites for similar marketing purposes.