Talk:Operation Biting

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Open source Text[edit]

I deleted the Open Source Text below after much reflection. All in all, it converted one nice little article into nice little articles. I would propose that Wiki is not a scrapbook. But then again, I could be wrong. [[Paul, in Saudi 08:30, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)]]


Text removed:

Taken from The Battle Of The Beams. There is a open source verification for this text on the home page Greg Goebel / In The Public Domain.
In the months leading up to the Channel Dash, R.V. Jones had been ramping up his hunt for Wuerzburg. Jones requested intensive aerial reconnaissance of known Freya sites in hopes they would turn up a Wuerzburg as well. On 22 November 1941, a PRU Spitfire had taken a picture of a radar site at Bruneval, a village on the French coast near Le Havre, that revealed a suspicious, indistinct object sited at the end of a path leading from the station.
Word of the mysterious object reached a daring RAF reconnaissance pilot, Flight Lieutenant Tony Hill, who decided to investigate personally. He overflew the site in his Spitfire on 5 December. The pictures revealed a neat radar dish about 3 meters (10 feet) in diameter. Jones decided it had to be Wuerzburg. Further reconnaissance missions over other locations revealed more Wuerzburgs, plus a new radar that other intelligence tagged as "Wuerzburg-Riese (Giant Wuerzburg)", of which more is said in the next chapter.
Jones suspected that Wuerzburg was critical to German air defenses and that the British needed to learn about it in detail. The German radar site at Bruneval was near the sea and had a convenient beach, raising the possibility that it could be seized in a raid. Jones hesitated to recommend such a risky plan but became convinced that it was justified. Churchill was enthusiastic about raids, both to bolster British morale and to keep the Germans off-balance, so a request went upstairs to Lord Louis Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations.
Mountbatten like the idea very much, and so a plan was devised to send in a team of paratroopers to photograph the radar in detail and carry off whatever components they could. A technical specialist was trained to make the jump with them and inspect the radar. The group would be picked up off the beach by a small naval task force. The operation was codenamed BITING.
On 27 February 1942, the raiding party of 120 Scotsmen under Major John Dutton Frost was dropped on Bruneval from twelve Armstrong-Whitworth Whitley bombers. Nothing went very much according to plan, but the raiders improvised competently and the raid was a success, with the paratroopers returning with vital Wuerzburg components, and a technician as a prisoner. Two British were killed and four taken prisoner, all four of whom survived the war. Five Germans were killed and two taken prisoner, including the technician.
British examination of the Wuerzburg components showed that it operated over a very narrow band, and had no provisions for dealing with countermeasures. It was much better built than British radars, with a modular design that made hunting down faults relatively simple. On the other hand, the technician proved to be much more poorly trained than his British counterparts.
BITING was the first operation of the newly-minted British paratrooper force, and a significant boost to British public morale at a time when the war was not going well for the Allies. It did much to make up for the failure to stop the Channel Dash two weeks earlier. Even the Germans, who generally had a low opinion of British troops, were impressed with the skill and dash of the raiders, and it remains the stuff of action movies.
Ironically, the success of BITING made the brass worry that the Germans might pull the same stunt on the TRE at Swanage, and so intelligence about German paratroops across the Channel quickly forced the mad relocation of the TRE to Malvern. The Germans, who were notoriously hard to trick twice, also promptly fortified their radar stations. A raid to seize Freya components on 17 August 1942, during the hideously botched "practice invasion" on the French port of Dieppe, ran into stiff German defenses and went home empty-handed. In compensation, the fortified radar stations were easy to spot and, if necessary, target.

I am going to restore it. There is a lot of useful information in the opensource text which does not appear in the initial article. If you have strong objections, then spend the time to intergrate the text into the initial article before removing the open source text. Philip Baird Shearer 11:36, 23 Jan 2005 (UTC)

--- Lemme get around to it. I will have to arm-wrestle it into format. Perhaps you could help? [[Paul, in Saudi 03:45, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)]]

Phil, if you added this text to the article, I would propose you should integrate it into the existing text. [[Paul, in Saudi 05:31, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)]]

Dear Phil- Sorry you did not choose to reply to my note. I hope we can come to some sort of understanding on this. Your addition is simply a cut and paste from another source. As presented, it acts as something like a second article. Could I propose we use an 'external link' for this? I appreciate your thoughts on this. [[Paul, in Saudi 12:56, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)]]

I am happy including the text. I do not think it is out of place and that it adds considerably to the article. Your original suggestion was that you will arm-wrestle it into format. You have not begun that that task. BTW the obvious way to do that is to take each paragraph of the additional text and integrate it into the Wikipedia article and then delete the second additional paragraph. If you start the task then I would probably help you, but it is you who object to it the second source not I. BTW as no one has joined in this discussion it suggests that this is a minority interest either way. Philip Baird Shearer 16:29, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Phil- I cleared some time to arm-wrestle this as promised. I printed out a copy of the text is dispute, and laid it beside the existing text. I am very sorry to say that I found almost nothing new in the text worth including in the article.

I hope you do not take this in any way an attack on you. I simply could not find any important fact in the text that was not already in the article.

The kind of bomber used is new information, but it is not really important. The text claims the raiders were all Scots. That might be true (or not) but it is not important.

If you can find anything new or noteworthy in the text, I encourage you to include it. [[Paul, in Saudi 08:14, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)]]

Dear Phil- Let us consider this one paragraph at a time.

1. :In the months leading up to the Channel Dash, R.V. Jones had been ramping up his hunt for Wuerzburg. Jones requested intensive aerial reconnaissance of known Freya sites in hopes they would turn up a Wuerzburg as well. On 22 November 1941, a PRU Spitfire had taken a picture of a radar site at Bruneval, a village on the French coast near Le Havre, that revealed a suspicious, indistinct object sited at the end of a path leading from the station.

Who is R.V. Jones? where did he work? What did he do? If we are going to mention him, we need to tell the reader who this guy is. Who did ask for photographic coverage?

There is nothing much in Paragraph One worth including.

2. Word of the mysterious object reached a daring RAF reconnaissance pilot, Flight Lieutenant Tony Hill, who decided to investigate personally. He overflew the site in his Spitfire on 5 December. The pictures revealed a neat radar dish about 3 meters (10 feet) in diameter. Jones decided it had to be Wuerzburg. Further reconnaissance missions over other locations revealed more Wuerzburgs, plus a new radar that other intelligence tagged as "Wuerzburg-Riese (Giant Wuerzburg)", of which more is said in the next chapter.

Is the word 'daring' one we normally find in an academic encyclopedia? If the answer is no, then we should not use it. What 'next chapter?' This is simply a clipping without context it reads poorly and does not meet standards.

There is nothing much in Paragraph Two worth including.

3. Jones suspected that Wuerzburg was critical to German air defenses and that the British needed to learn about it in detail. The German radar site at Bruneval was near the sea and had a convenient beach, raising the possibility that it could be seized in a raid. Jones hesitated to recommend such a risky plan but became convinced that it was justified. Churchill was enthusiastic about raids, both to bolster British morale and to keep the Germans off-balance, so a request went upstairs to Lord Louis Mountbatten, Chief of Combined Operations.

Here the author is telling (a fairly interesting) story, but does a story belong in the Wikipedia? Why does this article require a story when none of the others do? 'Jones hesitated,' a clear example of story-telling.

There is nothing in Paragraph Three worth including.

And so it goes, but I have to run off to work. [[Paul, in Saudi 02:44, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)]]

Revert war[edit]

Looks like it's just going to be a continuous swapping of the text at the current rate. May I suggest Phil that the open-source text that you wish to include be represented differently? An external link and the point-form of the text itself included in the article? Having large chunks of open-source really doesn't seem to be a convention that's popular around here. Oberiko 04:00, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, O. I hope a few more people can look at this issue in order that together we might reach some resolution. [[Paul, in Saudi 02:21, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)]]

Oberiko you will notice that since you posted you missive I have not reverted the page and I have no intention of doing so now that you have voiced an opinion (2/3 to 1/3) However:

  • A number of contributors had added links in the open source which suggests that they did not object to the OS but helped to start to integrate it.
  • Only one person has objected to the source being included.
  • That person choose to repeatedly delete the text after saying "Lemme get around to it. I will have to arm-wrestle it into format". Paul, in Saudi has now spent far longer analysing and giving arguments against integrating the text than it would take to do it! This is a move from constructive criticism, to one of destructive criticism. For example who is R. V. Jones can be answered with R. V. Jones. --Philip Baird Shearer 16:24, 13 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Phil- I have made a good-faith effort to integrate the text into the article. I honestly found nothing that the text added. If you can find anything, I would encourage you to add it to the article. [[Paul, in Saudi 02:16, 14 Mar 2005 (UTC)]]

popular culture[edit]

hey this operation is based on a map for a PC game called enemy territory. its one of the six maps that come with the game. the allies have to steal 2 radar parts from 2 different radar trailers. in fact the radar trailers in the picture on the wikipedia site for wurzburg radar, are the same exact ones used in the game. enemy territory is one of the most popular first person shooters out there. its like quake3, unreal tournament, battlefield 2, etc its a 3-d online multiplayer first person shooter. heres some sources/references:

game: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfenstein:_Enemy_Territory#W.C3.BCrzburg_Radar

actual thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C3%BCrzburg_radar

heres some pictures of the radar trailers in game that i took and uploaded, its neat to see it in game, then look at the real thing in a picture. i had no idea that this map was based on a real operation in world war two.

pictures from mackel, enemy territory player

west radar trailer/parts:

http://www.house-of-frag.com/misc/macksjunk/radar/shot0001.jpg

http://www.house-of-frag.com/misc/macksjunk/radar/shot0002.jpg

east radar parts:

http://www.house-of-frag.com/misc/macksjunk/radar/shot0003.jpg

http://www.house-of-frag.com/misc/macksjunk/radar/shot0004.jpg

mackel mackel309@adelphia.net

oh yea i forgot, when the allies steal the parts, the radar dish folds exactly like in the picture of the real thing on the wikipedia wurzburg radar site. the resemblence is almost as if that same thing is in game. its exactly correct in its detail.

it would be a neat addition to this site —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 71.61.229.242 (talk) 15:26, 27 March 2007 (UTC).

I think you will find the game was based on the raid, not the otherway round as you claim — Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.213.110.4 (talk) 14:49, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Safekeeping I[edit]

The Bruneval Würzburg from another angle, showing the equipment in profile

Safekeeping II - Influence on popular culture[edit]

The film The Red Beret (1953), although ostensibly a vehicle for Alan Ladd as a North American joining the British Parachute Regiment, contains a thinly disguised version of Operation Biting. In the film, Leo Genn plays "Major Snow" (Frost) and the radar expert on the mission is "Flight Sgt. Box" (Cox). Later in the film they go on another mission to North Africa which is very similar to those carried out by Major Frost and the 1st Parachute Brigade.

The film Two Men Went to War (2002) is based on the true story of two British army dental technicians (Sergeant Peter King and Private Leslie Cuthbertson) who went AWOL and made their own private raid on France. The film infers that they coincidentally attacked the radar site at the same time as the official raid, blowing up the cookhouse and the Freya radar antenna. [1]

Jones's own writing on the raid[edit]

I have Jones's book, Most Secret War which as I recall devotes a chapter or so to this operation. Any benefit in adding some of his own thoughts? David Underdown (talk) 14:50, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Ah, is that his book? I saw it in my library the other day! Tell you what, if you don't mind I'll let this get reviewed for GA and solve whatever problems I need to solve there, and after its passed its review I'll get the book and add some bits in. Cheers! Skinny87 (talk) 15:07, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, looking back over the article, I seem to remember that one thing he mentions is that after the raid the German's surrounded Wurzburg sites with barbed wire entanglements-which had the side effect of making them much easier to identify from the air! I think there's also some stuff about the initial attempts to identify sites-early phot recon pilots complained that he was sending them out to photograph anit-aircraft guns. David Underdown (talk) 15:18, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Brilliant stuff, thanks. I'll be at the library in a few days, and if I can't find the book there I'd be greatful if you could add some info in for me. Cheers! Skinny87 (talk) 15:27, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
I've re-read the relevant sections of Most Secret War now. I was slightly wrong about the PRU anecdote, that related to Freya, not Wurzburg. However, by Jones's' account, the first Freya photographed was at Auderville, not the Hague. He also describes the part played by the French resistance, particularly Gilbert Renault, Roger Dumont and Charles Chauvenau in reconnoitring the terrain. The PRU pilot Tony Hill also got a Bar to his DFC for his initial photography of the site, and other radar sites, on Jones's recommendation. Jones himself was recommended for a CB, but after Civil Service wrangling it was downgraded to a CBE. Roger Dumont was unfortunately captured by the Germans after a message congratulating him on the success of Biting was captured. Jones also states that the Paras first battle honour is Bruneval, presumably you'd have sources that would confirm this? The success of the raid also prompted the move of Telecommunications Research Establishment from its coastal location near Swanage, to Malvern for fear of a German counter-raid. I don't wnat to end up unbalancing the article, so I'll give you a chance to try and get the book first.
I think it was their first honour, but the Para origins can get a bit murky when the Regiment claims battle honours. My uni library has a copy, so I'll have it no later than Monday due to uni work, then I can add it all in. Skinny87 (talk) 17:40, 6 November 2008 (UTC)
I've added some bits from Jones, particularly about the Resistance and the moving of the TRE. Still looking to confirm his bit about the Battle Honour, however. Skinny87 (talk) 10:53, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Image of Parachute Regiment's colours here: [2] - first honour is indeed 'Bruneval' — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.7.147.13 (talk) 11:25, 18 September 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Operation Biting/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Hi! I have elected to review this article under the Good Article criteria and should have my initial comments posted within the next few hours. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 06:15, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

I have completed reviewing this article under the criteria, and am placing it on hold until my few concerns below are addressed. However, this is a very good article and very close to passing. Cheers, Abraham, B.S. (talk) 07:08, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    "technology it possessed be studied and, if possible, actually extracted and taken back to Britain" - I don't think the inclusion of "actually" is really necessary.
    "After the end of the Battle of France and the subsequent fall of France and the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk during Operation Dynamo" - this segment of the sentence just doesn't read well.
    "a villa approximately 100 yards (300 ft)" - wouldn't it be more appropiate to have the conversion in meters, not yards? Same here: "grounded 60 yards (180 ft) offshore".
    "The beach was not mined" - it should probably be clarified what type of mine it is refering to here, as in the bomb type mine and not a coal mine or what have you.
    "each named after a famous Royal Navy admiral: Nelson, Jellicoe, Hardy, Drake and Rodney." - not necessary, but perhaps add wikilinks to the admirals.
    "a four day period between 24-27 February" - an ndash is required here.
    Both "Flight-Sergeant" and "Flight Sergeant" are included within the text. They should be constiant, so either have them all with the hyphen or none at all.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    The size of the British force needs to be referenced in the infobox.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    Just one comment here: perhaps consider mentioning the gallantry decorations awarded for the raid in the "Aftermath" section. For instance, I know that Frost was awarded the Military Cross for his actions during the raid, and Pickard a bar to his Distinguished Service Order. This is not required, just simply a suggestion.
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
Everything should be done now, (the British force numbers were already in the infobox) apart from the conversion templates; those were the distances given in the books I consulted and I'd rather not change them. But if it's a problem I will. Skinny87 (talk) 09:25, 5 November 2008 (UTC)
Everything looks good! My only point with the measurements was that there were two imperials distances, and it would be better with both an imperial and a metric measurement, however I do not think this is a terribly importaint issue so it will suffice as it is. Well, I am satisified that this safely meets the criteria, and as such I am passing it. Congratulations! Abraham, B.S. (talk) 10:07, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Casualties[edit]

Hi folks, thought I'd raise this here before editing the infobox. Currently it states that British casulaties were 3 dead, 7 wounded, 2 missing. I don't have the benefit of Otway's book, but both Millar and Frost (A drop too many) list only 2 killed, 6 missing (Frost also states 6 wounded, presumably amongst the survivors and not the missing). All of the missing were subsequently captured, and can therefore be accounted for. At least 1 was wounded too. It's a bit harder with the Germans, who listed 5 missing in their after action report. 2 of these were captured and so can be accounted for, but lord knows where the other 3 went (it always seems hard to account for axis losses doesn't it). Does anyone have any more information on German losses? I think at least the British casulaties should be changed. How about:

British - Two killed, six wounded, six captured. German - Five killed, two wounded, two captured, three missing (unless they can be accounted for).

Any thoughts? Regards Ranger Steve (talk) 12:55, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

The change proposed above would presumably be sourced to Millar and Frost, then? If so, I don't see any problems; Otway was writing in 1951 after all. Skinny87 (talk) 13:40, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
Yep. I'll make the change and add the references then Ranger Steve (talk) 13:47, 7 June 2009 (UTC)
I've edited the strength figures too. Frost and Millar both say 120 and provide breakdowns. Ranger Steve (talk) 20:46, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Garrard?[edit]

In the section marked `Prelude`, at the end of the 3rd paragraph is this sentence `Garrard had asked R. V. Jones to get Cox an Army uniform and number for the raid, as if they were captured and Cox was the only one in Air Force uniform he would be the object of special attention, but the War Office were obdurate`

Who is Garrard? He isn`t referenced anywhere else in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.20.10.84 (talk) 12:52, 21 January 2010 (UTC)

That's a good question. Derek Garrard was a boffin working with Jones. The sentence might need tweaking or Garrard's name being more thoroughly explained. Both Cox and Vernon were given special instructions on not to talk to the enemy and concocted special alibis in the event of their capture (according to Millar) so I don't doubt it's true. Ranger Steve (talk) 10:43, 22 January 2010 (UTC)
Hey I just checked up on this discussion and nothing was done about the topic of Garrard? Should Garrard be referenced elsewhere in the article? Or should that sentence be reworked.Meatsgains (talk) 03:07, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Recent addition in aftermath section[edit]

That the German installations (Freya and Würzburg) were distant from La Poterie - Cap d'Antifer centre[46], the War Department located the radar at Bruneval. But the drop zone, "Rectangle" farm and the Würzburg were at La Poterie - Cap d'Antifer[47]. Bruneval begins at "Redoubt" pillbox at the top of the Northern cliff. Paratroops dropped on La Poterie - Cap d'Antifer<ref?"Memorial sign for the Bruneval Raid at La Poterie Cap d'Antifer on the City Hall wall.".</ref>, caught the radar in the same village and evacuated to the Bruneval beach where the Royal Navy took them. Even today, Operation Biting is known to happened only at Bruneval. La Poterie - Cap d'Antifer is forgotten.

I'm not sure what your trying to say, can you try and explain. Jim Sweeney (talk) 20:54, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

Operation Biting took place at Bruneval but the aftermath section talks about other radars at other locations. I think that the person who added that paragraph might have mis-read or misunderstood that section -- SteveCrook (talk) 04:55, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

I have heard a statement that the Germans used Bruneval as an exemplary example of an airborne raid in their own training programmes - is there any source for that? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.213.110.4 (talk) 14:56, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

HTML Code[edit]

Near the end of the first paragraph of Prelude is what looks like a long string of HTML code. I'm not sure, so I won't remove it. 86.24.70.90 (talk) 19:55, 19 January 2012 (UTC)Moriarty

Fixed Jim Sweeney (talk) 20:05, 19 January 2012 (UTC)