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Google Earth Plug-in: Barrage Balloon hovers over Mount Edgcumbe

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Barrage balloons were a very basic form of defence against aircraft and were widely used around towns and strategic targets. They were simply large balloons tethered to fixed moorings on the ground.

The cables which attached them to the ground were a dangerous obstruction to low-flying aircraft and their deployment around potential targets forced enemy raiders to fly at high altitudes, thereby reducing the accuracy of their bombing.

The balloons themselves can occasionally be seen on wartime photographs and their bases are often clearly visible on late 1940s photographs. These consist of inner and outer rings of concrete blocks, a concrete hard standing in the centre and a small hut or bunker at one edge, where the balloon was stored when not in use.

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