March 24, 2006 6:50 AM Subscribe
In 1938 the British Balloon Command was established to protect cities and key targets such as industrial areas, ports, landmarks and harbours.Barrage balloons or "Bulging Berthas" were inflatable shiny silver-painted balloons, made of rubber-coated fabric, and filled with hydrogen gas used prevent low level attacks by enemy aircraft. The balloons flew anywhere from 500 feet to 10,000 feet. The 15 gauge flying wire that tethered them could clip the wings off a plane. They were also used at sea and to cover invasions. They were also effective against the V-1 flying bomb and back in the late 80s, at least one general thought they could still be used to protect airfields.
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