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Table of Contents

RAAF Meteorological Service



Chapter 1: The Weather Factor in Warfare

Chapter 2: Establishing and Developing the RAAF Directorate of Met. Services (D.Met.S)

Chapter 3: Recruiting and Training of Personnel

Chapter 4: Meteorology in Aviation

Chapter 5: The Met. Retreating

Chapter 6: The Met. Advancing

Chapter 7: The Met With the Army and the Navy
With the Army
With The Navy

Chapter 8: Divisional Offices of the Bureau of Meteorology During the War

Chapter 9: Research and Instrumental Development

Chapter 10: The End, Aftermath, and Beyond

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4



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With the Army (continued)

I was partially stunned, partially elated by what I believed to be a sheer intelligent fluke. The other officers looked at the Met. bloke with a new respect, and the Colonel said, 'Nice work'. I found myself a more accepted lone RAAF officer in an Army officers' mess afterwards, and felt something like a magician who had pulled off a challenging trick. It wasn't easy to impress veterans like the Rats of Tobruk.

The significance of meteor computations is succinctly described in Wings:

'On these computations, the range of gunfire was altered by anything from 300 to 1,200 yards—and this for targets sometimes not more than fifty yards in depth. As a general rule, for harassing fire, meteor reports had to be prepared every four hours. But for barrages, close support or 'objective target', it was frequently necessary to bring overhead fire down to within fifty yards or so of our own troops. The meteorological detachment was kept at it, turning out reports every hour or perhaps, every thirty minutes; knowing that a mistake could cause disastrous results if a shell fell short and inflicted casualties amongst our own infantry.'

'The work of the meteorological detachments enabled the artillery to use methods of fire which depended upon regular and accurate meteor reports.'

'Defensive fire at night assumed greater importance as an effective means of countering Jap infiltration. This consisted of 'registering' a number of zones about one hundred yards ahead of the forward infantry lines, so that after a meteor correction was applied to the range, guns could bring down fire on to a zone in thirty seconds after a signal was received.' [83]

During the Borneo campaign in particular, the use of accurate meteors enabled concentrations to be brought down on the enemy, without giving warning by the firing of one or two ranging rounds. If the guns were concentrated by the meteor computations without the ranging rounds, the concentration would catch the enemy unprepared. In this way, heavier casualties were inflicted and the effect on enemy morale was considerable. In one instance at Balikpapan, one hundred and fifty enemy dead were counted, when what had been a heavily defended position was occupied with no opposition, after one of these sudden and heavy artillery barrages.

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Joyce, J. 1993 'The Story of the RAAF Meteorological Service', Metarch Papers, No. 5 October 1993, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher