Evasive action, as employed by German Air Force level bombers, may be
divided into two categories. One includes all maneuvers made as a matter of
normal routine; the other applies to action taken when the presence of enemy
aircraft is detected.
The first type of action consists of flying a weaving course in azimuth and
simultaneously changing altitude by as much as 500 feet above and below the
mean. Occasionally, an orbit or complete circle is made as a further safeguard
and may be repeated as often as the pilot considers necessary. This circle is
often effective in preventing the successful completion of a ground-controlled
interception, and has the added advantage of being easy to carry out while
making good a track to the target.
The second type of evasive action is of a much more violent nature. On
the approach of intercepting aircraft, it is not unusual for a bomber pilot to
quarter-roll his plane, applying full bottom rudder. The resulting dive is very
steep, especially if the stick is pulled back hard immediately before the quarter
roll. The bombers frequently pull out of this maneuver as low as 2,000 feet.
However, it appears to be beyond the capabilities of the majority of German
pilots to carry out evasive tactics irregularly and still make good a mean
track to the target. The result is that evasive tactics are used in a
comparatively regular manner which the ground control stations are able to follow and
sometimes even to predict.
Different tactics are employed in avoiding or escaping searchlights, but
the most common evasive action consists of gliding through a known searchlight
belt at high altitudes with throttles closed, so that the sound locators for the
searchlight and antiaircraft batteries are unable to detect the aircraft.
Enemy aircraft, when picked up by searchlights in night combat, have
attempted to deceive the ground defenses by turning away from the beam and
immediately returning from another quarter with navigation lights on.
The bombers take effective evasive action on their approach to, and get
away from, a target by desynchronizing the engines and constantly altering the
throttle settings. This action upsets the normal action of the detectors and
makes difficult an accurate prediction of the plane's course.