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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Balloon Wranglers: 1942

Balloon Wranglers: 1942

May 1942. Another shot of Marines training with barrage balloons at Parris Island, S.C. View full size. 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Alfred Palmer.


Barrage Balloons

Aw come on Dave you know that there are people in your readership who are just as capable as Google in giving an answer.

Barrage balloons were used primarily to protect fixed installations or cities. The idea was to force aircraft - specifically dive bombers - to drop their bombs from higher altitudes thereby reducing accuracy and or to force a low flying plane to change course repeatedly rather than have a straight bombing run. The cables with which a barrage balloon was tethered would be dangerous to planes - they could rip a wing off for example. The British deployed more than 400 barrage balloons over London in 1940 (during the Blitz) and by 1944 there were over 3000 barrage balloons in England. The Balloon Barrage destroyed over 200 V-1 flying bombs in 1944.


How were these things used? Looks like it would be a sitting duck on the battlefield.

[Hmm. If only there were some easy way to look up the answer. - Dave]

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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