View Full Version : Pinpoint the Bomber

Genghis the Engineer
24th Apr 2005, 00:16
This is absolutely fascinating; I've been given this by a friend who found it in her late father's effects. It is a book cum roleplaying game, written by Francis Chichester, and published in 1942.

I quote from the flyleaf Pinpoint the Bomber describes a new form of game and a large map of the territory from Kent to the Rhineland is provided. The player is given the necessary clues to his position and must tax his skills and ingenuity to deduce from them exactly where he is, in other words to "pinpoint" the bomber on the map.

To players who have no direct interest in flying, the test of their ability has all the fascination of a detective story or crossword puzzle.

At the same time, they will be thrilled to read of the difficulties besetting an air-navigator on an operational raid into Germany, by following the progress of the raid on a map exactly to the same scale as the maps used by our navigators when raiding Germany, and by studying actual air photographs of enemy territory.

Players who hope one day to become air navigators can learn more about the art and principles of map-reading from two hours with the game than from two hundred hours air experience if untrained"

How wonderfully politically incorrect ! Basically by following the various instructions, and taking decisions, you hopefully take off from RAF Manston, navigate your way across Europe, and bomb Koblenz.

I think that I should do something with this wonderful piece of "literature"; my initial thoughts are to scan it all in and post it either here or on a website somewhere? Thoughts anybody.

For that matter, has anybody else ever come across this.


Item 16. Heavy flack ! The pilot takes avoiding action, but you forget to record his changes in course. After 3 minutes you do not know where you are. But, with a luck you certainly don't deserve you see through a very small gap in the clouds the junction of a large river and a canal-river. This junction is at the North end of a town, the canal-river runs south west through the middle of it...

(Sounds rather like my qualifying cross country :} ).

24th Apr 2005, 02:16

It sounds darned fascinating! Never heard about it before but coming from such a brilliant navigator I would only guess at the contents..

Is it a mammoth task to scan it all in?

River, canal, flak.. Sounds like Ely. ;)

24th Apr 2005, 06:48
The flak would suggest that you are still over europe, and if may last visit serves me well:

"Bombs away Skipper"

Genghis the Engineer
24th Apr 2005, 08:13
Miles out Tiger Mate, according to the book at waypoint 16 you are roundabout a place called Aalst, which is around 10nm WNW of Brussels.


24th Apr 2005, 09:32
Too late: Bombs gone! Sorry Belguim.

Next time perhaps I`ll get the game instead of working on a paragraph.


As I dropped the bombs at 06:48, I have probably just finished the Bacon & Egg and am marching smartly towards ones bed.


Windy Militant
25th Apr 2005, 08:48
Hello Genghis
It would appear that you have acquired a rare gem. I read about this in the sleeve notes of 'The Lonely Sea and the Sky' and tried to get a copy from our local library as I thought I could use it as the basis of a quiz night event for one of the flying clubs I'm involved with. After a lengthy period I was informed that there wasn't a copy in the library system but that the British Museum might have one. I gave up at this point. I'm sure that I'm not the only one who would like to have a look at this, so if you could have it scanned and posted that would be great. As long as you don't get done for copyright infringement!;)

25th Apr 2005, 12:06
Sounds like a great way to test your nav. C'mon BEags, scan it in and post it.

Genghis the Engineer
25th Apr 2005, 12:20
Okay, here's a plan. I need for other reasons to do some website creation anyhow, so I'll see if I can it up on a webpage somewhere.

No promises over timescale, as we're just getting into the flying season and I was busy enough already, but it would be criminal not to have this wonderful book more widely available.

I'll check the copyright rules first of-course, but doubt it should present a problem at this late date.


N.B. Hey, Beagle LowNslow thinks I'm you! Who should be most insulted do you think?

25th Apr 2005, 19:43
If you need a volunteer site at all for the pages I'll happily step forward.. :O

woodair.net (http://woodair.net)

25th Apr 2005, 20:13
Genghis- BEagle how did I do that? Especially as BEagle hasn't even posted on this thread :\ Doh

I must be working too hard............ I made four spelling mistakes in this tiny bit of typing.

26th Apr 2005, 06:57
Spelling mistakes are OK LowNSlow its mistakes like missing Koblenz and hitting Lahnstein that will cost us the war. Not to mention bombing Belgium on this last trip.

I suppose Tiger_mate's navigation will improve after a few missions, once he gets used to the flak; but until he gets some in, he should eat his egg before take-off, just to make sure he gets it. With navigation like that he's sure to end up in Stalag Luft III and another crew will get his egg for seconds.

BTW. There's no flak over the target. They don't want to hit their own night fighters.... :hmm:

26th Apr 2005, 18:41
I am in Slalag Luft III every week day and am surrounded by flak all the time. I could make a comment about Hitler but I work for a good bloke and he wouldnt thank me for that.

28th Apr 2005, 07:55
Blacksheep, my dad and his fellow members of Bomber Command would take issue with the comment:
BTW. There's no flak over the target. They don't want to hit their own night fighters....
There most certainly was and it was a very brave / determined / insane night fighter pilot who followed the heavies into it. Most didn't, they knew where the bombers were going to be when they came off the target and waited for them there. :eek:

28th Apr 2005, 08:40
they knew where the bombers were going to be when they came off the target and waited for them there. Serious question: Doesn't it rather miss the point if you hack them after they've dropped??

Irish Steve
28th Apr 2005, 11:07
Serious question: Doesn't it rather miss the point if you hack them after they've dropped??

Serious answer: Not if it means that aircraft and crew are unable to come back the following night to do the same thing, and you are still in one piece to have a go at their mates

28th Apr 2005, 11:23
Plus the impact on morale when the aircraft don't return. When my dad joined his squadron they had lost 50% of their aircraft in the previous two raids (note: raids - Missionaries and the USAAF did missions). The survivors didn't really care whether or not those lost had been shot down before or after bombing, just the fact that they weren't sitting in the mess the following day.
Don't forget, RAF Bomber COmmand had the highest percentage losses of any force in the Uk & Empire, USA and Germany/Italy with the sole exception of the U-Boat fleet. It was in excess of 60%. That's dead by the way, not including injuries, POW's etc. It does include crashes in the UK and training losses though.

24th Jun 2005, 10:44
I was looking back through my old subscribed threads, though I would bring this back to the front. Have you had a chance to scan a copy in Genghis?

26th Jun 2005, 06:45
Copy here $110 (http://www.antiqbook.com/books/bookinfo.phtml?o=bookpr&bnr=35250) from the USA.

Genghis the Engineer
26th Jun 2005, 07:49
I haven't yet, but now have the necessary oddments to do so. I'll consider myself reminded.

Courtesy of flyer's ISP I have a spare website I can use at engineer.flyer.co.uk and will stick it on there.


28th Jun 2005, 21:01
One has located, and is in the process of buying, a copy for 20, including postage. Offers?...... :E

1st Jul 2005, 21:52
Nice to see a price of 61 quoted - I got mine at a flea market in Truro/Cornwall/UK (where I live) for 5 about two years ago. :D

WW2 British newspapers appear occasionally for about 50p upwards - so well worth a weekly trawl. :D

11th Jul 2005, 07:27
Copy arrived, dust cover is tatty, but the book itself is OK. :ok: