During the Second World War, photographic reconnaissance units based in Scotland were responsible for some of the most significant reconnaissance missions of the war. This included the famous sortie flown out of RAF Wick by Flying Officer Suckling that located the German battleship Bismarck in a Norwegian fjord and led to its sinking days later. To prepare for missions, extensive training flights were made around the United Kingdom and over 3000 of the aerial photographs taken over Scotland are now accessible online.
The photographs were taken between 1940 and 1943 and contain unique images of Scotland at war. Highlights include commando training camps, merchant shipping, coastal defences, camouflaged buildings, military sites, radar stations and Clydebank after the blitz. These photographs were held by M Section at the Allied Central Interpretation Unit, RAF Medmenham, who were responsible for aerial photographs of the United Kingdom during the Second World War.
These photographs can be explored in detail using the zoom feature available with our website subscription. Work continues to preserve, digitise and catalogue a further 3000 M Section aerial photographs which are planned to be accessible online in 2011.