Wartling Bunker (ZUN)R3 GCI Rotor Radar Station

RAF Wartling became operational in 1941 as a radar station. In 1943 it was fitted with a larger type of radar which consisted of a rotating aerial array with both the transmitter and receiver beneath the array. RAF Wartling and its radar played a crucial part in the war, tracking, intercepting and thereby enabling the destruction of some 380 V1 (the so-called Doodlebug) flying bombs.

RAF Wartling remained in service after the war, but with the advent of atomic weapons and the possibility of global nuclear war, early detection systems had to be radically upgraded, along with an entire shift in the design and construction of the buildings that were to house these detection systems. Cold War ROTOR buildings began to replace Second World War GCI radar stations, and by 1955 RAF Wartling had been rebuilt as a R3 ROTOR station, complete with an underground bunker and guardhouse. Like all ROTOR stations, RAF Wartling was never designed to withstand the detonation of a direct nuclear hit, but in the event of the outbreak of nuclear war, RAF Wartling would have enabled personnel within the station to continue with strategic planning before, during and after such an event.

RAF Wartling faced serious problems due to water seepage during construction, and since decommission in 1976, the various buildings that formed RAF Wartling were either sold privately and converted or, as in the case of the underground bunker, abandoned. The water seepage problem reasserted itself, resulting in large areas of the bunker being flooded.

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