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Silverknowes Decoy AA Battery

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A decoy anti-aircraft battery site, constructed during World War II, has been reported in the area of Silverknowes golf course, on the coast to the northwest of Edinburgh.

Following an original report indicating that there was no information relating to the guns installed in the battery, a later contribution identified the site to be that of a decoy anti-aircraft battery. The emplacements were described as turf walls, with the gun barrels being represented by wooden poles. Decoys of the time would not have required to be particularly sophisticated, provided they gave a sufficiently close visual approximation for aerial surveillance photography taken for intelligence gathering being undertaken by the enemy. The decoy battery may have been intended to operate in conjunction withhe Cramond Decoy, a fire decoy which was located a short distance to the west.

There is an apparent inconsistency in the historic record, which describes both the decoy, and an accommodation camp to the east, containing Nissen huts which also appear to be visible in aerial photographs taken in 1946. Genuine anti-aircraft batteries often had accommodation camps nearby, for the crews, however other reports have cited the absence of an accommodation camp as evidence that a battery site was actually a decoy. Detail available in the online images is insufficient to clearly identify the subjects with any certainty.

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