I hope it’s not too off-topic, but unfortunately the Literature Stack Exchange site is closed.

When I was a kid, I remember reading in L’album des Jeunes, which was a book containing selections of the Reader’s Digest and translated to French, a story by a British or American intelligence analyst during WWII, who was studying aerial photographs taken by the RAF above France, to look for V1 launching ramps, and how he found some disguised as garages under construction.

As far as I remember, the book was from the late 70s or early 80s. I remember really liking the story and I would like to read the full text, but I cannot find it with so little information that I remember. Does it ring a bell with anyone?

  • 1
    As it stands this will probably be closed as off-topic since it's a reference request. I suggest that you re-word it to ask about the specifics of the event and you may find that the sources included in the answers have the story you're looking for.
    – Steve Bird
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 14:22
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    You mean as in “How did the RAF know where to find V1 ramps to bomb them?” Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 15:01
  • Yes, you could even be more specific, since you want to know about the analysis of aerial reconnaissance photographs.
    – Steve Bird
    Commented Sep 5, 2016 at 15:48
  • I thought this was all done with aerial reconnaissance although I do think a major priority was given to taking Belgium as it was a launch site for Hitler's Vengeance Weapons. The Belgians weren't big fans of Germans after what happened in World War 1. I wouldn't be surprised if there wasn't some chit chat in that area. Remarkably Hitler ordered the use of some of these rockets on the German people themselves in order to destroy the Ludendorff Bridge. This turned into a significant moral victory for the British and the Americans. Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 1:14
  • I'd argue to leave this open. There will be a single authoritative answer that can be objectively judged and identified. It is unlikely to result in any discussion/debate. (arguably this is a "canonical reference" - OP is not asking for a class of references, but a single, specific source.)
    – MCW
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 15:55

1 Answer 1


The analyst was probably Constance Babington-Smith, whose fascinating 1957 book "Evidence in Camera" tells the whole story. The Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constance_Babington_Smith has additional detail.

  • Thank you. I’ll accept your answer once I get my hands on a copy of the book. Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 7:52
  • Let me know how you like it, and if it corresponds to what you read as a kid. Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 15:05
  • I bought it, I like it, but I haven’t yet reached a part that reminds me of what I read as a kid. :) Commented Sep 30, 2018 at 18:33

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