After the defeat of France in 1940, RAF Bomber Command remained one of the few ways the offensive war could be taken to Germany.
The first daylight raids were disastrous, so the RAF reverted to night-time operations to avoid German fighters and flak. However, navigation at night was difficult, and bomber crews often had difficulty finding their targets.
In 1942, the Pathfinders were formed to fly ahead of the main bomber stream and mark the targets with coloured flares. They were equipped with the latest navigation technology and by 1943, electronic advances like airborne radar allowed crews vastly improved accuracy.
With every advance in technology however, counter measures were soon developed by the adversary, forcing each side into a frantic effort to maintain their advantage. It is acknowledged that by wars end, the RAF’s advances in electronic navigation and counter measures, and the discipline and bravery of the RAF crews, made the difference in changing the tide of war in favour of the Allies.