|British barrage balloons|
On the 20th of March 1942, the British let loose their balloons, equipped with small bombs, intended to be more of an irritation than an actual threat, at £73 each in today's money, it was deemed worth it. Intercepted German transmissions told British high command that the balloons had had the intended effect; the Luftwaffe were wasting their time shooting the balloons, only half of which actually had bombs on, the others were harmless.
The only actual known fatalities caused by Operation Outward was in neutral Sweden where the balloons caused a train wreck. The operation was ended in September 1944.
|Diagram of the Japanese Fu-Gos|
The balloons; despite their sophistication failed to ignite any forest fires. They did however kill 6 Americans; making them more successful than their British counterparts. One balloon also hit The Manhattan Project, knocking out a generator, the backup generation came on before any real damage was done however. The Japanese claimed mass casualties and widespread panic as part of their propaganda war despite the somewhat limited success.
In Canada, balloons were found as far inland as Winnipeg. These balloons caused no damage, in fact quite the opposite; the Canadians took the balloons apart and used the materials for their own causes.
The Japanese balloon launches ceased in May 1945.