Battle of Britain - Radar Plotting

Report Copyright Infringement View in OSM UK View in OSM NZ


Activity to introduce map coordinates and compass directions and give the Cubs a basics of how Radar operators in WWII were able to direct Fighter Pilots so they could intercept the enemy


Copies of the attached


This activity is based on the activity that can be found at, but has been simplified and modified not only to teach the Cubs the basics of how Radar worked but also to teach the basics of 4 figure Grid References and simple compass directions as required for the Staged Navigator Badge.

Using the map in the attached document, the same as the one in the original activity, but with the addition of “Northings & Easting” Numbers.

As a way to show how hit & miss finding the location of the enemy aircraft would have been without Radar run an activity like a game of “Battleships”, where one team are given 2 – 3 minutes to plot the location of 5 of their enemy aircraft by putting crosses on a copy of the map, the other team then has to try and locate the enemy by calling out a Grid Reference, to which the other team will reply either “contact” or no contact.

Now give the Cubs the tables on page 2 of the attached document that gives them the last known coordinates or distance/direction from one of the Radar Stations (BH or F) of the enemy aircraft and get them to plot their location on the map, now ask them how much easier that would have been if you were an RAF Fighter Pilot sent up to intercept the enemy if you know there last location rather than just going up and hoping you find them.

The Teachers notes taken from the original activity give a basic description of how Radar of the time worked


  • Battle of Britain
  • Battle of Britain Day
  • grid reference introduction
  • grid references
  • map & Compass

Badge Links

  • Navigator - 4 compass points
  • Navigator - 4-figure reference