Electronic Weapons: How To Predict The Unfought Cyber War

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March 30, 2016: The concept of using attacks via networked computers is several decades old. Naturally this led to discussions of what full scale Cyber War would be like and how to deal with it. There has not been one of those yet and there is much anxiety over how one would proceed. The useful tool for predicting future events is the simulation or, in this case, a wargame. But these simulations only work if you have data from similar events in the past. You are confident this data is useful because you can build simulation that accurately recreate past events. As the saying goes, “if you can predict the past you can predict the future.” That doesn’t work so well with Cyber War, at least not the first one.

In short it is difficult to predict the past if you have no good historical models for Cyber War. While there have not been any past Cyber Wars to provide data, there have been similar “tech wars” that are almost as good. There were several of these tech wars (or “competitions”) during World War II (1939-45) that are appropriate for developing a better idea of what a real Cyber War would be like. Take, for example, the electronic warfare that took place over Europe from 1940-45 in support of aerial bombing campaigns or to defend against them. The electronic warfare was most intense in the air over Britain and Western Europe (particularly Germany). Starting in 1943 that electronic warfare proceed with unprecedented intensity. In doing so nearly all the current electronic devices, weapons and countermeasures were invented and first used in combat.

Going into World War II, aircraft had little electronic equipment on board except a radio, and many nations didn't even equip all their warplanes with radios. But there was a lot of new electronic gadgetry being developed in the laboratories and universities during the 1930s. The needs of wartime quickly brought a lot of that speculative and experimental gear into use.

It did not take long and one of the first of the modern electronic devices to be introduced over Europe was the German Knickebein in February of 1940. This was an airborne navigation system using signals from ground transmitters. This allowed bombers flying a night to find targets, and accurately bomb them. This was a classic, and oft repeated, case of an unexpected military situation (bombing at night) bringing forth a technical solution to a seemingly intractable problem (finding targets at night.)

While the Germans pioneered the bombing of cities in the 1930s, particularly in Spain during the Civil War (1936-39), they always assumed that they would first clear the air of enemy fighters and then bomb accurately by day. When the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) ran into the RAF (British Royal Air Force) in 1940, it was quickly obvious that British fighters could make bombing in daylight an excessively expensive proposition. Bombing at night avoided the fighters, but created seemingly insurmountable navigation problems. Flying above the clouds, one could navigate well enough by the stars to find and bomb cities, but not smaller, and more critical targets like aircraft factories and airbases.

But the Germans (and other nations) had already been working on the use of radio beacons to guide aircraft. These were actually quite simple in theory, and practice. Radio beams was pointed in a certain direction, and the navigators on aircraft listened to the radio signals, giving the pilot instructions when to make a slight turn this way or that to stay on course. The beam was about 400 meters wide. The navigator noted distance traveled, and listened for the second beam that crossed the first beam at the target, so that he could alert the bombardier when the aircraft were near the target. If there was nothing but clouds or fog below, when the aircraft hit the point where they heard both radio signals, it was time to drop the bombs.

You could still use visual identification of the target being bombed. But if you could get the aircraft close, and clouds or fog did not interfere, a river or shape of a coastline would let you know when the target was found. Once a few bombs were dropped, the rest of the bombers would have the fires below to light up their target.

It took a while for the British to figure out how the Germans were doing it, for the Knickebein device was hidden on the bombers and the crew members who knew about it were instructed to keep quiet on the subject if captured. But eventually the British did find out about Knickebein and, in September 1940, introduced their countermeasure; Asperin. This was nothing more than an electronic jammers that sent out a lot of noise on the same frequencies as, Knickebein, rendering it useless.

The Knickebein was something that aircraft engineers were interested in before the war for purely commercial reasons. Such a system could just as easily move commercial aircraft from city to city. Even before the war, such a system was in use to allow aircraft to land when the weather was so bad that they could not see the airfield below. System for long range navigation (LORAN) were constructed after World War II and are still being replaced by GPS.

During the Battle of Britain (Summer of 1940), the outnumbered British came up with a number of innovative, and not always high tech, ways to better deal with the German bombers. Although the principal German bombing attacks during 1940 were in daylight, there were also night attacks against cities. The British were the first to develop airborne radar for their night fighters. The first system, the AI (Airborne Interception radar), with a minimum range of 240 meters and a maximum one of 3,200 meters. Given the crude tracking ability of the ground radars, this was often not enough to get the night fighter close enough to the German bombers to get a contact. So the British came up with another simple device, a transponder (radio transmitter) called Pip Squeak that gave out a signal periodically that was picked up by ground stations and, using triangulation, gave a precise position of the British aircraft. There was also a series of radar beacons that allowed the night fighters to quickly find out what their own current position was. This was the forerunner of transponders and Blue Force Tracker. In 1940 this led to another innovation, centralized control of air defense. This was nothing more than reporting all sightings of enemy aircraft (from radar, human spotters or pilots) to one location. This control center would then allocate interceptors and alert anti-aircraft units. While seemingly obvious, this technique was not immediately adopted by every nation. The British were the first and it was a key element in their winning the Battle of Britain against the German Luftwaffe.

In September, 1940, the British introduced a better night fighter (the 11 ton Beaufighter, with four 20mm cannon), equipped with an improved airborne radar (AI Mk IV) that had a minimum range of 120 meters and a max range of 4,800 meters. The Beaufighters began shooting down German night bombers in late November, 1940 and the night skies became increasingly unfriendly for German bombers. By March, 1941, for the first time, British night fighters shot down more German bombers (22) than did anti-aircraft guns (21). In April the score went up to 48 bombers for the night fighters, versus 39 for the guns. In May, the larger number of radar equipped Beaufighters took down 96 German bombers. At that point, most of the Luftwaffe aircraft were shifted to East Europe, for the German invasion of Russia in June of 1941. This was just as well, for the total German bomber strength was 1,300, and losing nearly a hundred a month to British night fighters was more than the Luftwaffe bomber force could take. The aircraft were easy enough to replace, even if losses were two hundred a month. But experienced crews were another matter. The British had won the aerial battle over the night skies.

When the night bombing began in 1940, it was going both ways. Britain began sending night bombers against Germany in May, 1940. Until the Luftwaffe was sent off to Russia in the Spring of 1941, the British and Germans continued to battle for control of the air and send night bombers against each other’s cities. The British noted a problem with telling the difference between their own returning night bombers, and German bombers headed for British cities. Friendly and enemy bombers would both be shot at by the anti-aircraft guns, or attacked by the few primitive night fighters available. The solution was a device that is still in use; IFF (Identify, Friend or Foe.) The IFF was a special radio device that sent out a specific signal on a specific frequency. A friendly radar would recognize the signal and would know if the aircraft was sending back the right signal. If it was, that aircraft was friendly, if not, it was presumed to be foe and was attacked. Early IFF devices were only used by radar stations, so that anti-aircraft units could be told to open, or hold, fire. Oddly enough, the Germans did not pick up on this device until near the end of the war. They knew of it, but did not fully appreciate the usefulness. Eventually they did.

But during World War II, IFF was widely used by the British, and later the Germans. Enemy aircraft with purloined IFF codes never became a problem. It was more likely for a friendly aircraft to fly into range of friendly anti-aircraft guns, and get shot up because the IFF was broke that day.

As the war went on, the Germans had more critical electronic problems to solve, namely how to improve their radar system to deal with the increasing number of British (and later U.S.) bombers headed east. The original German radar in use in 1939 were quite advanced, probably the best in the world. But in 1940 British scientists discovered how to make microwave radar. This greatly increased the power of radar, as well as it's accuracy while making the equipment smaller. This latter advantage made it possible to put long range radar sets in aircraft. This British advance in radar transmitters was combined with the U.S. lead in radar receivers. Together, British and American radar manufacturers saw to it that the Allies maintained a lead in radar technology throughout the war.

The Germans kept using the older technology until they discovered the microwave angle in 1943, via a shot down Allied aircraft carrying radar. The Germans didn't get their own microwave radars into use until late 1944, too late to have any major effect on the outcome of the war. Oddly enough, the Japanese had also discovered how to use microwave radar in 1941 but had not shared this with their German allies. This shows how valuable military secrets can be. Had the Germans gotten the secret of microwave radar in 1941 or 1942, their anti-aircraft defenses would have been more formidable when the Allied bombing campaign went into high gear during 1944. There would have been a lot more Allied losses. It wouldn't have changed the outcome of the war, but would have killed a lot more British and American airmen.

The increasing number of British air-raids on Germany was very embarrassing to the Nazi government. Although it was impossible to stop the raids, measures could be taken to reduce their impact. For example, if the night had enough moonlight, and there was enough warning, German fighters could be directed to the oncoming British bombers and get some hits in. Moreover, the longer the warning, the sooner more civilians in the target area could get into the air-raid shelters.

With typical wartime vigor, the improvements in German radar kept on coming. In October, 1940, the Wurzburg II went into service. This was a case more of cleverness than some kind of scientific or engineering breakthrough. A pair of Wurzburg radars was used in this system, one to track bombers and another to track German interceptors. This was deadly when used at night, which was the reason for developing it in the first place. The German night fighter pilots could not see far at night, but their radar operators on the ground could see everything in the sky about them. This dual radar system guided the interceptors to a position behind and below the British bomber stream. This was the ideal position for the night fighters to spot the bombers, and attack them. Unlike the British, however, the Germans had not yet centralized their air defense control. It wasn't until 1943 that the Germans had a centralized air defense system similar to what the British had in 1940.

In September, 1941 the Germans introduced the Wurzburg Reise, an improved Wurzburg with 65 km range. In the previous twelve months, the new 1940 systems were manufactured and installed. Because of the short range of the German radars (compared to the British models) , more of them were needed to cover the large area of air space the British bombers operated in. The new technology also had to be organized in a way that could do maximum damage. This is one side of new technology that is often overlooked. New gadgets by themselves are not of much use. Moreover, not everyone will organize new technologies the same way. The air war over Europe in World War II provides many examples. One was the use of night fighters. Before they equipped theirs with radar, the British preferred to use ground radar to guide the night fighters to an interception with the bombers, and then let the fighters use whatever light was available to find and attack the bombers. This did not allow attacks quite as lethal as in daytime, mainly because the bombers could be spotted only at relatively short range (a few hundred meters, out to a few kilometers, depending on position and available light from the moon) and the fighters could not operate in groups, lest they collide with each other in the heat of combat. Often it took several passes at an "intercept point" before a fighter found a group of bombers. So individual night fighters were kept under tight control by their ground controllers, and kept apart as the attacks were made.

The Germans came up with another approach, which demonstrates how there are often several solutions to a problem. The Germans used a line of radar guided searchlights to not only spot, and spotlight, bombers, but also to guide in and control the night fighters. The searchlights made the bombers much easier to find and this technique increased the losses among the British bombers. Fortunately, politics intervened, and the searchlights were ordered back to "defend the cities" in May of 1942 (that is, to make a show for the civilians that "something was being done to defend them.") Even in a dictatorship, the Nazis had to pay attention to public opinion.

But in February 1942 the Germans introduced Lichtenstein, their Airborne radar for night fighters. Since it was not a microwave radar, its range was short, varying from a minimum of 200 to a maximum of 3,500 meters. But this radar enabled night fighters, once directed by ground radar, to the general area behind where the bombers were spotted, to eventually find them. Then would follow a pursuit, as the night fighter crept up behind a bomber, got it in sight and opened up with 20mm or 30mm cannon. Coming in, the bombers were full of fuel and bombs, and the attack often resulted in a violet explosion and one less bomber. A single night fighter could often get two or more bombers on one sortie. The attacks were made from below, to minimize the effects of the bombers own machine guns. The first radar equipped German night fighter kill was in early August, 1941.

In response to the more lethal German night fighter attacks, the British did what electronic warriors have been doing to this day; they tried to find out more about the new German airborne radar so that they could deal with it. While ground based radars were too powerful to jam with 1940s technology, airborne radars were another matter. These smaller radars put out a much weaker signal and could be jammed, if you knew what kind of signal they put out. To find out this information, the British sent out bombers equipped, not with bombs, but with special monitoring equipment and operators who could use it to quickly sort out the German radar's characteristics and radio this information back to Britain. The information had to be quickly radioed back because it was likely that the bomber would not survive its encounter with the night fighter, and the crew would be killed or captured in the process. This was not a job for the faint of heart.

What the British learned in World War II about collecting information on enemy electronic equipment is still valid today. Such information is not cheap to get, and is even more expensive if you don't get it. Today, ships, submarines, aircraft and satellites are used to get this information on other nations radars and electronic gadgets. Even during peacetime there are losses, for often the gathering involves getting close to foreign territory and sometimes get violent about such actions. Hundreds of Americans died during the Cold War while collecting these electronic signatures in peacetime. In wartime it is an even more costly process. But without this information, wars begin with enemy electronics operating at peak capacity, rather than crippled by jamming and other countermeasures. The need for this electronic information was appreciated early in World War II, thus beginning a process that will continue as long as weapons use electronic transmitters.

Going into 1942, Germany began introducing new generations of radar equipment. In March, they began using two new, complimentary, radars. First there was Mammut, a more powerful early warning radar with range of 330 km. However, this device could not plot altitude, only detect that something was out there. Introduced at the same time was the Wassermann , an early warning radar with range of only 240 km, but one that could plot altitude. Thus by using both radars, enemy aircraft could be spotted 330 kilometers out and interceptors ordered aloft. It took the approaching bombers less than half an hour to get from 330 kilometers out to 240 kilometers out, at which point the Wassermann radars could detect their altitude and the interceptors could be sent in at the right location and altitude.

In early 1942 the Allies also tried out their own version the earlier German Knickebein. The Gee airborne navigation system used signals from ground transmitters, but differently than the earlier German system. Gee was also useable over longer ranges. At 600 kilometers from the transmitters, aircraft knew their location to within 10 kilometers. In June 1942 the Allies introduced the Shaker system. This was Gee equipped "Pathfinder" aircraft that dropped bombs on the target (as best they could), to provide aiming points for other night bombers following behind. The use of pathfinder aircraft was an extremely useful innovation for night bombers, and required no technical innovations. This sort of thing is quite common in warfare. Technology is not always the answer. Anyway, in August, 1942, the Germans introduced Heinrich, a jamming system the made Gee unusable by the end of 1942.

During the Summer of 1942 the Allies raised the stakes in the electronic war. They began using Moonshine, a device carried on aircraft that detected German long range radar signals and increased the strength of the signal bounced back, making it look like a larger bomber formation. This caused the Germans to send interceptors after the wrong groups of bombers, at least until the incoming bombers were picked up by the shorter range fighter control radars. By the end of 1942, the Allies began using Mandrel, an electronic jammer carried in the lead aircraft of a formation to jam the German early warning radar.

The new radar jamming was not a wonder weapon, for the Germans had several different types of radars, operating on several different frequencies. Each radar frequency had to be jammed separately, a problem that current jammers still have to contend with. What these first jammers did was make the German air defense system less effective. The Allies knew what they were doing, and following up on the radar jamming they introduced Tinsel, an electronic jammer that disrupted ground to air communications. This made the German night fighters less effective, as the night fighter pilots would find themselves without a working radio just as they were getting final instructions on how to close with British bombers that were being traced by radio.

The Allies also realized that the Germans depended on more primitive devices to track bombers crossing Germany at night. So a device was fitted to some bombers that amplified the bombers engine noise so as to confuse ground observers who tracked bomber formations by their engine noise. This was not a big success, but it shows you how eager people are to try just about anything in wartime in order to gain an advantage.

At the very end of 1942, the Allies introduced Oboe. This was a 430 km range ground radar device that calculated a friendly bombers precise location and sent signal to the bomber about when bombs should be dropped. This was used during the day as well, when overcast prevented bombers from seeing their targets. This was limited by the range of the Oboe radar, and was of no use for the many targets deep inside Germany. It was also, for all practical purposes, impossible to jam.

The year 1943 saw the introduction of many new devices that, by the end of the century would still be considered high technology. The first of these "modern" electronic device was introduced by the Allies, H2S. This was a ground mapping airborne radar, which could distinguish between water, cities and rural areas. For 1943, this was really high tech and all the bugs were not worked out until the end of 1943. The advantages of ground mapping radars were enormous. Since Europe was crowded with rivers and urban areas, navigators with the proper maps could always figure out where they were, day or night, no matter how much overcast there was. For large targets, like cities, ports or large industrial complexes, "bombing by radar" became a possibility, and an accurate one at that (at least by World War II standards.) In September the Germans responded to H2S, after a fashion, when they began using Naxburg. These were receivers that could detect the allied H2S ground mapping radars over 300 km away. In January of 1944, the Germans came out with yet another H2S detector, Naxos. When the Allies discovered the use of these detectors, they ordered aircraft crews to be sparing in their use of H2S. Of course the Allies knew that H2S signals could, in theory, be detected, but the warnings to H2S operators meant more when they could be backed up with evidence that the Germans were able to home in on H2S.

In March of 1943 another high tech electronic gadget came into use. This was the Allied Monica, a tail warning radar for night bombers. The device would alert the crew when another aircraft was within 1,000 meters of the bomber. This was particularly useful for the rear gunner in a bomber. With sufficient warning he could spot the night fighter and put some firepower on it.

In addition to the Monica tail warning radar, early 1943 also saw the Allied first use of Boozer, a "Radar Warning Receiver" that alerted crew when they were being detected by the German radars that controlled night fighters, as well as the night fighters own radar. The Allies also began using night fighters against the German night fighters. Later, during the Summer of 1943, the Allied night fighters received a much improved radar (AI Mk IX, or, in American parlance, the SCR 720.) At the same time, Serrate was introduced for Allied night fighters. This device detected the German Lichtenstein airborne radar. This enabled allied night fighter pilots to determine where German fighter was and engage it. Since all this usually took place above the clouds, there was enough star and moon light to allow engagements if you knew where to look. This made for some very active combat in the night sky, as the German night fighters stalked British bombers and the Germans were in turn hunted down by Allied night fighters.

In the Summer of 1943, the electronic countermeasures war really heated up. The Allies introduced Window ("chaff") to jam German radar. Window was tinfoil strips, cut to the right length to cause German radar to see a "wall" of well, tinfoil strips. Bundles of it were tossed out of allied aircraft and this, in effect, created an electronic smoke screen behind which anything could be happening. The Allies began using separate groups of aircraft equipped with jammers and chaff to create deceptions and lure the German night fighters to them and away from the real bomber screen.

To further befuddle German night fighters, the Allies brought online Special Tinsel, an updated transmitter that jammed the new German aircraft radios modified to operate in spite of the original Tinsel jammers. Noting that the weak link for German night fighters was their radio communication with their ground controllers, more attention was paid to jamming this vital link between fighter and ground radar. Thus in October 1943, the Allies deployed ABC, airborne transmitters that would jam the new series of "jam proof" radios in German night fighters. At the same time, the Allies also began using Corona, which were Special Tinsel jammers that, instead of jamming, sent out false instructions to German fighters.

The Germans were now having the tables turned on them, with their electronic detection and communication devices being attacked electronically by skilled airborne Allied Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) experts. Thus was born a job category that has increased enormously ever since. The World War II ECM specialists would, just like current practitioners fly ahead of the bombers and use all manner of tactics and electronic equipment to confuse and neutralize enemy ground radars, radar equipped interceptors and radio communications between the two. Eventually, the Allied ECM became so effective that some bombing raids suffered no losses to German night fighters.

But the Germans fought back. In late 1943 they deployed the SN 2, an improved night fighter radar that was immune to Window and had a range of 400-6,000 meters. The use of chaff was a major blow to the German use of radar and they quickly responded. In November, 1943, they began using Wurzlaus. This was a modified Wurzburg radar that could sometimes differentiate between stationary tinfoil clouds and nearby aircraft that were, of course, moving.

The Germans also modified their Wurzburg radar (the "Nurnburg" version) so that is gave an electronic sound to the operator, as well as the blip on the radar screen. After some training, an operator could use his ears to tell the difference between the radar signal coming back from a chaff cloud and one coming back from moving aircraft. Chaff, like so many other measures, was only a temporary advantage and soon was compromised by countermeasures.

Perhaps the major flaw of electronic devices was that, if they sent out a signal, that signal could be traced. Thus by the end of 1943 the German night fighters were using Flensburg, an airborne receiver that could detect the allied Monica tail radar for up to 100 kilometers. This enabled the night fighter pilot to carefully stalk the bomber and get in his attack without as much danger from the bombers tail guns. But Flensburg, and the Naxburg device for detecting the H2S ground mapping radar, also made an earlier (Summer of 1943) innovation even more useful. This little item was not a piece of high tech gear, but a simple modification of a German night fighter and was called Schrage Musik ("Jazz".) Despite this flurry of electronic measures and countermeasures, it was still the case that simple, non-technical ideas had a major impact on the night battles in the air. Thus the Germans managed to increase the lethality of their night fighters, while reducing their vulnerability, but the simple expedient of mounting a pair of upward firing 20mm cannon behind the pilot. Whether alerted by Flensburg or not, the night fighter came up under the bomber and Jazzed it with the 20mm cannon. The pilot had to be careful to get out of the way as the bomber began to go down, but at least the fighter did not have to worry about those four machine guns mounted in the tail of the bomber.

There were a flurry of new devices introduced in early 1944. First there was the Allied Dartboard, which jammed German radio stations that were used to send coded messages to fighter pilots (whose normal radios were now frequently being jammed.) Then came the Allied Oboe 2, a new version of the navigation with a new and improved type of radar signal. This made Allied bombing missions three hundred or so kilometers inside Germany more accurate.

But the Germans also came up with Jagdschloss, a ground radar with a range of 150 kilometers that could switch between four different frequencies and thus be more resistant to jamming. They also began using Egon, a 200 kilometer range fighter control radio that was more resistant to jamming and enabled ground controllers and radars to continually guide fighters.

From the end of 1943 through the Spring of 1944 it appeared that the Germans were winning the battle for the night skies. Despite all the Allied efforts at jamming German radios and radars, the Germans were more successful at using radar and jammer detectors. And the use of Schrage Musik greatly reduced their night fighter losses. Between November, 1943 and March, 1944, the British sent out thirty-five major attacks against German cities. The night fighters destroyed 1,047 bombers and damaged 1,682 others. In one major raid, the British sent out 999 bombers, of which 97 were shot down. Night fighters launched 247 sorties and accounted for 79 of the British bombers lost. The difference in men lost was even more striking; 11 Germans versus 545 British.

The German success was misleading, however, in that most of the British bombers were still getting through. Moreover, the British night bombing was a stopgap until such time as daylight bombing could be done. This was what the American bombers began doing in late 1942. By late 1943, escorted by long range fighters, the American B-17s and B-24s were ranging all over Germany making accurate raids on German industrial targets. The British bombers were still dropping more bombs. Even in 1944, at the peak of the American effort, the British night bombers dropped 525 thousand tons of bombs versus 389 thousand tons for the American daylight bombers. The British bombing, although now considered "terror" raids against cities and their civilian populations, did have a serious impact on the German war effort. Millions of workers were diverted to dealing with the damage and the refugees. Over half a million German troops were assigned to anti-aircraft defenses around the cities. And the night fighter force kept increasing, from 611 fighters at the end of 1943 to 1256 in January, 1945. The night raids made the cities unlivable and helped cripple the German transportation network.

The Germans did make their point, in early 1944 and throughout the war, that night fighters were a formidable weapon. Of the 11,965 British night bombers lost during the war, night fighters accounted for half (5,730) of them. But the Allies did not give up because of the night fighters ascendancy in early 1944. June of 1944 brought the Allied invasion of France and many of the night bombers were diverted to bombing missions in France, and adjacent areas, to support the invasion.

During the Summer of 1944, more Allied technology was applied to the night bombing effort. In August Jostle was introduced. This was an airborne "barrage" jammer that jammed large range of frequencies simultaneously. This could shut down many of the German electronic devices and the same time and prevent coordination of their effort. This is a method that is still quite useful today, for there is really no easy countermeasure for it.

In September, Window 2 came into use. Chaff cut to different length would jam the new German SN 2 airborne radar. Window had to be cut to the right length to jam a specific radar frequency, and this became a regular practice. The right chaff for the right radar, and sometimes different lengths of chaff went out the aircraft at the same time to jam all the German radars being used.

In October, the Allies introduced Serrate 4, a new radar detector that could detect and locate the new German SN 2 airborne radar. At the same time, the Allies began using Perfectos to cripple the new German IFF. The Germans were now using electronic ID (IFF, "Identify Friend or Foe") and Perfectos could trigger the IFF and use the subsequent ID signal to locate German fighters. It was this experience that has, ever since, made pilots a bit wary of IFF. At the end of 1944 the Allies introduced Micro-H, which was an alternative to Gee navigation system that would again be useful until the Germans figured out a countermeasure.

In addition to more powerful electronic weapons, in 1945 the Allies had sufficient control of the air over Germany to attack the German radar and control network. With radar and control centers gone, the effectiveness of the German air defense system rapidly declined.

By early 1945, Germany lay in ruins, in good measure because of the 955,000 tons of bombs dropped by the British night bombers, and the 623,000 tons dropped by the U.S. daylight bombers. The American air force officers that planned and flew all those missions over Germany came away with ideas and expectations that have resonated for decades afterward and form the core attitudes of air force technology and tactics to this day. The “payload” of the bombers was explosives and incendiaries while the Cyber War payload is damage to the many computers that operate a modern economy. Another form of damage is grabbing enemy information. Cyber War already recognizes the need to rapidly innovate to survive, which was the same thing that drove the electronic warfare over Europe during World War II.

One thing that has obviously changed since World War II is the speed of innovation. Cyber War is more about software than hardware and that means new Cyber War weapons, or defenses, can be created in hours, or less. The side that has a demonstrated ability to innovate effectively and do it faster will have an edge. So with the above examples Cyber War suddenly has a past that can be simulated and provide a model for predicting the future of Cyber War or, rather, the first one.

 


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