In 1944, a German fighter plane landed in a British airfield thinking they were in Germany! It saved 100s of British lives
On the 13th of July 1944, at 04h25 at the airfield of Woodbridge in Suffolk, England, a runway controller flashed the 'clear to land signal' to a twin-engine aircraft. He was under the impression the aircraft circling the field was a Mosquito fighter.
It was, in fact, a much unexpected visitor. This was a very important moment in World War II for Britain, but one seldom remembered. Woodbridge was an emergency landing site. No one would expect anything but a British plane to land there and therefore, when a bus was sent out to the landing strip to pick up the crew, both sides were extremely surprised! All three the crew members were German!
The poor Germans thought that they were landing at a home airbase well within Europe. They had there compass the wrong way around and was flying in the exact opposite direction than what they intended. The landing of the German JU88 aircraft saved thousands of British lives. The British could now study the radar used by the German planes and develop techniques to hone in on it.
The ju88 landing casually on a British airfield was therefore a gift that fell into Britain's lap, without a fight, and gave them the opportunity to study German electronic technology and to find ways to counter it.