The Luftwaffe was covertly taking aerial photographs of the east coast of the United Kingdom from Deal in Kent to Wick in Caithness well before the outbreak of WW2.
The compilation of an accurate catalogue of photographs showing the details of beaches, villages, inlets, towns and navigable hazards of the east coast had commenced as early as the mid 1930's. Starting off with the tour of the UK by the German Zepplins and continued with covert civilian and commercial aircraft flights up and to the outbreak of hostilities on 16th September, 1939. This photographic activity occurred well before the need for target photography for bombing raids etc.
The photographs are probably the first quality catalogue of the UK coastline.
Most of the images were taken from aircraft flying at between 10,000 and 15,000 feet and would be used as an aid to 'Operation Sea Lion' and other coastal activities throughout the war years.
If you compare present day aerial shots (Google Earth etc) with these oldies the differences are quite staggering, showing amazing changes to towns and villages over those last 60 to70 years.
Construction, destruction and coastal erosion have played a large part in changing our landscapes over those years.
Continual changes to our climate and sea level rises will play an even bigger part in coastal changes in the future. Some villages and even towns may be lost.
This collection of photographs and text descriptions is very unique in that it was probably compiled from the first of the Luftwaffe's intelligence gathering sortie's over the UK.
Many more would follow over the war years as target photos.
Overall the collection provides a unique insight into the past even showing old layouts of golf courses and even long gone football stadia of the past,many things are gone now but the memories linger on.