Johnson, Brian.


New York, 1st US ed., 1978. 352 pp., frontis., + numerous other photo-ills., & drawings. D.j., 25 x 18cm. Small owner's label o/w Nr.FINE. The Second World War was a struggle as much between scientists as fighting men. The need, on both sides, to counter the enemy’s technological ingenuity was a spur to scientific invention. The author, who produced a related series for the BBC, examines first the Bombing of the Beams which enabled the Luftwaffe to bomb England with accuracy, and he shows how these aids were countered. He then looks at the invention of radar, the vital element in the British defence system, and the development by both sides of navigational and bombing radars for their aircraft. Also covered is the development of the V1 and V2 by German scientists and the British countermeasures; the naval secret war against the U-boat – ASDIC, depth charges, escort carriers, various devices like the Leigh Light, produced for Coastal Command aircraft, and German counters. The author remembers some of the fantastic weapons to be countered and developed like the magnetic mine or the 40-ton gliders. Finally he describes the war’s best-kept secret, Enigma, which enabled the British to break the German codes.

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