GEMA: Birthplace of German Radar and Sonar, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover


Birthplace of German Radar and Sonar, 1st Edition

By Harry von Kroge

CRC Press

216 pages | 43 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2000-01-01
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In Germany, the development of the first technologies of sonar and radar were interrelated. Following Christian Hülsmeyer's forgotten invention of the "Telemobiloskop" in 1904, two Berlin engineers, Paul Günther Erbslöh and Hans-Karl von Willisen, developed and built devices to locate targets accurately by reflections with underwater sound and radio waves. In 1934, they found their own company for this work, called Gesellschaft für Elektroakustische und Mechanische Apparate (GEMA), which became the birthplace of their famous Freya air-warning and Seetakt ocean-surveillance radars.

Harry von Kroge has devoted decades to collecting a mass of statements and widely scattered documentary material about the evolution of GEMA's sonar and radar. GEMA: Birthplace of German Radar and Sonar, the English edition of von Kroge's first important, seminal work, discusses previously unavailable parts of the fascinating story of pioneering efforts in learning to see in the darkness. It relates the fascinating story of how German radar and sonar were developed in the years leading up to and during World War II. The author provides insights into the difficulties encountered on the way to the first promising results in target detection and ranging without optical visibility. The book includes rare technical descriptions as well as information about industrial and scientific cooperation involving secret equipment in Germany before 1945.


"This is a detailed, professional-level book with ample technical coverage of the various sets, production figures for each model, proper citation of sources, and name and subject indexes. It does an excellent job of reconstructing the company's history despite the passage of time and the wartime loss of records. The photographs of the various radar sets are plentiful and of unusually good quality."

-Tube Collector

"This will be an essential text for specialists, and an informative read for those with a general interest in the field."

-Dr. John Beavis, Transmission Lines

"If you want to have a well-rounded, complete perspective on the birth and development of radar, GEMA: Birthplace of German Radar and Sonar is essential."

"… a very welcome addition to the literature."

-Centaurus, 2001

"… the work really is worth reading."

-IEEE AES Systems Magazine

"Offers rare technical descriptions as well as information about industrial and scientific cooperation involving secret equipment in Germany before 1945."

-Book News

"All in all, the volume is well written, perhaps partly due to Brown's involvement."

-History of Physics Newsletter, Volume VIII, No. 5

Table of Contents

Translator's Preface

Foreword by Paul Günther Erbslöh


In the Beginning Was an Idea

The Originators

An Irresolute Beginning

The Incorporation of GEMA

The First Underwater Sound and Radar Equipment

DeTe- and S-Equipment

First Surprises

Drop the Magnetron, Pick up the Triode

A Radar Success with Aircraft

Things Move Forward

Year of Decisions

The Beginning of Production

The Time Just before the War

GEMA Is Bound to Armaments

War Does Not Stop Research

Hard but Successful Years

Turbulent Times

On the Way to Powerful Radar and Sonar

Intensification to the Limit

GEMA's Constrained Ending

Translator's Epilogue



Name Index

Subject Index

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Physics