Technical and Military Imperatives: A Radar History of World War II is a coherent account of the history of radar in the second World War. Although many books have been written on the early days of radar and its role in the war, this book is by far the most comprehensive, covering ground, air, and sea operations in all theatres of World War II. The author manages to synthesize a vast amount of material in a highly readable, informative, and enjoyable way. Of special interest is extensive new material about the development and use of radar by Germany, Japan, Russia, and Great British. The story is told without undue technical complexity, so that the book is accessible to specialists and nonspecialists alike.
Table of Contents
Preliminaries: Radio vision for war. Electromagnetic waves. Perceptions of air power, 1919-1939. Navigation in 1939. Antiaircraft artillery, 1914-1939. Origins: Electronic component development. Beginnings, 1902-1934. Britain builds an air defense system. American and Germans build prototypes. Five other nations. First clashes: War in Europe. The Battle of Britain and the Blitz. The Atlantic, 1941. Friend, foe or home? The Japanese realize they are behind. New ideas: Microwaves. The Tizard mission. The radiation laboratory. The proximity fuze - the smallest radar. Greater and lesser microwave sets. Years of Allied despair and hope: The Mediterranean, 1940-1942. War in the Pacific. The Channel, 1942. Carrier warfare defined. The South Pacific, 1942. The Eastern front. The great radar war: The destruction of German cities initiated. Countermeasures. An air war of attrition. Arbeitsgemeinschaft-Rotterdam. The destruction of German cities completed. Allied victory in sight: The battle of the Atlantic, 1939-1945. Radar in arctic waters. The Mediterranean, 1943-1945. Japanese shipping destroyed. The wide Pacific. The end in Europe: Invasion. Flying bombs. The battlefield transformed. Post mortem. The end in Asia: The Philippines and Okinawa. The destruction of Japanese cities. The measure of radar: Navigation transformed. Science and the electronic age. Secrecy and the technical imperative. An evaluation. Appendix: A few radar essentials.
"Brown's book is one of the best ever on the history of radar and war … the definitive history of radar science and war."
"A great book, of permanent value: powerful, magisterial, full of surprises, and freighted with deep insight into science and human affairs. It will remain for all time the definitive history of the invention and application of radar during the Second World War."
-Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb (Pulitzer Prize winner)
"… a valuable document suitable for the nonspecialist reader, includes a number of smaller or greater surprises (at least for us 'youngsters') and couples, in an interesting way, human, technological, and military topics to show the complexity of modern warfare. The author has synthesized a huge amount of material in a very readable way and avoided the use of rarely known difficult English phrases-a habit of many British writers. Everyone keen on studying a less-than conventional book about radar history should acquire this volume!"
-IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine
"Given the breadth of his canvas the author does a pretty good job, and I came out of the book with a much better understanding of the use of radar in the last war, particularly in the Pacific and Mediterranean, than I had gathered from the dozen or so books already on my shelf. … I am glad to welcome this edition to my family of books on radar."
-Robert Hanbury Brown, Physics World
"… this book is to be recommended to anyone interested in the history of science and technology and of World War II. In particular, Brown has created a new benchmark in the writing of the history of radar."
-David Zimmerman, IEEE Spectrum
"Louis Brown ... offers in this book a compendious and scholarly history of the development of radar ... Brown tells a fascinating story, and this book can be hard to put down."
-Robert H. March, University of Wisconsin
"This important and extremely useful book is destined to become the standard work in the field. Highly recommended."
-W.M. Leary, University of Georgia
" [It] provides a valuable resource to scholars in the field. Brown synthesizes a vast amount of material, bringing together in one volume the history of radar developments in no fewer than a dozen countries. Add in the author's witty asides-he had this reviewer laughing out loud on more than one occasion-and this is a book worth buying."
-Timothy S. Wolters, The Journal of Military History
"No other history of radar discusses every country's program."
"… a useful resource, filling a void in the literature on radar development."
-Technology and Culture
"… a fascinating and readable account … a book you must read."
"… much new discussion and analyses in Brown's book."
-Annals of Science
"Brown's account will provide a worthwhile read."
-Robert W. Seidel (University of Minnesota), History of Physics Newsletter, Vol.VIII, No.2
"… this book should also teach something to even the most knowledgeable. No other history of radar discusses every country's program. Equally unique is Brown's treatment of both the technological development and combat uses of radar. And topping it off, he wraps everything in a highly readable package."
-Barton C. Hacker