Under The Radar – Radar Technological Evolution



during the long bitter struggle of the Second World War one weapon was paramount to the final outcome of victory a weapon that was so secret he was almost never spoken of on land air and sea it was a weapon that spanned the globe it brought together the world's top scientific and military minds with it women for the first time worked the front lines of battle and it helped deliver the most destructive force of world war two yet this weapon was invisible to the enemy it was called radar every single battle that was fought by Americans by British troops radar became a key component we saw it grow up and it became our tool to help defeat the enemy thank God for the radar United States name using extraordinary archive film and color reenactments heavy metal uncovers the invisible world of radar wars at a secret meeting in Berlin on February 26 1935 Adolf Hitler officially created the German Luftwaffe with the appointment of Hermann Goering as its commander-in-chief they began to create an Air Force intended to destroy everything that stood in his path little did Hitler and the top Nazi chiefs gathered for this momentous occasion know that on that very day a small van was making its way to a remote meadow near the English village of Daventry inside was a 43 year old research scientist named Robert watson-watt and his assistant Arnold Watkins what they were going to try and prove was that it was possible to detect an aircraft before it saw you at that time the only way of obtaining advance warning against attacks by aircraft was either by spotters on the ground or from fighters hoping to locate them in the air as German bombers became faster these methods were not enough to prevent an attack something else had to be found since the early 1930s scientists in several countries had been experimenting with radio beams it was known that when these beams hit certain objects they were deflected yet could this knowledge be put to a different use well of all these places in the world that invented radar Britain was the one that had the most pressing need to to fast forward its development as a defensive weapon they knew that we had aircraft that were going to be capable of delivering bombs and this previously isolated island was an island no more in 1934 the British Air Ministry set up a committee under a prestigious Oxford trained chemist named Henry Tizard his task was to investigate new technologies as an effective defense against air attacks they looked at things like infrared detection acoustic mirrors acoustic warning systems barrage balloons and even this idea of a death ray that somehow could find enemy pilots and zap them in the cockpit the Air Ministry offered a prize of 1000 pounds to anyone who could build a Death Ray that could kill a sheep in 100 yards although this appeared to be in the realm of science fiction the British government was worried that the Germans were working on such devices Robert watson-watt was asked to investigate this possibility when he examined the state of science and technology he realized quickly that a Death Ray was not feasible but he proposed this alternative idea and this was the idea of radio detection Tizard committee members were enthusiastic but before they committed the necessary funds to develop this theory they needed a successful demonstration watson-watt had known that when an aircraft flew over a radio transmitter mast it caused a fading of the radio signal after a series of trials and experiments he was ready to prove his theory he asked an RAF hayford bomber to fly a course between two BBC radio towers inside the darkened van they intently watched the screen for some sign of the aircraft slowly they saw a faint but unmistakable blip magically appear as a plane moved from left to right so the signal changed in length as the aircraft flew at different heights again the signal changed the blip remained on the screen until the plane was eight miles away the experiment was totally successful it was a revelation watson-watt apparently exclaimed Britain is once again in island he foresaw even then the possibility that Britain could erect what was essentially an electromagnetic burglar alarm all around its shores that could see out tens if not a hundred miles to detect German bombers on their way in 1936 Robert watson-watt system went into overdrive when the British government saw the habit that Hitler's Luftwaffe had inflicted on cities and the civilian population during the Spanish Civil War it was clear that the waves of enemy bombers could fly over their cities leveling them in a rain of bombs with absolutely nothing to warn of their approach soon 350-foot hi radar towers began to sprout up around the coastline of Britain this was the beginning of a construction program that would enable the RAF to search the skies for any threatening sign the towers however were not always greeted with enthusiasm local landowners were worried that they might interfere with their hunting by late 1938 Britain had constructed a series of these towers all along its coast from Portsmouth in the south to Scotland in the north each towers transmission range extended to over 100 miles together they formed an invisible shield that no aircraft can penetrate undetected this entire web of surveillance became known as the chain home system by mid 1939 reports from German spies in Britain were reaching the Luftwaffe a number of tall masts had been erected along British coastal sites to the Germans this indicated that they must be associated with some form of military radio or radar it was crucial to the Luftwaffe to try and discover what the British actually had the Germans decided to use an obsolete method to investigate the true state of British radar they commissioned the retired a gratis Templin airship during the summer months of 1939 this grand old lady of flight was flown up and down the British coastline in what would become the world's first electronic surveillance mission now one day it was the 3rd of august 1939 the CH station observed a massive echo approaching from the east at about 60 knots far bigger than they'd ever seen before and their first reaction was that it was an invasion fleet with barrage balloons to protect it from an air attack we tracked it on right now the whole way the Zeppelin was crammed with electrical surveillance equipment but as the Germans flew over the masts all they received was meaningless clutter and Static mistakenly the German team was monitoring the wrong frequency or wave bands it would be one of the costliest mistakes of World War two now we concluded they had been accurately observing our radar system so they would have gone back loaded with that information we assumed that as soon as war broke out we could expect a massive attack on the radar system for the confused Germans their equipment told them that the British had no operational radar they thought the towers might have been some forms of civilian aircraft landing system Hitler and Goering were delighted they now felt that when the war came the Battle of Britain was as good as won Goering was entirely dismissive of illegal these radio installations you don't fight a war with radio and studies you fight them with Bhalla with the outbreak of world war 2 on September 3rd 1939 the vulnerable east coast of Britain was now under continuous radar watch Robert watson-watt system had been improved to the point where it could detect an enemy aircraft by day or night in any weather it was only four years since their first experiment in an English meadow yet the period of development was now over the first Bombers would wreak havoc on Britain radar was about to be put to the test with the outbreak of world war ii the world held its breath as Hitler's army swept over Europe only the narrow English Channel stood between Britain and total defeat Hitler's plan to invade England depended on his Luftwaffe taking control of the skies Hermann Goering boasted that his Air Force would smash the RAF fighters within a month an integral part of Britain's defense plan against such an attack was Robert Watson Watson chain home system of radar but with nearly every man in Britain involved in a central war work a way of Manning these radar stations had to be found the solution was simple they would be staffed almost exclusively by WAAFs the Women's Auxiliary Air Force these women some as young as 18 were among the first frontline women used in war I was interviewed by a wife officer I'd never seen a wife officer in a uniform before because they were not any uniformed force but of course she built her with her own and I thought oh if I wear one night there that'd be all right we're all volunteers I must say creme de la creme of course we had two Canadian girls there was some very very nice girls here trained in the new use of radar and plotting on procedure these women would hold the balance of the battle for Britain in their hands speed in getting their information to Fighter Command headquarters was paramount a fighter plane needed 13 minutes to reach its operational height a German bomber could cross the English Channel in only 5 minutes with a 20 minute warning radar could give there was almost no room for error the fighter room commander needed exact information as to height number and position of where the Bombers would be he could then decide which squadrons of fighters should scramble to meet the enemy the gathering of this vital information fell to the women in the radar and filter rooms when a radar station spotted a contact on their screens they telephoned this information to the filter room here around a large-scale map of the British coastline stood the Web Filter plotters as each radar contact was phoned in they placed colored disks on the map to indicate the position of the contact one of the problems of the early radar stations the chain home stations is that they were not very accurate they had the shortcoming that you got a plot on an incoming aircraft it's observed position was not his true position it's observed height was not it's true height so we had to process of calibration this was the job of the filter officers these recently recruited scientists would assess the counters on the table and then decide whether the information from other stations related to the same aircraft if they did they would replace the counters with a rectangular marker an arrow was then added to show the direction of the contact with all these officers and plotters shuffling counters round the table it resembled a frenzied children's game and was known as mad Ludo you were hit by noise and heat and bedlam so it was very noisy very very hectic on a viewing gantry above the table a wife was listening to Fighter Command headquarters it was her job to monitor the movement of friendly aircraft from radio messages if the plot on the table matched the track of friendly aircraft she would illuminate the plot with the letter F for friend from a light gun the other tracks would be marked with the letter H for hostile once the filter officer saw the letter H he would immediately inform the fighter command room giving them position height and direction of the German bombers Britain was vastly outnumbered in terms of planes and it couldn't afford to keep flights aloft at all times just waiting for an attack to come it had the husband its resources in some way and this was the key this integration into a command and control system it got the right planes to the right spot as the summer of 1940 approached Goering was poised to unleash the might of his Luftwaffe against Britain he had over 3,000 aircraft Britain had just 600 fighters but as its eyes and ears the RAF had Watson Watts chain home radar screen throughout the build-up of the battle for Britain wolfgang martini the Luftwaffe head of signals had become convinced the masts dotting Britain's coast were much more than aircraft landing towers he finally persuaded Goering to allow the Luftwaffe to bomb them it was Sunday August 8th at 1 o'clock in the afternoon 19 year old Ava's Parsons was alone at her radar post when they started to send the Honda Plus over that a hundred plus a of I'd never be seen on a radar screen and that was just it's difficult to say it's just a blurred mass and we had to almost give so many aircrafts they were suddenly the telephone rang and if society is saying duck which me take cover all I said what I cannot I've got too much information coming through he just said I'll leave it to you the most Oh Connie knows us these aircraft and they started diving and a Stuka shrieks and it makes the most blood-curdling sound then there's the shriek of the bomb of crosses he chops Oh carried on I don't know quite how long it was at all until them the line went dead for her gallantry and staying at her radar post throughout the bombing Avis Parsons was awarded one of Britain's highest honors the Military Medal I proceeded from the King at Buckingham Palace and he decorated 306 people that morning only three women of all the radar stations bombed just one was temporarily put out of action Goering was so convinced that Britain did not have radar that he never ordered his bombers to attack the radar masts again it was to be his greatest blunder and would have enormous consequences for the Battle of Britain Britain had her back to the wall as wave after wave of German bombers launched a barrage of terrifying attacks as each flight crossed the English Channel they were plotted by the rafts of the Royal Air Force you would be getting more and more coming in and you'd know you'd look across to somebody else and they were getting a lot in a nude week you know or something you know that was something big coming in you just got on with the job you just did the job it was there you did it there's no anxiety at all if you're gonna be one well you were going to be bond sometimes as they plotted the Luftwaffe these women knew that the Bombers were headed for their hometowns you thought of houses and roads and people and if your house had been very badly damaged in bombing you know what was coming to somebody all we could do was pray as the battle increased the hard-pressed Germans were unable to understand where the RAF got there apparently inexhaustible supply of Fighters the reality was that the RAF was fast running out of reserves had the Luftwaffe continued to bomb the RAF airfields for just a few more days the British might have lost the battle but radar made them appear so much stronger than they actually were by the end of September 1940 the battle for Britain was over gorings mighty Luftwaffe had failed to win mastery of the skies over Britain he had lost over 1,200 aircraft and the Luftwaffe would never bomb Britain by daylight again I think that one intelligence failure of the Graf Zeppelin mission cost during the Battle of Britain that's my opinion and had we lost the Battle of Britain what would have been the consequences the radar had helped to save Britain but it was just one victory in the battle to defeat Nazi Germany if radar was to win the war then Britain needed help that would come from the colossal technological expertise of America radar would be pushed to its very limits in the battle for the Pacific by summer 1940 as Britain was fighting for its very life Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a momentous decision he knew that for Britain to win the war she needed America's engineering and manufacturing resources an important aspect of the wall was that while we had the creative ability to develop the most advanced radars in the world we did not have the production capacity and we needed the Americans productivity resources in August chill authorized Henry Tizard to form a team and unconditionally share the secrets of radar with the United States the British heads of military branches were very reluctant to share some of these early secrets with the Americans Churchill had a different attitude it was we can't do this by ourselves we don't have time to worry about secrets among the papers in plans of this highly secret mission was something that would forever change the course of the war the cavity magnetron invented by two British scientists this device greatly magnified the radar signal and could track objects that early radar could never do this was a device that looked a lot like a clay pigeon used in skeet shooting to fit in the palm of the hand yet it could put out on a wavelength of 10 centimeters microwave energy powerful radio waves that were about a thousand times more powerful than any other transmitter known on that wavelength so this was a this wasn't just an evolution this was a revolution ironically this quantum leap in science was not sent to America under armed guard although shrouded in secrecy it made its momentous journey via London taxi cab passenger train and ocean liner but when the cavity magnetron finally arrived in America its stunned its top scientists and opened the doors to the US radar program in doing so it would also help modernize America's armaments when the British opened up this black box and especially showed the magnetron it blew the Americans away they felt that overnight they're their own fledgling microwave radar techniques had been advanced to years the official historian James Phinney Baxter in describing the magnetron wrote that when the British brought one to America they brought the most valuable cargo ever carried to our shores research immediately started at MIT the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the radiation laboratory or rad lab rad lab enlisted the best in brightest minds that America could offer there began a recruiting drive the likes of which we never saw again they brought in a best known physicist in America they routinely get a call that would say something like come join this effort that we have I was recruited by telephone at the end of 1940 with an encouragement that suggested that maybe the draft board would look favorably upon me if I were working in a technical field such was the secrecy surrounding rad lab the American public was oblivious to what was being developed most were completely unaware that the clock was ticking it's countdown to war but for the newly recruited scientists at MIT the importance of their work was not lost on them this was an important project there wasn't any question about that at all we were going to get this solved and everybody was expected to pitch in and do it and we were anxious to get this job done and maybe even get to get back to our regular jobs before too long few top American officials doubted that the US would soon be fighting Hitler in Europe but war would first strike from a different part of the world completely on the morning of December 7th 1941 aircraft launched by a carrier task force of the Japanese Imperial Navy struck the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in the 110 minutes of the attack over 2400 American forces were killed 300 planes lost and every battleship in the Pacific Fleet was either sunk or damaged a shocked America charged into war with Japan the question on everyone's mind was how could Japanese have made such an attack undetected what very few people knew was that the Japanese had been picked up on radar the US Army had deployed five new mobile radar stations on the island of Oahu these were long-range sets capable of detecting intruders as far away as 150 miles this radar was being operated by two Army personnel they were actually there in training and they were due to shut down at 7:00 a.m. and the junior officer persuaded his boss to keep it open a little longer and lo and behold there was the blip of what turned out to be the Japanese air invasion they actually tracked the planes for a while they relayed the information to their command post and the lieutenant on duty failed to put the pieces together he had heard this vague rumor of some American bombers doing from the mainland around that time and he thought this must be what they were seeing he told them to forget about it they tracked the invasion into about 20 miles when the planes disappeared behind some Hills the rest as they say is history but the radar Fiasco at Pearl Harbor had a valuable silver lining it alerted the US military to the importance of radar and sped up its development and deployment the arrival of Pearl Harbor clearly presented a different atmosphere in which to work the principal change that I can detect and looking back is that the military were now definitely interested in what was going on in our experimental laboratory thrust into the crucible of a bitter Pacific war and with nearly all of its surface fleet decimated the US High Command had only one choice left on how to win the war against Japan it had to be the submarine service but could the new radar sets with their most advanced capabilities to date be outfitted for submarines in time to avenge the attack on Pearl Harbor the attack on Pearl Harbor had severely damaged the US Pacific Fleet a shocked America repulsed by the unprovoked aggression of the Japanese launched into war just hours after the attack on the afternoon of December 7th 1941 the chief of US Naval Operations issued an order to execute unrestricted air and submarine warfare against Japan with this call to arms the submarine force went on the offensive hundreds of new recruits volunteered to join the silent service they would be the pioneers of the new technology of submarine radar training was very hard actually there was a 50 percent failure rate at submarine school it was very strict I knew nothing about radar when I first went on a submarine I didn't even know what the word was and for some time even the word was classified but I began to learn about it because I had to alongside these volunteers dozens of the silent killers were being built and rushed into service nothing was going to stand in their way in May 1942 a unit was formed that combined the scientists of MIT and the Armed Forces its purpose was to streamline any bureaucratic obstacles that might hinder the development of radar now science could work hand-in-hand with the military they had all kinds of spec lists for anti-aircraft guns for ships for search and warning for airborne interception for bombing all kinds of different uses and they would come and tell about their needs at the same time the rad lab would say we have this new thing that could do something you never thought of before maybe what do you think about that so you had this unique give-and-take shopping list but also this kind of like kid in a candy store thing like oh I want that you know I have to say the word red-tape I don't think it ever been invented back then none of us had ever heard of the idea of having our work interrupted by people who were keeping track of things on pieces of paper to see how much they cost or whether they were in stock or anything of that sort the u.s. submarine service was ready to come into its own utilizing the new technologies pioneered at MIT radar was being developed that would prove more than equal to the Japanese Japan entered World War two with its own radar systems that were maybe six months behind the American and British systems by the end of the war the best assessments from the intelligence debrief debriefers showed that they were about four years behind using the newly developed radar units u.s. submarines could now pinpoint Japanese vessels and aircraft from much farther away will be on the upper limits of the inferior Japanese electronic equipment the tide of the Pacific War was about to turn so much so that a Japanese officer compared the battle between the Americans with their new radar technology as being like a fight between the sighted and the blind the operators of these new eyes of the submarine were held in awe by their fellow crew members the first radar man we had we looked at him as god radar was a very important item for submarines during World War two and I think it gave us the edge over the enemy because we could see what was going on and he couldn't see us why we will watch him the ability to see and not be detected to his home to a fine art but it was not just the radar operators responsibility to stand watch it was a team effort we're on the surface we'd have a watch second there were three watches they'd be a radar operator uh he'd ever really they'd be two lookouts you'd be the radium in was a whole whole watch section one third at the crew was actually running running the boat it's hot cramped so it you're sitting on this black conning tower with a red light eerie kind of thinking might say I was dock but also his screen showed up better in the dark then the initial radar also was manually trained the antenna was so the operator stood and he cranked the antenna manually and that was tiresome you had to peer into that scope constantly that caused eye fatigue and if the operator was training the antenna and just happened to look away for a second he could miss seeing a target with the new radar submarines were continuously locking in and destroying the enemy when you get a contact of course the adrenaline kicks in everybody's coming down Manning their stations for five planes Stream planes the Helms when we go to the Sun idea we're on our way down using their radar submarines could operate in hunter-killer groups and take control of the Pacific another use that we had for the SJ radar was to hold on other submarines especially when our submarines were operating in a Wolfpack and we've sort of lost track of where they were we could seek them out quite well by homing on their own radar emissions using these tactics the radar-equipped submarines were able to hunt down Japanese shipping slowly squeezing the life out of the Empire's industrial and military might but it was not a one-sided fight whenever the u.s. submarines torpedoed a ship the Japanese escort ships would ruthlessly hunt them down once below the surface radar could not protect them from the ensuing depth charges well it feels like you're sitting in a drum and somebody's hit me with the sledgehammer depending on how close if it's not too close you hear the detonator go off you're us it's too click click click bang and if it's close you don't hear the click click you just hear the bang the boat will rock a little bit depending how close to depth charges calm everybody has the wrong level of fear uh some guys can take a little more than the other the other person but everybody is afraid of them we had one one young fella get on his knees when we be in depth charge he was scared he was scared he thought that we were going to rip open and this was his day that he was going to die by mid 1944 the Japanese were still unbeaten but it was becoming evident that they might lose the war at sea more and more radar systems were being rushed into the conflict but one system would play a vital but little-known role in delivering the bombs that would end the war by late 1944 the silent service had the finest radar science could provide refining their methods of attack the American submarines became the single greatest enemy of any ship flying the Japanese flag shortly after midnight on the 21st of November 1944 the USS sea lion was patrolling on the surface off the coast of Taiwan when she picked up a radar contact radar picked up an object which we thought was land because it was at a great distance about 40,000 yards until the radar operator says if its land it's moving so the captain was called to the bridge and I decided to go where the radar picked up the Pitts and as we get closer we could see that there was southern ships in the formation which was a task force two of the ship was very very large now we could not see the ship this was radar that was done telling us what was there good they were going straight on those zigzagging standby fire one we've got three hits on the fifth target and we spun around and fire three copy those from the stern tube at the second battleship in formation and we got one hit when we hit the ship sure there was a lot of jubilation with its radar the sea lion had sunk the 31,000 ton battleship Congo it was the only battleship to be sunk by a solo submarine in the Pacific her loss struck another severe blow to the Japanese Navy the devastation that the American submarine fleet wreaked on the Japanese with these microwave radar systems I think eclipsed the devastation done by the u-boats in the Atlantic it was immense and not much talked about in subsequent histories as the war elsewhere in the Pacific escalated so too did the use of radar US Naval Service vessels were now fully equipped with every technological weapon that the scientists from MIT had developed in a radical move instead of commanding the battle from the bridge ships executive officers now fought the enemy from the combat Information Center here was a whole battery of communications navigation plotting and radar once in range of the all-seeing eye no Japanese ship was safe from the seeking out and plotting to the radar controlled guns the enemy was virtually doomed from the first blip on the screen fleet carriers bristled with radar they had early warning service search fighter control and height control all with one purpose destroy the enemy it all came to a head in June 1944 in the battle for the Marianas with the aid of American shipboard radar more Japanese aircraft were destroyed than the German Luftwaffe lost in the whole of the Battle of Britain one Japanese Admiral identified the single greatest u.s. strength as its ability to control its fighters by radar the Gateway to Japan was opening but before America could hurl its might at the Japanese mainland the islands of the Pacific had to be taken these islands were essential as landing strips for the u.s. bombers what was to follow would be one of the bloodiest campaigns in the entire war each island was proving harder and harder to take as the Japanese defenders fought to the death rather than surrender in early 1945 after a 36 day assault on Iwo Jima the u.s. counted over 19,000 injured and 6,800 dead the Pacific Theater was fast becoming a huge burial ground in the u.s. plan for the invasion of mainland Japan the official estimate was that over a half a million American lives would be lost too high a price to pay again radar would come to the aid of the Americans once the Americans pushed up to the Marianas Islands within about fifteen hundred miles of Japan or so they were close enough to launch air strikes with radar guided bombers on on the Japanese home islands American b-29s were now able to bomb the Japanese mainland using the latest rad lab airborne search technology they laid a devastating trail of destruction by mid June 1945 u.s. bombers had reduced many of the principle Japanese cities to rubble the skies belong to America but still Japan would not surrender the decision was made to use the ultimate weapon to end the war shortly before 3 o'clock on the morning of August 6th a b-29 took off from the island of Tinian southeast of Japan the aircraft was using a radar navigational system called Eagle within the b-29s bae lay a ten and a half foot long atomic bomb called little boy as the plane neared its target the bomb was made ready a rounded skirt were four radar fuses at 8:15 a.m. the bomb was released over Hiroshima each fuse constantly bounced signals off the ground and at 1900 feet the radar fuses ignited the most powerful weapon known to man three days later a second nuclear weapon again assisted by radar exploded over Nagasaki world war two was over the explosive theory of the atomic bombs that ended the war also Harold at the end of rat lab at MIT over 150 radar models had been designed and developed American industry and played its part by building nearly 1 million radar sets Hiroshi Amma was a conclusion but the radar systems that were produced during the war period played a very key role in almost every single battle the atomic bomb only ended the war radar wanted there was no other technology that was more important to more aspects of war and it was the unique integration into all aspects of warfare that made this the most powerful and pervasive weapon of world war ii from a leafy lane in england radar had helped deliver the most powerful weapon in the world in ten short years it had changed the face of war forever during the long bitter struggle of the Second World War one weapon was paramount to the final outcome of victory a weapon that was so secret he was almost never spoken of on land air and sea it was a weapon that spanned the globe it brought together the world's top scientific and military minds with it women for the first time worked the front lines of battle and it helped deliver the most destructive force of world war two yet this weapon was invisible to the enemy it was called radar every single battle that was fought by Americans by British troops radar became a key component we saw it grow up and it became our tool to help defeat the enemy thank God for the radar United States Navy using extraordinary archive film and color reenactments heavy metal uncovers the invisible world of radar wars at a secret meeting in Berlin on February 26 1935 Adolf Hitler officially created the German Luftwaffe with the appointment of Hermann Goering as its commander-in-chief they began to create an Air Force intended to destroy everything that stood in his path little did Hitler and the top Nazi chiefs gathered for this momentous occasion know that on that very day a small van was making its way to a remote meadow near the English village of Daventry inside was a 43 year-old research scientist named Robert watson-watt and his assistant Arnold Watkins what they were going to try and prove was that it was possible to detect an aircraft before it saw you at that time the only way of obtaining advance warning against attacks by aircraft was either by spotters on the ground or from fighters hoping to locate them in the air as German bombers became faster these methods were not enough to prevent an attack something else had to be found since the early 1930s scientists in several countries had been experimenting with radio beams it was known that when these beams hit certain objects they were deflected yet could this knowledge be put to a different use well of all these places in the world that invented radar Britain was the one that had the most pressing need to to fast forward its development as as a defensive weapon they knew that we had aircraft that were going to be capable of delivering bombs and this previously isolated island was an island no more in 1934 the British Air Ministry set up a committee under a prestigious Oxford trained chemist named Henry Tizard his task was to investigate new technologies as an effective defense against air attacks they looked at things like infrared detection acoustic mirrors acoustic warning systems barrage balloons and even this idea of a death ray that somehow could find enemy pilots and zap them in the cockpit the Air Ministry offered a prize of 1,000 pounds to anyone who could build a Death Ray that could kill a sheep at 100 yards although this appeared to be in the realm of science fiction the British government was worried that the Germans were working on such devices Robert watson-watt was asked to investigate this possibility when he examined the state of Science and Technology he realized quickly that a Death Ray was not feasible but he proposed this alternative idea and this was the idea of radio detection Tizard committee members were enthusiastic but before they committed the necessary funds to develop this theory they needed a successful demonstration watson-watt had known that when an aircraft flew over a radio transmitter mast it caused a fading of the radio signal after a series of trials and experiments he was ready to prove his theory he asked an RAF Heyford bomber to fly a course between two BBC radio towers inside the darkened van they intently watch the screen for some sign of the aircraft slowly they saw a faint but unmistakable blip magically appear as the plane moved from left to right so the signal changed in length as the aircraft flew at different heights again the signal changed the blip remained on the screen until the plane was eight miles away the experiment was totally successful it was a revelation watson-watt apparently exclaimed Britain is once again in island he foresaw even then the possibility that Britain could erect what was essentially an electromagnetic burglar alarm all around its shores that could see out tens if not hundreds to detect German bombers on their way in 1936 Robert watson-watt system went into overdrive when the British government saw the habit that Hitler's Luftwaffe had inflicted on cities and the civilian population during the Spanish Civil War it was clear that the waves of enemy bombers could fly over their cities leveling them in a rain of bombs with absolutely nothing to warn of their approach soon 350 foot high radar towers began to sprout up around the coastline of Britain this was the beginning of a construction program that would enable the RAF to search the skies for any threatening sign the towers however were not always greeted with enthusiasm local landowners were worried that they might interfere with their hunting by late 1938 Britain had constructed a series of these towers all along its coast from Portsmouth in the south to Scotland in the north each towers transmission range extended to over 100 miles together they formed an invisible shield that no aircraft can penetrate undetected this entire web of surveillance became known as the chain home system by mid 1939 reports from German spies in Britain were reaching the Luftwaffe a number of tall masts had been erected along British coastal sites to the Germans this indicated that they must be associated with some form of military radio or radar it was crucial to the Luftwaffe to try and discover what the British actually had the Germans decided to use an obsolete method to investigate the true state of British radar they commissioned the retired a gratis a plan airship during the summer months of 1939 this grand old lady of flight was flown up and down the British coastline in what would become the world's first electronic surveillance mission now one day it was the 3rd of august 1939 the CH station observed a massive echo approaching from the east at about 60 knots far bigger than they'd ever seen before and their first reaction was that it was an invasion fleet with barrage balloons to protect it from an air attack we tracked it on right off the whole way the Zeppelin was crammed with electrical surveillance equipment but as the Germans flew over the masts all they received was meaningless clutter and Static mistakenly the German team was monitoring the wrong frequency or wave bands it would be one of the costliest mistakes of World War two now we concluded they had been accurately observing our radar system so they would have gone back loaded with that information we assumed that as soon as war broke out we could expect a massive attack on the radar system for the confused Germans their equipment told them that the British had no operational radar they thought the towers might have been some forms of civilian aircraft landing system Hitler and Goering were delighted they now felt that when the war came the Battle of Britain was as good as won Goering was entirely dismissive of illegal these radio installations you don't fight a wall with radio and stereo didn't you fight them with violence with the outbreak of world war 2 on September 3rd 1939 the vulnerable east coast of Britain was now under continuous radar watch Robert watson-watt system have been improved to the point where it could detect an enemy aircraft by day or night in any weather it was only four years since their first experiment in an English meadow here the period of development was now over the first Bombers would wreak havoc on Britain radar was about to be put to the test with the outbreak of World War two the world held its breath as Hitler's army swept over Europe only the narrow English Channel stood between Britain and total defeat Hitler's plan to invade England depended on his liftoff at taking control of the skies Hermann Goering boasted that his Air Force would smash the RAF fighters within a month an integral part of Britain's defence plan against such an attack was Robert Watson Watson chain home system of radar but with nearly every man in Britain involved in essential war work a way of Manning these radar stations had to be found the solution was simple they would be staffed almost exclusively by WAAFs the Women's Auxiliary Air Force these women some as young as 18 were among the first frontline women used in war I was interviewed by a wife officer I'd never seen a wife officer in a uniform before because they were not any uniformed force but of course she built her vote her own and I thought oh if I wear one like that have you arrived we're all volunteers I must say creme de la creme of course we had them two Canadian girls there was some very very nice girl sir trained in the new use of radar and plotting on procedure these women would hold the balance of the battle for Britain in their hands speed in getting their information to Fighter Command headquarters was paramount a fighter plane needed 13 minutes to reach its operational height a German bomber could cross the English Channel in only five minutes with the 20 minute warning radar could give there was almost no room for error the fighter room commander needed exact information as to height number and position of where the Bombers would be he could then decide which squadrons of fighters should scramble to meet the enemy the gathering of this vital information fell to the women in the radar in filter rooms when a radar station spotted a contact on their screens they telephoned this information to the filter room here around a large-scale map of the British coastline stood the Web Filter plotters as each radar contact was phoned in they placed colored disks on the map to indicate the position of the contact one of the problems of the early radar stations the chain home stations is that they were not very accurate they had the shortcoming that you got a plot on an incoming aircraft it's observed position was not his true position his observed height was not it's true height so we had the process of calibration this was the job of the filter officers these recently recruited scientists would assess the counters on the table and then decide whether the information from other stations related to the same aircraft if they did they would replace the counters with a rectangular marker an arrow was then added to show the direction of the contact with all these officers and plotters shuffling counters round the table it resembled a frenzied children's game and was known as mad Ludo you were hit by noise and heat and bedlam so it was very noisy very very hectic on a viewing gantry above the table a wife was listening to Fighter Command headquarters it was her job to monitor the movement of friendly aircraft from radio messages if the plot on the table matched the track of friendly aircraft she would illuminate the plot with the letter M for friend from a light gun the other tracks would be marked with the letter H for hostile once the filter officer saw the letter H he would immediately inform the fighter command room giving them position height and direction of the German bombers Britain was vastly outnumbered in terms of planes and it couldn't afford to keep flights aloft at all times just waiting for an attack to come it had the husband its resources in some way and this was the key this integration into a command and control system they got the right planes to the right spot as the summer of 1940 approached Goering was poised to unleash the might of his Luftwaffe against Britain he had over 3,000 aircraft Britain had just 600 fighters but as its eyes and ears the RAF had Watson watts chain home radar screen throughout the build-up of the battle for Britain wolfgang martini the Luftwaffe head of signals had become convinced the masts dotting Britain's coast were much more than aircraft landing towers he finally persuaded Goering to allow the Luftwaffe to bomb them it was Sunday August 8th at 1 o'clock in the afternoon 19 year old Ava's Parsons was alone at her radar post when they started to send the Honda Plus over that a hundred plus a of I'd never been seen on a radar screen and it was just it's difficult to say it's just a blurred mass and we had to almost get so many aircrafts the world suddenly the telephone rang and if society insane duck which me take cover all I said what um I cannot I've got too much information coming through he just said I'll leave it to you the most Oh Connie noises these aircraft and they started diving and a Stuka shrieks and it makes the most blood-curdling sound and then there's the shriek of the bomb of corpses in trucks Oh carried on I don't know quite how long it was at all until them the line went dead for her gallantry and staying at her radar post throughout the bombing Avis Parsons was awarded one of Britain's highest honors the Military Medal I proceeded from the King at Buckingham Palace and he decorated 306 people that morning only three women of all the radar stations bombed just one was temporarily put out of action Goering was so convinced that Britain did not have radar that he never ordered his bombers to attack the radar masts again it was to be his greatest blunder and would have enormous consequences for the Battle of Britain Britain had her back to the wall as wave after wave of German bombers launched a barrage of terrifying attacks as each flight crossed the English Channel they were plotted by the rafts of the Royal Air Force you would be getting more and more coming in and you'd know you'd look across to somebody else and they were getting a lot in a nude wink you know or something you know that was something big coming in he just got on with the job you did the job it was there you did it there's no anxiety at all if you're gonna be bombed well you were gonna be bomb sometimes as they plotted the Luftwaffe these women knew that the Bombers were headed for their hometowns you thought of houses and roads and people and if your house had been very badly damaged in bombing you know what was coming to somebody all we could do was grow as the battle increased the hard-pressed Germans were unable to understand where the RAF got there apparently inexhaustible supply of Fighters the reality was that the RAF was fast running out of reserves had the Luftwaffe continued to bomb the RAF airfields for just a few more days the British might have lost the battle but radar made them appear so much stronger than they actually were by the end of September 1940 the battle for Britain was over Durin's mighty Luftwaffe had failed to win mastery of the skies over Britain he had lost over 1,200 aircraft and the Luftwaffe would never bomb Britain by daylight again I think that one intelligence failure of the Graf Zeppelin mission cost Goering the baton Britain that's my opinion and had we lost the Battle of Britain what would have been the consequences radar had helped to save Britain but it was just one victory in the battle to defeat Nazi Germany if radar was to win the war then Britain needed help that would come from the colossal technological expertise of America radar would be pushed to its very limits in the battle for the Pacific by summer 1940 as Britain was fighting for its very life Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a momentous decision he knew that for Britain to win the war she needed America's engineering and manufacturing resources an important aspect of the war was that while we had the creative ability to develop the most advanced radars in the world we did not have the production capacity and we needed the Americans productivity resources in August chill otherwise Henry Tizard to form a team and unconditionally share the secrets of radar with the United States the British heads of military branches were very reluctant to share some of these early secrets during the long bitter struggle of the Second World War one weapon was paramount to the final outcome of victory a weapon that was so secret he was almost never spoken of on land air and sea it was a weapon that spanned the globe it brought together the world's top scientific and military minds with it women for the first time worked the front lines of battle and it helped deliver the most destructive force of world war two yet this weapon was invisible to the enemy it was called radar every single battle that was fought by Americans by British troops radar became a key component we saw it grow up and it became our tool to help defeat the enemy thank God for radar United States Navy using extraordinary archive film and color reenactments heavy metal uncovers the invisible world of radar wars at a secret meeting in Berlin on February 26 1935 Adolf Hitler officially created the German Luftwaffe with the appointment of Hermann Goering as its commander-in-chief they began to create an Air Force intended to destroy everything that stood in his path little did Hitler and the top Nazi chiefs gathered for this momentous occasion know that on that very day a small van was making its way to a remote meadow near the English village of Daventry inside was a 43 year old research scientist named Robert watson-watt and his assistant Arnold Watkins what they were going to try and prove was that it was possible to detect an aircraft before it saw you at that time the only way of obtaining advance warning against attacks by aircraft was either by spotters on the ground or from fighters hoping to locate them in the air as German bombers became faster these methods were not enough to prevent an attack something else had to be found since the early 1930s scientists in several countries had been experimenting with radio beams it was known that when these beings hit certain objects they were deflected yet could this knowledge be put to a different use well of all these places in the world that invented radar Britain was the one that had the most pressing need to to fast forward its development as a defensive weapon they knew that we had aircraft that were going to be capable of delivering bombs and this previously isolated island was an island no more in 1934 the British Air Ministry set up a committee under a prestigious Oxford trained chemist named Henry Tizard his task was to investigate new technologies as an effective defense against air attacks they looked at things like infrared detection acoustic mirrors acoustic warning systems barrage balloons and even this idea of a death ray that somehow could find enemy pilots and zap them in the cockpit the Air Ministry offered a prize of 1,000 pounds to anyone who could build a Death Ray that could kill a sheep at 100 yards although this appeared to be in the realm of science fiction the British government was worried that the Germans were working on such devices Robert watson-watt was asked to investigate this possibility when he examined the state of Science and Technology he realized quickly that a Death Ray was not feasible but he proposed this alternative idea and this was the idea of radio detection Tizard committee members were enthusiastic but before they committed the necessary funds to develop this theory they needed a successful demonstration watson-watt had known that when an aircraft flew over a radio transmitter mast it caused a fading of the radio signal after a series of trials and experiments he was ready to prove his theory he asked an RAF Heyford bomber to fly a course between two BBC radio towers inside the darkened van they intently watch the screen for some sign of the aircraft slowly they saw a faint but unmistakable blip magically appear as the plane moved from left to right so the signal changed in length as the aircraft flew at different heights again the signal changed the blip remained on the screen until the plane was eight miles away the experiment was totally successful it was a revelation watson-watt apparently exclaimed Britain is once again in island he foresaw even then the possibility that Britain could erect what was essentially an electromagnetic burglar alarm all around its shores that could see out tens if not hundreds to detect German bombers on their way in 1936 Robert watson-watt system went into overdrive when the British government saw the habit that Hitler's Luftwaffe had inflicted on cities and the civilian population during the Spanish Civil War it was clear that the waves of enemy bombers could fly over their cities leveling them in a rain of bombs with absolutely nothing to warn of their approach soon 350 foot high radar towers began to sprout up around the coastline of Britain this was the beginning of a construction program that would enable the RAF to search the skies for any threatening sign the towers however were not always greeted with enthusiasm local landowners were worried that they might interfere with their hunting by late 1938 Britain had constructed a series of these towers all along its coast from Portsmouth in the south to Scotland in the north each towers transmission range extended to over 100 miles together they formed an invisible shield that no aircraft can penetrate undetected this entire web of surveillance became known as the chain home system by mid 1939 reports from German spies in Britain were reaching the Luftwaffe a number of tall masts had been erected along British coastal sites to the Germans this indicated that they must be associated with some form of military radio or radar it was crucial to the Luftwaffe to try and discover what the British actually had the Germans decided to use an obsolete method to investigate the true state of British radar they commissioned the retired a gratis appling airship during the summer months of 1939 this grand old lady of flight was flown up and down the British coastline in what would become the world's first electronic surveillance mission now one day it was a third of August 1939 the CH station observed a massive echo approaching from the east at about 60 knots far bigger than they'd ever seen before and their first reaction was that it was an invasion fleet with barrage balloons to protect it from an air attack we tracked it on right off the whole way the Zeppelin was crammed with electrical surveillance equipment but as the Germans flew over the masts all they received was meaningless clutter and Static mistakenly the German team was monitoring the wrong frequency or wave bands it would be one of the costliest mistakes of World War two now we concluded they had been accurately observing our radar system so they would have gone back loaded with that information we assumed that as soon as war broke out we could expect a massive attack on the radar system for the confused Germans their equipment told them that the British had no operational radar they thought the towers might have been some forms of civilian aircraft landing system Hitler and Goering were delighted they now felt that when the war came the Battle of Britain was as good as won Goering was entirely dismissive of what he called his radio installations you don't fight a war with radio and stereos you fight them with bonus with the outbreak of world war 2 on September 3rd 1939 the vulnerable east coast of Britain was now under continuous radar watch Robert watson-watt system had been improved to the point where it could detect an enemy aircraft by day or night in any weather it was only four years since their first experiment in an English meadow here the period of development was now over the first bombers would wreak havoc on Britain radar was about to be put to the test with the outbreak of world war ii the world held its breath as Hitler's army swept over Europe only the narrow English Channel stood between Britain and total defeat Hitler's plan to invade England depended on his Luftwaffe taking control of the skies Hermann Goering boasted that his Air Force would smash the RAF fighters within a month an integral part of Britain's defense plan against such an attack was Robert Watson Watson chain home system of radar but with nearly every man in Britain involved in essential war work a way of Manning these radar stations had to be found the solution was simple they would be staffed almost exclusively by WAAFs the Women's Auxiliary Air Force these women some as young as 18 were among the first frontline women used in war I was interviewed by a wife officer I'd never seen a wife officer in a uniform before because they were not any uniform force and of course she built her with her own and I thought oh if I wear one night that up you're right we're all volunteers I must say creme de la creme of course we had two Canadian girls there was some very very nice girl sir trained in the new use of radar and plotting on procedure these women would hold the balance of the battle for Britain in their hands speed in getting their information to Fighter Command headquarters was paramount a fighter plane needed 13 minutes to reach its operational height a German bomber could cross the English Channel in only five minutes with a 20-minute warning radar could give there was almost no room for error the fighter room commander needed exact information as to height number and position of where the Bombers would be he could then decide which squadrons of fighters should scramble to meet the enemy the gathering of this vital information fell to the women in the radar and filter rooms when a radar station spotted a contact on their screens they telephone with this information to the filter room here around a large-scale map of the British coastline stood the Web Filter plotters as each radar contact was phoned in they placed colored disks on the map to indicate the position of the contact one of the problems of the early radar stations the chain home stations is that they were not very accurate they had the shortcoming that you got a plot on an incoming aircraft it's observed position was not his true position it's observed height was not it's true height so we had the process of calibration this was the job of the filter officers these recently recruited scientists would assess the counters on the table and then decide whether the information from other stations related to the same aircraft if they did they would replace the counters with a rectangular marker an arrow was then added to show the direction of the contact with all these officers and plotters shuffling counters round the table it resembled a frenzied children's game and was known as mad Ludo you were hit by noise and heat and bedlam so it was very noisy very very hectic on a viewing gantry above the table a wife was listening to Fighter Command headquarters it was her job to monitor the movement of friendly aircraft from radio messages if the plot on the table matched the track of friendly aircraft she would illuminate the plot with the letter F for friend from a light gun the other tracks would be marked with the letter H for hostile once the filter officer saw the letter H he would immediately inform the fighter command room giving them position height and direction of the German bombers Britain was vastly outnumbered in terms of planes and it couldn't afford to keep flights aloft at all times just waiting for an attack to come it had the husband its resources in some way and this was the key this integration into a command and control system they got the right planes to the right spot as the summer of 1940 approached Goering was poised to unleash the might of his Luftwaffe against Britain he had over 3,000 aircraft Britain had just 600 fighters but as its eyes and ears the RAF had Watson watts chain home radar screen throughout the build-up of the battle for Britain wolfgang martini the Luftwaffe head of signals had become convinced the masts dotting Britain's coast were much more than aircraft landing towers he finally persuaded Goering to allow the Luftwaffe to bomb them it was Sunday August 8th at 1 o'clock in the afternoon 19 year old Ava's Parsons was alone at her radar post when they started to send the Honda Plus over that a hundred plus a curve had never been seen on a radar screen and that was just it's difficult to say it's just a blurred mass and we had to almost get so many aircraft the world suddenly the telephone rang and if society same duck take cover all I said what I cannot I've got too much information coming through he just said I'll leave it to you the most oh honey news as these aircraft and they started diving and a Stuka shrieks and it makes the most blood-curdling sound and then there's the shriek of the bomb of clubs and trucks Oh Kerry John I don't know quite how long it was at all until them the line went dead for her gallantry and staying at her radar post throughout the bombing Avis Parsons was awarded one of Britain's highest honors the Military Medal I've received it from King back in Calais and he decorated 306 people that blown in only three women of all the radar stations bombed just one was temporarily put out of action Goering was so convinced that Britain did not have radar that he never ordered his bombers to attack the radar masts again it was to be his greatest blunder and would have enormous consequences for the Battle of Britain Britain had her back to the wall as wave after wave of German bombers launched a barrage of terrifying attacks as each flight crossed the English Channel they were plotted by the WAAFs of the Royal Air Force you would be getting more and more coming in and you'd know you'd look across to somebody else and they were getting a lot in an ood week you know or something you know that was something big coming in you just got on with the job you just did the job it was there you did it there's no anxiety at all if you're gonna be bomb well you were going to be bomb sometimes as they plotted the Luftwaffe these women knew that the Bombers were headed for their hometowns you thought of houses and roads and people and if your house had been very badly damaged in bombing you know what was coming to somebody all we could do was pray as the battle increased the hard-pressed Germans were unable to understand where the RAF got there apparently inexhaustible supply of Fighters the reality was that the RAF was fast running out of reserves had the Luftwaffe continued to bomb the RAF airfields for just a few more days the British might have lost the battle but radar made them appear so much stronger than they actually were by the end of September 1940 the battle for Britain was over Goering zmei t Luftwaffe had failed to win mastery of the skies over Britain he had lost over 1200 aircraft and the Luftwaffe would never bomb Britain by daylight again I think that one intelligence failure of the Graf Zeppelin mission cost Gouri the Battle of Britain that's my opinion and had we lost the Battle of Britain what would have been the consequences the radar had helped to save Britain but it was just one victory in the battle to defeat Nazi Germany if radar was to win the war then Britain needed help that would come from the colossal technological expertise of America radar would be pushed to it's very limits in the battle for the Pacific by summer 1940 as Britain was fighting for its very life Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a momentous decision he knew that for Britain to win the war she needed America's engineering and manufacturing resources an important aspect of the war was that while we had the creative ability to develop the most advanced radars in the world we did not have the production capacity and we needed the Americans productivity resources in August Churchill authorized Henry Tizard to form a team and unconditionally share the secrets of radar with the United States the British heads of military branches were very reluctant to share some of these early secrets with the Americans Churchill had a different attitude it was we can't do this by ourselves we don't have time to worry about secrets among the papers and plans of this highly secret mission was something that would forever change the course of the war the cavity magnetron invented by two British scientists this device greatly magnified the radar signal and could track objects that early radar could never do this was a device that looked a lot like a clay pigeon used in skeet shooting to fit in the palm of the hand yet he could put out on a wavelength of ten centimeters microwave energy powerful radio waves that were about a thousand times more powerful than any other transmitter known on that wavelength so this was a this wasn't just an evolution this was a revolution ironically this quantum leap in science was not sent to America under armed guard although shrouded in secrecy it made its momentous journey via London taxi cab passenger train and ocean liner but when the cavity magnetron finally arrived in America its stunned its top scientists and opened the doors to the US radar program in doing so it would also help modernize America's armaments when the British opened up this black box and especially showed the magnetron it blew the Americans away they felt that overnight they're their own fledgling microwave radar techniques had been advanced to years the official historian James Phinney Baxter in describing the magnetron wrote that when the British brought one to America they brought the most valuable cargo ever carried to our shores research immediately started at MIT the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the radiation laboratory or rad lab rad lab enlisted the best in brightest minds that America could offer there began a recruiting drive the likes of which we never saw again they brought in a best known physicist in America they routinely get a call that would say something like come join this effort that we have I was recruited by telephone at the end of 1940 with an encouragement that suggested that maybe the draft board would look favorably upon me if I were working in a technical field such was the secrecy surrounding rad lab the American public was oblivious to what was being developed most were completely unaware that the clock was ticking it's countdown to war but for the newly recruited scientists at MIT the importance of their work was not lost on them this was an important project there wasn't any question about that at all we were going to get this solved and everybody was expected to pitch in and do it and we were anxious to get this job done and maybe even get to get back to our regular jobs before too long few top American officials doubted that the US would soon be fighting Hitler in Europe but war would first strike from a different part of the world completely on the morning of December 7th 1941 aircraft launched by a carrier task force of the Japanese Imperial Navy struck the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii in the 110 minutes of the attack over 2400 American forces were killed 300 planes lost and every battleship in the Pacific Fleet was either sunk or damaged a shocked America charged into war with Japan the question on everyone's mind was how could Japanese have made such an attack undetected what very few people knew was that the Japanese had been picked up on radar the US Army had deployed five new mobile radar stations on the island of Oahu these were long-range sets capable of detecting intruders as far away as 150 miles this radar was being operated by two Army personnel they were actually there in training and they were due to shut down at 7:00 a.m. and the junior officer persuaded his boss to keep it open a little longer and lo and behold there was the blip of what turned out to be the Japanese air invasion they actually tracked the planes for a while they relayed the information to their command post and the lieutenant on duty failed to put the pieces together he had heard this vague rumor of some American bombers doing from the main around that time and he thought this must be what they were seeing he told him to forget about it they tracked the invasion into about 20 miles when the planes disappeared behind some hills the rest as they say is history but the radar Fiasco at Pearl Harbor had a valuable silver lining it alerted the US military to the importance of radar and sped up its development and deployment the arrival of Pearl Harbor clearly presented a different atmosphere in which to work the principal change that I can detect and looking back is that the military were now definitely interested in what was going on in our experimental laboratory thrust into the crucible of a bitter Pacific war and with nearly all of its surface fleet decimated the US High Command had only one choice left on how to win the war against Japan it had to be the submarine service but could the new radar sets with their most advanced capabilities to date be outfitted for submarines in time to avenge the attack on Pearl Harbor the attack on Pearl Harbor had severely damaged the US Pacific Fleet a shocked America repulsed by the unprovoked aggression of the Japanese launched into war just hours after the attack on the afternoon of December 7th 1941 the chief of US Naval Operations issued an order to execute unrestricted air and submarine warfare against Japan with this call to arms the submarine force went on the offensive hundreds of new recruits volunteered to join the silent service they would be the pioneers of the new technology of submarine radar training was very hard actually there was a 50 percent failure rate at submarine school it was very strict I knew nothing about radar when I first went on a submarine I didn't even know what the word was and for some time even the word was classified but I began to learn about it because I had to alongside these volunteers dozens of the silent killers were being built and rushed into service nothing was going to stand in their way in May 1942 a unit was formed that combined the scientists of MIT and the Armed Forces its purpose was to streamline any bureaucratic obstacles that might hinder the development of radar now science could work hand-in-hand with the military they had all kinds of spec lists for anti-aircraft guns for ships for search and warning for airborne interception for bombing all kinds of different uses and they would come and tell about their needs at the same time the rad lab would say we have this new thing that could do something you never thought of before maybe what do you think about that so you have this unique give-and-take shopping list but also this kind of like kid in a candy store thing like oh I want that you know I have to say the word red-tape I don't think it ever been invented back then none of us had ever heard of the idea of having our work interrupted by people who were keeping track of things on pieces of paper to see how much they cost or whether they were in stock or anything of that sort the u.s. submarine service was ready to come into its own utilizing the new technologies pioneered at MIT radar was being developed that would prove more than equal to the Japanese Japan entered World War two with its own radar systems that were maybe six months behind the American and British systems by the end of the war the best assessments from the intelligence debrief debriefers showed that they were about four years behind using the newly developed radar units u.s. submarines could now pinpoint Japanese vessels and aircraft from much farther away will be on the upper limits of the inferior Japanese electronic equipment the tide of the Pacific War was about to turn so much so that a Japanese officer compared the battle between the Americans with their new radar technology as being like a fight between the sighted and the blind the operators of these new eyes of the submarine were held in awe by their fellow crew members the first radar man we had we looked at him as god radar was a very important item for submarine during World War two and I think it gave us the edge over the enemy because we could see what was going on and he couldn't see us while we were watching the ability to see and not be detected was home to a fine art but it was not just the radar operators responsibility to stand watch it was a team effort we're on the surface we'd have a watch second there were three watches they'd be a radar operator uh he'd have a relief they'd be the lookouts maybe the radio moon was a whole hole watch section one-third of the crew was actually running running the boat it's hot cramped so you're sitting in this black conning tower with a red light eerie kind of thing you might say I miss dad but also his screen showed up better in the dark then the initial radar also was manually trained the antenna was so the operator stood and he cranked the antenna manually and that was tiresome you had to peer into that scope constantly that caused eye fatigue and if the operator was training the antenna and just happened to look away for a second he could miss seeing a target with the new radar submarines were continuously locking

32 Comments

  1. GH1618 said:

    Actually, the declaration of war on Japan by the USSR, between the two atomic bombs, was the final stroke that ended the war. The bombing of Nagasaki was anticlimactic. Nothing changed. It took several days to play out because of Japanese bureaucracy and politics, but all the wheels were in motion before the 2nd bomb. Source: Japan’s Longest Day by The Pacific War Research Society.

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  2. misterjag said:

    Your thumbnail photo isn't radar. It's a parabolic antenna.

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  3. No One said:

    No not anymore tellavison mind control demon's πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  4. karl Kruger said:

    Love the way they left out that it was an Australian woman who developed modern radar,& given to the yanks in time for guardnel canal

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  5. Daniel Witmer said:

    What is the purpose of repeaing the same informatoin on radar over and over again? Its like seeing the same 20 minutes of video over an over again to make it last 1hour and 30 minutes. WTF? Really?

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  6. CRTukker said:

    SS – Silent Service (USA)
    SS – Schutzstaffel (Germany)

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  7. antigen4 said:

    if you want to see a REALLY GOOD presentation/documentary on the RADAR war during WW2 – watch Steve Blank's 'the Secret History of Silicon Valley' – this is the REAL DEAL and will BLOW YOUR MIND. Honest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTC_RxWN_xo

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  8. Ben Quinney said:

    Extra vitamin A

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  9. im not a polotician look at pictures on phone said:

    Sending out a sos didnt the russians tap that radar hill in mad cow town Wisconsin that was in port a reek oh indian casino they hire humpin flusing hatin every day niggas until walker caught thier asses

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  10. David Miscaviage said:

    BIG BLACK DICKS BALLS AND PENIS FARTS

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  11. jackattack 4554 said:

    im pretty sure germans had radar too, they were just crappy with ranges like 3km

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  12. notsogreat123 said:

    Yeah what's with the repeat ???

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  13. Steve Fox said:

    The microwave ovens we use today were developed from the tech of radar.

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  14. Brad 1 said:

    History in many ways is just as important as the evolution it's self

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  15. Philip Moffler said:

    I was a radar specialist in the USAF Vietnam war F-4's

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  16. RWBHere said:

    Sound is out-of-sync with video, from the start.

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  17. TheBrummie said:

    Radar was developed in Birmingham England…by British boffs…which lead to the microwave

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  18. logan pollock said:

    Dowding was for using women from the start. Radar operators had an improvised time scale on the CRT shield which was labeled as distance. Bearing was figured by monopulse amplitude. The receivers are at right angles on the towers so the two strengths of the received signals are in a ratio. From the ratio, bearing could be quickly determined on a graph. Altitude was determined the same way. The operator uses the two Goniometers (potentiometers) to determine signal strengths and she relayed the raw data to the other women in the room who figured bearing, distance and altitude and passed it on to the filter room by telephone. Twenty years later there was one man at the CRT, one officer at the plotting secondary(glass wall with a map on it) one officer at the other side of the secondary and one officer at the telephone. 4 men and one radar set take the place of 9 chain home stations and 145 people in 1940.

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  19. Bill Olsen said:

    Thanks for posting this. Unfortunately, if someone is deaf and is trying to make sense of the program by the closed caption, they won't be able to understand a lot.

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  20. Brian Wilson said:

    13:51 in can't take anymore of this "let's build up this story" crap. Supposed too o be about what again? Radar evolution /tech…….

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  21. Planet Awesome said:

    why this video repeated , seen this in most of the videos

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  22. William Cox said:

    "Were among the first frontline women used in war."
    Awfully narrow perspective there. Women warriors are prevalent throughout history. Remains indicate that as much as 15% of samurai warriors in major battles were women. Britain's Boadicea led a revolt against Rome. Scots, Germans, Chinese, all have notable women warriors in their histories.
    The organized use of women in modern war seems to be a major policy issue, however, limiting its effect to technical and production realms. World War one codified this paradigm by placing women in war production occupations, such as filling artillery shells, and assembly of telephones and radios, and in communications networks as operators, messengers, coordinators, and despatch riders.
    In fact, the very definition of Total War is that every member of every belligerent nation's population is a legitimate target, in effect placing all women on the front lines.

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  23. Ahmad Alli said:

    don't forget before uploading or making such videos that in Afghanistan simple people are fucking your bloody asses with AKM and RGP since 17 years 😜

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  24. dave henderson 2 said:

    WARNING RHIS VIDEO PLAYS 2 TIMES. I HAYE PEOPLE THAT DO THIS. YOU AGREE WITH ME. thumbs down if you agree so they don't get the money!!!

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  25. Dwayne Harvey said:

    so why would you loop this video 3 times??? this is why I never subscribe or anything to anyone's post unless they really deserve/earn my respect back, plus I am a man of all sorts of science and history big time!!! such a shape you function like this bud, just too bad!

    Dwayne

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  26. Wayne Calder said:

    We re the best okπŸ‘πŸΏπŸ‘ŠπŸΏπŸ‘ŒπŸΏπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  27. WPLU572 Trunked Radio said:

    The 'death ray' maybe was the microwave…

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  28. James Neave said:

    Ha!
    A electromagnetic death ray, eh?
    Well, that would be a laser!
    So they were right, it is possible.

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  29. Sean Embry said:

    To see more information, see "Glide Path" by Aurther C Clark. My father was involved with Ground Descent Control (GDC). This was not an offensive weapon, but enabled many aircraft to safely land.
    Until about 1948, the word "RADAR" was classified. Some details are still classed even now.

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  30. American Citizen said:

    The poor sheep!

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  31. Amavex T. said:

    Why does it restart halfway through?

    June 28, 2019
    Reply
  32. Odin Coulombe said:

    All the most intelligent minds of the USA came together in Massachusetts to build radar ,,and not 1 black wow no affirmative action when it really matters lol//

    June 28, 2019
    Reply

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