The Battle of the Beams By Tom Whipple

  • Narrated by: Tom Whipple
  • Length: 9 hrs and 8 mins
  • Release date: 05-11-23

The Battle of the Beams By Tom Whipple AudioBook summary

Summer 1939. War is coming.

The British believe that, through ingenuity and scientific prowess, they alone have a war-winning weapon: radar. They are wrong. The Germans have it too.

They believe that their unique maritime history means their pilots have no need of navigational aids. Flying above the clouds they, like the seafarers of old, had the stars to guide them, and that is all that is required. They are wrong. Most of the bombs the RAF will drop in the first years of the war land miles from their target.

They also believe that the Germans, without the same naval tradition, will never be able to find targets at night. They are, again, wrong. In 1939 the Germans don’t just have radar to spot planes entering their airspace, they have radio beams to guide their own planes into enemy airspace.

War is coming, and it is to be a different kind of war. It will be fought, as expected, on land and sea and in the air. It will also be fought on the airwaves. It will be fought between scientists on both sides at the forefront of knowledge, and the agents and commandos they relied on to bolster that knowledge.

Luckily there was one young engineer, Reginald Jones, helping the British government with their own scientific developments. In June 1940, when Jones quietly explained the beams the Germans had devised to a room full of disbelieving sceptics, Churchill later described the moment as like sitting in the parlour while Sherlock Holmes finally reveals the killer. Churchill immediately supported Jones’s efforts to develop radar technology that went on to help the Allies win the war.


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