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Secret Weapons: Death Rays, Doodlebugs and ChurchillÂ?s Golden Goose
     

Secret Weapons: Death Rays, Doodlebugs and ChurchillÂ?s Golden Goose

by Brian J Ford
 

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Deep in the bunkers of Nazi Germany, many of the world's top scientists worked to create a new generation of war winning super-weapons. A few of these, such as jet aircraft and the V2 rocket, became realities at the end of the war, others never made it off the drawing-board. Written by noted research scientist, Brian Ford, this exciting book charts the history of

Overview

Deep in the bunkers of Nazi Germany, many of the world's top scientists worked to create a new generation of war winning super-weapons. A few of these, such as jet aircraft and the V2 rocket, became realities at the end of the war, others never made it off the drawing-board. Written by noted research scientist, Brian Ford, this exciting book charts the history of secret weapons development by all the major powers during the war, from British radar to Japanese ray-guns, and explains the impact that these developments eventually had on the outcome of World War II. Ford also takes a look at the weapons that never made it to development stage, as well as the more radical plans, such as the idea of turning Hitler into a woman with hormone treatment.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
British scientist and TV personality Ford (German Secret Weapons) pulls back the curtain in this fascinating, accessible study of the weapons and tactics that changed the course of World War II. Many inventions that seemed like terrific ideas and had significant support—such as dambuster bombs and Britain's Panjandrum (a rolling explosive wheel designed to destroy German fortifications)— never worked, while others, like the greatly-feared V-2 (a German rocket that was undetectable until after it struck), were game-changers. Scattered amongst the weaponry are movie-ready stories, such as that of Hans Mayer, the German physicist behind the "Oslo Report" that gave the Allies an incredible amount of information on Nazi military plans, and Werhner Von Braun, a German scientist who later worked for NASA as a rocket designer. Dr. Shiro Ishii's medical experiments in Japan rivaled those of Mengele—over half a million people, many of them Chinese, were killed during gruesome experiments. Though he occasionally errs on the side of too much detail, Ford's engrossing examination of weapons and tactics will likely be devoured by interested readers. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
"British scientist and TV personality Ford pulls back the curtain in this fascinating, accessible study of the weapons and tactics that changed the course of World War II." -- Publishers Weekly

"Ford writes with a light touch... this will be lots of fun for military history fans, including younger history buffs." -- Library Journal

From the Hardcover edition.

Library Journal
The author of German Secret Weapons (1969) and Allied Secret Weapons (1971) now presents an entirely new book. World War II prompted more scientific and industrial development than any war prior. UK research scientist and journalist Ford pulls together a lot of information to give an overview of tanks, gigantic guns, powerful bombs, and chemical and biological warfare created by all sides, from Germany's weapons and planes to the Allies' atomic bomb and early computers. Ford writes with a light touch, providing obscure details as he describes inventing and producing weapons to fulfill a particular need, evaluates their effectiveness, and notes postwar applications of the equipment or techniques (e.g., think microwave ovens and stealth bombers). There's a chapter on spectacular failures. He sees TV programs about these weapons largely as hype and not accurate. VERDICT With plenty of photos, this will be lots of fun for military history fans, including younger history buffs.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781472804730
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publication date:
09/20/2013
Series:
General Military
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
File size:
17 MB
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What People are Saying About This

"British scientist and TV personality Ford pulls back the curtain in this fascinating, accessible study of the weapons and tactics that changed the course of World War II." — Publishers Weekly

"Ford writes with a light touch... this will be lots of fun for military history fans, including younger history buffs." — Library Journal (October 1, 2011)

Meet the Author

Brian J Ford is a prolific research scientist who launched major science programmes for the BBC. Over 100 editions of his books have been published around the world, and he appears in TV programmes produced in studios ranging from Hollywood to Delhi, and from Germany to Japan. He has broadcast on The Food Programme, Woman's Hour, Newsnight, Any Questions? and Sky Television News. In 1998 he joined the annual Round Britain Quiz, partnering Lady Antonia Fraser, and he has featured in his Science Hour phone-in sessions for LBC. His work is widely reported and discussed in journals including Scientific American, Nature, New Scientist, The Microscope and the British Medical Journal. In addition to textbooks he has also written the popular 101 Questions about Science books. His First Encyclopedia of Science (for the pre-teens) sold over 70,000 copies in a month. Brian J Ford contributes to The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Times.

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