Here is a list of some of the books relating to the early development of radar.
The books page gives an introduction to this list, and also has other downloadable collections of references.
Where a book is in the Purbeck Radar Reference Library collection, there is a link to the library page.
  
  
A B C D.E F G H I J K L M.N.O P.Q R S.T.U.V W.X.Y Z
  
The list of books is alphabetical by author - click on the letters above to scroll to the relevant part of this page.
  

A


 
The Origins and Development of Operational Research in the Royal Air Force

Air Ministry

The Origins and Development of Operational Research in the Royal Air Force 
Air Ministry

How to use radar (Operational Research, OR) was considered by radar scientists to be equally important as the hardware. This is OR's official history in the RAF. 

HMSO, 1963 Air Publication 3363
218 pages
Open Library

Pursuit Through Darkened Skies Pursuit Through Darkened Skies
An Ace Night-fighter Crew in World War II
Allen, Michael DFC

When Michael Allen "crewed up" with Harry White in August 1941, it was the start of a four-year partnership as navigator and pilot respectively; together they formed one of the RAF's top-scoring night-fighter crews of World War II. His job was to operate the primitive airborne interception equipment (AI) and guide Harry through darkened skies until his pilot could see the enemy aircraft ahead of them.

The Crowood Press Ltd, July 1999 
ISBN 10: 1840370831 
ISBN 13: 9781840370836 
368 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010 

Radar Days - Gwen Arnold Radar Days: Memoirs of a WAAF Radar Operator
Arnold, Gwen

An insight into the 20's and 30's & the impact of the War on the life and loves of a WAAF radar operator from Bournemouth.

Woodfield Publishing, September 2000  
ISBN 10: 1873203497 
ISBN 13: 9781873203491 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

B


The Radar Army, Reg Batt The Radar Army
Winning the War of the Air Waves
Batt, Reg

A first hand account of the development of wartime radar which could cope with German night bombers.
Reg Batt was a radar scientist at Worth Matravers.

London: R. Hale, 1991
ISBN 10: 0709045085 
207 pages
Open Library 
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

Radar Days, Bowen E G Radar Days 
Bowen, E.G. 

'Taffy' Bowen was one of the original radar scientists and the team leader on airborne radar from its inception.

Bristol: Adam Hilger, 1987 
ISBN 10: 0852745907
231 pages 
Open Library accessed: 3 Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

RDF1, Michael Bragg RDF1 
The location of aircraft by radio methods 1935 - 1945
Bragg, Michael 

RDF (Radio Direction Finding) was the 'cover' name given to radar before World War II. This book is based on detailed archival research of the work of people involved in early radar development. Before his retirement Bragg commissioned radars for the Civil Aviation Authority.

Paisley: Hawkhead, 2002 
ISBN 10: 0953154408 
400 pages
Open Library 
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

 

Radar:
How It All Began

James Brown

Radar: How It All Began
Brown, James

Primarily an account of Metropolitan Vickers' development and construction of Chain Home transmitters by a research technician.

Janus Book Publishers, September 1996 
ISBN 10: 1857562127 
ISBN 13: 9781857562125
180 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

A Radar History of World War II, Louis Brown A Radar History of World War II: 
Technical and Military Imperatives
Brown, Louis

This book is an account of the history of Radar in the Second World War.

Taylor & Francis, January 1999)
ISBN 10: 0750306599
ISBN 13: 9780750306591
563 pages 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010 
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

The Invention That Changed the World, Robert Buderi The Invention That Changed the World
The story of radar from war to peace
Buderi, Robert

Original subtitle: 'How a small group of radar pioneers won the Second World War and launched a technological revolution'.  Recalls the group of scientists whose invention of radar during World War II contributed to the Allied victory, and chronicles their post-war achievements.

Abacus (London), July 1998 
ISBN 10: 0349110689
ISBN 13: 9780349110684 
575 pages 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010 
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

Radar development to 1945 
Seminar - Institute of Electrical Engineers
Burns, Russell (editor)

A collection of papers with a strong international flavour including papers by Neal (Chain Home), Putley (Ground Controlled Interception) and Bowen (Airborne Interception & Air to Surface Vessel). 

London: Peter Peregrinus, 1988
on behalf of the Institute of Electrical Engineers
ISBN 10: 0863411398 
528 pages
Open Library

C


Metres to Microwaves, Brian Callick Metres to Microwaves: 
British Development of Active Components for Radar Systems, 1937 - 1944
Callick, E. Brian

Focuses on the development of the transmitting and receiving valves, display tubes and other active components used by the Navy, Army and Air Force in radar and communications equipment.

Peter Peregrinus Ltd. 1990
on behalf of the IEE (London) 
ISBN 10: 0863412122 
240 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010 

The Lion has Wings - Coombs The Lion has Wings
The race to prepare the RAF for World War II, 1935-1940
Coombs, L.F.E.

A wide perspective of British defence pre World War II as a whole - chronologically arranged and broadly focussed.

Airlife Pub. (Shrewsbury), 1997 
ISBN 10: 1853108057 
176 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

Science at War - Crowther & Whiddington Science at War
Crowther, J.G. and Whiddington, R.

A populist treatment of radar, atomic power, Operations Research and naval science. It treats technology on a broad front, but assumes some scientific knowledge from the reader.

H M Stationery Office (London), 1947 
185 pages 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010 

Radar Reflections: 
The Secret Life of Air Force Radar Mechanics in World War Two
Cumming, Michael

An account of the role and experiences of radar technicians between 1939 and 1945 showing how the many different applications of ground-based and airborne radar were put to effective use for defensive and offensive purposes.

Radar Associates (Calgary), 2000 
ISBN 10: 1894255100
246 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010 

D E


Messenger Gods of Battle - Tony Devereux Messenger Gods of Battle: 
History of Electronic Warfare

Devereux, Tony

A sweeping review of the role of electronics in military history, starting with the first use of electricity in the early 19th century and showing how military need has been a principal motivating force in most electronic development.

Brassey's (UK) Ltd, Dec 1991 
ISBN 10: 0080358292
322 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

Dobinson - Building Radar Building Radar: 
Forging Britain's Early-warning Chain,1939-45 
Dobinson, Colin

General history of radar in the closing phases of World War II.

Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd, March 2010
ISBN-10: 0413772292 
ISBN-13: 978-0413772299
356 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2011

F


David Fisher - A Race on the Edge of Time A Race on the Edge of Time 
Radar - The Decisive Weapon of World War II

Fisher, David E.

A highly readable 'storybook' account of radar development, treating the subject by imaginative reconstructions of scenes and conversations of key individuals.

Mcgraw-Hill, October 1987 
ISBN 10: 0070210888 
ISBN 13: 9780070210882 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

G


John 'Cat's Eyes' Cunningham, John Golley John "Cat's-eyes" Cunningham
The Aviation Legend
Golley, John

John Cunningham rose to fame as an outstanding night-fighter pilot, "Cat's-eyes Cunningham", during the bombing blitz of Britain.  Few then knew of his major role in perfecting the operational use of radar interception. He was the first squadron pilot in the world to shoot down an enemy aircraft using radar.  His partnership with Jimmy Rawnsley, his navigator, provides a fascinating insight into the air war under the cover of darkness.

Airlife Publishing Ltd, July 2002
ISBN 10: 1840373431 
ISBN 13: 9781840373431 
240 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010 

Life at a Secret Location - Ian Goult Life at a Secret Location
A witness to the birth of radar and its postwar influence.
Goult, Ian

A first hand account of the development of wartime radar.
Ian Goult worked in the radar team in Purbeck.

The History Press Ltd Sep 2010
ISBN-10: 0752457764 
ISBN-13: 978-0752457765 
144 pages

Night Fighters - Bill Gunston Night Fighter
Gunston, Bill

Gunston, a pre-eminent aircraft, airframe and aeroengine writer, traces the development of the night fighter before, during and after World War II.

Patrick Stephens (Cambridge), 1976 
ISBN 10: 0850592364 
192 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

H I


Boffin, R Hanbury Brown Boffin 
Personal Story of the Early Days of Radar and Radio Astronomy and Quantum Optics
Hanbury Brown, R

Hanbury Brown was one of the younger members of Bowen's team and also held a pilot's licence. Focuses strongly on Airborne Interception and Air to Surface Vessel radar and on Operations Research.  Hanbury-Brown was a scientist at Worth Matravers.

Adam Hilger (Bristol, New York), 1991 
ISBN 10: 0750301309 
184 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

The Challenge of War
later edition title: 'The Effect of Science on the Second World War'
Scientific and engineering contributions to World War Two
Hartcup, Guy

Advances in science in the Second World War included radar, sonar, improved radio, methods of reducing disease, primitive computers, the new science of operational research and, finally, the atomic bomb. Like all wartime technology they were necessarily developed in a remarkably short time.

David & Charles (Newton Abbot), 1970 
ISBN 10: 0715347896 
295 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

Chance & Design, Alan Hodgkin Chance and Design: 
Reminiscences of Science in Peace and War
Hodgkin, Alan Lloyd

The autobiography of one of the pioneers of centimetric airborne interception radar; supplements Lovell.  Alan Hodgkin was one of the scientists at Worth.

Cambridge University Press, May 1992
ISBN 10: 0521400996 
ISBN 13: 978-0521400992
424 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

Radar at Sea - Derek Howse Radar at Sea: 
the Royal Navy in WW2
Howse, H Derek

An excellent general work on the use of radar by the Navy.

Naval Institute Press (Annapolis, Md), 1993 
ISBN 10: 155750704X
ISBN 13: 978-1557507044 
383 page
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

J


Brian Johnson - The Secret War The Secret War
Johnson, Brian

Book from a 1970s BBC series featuring scientific advances of World War II from radar to codebreaking.

Pen and Sword; September 2004
ISBN-10: 1844151026 
ISBN-13: 978-1844151028
352 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

Most Secret War, Jones R V Most Secret War
Jones, R V

Jones's account of his part in British Scientific Intelligence between 1939 and 1949. It was his responsibility to anticipate German applications of science to warfare, so that their new weapons could be countered before they were used. Much of his work had to do with radio navigation, as in the Battle of the Beams, with radar, as in the Allied Bomber Offensive and in the preparations for D-Day and in the war at sea.

Hamilton (London), 1978 
ISBN 10: 0241897467 
556 pages 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010 

The Wizard War, Jones R V
The Wizard War
British scientific intelligence, 1939-1945
Jones, R V

This is the American title for 'Most Secret War'.

Coward, McCann & Geoghegan 
(New York), 1978 
ISBN 10: 0698108965 
556 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

K


The Development of Radar Equipments for the Royal Navy, 1935-45
Kingsley, F A
(Editor on behalf of the Naval Radar Trust)

A series of technical Monographs describing various aspects of the origins, development and application of British Naval radar from its inception in 1935 until the end of World War 2.

Macmillan (Basingstoke), Jan 1995
ISBN 10: 0333612108 
476 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

Birth of the Beam - Gordon Kinsey Bawdsey Birth of the Beam 
The History of R.A.F. Stations Bawdsey and Woodbridge
Kinsey, Gordon

An account of the 20th century use of Bawdsey and the surrounding area, based on published work and interviews.

Terence Dalton (Lavenham, Suffolk), 1983
ISBN 10: 086138105X 
ISBN 13: 9780861381050 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

L


Pioneers of Radar 
Latham, Colin & Stobbs, Anne

Tells the story of UK radar development approachably and accurately from published works of the pioneers, interviews and reminiscences of those still alive.

Alan Sutton Publishing, Ltd. 1996 
ISBN: 978-0750921206
263 pages 
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

Latham & Stobbs - Radar: a Wartime Miracle Radar: a Wartime Miracle
Latham, Colin & Stobbs, Anne

Continues the style of 'Pioneers of Radar' into the war years from interviews with those who worked on radar in the UK 1939 - 1945, mixing technical and social history.

Alan Sutton Publishing, Ltd. Oct 1997 
ISBN: 978-0750916431
238 pages
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

The Birth of British Radar, 'Skip' Wilkins The Birth of British Radar 
Latham, Colin & Stobbs, Anne 

Excellent publication of the memoirs of 'Skip' Wilkins, Watson Watt's assistant in the earliest days of radar with helpful notes.

Defence Electronics History Society / Speedwell, May 2006
ISBN 10: 0953716627 
ISBN 13: 978-0953716623 
Paperback: 177 pages
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

Astronomer by Chance, Bernard Lovell Astronomer by Chance
Lovell, Bernard Sir

Autobiography by one of the founding fathers of radio astronomy who adapted wartime radar technology to study the stars.  Bernard Lovell was a scientist at Worth Matravers.

Macmillan London, 1991 
ISBN 10: 0333551958 
ISBN 10: 0465005128
380 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010 

Echoes of War, Bernard Lovell Echoes of War: 
The Story of H2S Radar
Lovell, Sir Bernard

An autobiographical account of the author's work on the development of radar systems during World War II. The book focuses on his contributions to the development of a "blind" bombing device known as H2S and its conversion to assist Coastal Command in the detection of enemy submarines.  Bernard Lovell was a scientist at Worth Matravers.

Adam Hilger (Bristol), 1991
ISBN 10: 0852743173 
ISBN 13: 9780852743171 
287pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

M N O


The Bruneval Raid: 
Flashpoint of the Radar War (later subtitle: 'Stealing Hitler's Radar')
Millar, George

One story of the commando raid on a German Wurzburg radar site at Bruneval in northern France to steal key components for analysis by British scientists.

Bodley Head (London), 1974 
ISBN 10: 0370102681 
208 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

P Q


Dorset's Radar Days, Penley & Batt Dorset's Radar Days
The British Radar Story 1935 - 1945
Penley W H, Batt R G

This booklet tells the story of early radar development in the UK from the Daventry experiment in 1935 to after the D-Day invasion. It focuses on the period from May 1940 - May 1942 when radar development was centred at the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE) in Purbeck, Dorset.

Purbeck Radar Museum Trust, 1994 - 2006
24 pages
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

With Radar to Final Victory, Penley & Batt With Radar to Final Victory 
When Radar Took to the Road
Penley, W H; Batt, R G

Short general history of radar in the closing phases of World War II.

Purbeck Radar Museum Trust
ISBN 10: 0953667308
40 pages
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

Secret War in Purbeck, Penley & Penley Secret War in Purbeck
The story of the top secret radar development in Purbeck from 1940 to 1942
Penley Jonathan, Penley Dr Bill

This non-technical booklet features many photographs of the people and radar sites, biographic notes of the top scientists and outlines the lasting legacy of technology.  Dr Bill Penley was a radar scientist at Worth Matravers.

Purbeck Radar Museum Trust, Feb 2009
ISBN 13: 9780953667314
38 pages, >100 photos
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

 

Design and Development of Weapons

Postan, Hay & Scott

Design and Development of Weapons
Studies in government and industrial organisation
Postan, M M; Hay D & Scott J

Official history with radar as one subject: its focus is largely Government structures and processes.

H.M. Stationery Office (London), 1964 
579 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

Aircraft versus Submarine
Price, Alfred

Covers the evolution of anti-submarine aircraft to detect and attack U-boats from 1912 - 1945

Jane's Publishing (London, New York), 1980 
ISBN 10: 0710600089
272 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

Alfred Price - Instruments of Darkness Instruments of Darkness: 
The History of Electronic Warfare, 1939 - 1945
Price, Alfred

Charts the rapid evolution of radio and radar systems for military use during World War II, and devices to counter them.

Macdonald & Jane's (London), 1977 
ISBN 10: 035401062X 
284 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

The Radar War - David Pritchard The Radar War: 
The German Achievement 1904-45
Pritchard, David

A study of the technological advances of German radar before and during World War II including Hulsmeyer's original experimentations in 1904.

William Kimber & Co Ltd, April 1989 
ISBN 10: 0718307062 
ISBN 13: 9780718307066
240 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

R


Ramsey - Battle of Britain: Then and Now Battle of Britain: Then and Now
Ramsey, Winston G.

Detailed day-by-day account with data on what happened and what did not, including extensive illustrations.

Battle of Britain Prints International Ltd. (London), 1982 
ISBN 10: 0900913460 
ISBN 13: 9780900913464 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

The Blitz: Then and Now The Blitz: Then and Now
(After the Battle)
Ramsey, Winston G.

Highly illustrated account following the Blitz through the entire war on a day-by-day basis. Has some thematic studies including radar.

London: Battle of Britain Prints International Ltd, Sept 1987
ISBN 10: 0900913452 
ISBN 13: 9780900913457
3 volumes
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

Night Fighter, Rawnsley Night Fighter
Rawnsley, C F; Wright, Robert

The story of the development of the radar-equipped night fighters of the RAF, of the men who flew them and of the role they played in WW2. 'Jimmy' Rawnsley was crewed with John Cunningham as a gunner, qualified as an observer radar operator, and the pair went on to become the RAF's leading night-fighter crew, destroying over 20 enemy aircraft.

Crecy Publishing Ltd, 1998
[many earlier editions] 
ISBN 10: 0907579671 
ISBN 13: 9780907579670
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010 

John Ray - The Battle of Britain The Battle of Britain 
New Perspectives: behind the scenes of the great air war
Ray, John Philip

Based on John Ray's doctoral thesis at the University of Kent. A thorough treatment of the subject which moved the Battle of Britain debate from the "Big Wing" controversy to the issues of Dowding's handling of night air defence. Covers radar and the debate among the senior personalities in the RAF.

Arms and Armour (London), 1994
ISBN 10: 1854092294 
222 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

John Ray - The Night Blitz The Night Blitz: 1940 - 1941
Ray, John Philip

A very well researched view of the Night Blitz: Ray did not have the benefit of more recently published memoirs such as Hanbury Brown, but relied on the (excellent) memory of Dr. W.H. Penley for the radar reminiscences.

Arms & Armour, August 1996 
ISBN 10: 1854092707 
ISBN 13: 9781854092700 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

One Story of Radar, Rowe A P One Story of Radar
Rowe, A.P.

A general account of early radar from Rowe's own perspective as Superintendent of the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE), the main UK research centre.

Cambridge University Press, 1948
207 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

S T U V


 

Army Radar

A P Sayer

Army Radar
Sayer, A.P.

A narrative account including reasonable technical and contractual detail. Most of the focus is after 1941.

London: War Office, 1950
Official History, Army Series

Technical History of the beginnings of RADAR
Swords, S.S.

An excellent technical history with some mathematics and circuit diagrams. Well referenced, and with a strong international bias.

Peter Peregrinus (London, UK), 1986 
on behalf of the IEE
ISBN 10: 086341043X 
325 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

W X Y


Three Steps to Victory - Watson-Watt, Robert Three Steps to Victory
Watson-Watt, Sir Robert

Long winded with a heavy focus in the earlier years, and written very much from Watson-Watt's own perspective.

Odhams Press (London), 1957
480 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

The Narrow Margin, Wood & Dempster The Narrow Margin
The Battle of Britain and the rise of air power, 1930-1940
Wood, Derek with Dempster, Derek

Originally a 20th anniversary tribute and the book upon which the film "Battle of Britain" was based. The book was outstandingly well-researched for its period. It includes a description of the overall air defence system, and two chapters on radar. It concentrates on the day battle, and a chronological treatment of the Battle of Britain itself, with little on the Blitz.

Hutchinson (London), 1961
many subsequent editions 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library

Echoes and Reflections, Keith Wood Echoes & Reflections
Wood, Keith

Part-autobiography and part-history of the development of major electronic and avionic projects in which the author took a leading part. Going from the development of Airborne Radar, Automatic Landing and All Weather Operations to the environmental testing of atomic weapons and the development of air traffic control Weather systems.

Serendipity (Bloomsbury, London), May 2004 
ISBN 10: 1843941007 
ISBN 13: 9781843941002 
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010

Z


David Zimmerman - Britain's Shield Britain's Shield: 
Radar and the Defeat of the Luftwaffe
Zimmerman, David

Generally well researched and well written, this book follows Zimmerman's earlier work on Tizard. It deals with the development of the entire British radar-based air defence system, not solely with radar hardware. Indispensable on Chain Home, not so thorough in the single chapter on airborne radar.

Sutton (Stroud, Gloucestershire), 2001 
ISBN 10: 0750917997 
258 pages
Open Library  accessed: Jan 2010
Purbeck Radar Reference Library
  
  
 

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Page last updated: 28 February 2011