Campaign to put unsung hero of Second World War back on radar
Now, an international fundraising appeal has been launched to commemorate his achievements. The recently formed Watson-Watt Society wants to raise £50,000 to build a memorial statue in his home town, Brechin in Scotland, to the man who is officially credited with creating the first workable radar system.
A descendant of James Watt, the engineer and inventor of the steam engine, Watson-Watt's method of using radio waves to detect objects helped tilt the balance of air superiority in 1940 when the overstretched RAF was able to intercept enemy bombers in all weathers and at night. Without it, Britain would have probably lost the battle and perhaps the war.
comments powered by Disqus
Patrick Murray - 11/13/2006
Mr. Hamby is correct. When the British Chiefs of Staff Committee asked Air Marshal Sir Hugh Dowding of Fighter Command how he intended to cope with the German night fighters, Dowding noted that better night-fighters were in the pipe line. The British night-fighters accounted for one German plane in October 1940. The radars had to be refined, and redesigned to fit into cockpits.
Alonzo Hamby - 11/5/2006
Watson-Watt probably deserves the recognition his admirers want for him, but it is a mistake to say to that radar allowed the RAF to intercept bombers at night. The fact is that for over a year after the RAF won the battle of Britain (September, 1940), German bombers devastated England at night.
As for radar itself, it was possibly pioneered in Britain, but was developed to varying degrees by Germans, Americans, and Japanese during the war. The Western Allies kept a step ahead, and here, as in many other areas, their superior resources and scientific achievements contributed to victory.
- The Memorial Where Slavery Is Real
- Thomas Piketty accuses Germany of forgetting history as it lectures Greece
- Greek ‘No’ May Have Its Roots in Heroic Myths and Real Resistance
- 150 years later, schools are still a battlefield for interpreting Civil War
- Where are America's memorials to pain of slavery, black resistance?
- Historian: "I don’t want my students to simply choose sides in a polemic between heritage and hate"
- Harvard’s Nancy Cott says the Chief Justice in the gay marriage case has a stilted idea of the history of marriage
- Did a historian who said he’s a victim of McCarthyism get the story wrong?
- Stephanie Coontz’s work on the history of marriage cited by the Supreme Court.
- How Does It Feel To Have One’s Work as a Historian Cited by the Supreme Court? Cool. Very Cool. Thank You Very Much.