Men Amidst the Madness

British Technology Development in World War II

David Rogers

Date Published :
June 2014
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Illustration :
60 photos, maps and tables
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781909982086
Pages : 304
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


Individually and collectively, the Fellows of the Royal Society were involved in many wartime activities. For example, prior to the outbreak of World War Two Her Majesty's Government decided to establish a Central Register of persons with 'professional, scientific, technical or higher administrative qualifications', for use in time of War, and entrusted this work to the Ministry of Labor. The Secretaries of the Royal Society discussed the project with officials from that Ministry, and at the beginning of 1939, started to compile the part of the Central Register which dealt with scientific research.

Some Fellows such as Sir Winston Churchill FRS, Albert Einstein ForMemRS, Alan Turing FRS, Sir Barnes Wallis FRS and Jan Christian Smuts FRS were either in the public eye during World War Two, or were the subject of films and documentaries soon afterwards. Equally there are individuals who have escaped the limelight. For example, Sir Harry Work Melville FRS was Scientific Adviser to the Chief Superintendent of Chemical Defense, Ministry of Supply (1940-1943) based mainly at Porton Down and Superintendent of the Radar Research Station at Malvern (1943-1945). Sir (Thomas) Angus Lyall Paton FRS organized staff for the supervision of a number of the reinforced concrete caissons and Phoenix units that formed part of Mulberry Harbors for the invasion of France, which incidentally were designed by Sir Bruce White. Of course Sir Frank Whittle OM CBE CB FRS also came to the public's attention for his war work on the jet engine.

Interestingly, William Michael Herbert Greaves FRS was appointed Astronomer Royal for Scotland, as well as Professor of Astronomy at Edinburgh University and was in charge of the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh. He helped to set up an independent time service there, in case the regular Greenwich time service should be completely disrupted. This service was run by Greaves with the help of only a very small staff. These, and many other stories, provide a fascinating and detailed picture of the men frequently labeled 'boffins', and the work they did during World War Two.

About The Author

Dave Rogers set up Danercon Ltd in 2004 - having previously worked for a multinational company for 23 years. During his industrial career, Dave spent time working in research and development and in the manufacturing division. His research experience involved product component research, product design and the implementation of process verification equipment. Dave’s manufacturing experience covers the product issues of day-to-day manufacture and product design as part of a waste reduction effort, as well as leading a process research and development group of some 20 engineers and scientists. Dave holds a Bachelor and Doctorate Degree in Chemistry, and Fellowships with the Royal Society of Chemistry, The Royal Photographic Society and The British Institute of Professional Photography (the latter by invitation). He was Visiting Professor at the University of Westminster 2002–05. Dave is a long-term school governor - having recently completed 15 years as primary school governor. He has written or edited 13 books. Two are war-related, which he edited for his father; a third wartime book was co-written by Dave and his father. This is Dave’s fifth book for Helion - having previously written Top Secret. British Boffins in World War One, Men Amidst the Madness – British Technology Development in World War Two, Destination D-Day – preparations for the invasion of North-West Europe 1944 and Rebuilding Britain The aftermath of World War Two.

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