development of radar by the British and Americans during World War II was undoubtedly a key factor in preventing
Hitler's forces from destroying and dominating the world. Once his ground forces had invaded western and southern
Europe and spread toward the eastern seaboard, the main task remaining was to take England and Ireland. The
English Channel prevented a relatively simple land invasion, so the Luftwaffe undertook an air campaign both in
the form of massive bombing raids and the terrible V1 Buzz Bombs and V2 rockets developed by Werner von Braun's
Robert Watson Watt was commissioned
to create a microwave "death ray" to shoot down the German aircraft and rockets, but his investigations showed
that microwaves would be more effective employed in the form of radar to give advanced warning of approaching
squadrons. That gave RAF pilots time to get airborne and go out to meet the enemy before it could reach British
shores. Of course, Hitler then made bombing the radar installations a priority. Just as Admiral Kurita made a
fatal strategic decision during the Battle
of Leyte Gulf by turning his fleet around, Göring made a fatal decision to cease bombing of the radars and
concentrate on British airfields. Both actions were based on bad assumptions about the opposition's status. There
is footage I have never seen before of a German V2 rocket launch. But, I digress.
This series of videos was
produced by the U.S. Army Signal Corps (CiC pronunciation "corpse") as part of the training program for radar
technicians. I was a radar repairman in the USAF and do not recall seeing this series of films, but then my time
was 1978-1982. The basics really haven't changed, other than the displays are no longer traces on an oscilloscope
where the position of "pips" on the time base represent the distance and relative size of the target. The most
advanced contemporary radar still uses a central timing unit to synchronize all time-related information, and has
an antenna to "fling" RF energy into space, be reflected off of objects, and be processed by the receiver. The
dictate to me and every other radar repairman in military history: "Whichever set you work on, your job, the
repairman's job, is the same - to keep your set working and working right all the time."
Oh, if you have
not yet watched the Reel 1, Part 3 video on radar indicators, you might be wondering what that thumbnail image has
to do with a radar training film. Back in the day, especially in England, it was common to refer adoringly to
someone as a "pip." Pip was also the term given to a blip on the radar screen, hence the symbolism. It was a
mental bait-and-switch to get the troops' interest. You can bet there would never be such material in today's
training videos. I won't comment further on the subject.
Radar Technical Principles Reel 1 - Part 2 - Mechanics
Radar Technical Principles Reel 2 - Part 2 - Mechanics
Radar Technical Principles Reel 3 - Part 2 - Mechanics
Radar: Technical Principles Reel 1 - Part 3 - Indicators
Radar: Technical Principles Reel 2 - Part 3 - Indicators
Radar: Technical Principles Reel 3 - Part 3 - Indicators
Radar: Technical Principles Reel 4 - Part 3 - Indicators
Radar: Technical Principles Reel 5 - Part 3 - Indicators
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