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Warriors and Wizards: The Development and Defeat of Radio-Controlled Glide Bombs of the Third Reich
In August 1943 the Luftwaffe began using radio-controlled anti-ship glide bombs, and within weeks they had sunk one battleship, crippled another, wrecked two cruisers, and destroyed numerous merchant ships. Yet a year later the Germans abandoned their use, defeated in part by electronic systems to jam the radio links that guided the bombs. Drawing on a wealth of new sources, Martin Bollinger examines what happened from both a historical and technological perspective and lays out a mission-by-mission analysis of effectiveness. Based on interviews with participants, intelligence documents, and archival records in four countries, his book chronicles the yearlong battle between Allied seamen and Luftwaffe airmen (the warriors) and German and Allied scientists (the wizards) for a story of courage, technical achievement, and sacrifice.
Outstanding addition to the naval history of WW2
By Ed B
- December 2, 2010
The radio controlled glider bombs used by the Luftwaffe to sink the new Italian battleship Roma, and seriously damage the veteran British dreadnought Warspite made a spectacular entrance into combat in WW2, then seemed to become less and less effective over time. These highly advanced weapons get passing mention in a number of works, but this is the first book to do a detailed technical and operational study working from original documents. Nor are the men who created, deployed and countered these futuristic devices overlooked - the book is filled with description and background on the scientists and aircrew who designed and deployed the bombs and countermeasures.
This book provides very technical information on the radio equipment and radio control links, but also includes clear descriptions and analogies so that even a non-technical person can understand how the system worked and what were the advantages and disadvantages. A particularly welcome feature is the detailed... read more
The story of the Smart bombs of World War II
By J. Rudy "IT Professional"
- December 26, 2010
In 1990, during the opening rounds of Operation Desert Storm, viewers sat glued to the television set watching footage of precision guided munitions dissecting Iraqi targets. No longer did bombers have to level city blocks to destroy a target. Instead, targeteers could pick a window in a facility to hit with a bomb. While some would credit Americans with the development of the smart bomb, these weapons first appeared almost 50 years earlier by German scientists. In "Warriors and Wizards", by Martin Bollinger, readers gain insight into how the electronics wizards from the Axis and the Allies fought in the electromagnetic spectrum.
On August 25, 1943 Do 217 bombers unleashed one of Hitler's secret weapons on an Allied task force operating off the coast of France. The Allies, aware of the new weapon, were waiting with electronic eavesdropping equipment to identify how the Germans were controlling the new weapons. Over the next year, English and American scientists would... read more
The Best Work...
By Love Submarines "Love Submarines"
- November 14, 2010
Bollinger has provided an excellent account of the first aerial "guided missiles" employed against warships. Did you know that one of these guided bombs sank a battleship, underway at sea? The book has three major (and many minor) strongpoints:
First, it is comprehensive...providing a detailed account of ALL air-to-surface attacks by German aircraft with guided bombs; second it details the allied countermeasures--successes and failures; and, third, the book is very well written.
Some years ago I reviewed his first book--STALIN'S SLAVE SHIPS--an effort that convinced me of Bollinger's expertise as a historian and his excellent writing style.
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