Friday 7 November 2014

Britain's Secret Weapon

Here are ten facts you may not know about radar.

1.  Radar was first developped in the 1930's in Bawdsey, England.

2.  Radar is similar to a bat using sound to see in the dark.

3.  Radar operators during World War II were able to spot objects up to 200 miles away.

4.  A semiconductor crystal was a key component of radar.  Certain universities worked to perfect this crystal including Purdue, Bell, MIT and University of Chicago.

5.  Radar was the secret weapon used by the British during the Battle of Britain.

6.  Radar operators were sworn to secrecy, not even revealing their work to their parents.  They often said they were doing "wireless" work.

7.  British Commandos raided a Nazi radar station in Belgium in 1942.  They dismantled the system and brought it back to Britain to study.

8.  During World War II, radar was able to detect the location of aircraft, vessels and even V-1 rockets.

9.  Over 4000 personnel were involved in radar operations in Britain.

10.  At its height, radar operators could see almost 2000 aircraft on their screens at one time.

Note:  For more information, read Gwen Arnold's book Radar Days (

Canadian radar operators courtesy  

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