Blackett's war: the men who defeated the Nazi u-boats and brought science to the art of warfare

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The exciting history of a small group of British and American scientists who, during World War II, developed the new field of operational research to turn back the tide of German submarines—revolutionizing the way wars are waged and won. In March 1941, after a year of unbroken and devastating U-boat onslaughts, the British War Cabinet decided to try a new strategy in the foundering naval campaign. To do so, they hired an intensely private, bohemian physicist who was also an ardent socialist. Patrick Blackett was a former navy officer and future winner of the Nobel Prize; he is little remembered today, but he and his fellow scientists did as much to win the war against Nazi Germany as almost anyone else. As director of the World War II antisubmarine effort, Blackett used little more than simple mathematics and probability theory—and a steadfast belief in the utility of science—to save the campaign against the U-boat. Employing these insights in unconventional ways, from the washing of mess hall dishes to the color of bomber wings, the Allies went on to win essential victories against Hitler’s Germany. Here is the story of these civilian intellectuals who helped to change the nature of twentieth-century warfare. Throughout, Stephen Budiansky describes how scientists became intimately involved with what had once been the distinct province of military commanders—convincing disbelieving military brass to trust the solutions suggested by their analysis. Budiansky shows that these men above all retained the belief that operational research, and a scientific mentality, could change the world. It’s a belief that has come to fruition with the spread of their tenets to the business and military worlds, and it started in the Battle of the Atlantic, in an attempt to outfight the Germans, but most of all to outwit them.

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9780307595966
030759596
9781452691985
9780307962638
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full_title blackett s war the men who defeated the nazi u boats and brought science to the art of warfare
author budiansky stephen
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-19 14:41:22PM

Solr Details

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author Stephen Budiansky
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A Washington Post Notable Book

In March 1941, after a year of devastating U-boat attacks, the British War Cabinet turned to an intensely private, bohemian physicist named Patrick Blackett to turn the tide of the naval campaign. Though he is little remembered today, Blackett did as much as anyone to defeat Nazi Germany, by revolutionizing the Allied anti-submarine effort through the disciplined, systematic implementation of simple mathematics and probability theory. This is the story of how British and American civilian intellectuals helped change the nature of twentieth-century warfare, by convincing disbelieving military brass to trust the new field of operational research.

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physical 1 online resource (1 audio file (660 min.)) : digital., xxiii, 306 p. : maps ; 25 cm.
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subject_facet Anti-submarine warfare -- History -- 20th century, Blackett, P. M. S. -- (Patrick Maynard Stuart), -- Baron Blackett, -- 1897-1974, Downloadable audio, History, Streaming audio, World War, 1939-1945 -- Atlantic Ocean, World War, 1939-1945 -- Naval operations -- Submarine, World War, 1939-1945 -- Radar
table_of_contents An unconventional weapon -- Cruelty and squalor -- Cambridge -- Defiance and defeatism -- Remedial education -- Blackett's Circus -- The real war -- Baker's dozen -- Closing the gaps -- A very scientific victory -- Political science.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Blackett's war : the men who defeated the Nazi u-boats and brought science to the art of warfare
title_display Blackett's war : the men who defeated the Nazi U-boats and brought science to the art of warfare
title_full Blackett's War The Men Who Defeated the Nazi U-Boats and Brought Science to the Art of Warfare, Blackett's war : the men who defeated the Nazi U-boats and brought science to the art of warfare / Stephen Budiansky, Blackett's war : the men who defeated the Nazi u-boats and brought science to the art of warfare / Stephen Budiansky
title_short Blackett's war :
title_sort blackett's war the men who defeated the nazi u-boats and brought science to the art of warfare
title_sub the men who defeated the Nazi u-boats and brought science to the art of warfare
topic History, Military, Nonfiction, Technology
topic_facet History, Military, Nonfiction, Technology