Churchill's War Lab

Churchill's War Lab

Code-breakers, Scientists, and the Mavericks Churchill Led to Victory

Book - 2011
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"As a young boy he re-enacted historic battles with toy soldiers, as a soldier he saw action on three continents, and as the Prime Minister only a direct edict from King George VI could keep him from joining the troops on D-Day. Churchill's War Lab will reveal how Churchill's passion for military history, his unique leadership style, and his patronization of radical new ideas would lead to new technology and new tactics that would save lives and enable an Allied victory. No war generated more incredible theories, more technical advances, more scientific leaps or more pioneering work that lay the foundation for the post-war computer revolution. And it was Churchill's dogged determination and enthusiasm for revolutionary ideas that fuelled this extraordinary outpouring of British genius"--Publisher's description.
Publisher: New York :, Overlook Press,, 2011.
ISBN: 9781590205655
Branch Call Number: 940.548641 DO
Characteristics: xviii, 397 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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Jul 03, 2015

Does cover the secret programs that Churchill was a supporter of, but half the book is about Churchill's life and career. This was OK by me because I didn't know much about him.

May 18, 2015

Ever since Ian Fleming made his Mr. James Bond a world-wide phenomenon, recognition that innovations in science, engineering, and spycraft can decisively tip the balance in conflict has been taken as granted. But it wasn't always this way; indeed, well into history's largest wars, most national military establishments assumed they knew everything about war, and civilians -- even clever, inventive, and courageous ones -- should leave warfare entirely to the military experts. Two books by Taylor Downing show brilliantly how this thinking changed in Britain during the major wars of the Twentieth Century.

"Churchill's War Lab" is an excellent history of Mr. Churchill's management of Britain's limited resources during World War II. (It also functions as an uncritical biography of his actions in the other wars in which he served.) Readers who want a great narrative with much more technical details of the work done by British "boffins" during World War II might try "Wizard War" (a.k.a. "Most Secret War") by R. V. Jones.

Another, more recent book by Mr. Downing, "Secret Warriors," covers the same topic for World War One with far more emphasis on the work of British scientists, engineers, and spy masters during that conflict. (Mr. Chruchill makes an appearance here, as well, but the author treats him critically, noting how Mr. Churchill unintentionally hindered the use of intelligence during this war.) Both books are great, well-written treatments of this often-obscure topic, but "Churchill's War Lab" works better if the reader understands how the first two words are the real title.


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