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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars R V Jones....a Masterpiece.....what really happened...
I first purchased this book (an earlier edition) over 15 years ago and still read it form time to time. Mr.R.V. Jones in my view was a very clever man who fully understood the on-coming threat posed by the Germans. If there had ever been the right man for the job,(R.V.Jones) it was him. The book might read that he was the only person working for the Government who fully...
Published on 16 July 2003 by tricky707

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3.0 out of 5 stars Small font
Brilliant story but font is too small for my ageing eyes!
Published 1 month ago by M.Hanscomb


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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars R V Jones....a Masterpiece.....what really happened..., 16 July 2003
I first purchased this book (an earlier edition) over 15 years ago and still read it form time to time. Mr.R.V. Jones in my view was a very clever man who fully understood the on-coming threat posed by the Germans. If there had ever been the right man for the job,(R.V.Jones) it was him. The book might read that he was the only person working for the Government who fully understand what scientific advances the Germans were making at the time, but you will notice he goes out of his way to mention everybody involved in his work. He also adds some comical notes about his early experiments which brings out his "I'm only human" side of him. By the time you have finished the book, you feel as if you have been there with him, through the long struggle with the British Establishment to accept the threat the Germans posed!
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece in military intelligence history, 16 Jun. 2001
This is an unusually interesting and important review of the development of radar and electronic warfawe in WWII. It was written by the person who is considered, and rightly so, the father of modern electronic warfare, and who had personally made a key contribution to its development. In the turn of the 21st century, it is astonishing to see that although R. V. Jones had acted in WWII with technology of those days, most of the concepts and techniques dealt with by him still hold true to this very day. This is a rare monument to the group of people who had made an enormous contribution, through their most secret effort, to the defeat of the Nazi beast. I highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in the history of this field.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Key Book on Scientific Intelligence, 26 May 2001
By A Customer
This is one of the best books to be read by anyone interested in the application of science. Through the stories about how information was gathered, analysed and finally brought together to create something useful. His application of Occams razor is something I have - in turn - applied over and over again to produce a useful result.
If you are interested in the history of science and technology, this book is for you. Don't be put off by the size (600+ pages in my paperback edition!) this is an excellent read.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Excellent Book, 20 Mar. 2007
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Jerz Jurkiewicz "Jerz" (Guernsey) - See all my reviews
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I was so pleased that Penguin decided to re-release this book. It is a very, very good book and undoubtedly the best book I have read on the subject of anticipating the Germans' scientific advancements during the Second World War. A very clever man, R V Jones is able to explain with utmost clarity, the secret world of his and many others', research. The daily anticipation of their results and whether these could affect the next bombing raids, for example, is clearly explained and adds suspense to the book. It covers not just the successes but also the disappointments. The development of radar and infrared technology, how this was achieved and the "Battle of the Beams" are amazing stories in their own right. I have lost count the number of times I have re-read the book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Scientific Intelligence 1939-1945 RV Jones, 11 Jan. 2011
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A very very good read. It is really a personal account of the leading scientist at the time. The most interesting fact, for me, was that although German radar was far more advanced, and more over-engineered than ours, they didn't really put this to their advantage. The British 'make-do-hands-on' attitude was actually a far greater advantage that was far more flexible and able to respond more quickly as Germany changed tactics and equipment. RV Jones explains how he struggled against our own government 'treacle' to maintain these methods and prove the saving thousands of lives; even having to 'slam the desk' once in front of Churchill himself. The other most interesting, for me, is the chapters after the war where the UK, USA and Russia were fighting amongst themselves in order to 'pick and poach' the German brains and 'procure' equipment in the war aftermath.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the finest book about scientific development in WWII., 7 Sept. 2010
By 
Mr. Martin L. Harman "social historian" (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Most Secret War (Penguin World War II Collection) (Paperback)
This is my favourite book from many written describing scientific developments in the second world war. It covers a very broad scope and will be indispensible to the scientific historian and lay reader interested in electronic developments in radar, navigation aids, encryption, electronic warfare and communications during the period 1935 to 1945. Dr RV Jones was at the summit of a huge pyramid of secret research and development by a dedicated band of research engineers and scientists employed in the British scientific civil service, universities and industry during WWII much of whose efforts are still unrecognised today, but from which most of our modern electronic systems that we now take for granted first saw the light of day. The book is also a personal account of his life and the conflicts and difficulties which he encountered in this most challenging of roles.

I had the good fortune to meet Professor Jones in 1984 at Southampton University when he was guest speaker on the subject "Irony in Scientific Endeavour" and he kindly signed my very battered copy of his book. It is now a treasured possession.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a real authority, 22 Dec. 2011
By all means order this original hardback rather than the far more expensive paperback reprint.
R V Jones became famous when Churchill, in Volume III of his "Second World War", credited him with discovering the Luftwaffe's use of adapted Lorenz navigation beams to pinpoint night bombing targets in Britain. Jones explains this in depth, and includes his own version of his various meetings with Churchill. He goes on to discuss the discovery of German Freya and Wurzburg radar, culminating in the Bruneval Raid in 1942 in which Commandoes brought back German radar equipment from the French coast. He also mentions the dead-end of infra-red research, with which he had started his war.
Here is a great expert at work, and in his own eloquent words. I have returned to this many times when I wanted to be crystal clear about the science, the sequence of events, and some of the key figures in wartime British radar intelligence.
This is in no way a criticism because RVJ was describing his own war, not other people's, but a more rounded view of wartime radar can be found in the books by Watson-Watt (3 Steps To Victory), E G Bowen (Radar Days) and, for the very technical, Bragg "RDF 1".
Obviously recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Boffins behind the scenes, 14 Jan. 2014
By 
R. Holt "Horatio" (Chard, UK) - See all my reviews
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This book had to wait 30 years after the Second World War to be published, revealing secrets that until then had been classified. It describes the part played by Air Intelligence in combating the scientific advances made by the enemy, and in thinking up our own inventions to ensure victory. R.V.Jones was picked by WInston Churchill to head up the department. Although quite young,he and his team achieved great things. The book is fascinating, and in places very funny. For example, the department deduced that the enemy had a radio system for guiding bombers on to their target in central England from just three pieces of information: a radio receiver in a crashed bomber that seemed to be of much higher quality than was apparently needed; the word "knickebein" ("Crooked Leg") overheard in a prison camp uttered by a Luftwaffe pilot, and a fuzzy photograph of a mobile radio aerial taken by the Resistance in France. And then, instead of destroying the beams, they worked out how to bend them, and caused the bombs to miss their target. This book is an entertaining read for anybody interested in the science and technology of warfare.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What did you do in the war, daddy?, 26 Nov. 2012
This review is from: Most Secret War (Penguin World War II Collection) (Paperback)
I found this a really entertaining book, not only documenting the technology battle with Germany, but also providing a social commentary about living in London during the Blitz (handy tip - sleep at night with your head protected by the dining room table).
R V Jones shares the praise for his discoveries and breakthroughs with his sources - the RAF photographic unit, the Occupied Countries resistance movements, the Enigma de-coders at Bletchley and his small number of co-workers.
Even though the book covers the technical details of his work, not fully understanding the complexities did not detract from my enjoyment of the book, with each chapter almost being able to be read as a stand-alone essay.
Without revealing all, some items that I found of interest (unless I misunderstood them), first use of windows occurred with the raid that caused the firestorm in Hamburg, that the Germans did not use nerve gas because the chemical formula was freely available at the patent office and therefore available to the Allies, that after countering the German radar beams and with their lack of electronic navigation aids, the German bombing campaign against the UK was confined to coastal cities (assumptions were verified by Jones talking with his German opposite numbers after the war).
In summary, a good read about the 'behind-the-scenes' conduct of World War 2, written in a very easy style to follow.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most Secret War, 18 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Most Secret War (Penguin World War II Collection) (Paperback)
R.V.Jones was a most intelligent and far sighted physicist who ably describes the techniques and uses of radio directional signals to guide aircraft to distant locations as used by German bombers during WWll. His skill in interpreting Enigma signals deciphered at Bletchley enabled the Bitish Air Staff to anticipate Luftwaffer strikes; whilst at the same time designing effective jamming methods, and creating ways to confuse the enemy so as to help win the war. Certainly a book worthy of study

WHS
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Most Secret War (Penguin World War II Collection)
Most Secret War (Penguin World War II Collection) by R.V. Jones (Paperback - 6 Aug. 2009)
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