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on 22 December 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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on 7 September 2010
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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on 4 June 2016
I spent two years searching on Kindle for this and finally, it is here. This is an absolute classic on so many counts and the technical background is well explained for those with a more limited or ephemeral grasp of the concepts involved. For those with an interest in the genesis of ECM, the book is unputdownable.

Some might feel that there is a sense of self justification in this, but when you have as much command of the facts, you can state things with some certainty.

Their is , in the very nature of the work described, a strong thread of detective work and when taken as a whole, one cannot fail but to appreciate this work in its entirety.

Advice? Simple! Buy it!
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on 13 February 2014
I remember watching Professor Jones on the telly about a hundred years ago when I was a nipper. Both my Dad and I were enthralled by the series, but I never managed to acquire his book. Thus, I decided to take the plunge and acquire a copy in my old age! I have only read the first two chapters, but I have to say so far the book is excellent. Well written, not too incomprehensible for a layman, and utterly riveting in it's detail. Professor Jones was an authentic genius (much the same as Turing and Flowers), and we all owe him a great debt. Highly recommended.
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on 5 December 2014
I have read a lot of books on the "Intelligence War" and this is one of the best, being full of information but unlike some also very readable. To someone who has not read other books on the subject they might think that the author is overclaiming the importance of his contribution to the Second World War, and no doubt he is to some extent, but there are plenty of other sources which confirm that he and his department were serious players, though perhaps he downplays others contributions a little at times.

To somebody not of this country it might seem stereotypically "English" when he meets his contacts from other organisations in their London Clubs, and when he quotes Greek philosopy in his reports but I suppose that is a measure of the people he worked with, in the same way that the staff at Bletchley Park were in many cases academics and often rather an eccentric lot. The one thing that struck me as incongruous was when he and his new wife took a holiday in August 1940 right at the height of the Battle of Britain - I doubt that would happen now in the middle of a war!

The book ranges from the early 30's to the second period with Churchill as PM in the early1950's and is a very good guide to "Air Intelligence" which was the author's field. If you want to know about Naval Intelligence I can also recommend Patrick Beesly's "Very Special Intelligence". That just leave Army Intelligence and I am still trying to find a good book on that.

All in all I am glad I bought this book and I can recommend it to anybody who wants a highly readable account with plenty of detail.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 22 August 2015
This book definitely deserves its reprint. A fascinating and in-depth look at the "war behind the scenes" between British and German scientists for supremacy in the technology that advanced at a dizzying rate as the war progressed.

"Most Secret War" is unique in having been written by the genius at the heart of this unseen, protracted and crucial battle. What elevates the book to classic status is that Dr. Jones writes very well, explaining the technical terms adequately without making the mistake of letting exposition slow the overall story down.

Very highly recommended.
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on 11 January 2011
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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on 12 March 2015
just like mitchell (spitfire designer), there should be a statue of jones, to remember his contribution in WWII, imo.

his ability to accurately extrapolate, even just guess, saved many lives.

do not be put-off my introduction, which is very concerned with the personal history, recollections.
the meat of the subject is covered, after that.

the terrible waste of war, brought to the fore, a few men like jones.

my country's poor governance system, in actual performance, hindered him at times.

we still have this background problem. where are the people like him, I wonder?
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on 18 September 2011
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

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on 24 September 2012
I was gripped from cover to cover. Very well written in an easy flowing style. The technicalities are liberally interspersed with many personal incidents which help to make it all the more interesting and even amusing at times. A fascinating read.
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