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Covert Radar and Signals Interception (Paperback)

The Secret Career of Eric Ackermann


By David Haysom, Peter Jackson
Imprint: Pen & Sword Aviation
Pages: 208
Illustrations: Integrated black and white photographs
ISBN: 9781399020510
Published: 1st February 2023



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Of German stock dating back to 1530 in Saxony, Eric George Ackermann GM was born on the Isle of Wight in 1919 and became a leading figure in the world of signals and electronic intelligence. As a Junior Scientific Officer at the Telecommunication Research Establishment, Boscombe Down, with an honorary commission in the Royal Air Force, he made numerous flights over occupied territory searching for, monitoring and destroying Germany's Wuerzburg, Knickebein and X Band radar systems. Much of his research was passed to the highest levels of wartime government, and was highly prized, ensuring that tactical plans could be executed that took full advantage of known, top secret German intelligence.

A host of secret missions to assess the enemy's radar capabilities were carried out in North Africa, Gibraltar and Italy. This new and engaging biography explores the various highs and lows of his operational deployment at the vanguard of tactical intelligence operations in these exciting theaters of war. Winner of the George Medal for conspicuous gallantry, his efforts weren't confined to the offices of war. He saw conflict up close and personal, and was therefore aware of the urgency of his endeavours, and the extent to which his findings made a difference.

The end of the war was a cause of great celebration, but it did not signal the end of Ackermann's role, far from it. He was to play a major part in the setting up and implementation of a string of listening stations built along the borders of Soviet Bloc countries which were destined to glean a wealth of invaluable post-war intelligence. Further work in aeronautics and satellite construction in the States followed, meaning the reach of Ackermann's influence could be allowed to stretch yet further.rnrnYet despite the might and scale of his achievement, he has never before been the subject of a book-length study. The authors, Peter Jackson and David Haysom, have made every effort to rectify that in this new publication which is sure to appeal to aviation enthusiasts, as well as the more general reader curious to gain new insights into twentieth century intelligence practices and their often far-reaching consequences.

As seen in the Oxford Times.

“Enjoyed it.”

Read the full review here

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

As featured by

Royal Air Forces Association - Air Mail, April - June 2023

This is an interesting look at the life of someone who served in an important technical role.


An interesting background to aspects of covert intelligence that were not carried out at desks.

Air Britain Aeromilitaria

A remarkable reconstruction of the extensive and quite exceptional career of Eric Ackermann GM.

Royal Air Force Historical Society

As seen in Island Life Magazine.

Island Life Magazine.

Throws new light on some very interesting dark corners of technical advancements and at the same time tells a very human story.

Radio Society of Great Britain

About David Haysom

David Haysom worked for many years in the intelligence field, working for a time at RAF Digby, before moving to the Far East where he spent time in an intelligence capacity in Hong Kong, North Borneo and Berlin. This is his first book in collaboration with Peter Jackson.

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