The Wheezers and Dodgers (Paperback)
The Inside Story of Clandestine Weapon Development in World War II
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This is the fascinating story of the Admiralty's Department of Miscellaneous Weapon Development, the so-called 'Wheezers and Dodgers', and the many ingenious weapons and devices it invented, improved or perfected.
The author was one of a group of officers with engineering or scientific backgrounds who were charged with the task of winning the struggle for scientific mastery between the Allies and the Germans in what Churchill enthusiastically called 'the wizard war'. Their work ranged from early stop-gap weapons like the steam-powered Holman projector, via great success stories like the Hedgehog anti-submarine mortar, to futuristic experiments with rockets, a minefield that could be sown in the sky, and the spectacularly dangerous Great Panjandrum, a giant explosive Catherine-wheel intended to storm enemy beaches.
The development of these and many other extraordinary inventions, their triumphs and disasters, is told with panache and humour, and a diverse group of highly imaginative and eccentric figures emerge from the pages.
The book is written with panache and humour by one of the actual wheezers and dodgers.Olla-Podrida
Richard Bell Davies was one of the most important characters in the history of naval aviation. Despite a traditional naval education - he was among the last cadets to be trained under sail - he was quick to grasp the potential of aircraft, and backed his vision by privately learning to fly. This allowed him to join the Naval Air Wing in 1913 and he enjoyed a very active, but hair-raising career during the Great War, including winning the VC for a daring rescue of a fellow pilot while under heavy fire. Because of his unique breadth of experience he was transferred to experimental work, where he…By Richard Bell Davies
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