Terrors and Marvels

Terrors and Marvels

How Science and Technology Changed the Character and Outcome of World War II

Book - 2002
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The dreadful global conflagration known as the Second World War was more than the clashing of great armies on bloody battlefields. A different kind of war was being waged in the secret laboratories on both sides of the conflict -- a war that would alter the course and determine the outcome of the bitter hostilities, forever changing our world and future.

In a stunning amalgam of science and history, Tom Shachtman, the critically acclaimed author of Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold and The Phony War, 1939-1940, gives us a riveting chronicle of World War II's forgotten combatants: the engineers, physicists, chemists, and academics whose contributions to the war effort were as important as the noble sacrifices of the soldiers, sailors, and airmen who bravely risked their lives.

While it is a widely accepted fact that America's development and employment of the atomic bomb ended the Pacific struggle -- and that the failure of Hitler's scientists to develop their own A-bomb helped to doom Germany -- little note has been made of the other remarkable scientific accomplishments of this dark and terrible epoch. Beginning with a fascinating overview of the Depression-era struggle to establish scientific and military alliances that would ultimately enable the Allies to catch up to the Axis's early dominance, Terrors and Marvels offers an eye-opening history of the furious battles for technological superiority covertly waged by the world's most brilliant minds.

From the creation of faster, deadlier jets and rockets to the development of biological, chemical, and electronic warfare -- from astonishing advances in medical science to breakthroughs in radar and decoding -- the incredible successes and failures that occurred in top-secret facilities around the world in the early 1940s never made headlines but often determined triumph and defeat. Here, also, are the intensely human stories of the architects of the terrifying war machines -- men and women of rare intelligence and integrity torn by the conflicting demands of conscience and country, haunted by their roles in the use and abuse of powerful science.

Edifying, enthralling, startling, and sobering, Terrors and Marvels is a masterful work that sheds light on the astonishing achievements of a remarkable few and the great and terrible technology that swung the pendulum of victory in the Allies' direction.

Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2002
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780380978762
Branch Call Number: 940.5481 SCH
Characteristics: viii, 360 p., [16] p. of plates :,ill. ;,24 cm


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