Acquisitions

F. G. Brown. Air Navigation Based on Principles and Methods applicable also to Sea Navigation. Sydney and London: Angus & Robertson, 1940. Teaches the same methods successfully used by P. G. Taylor over the Indian Ocean in June 1939! A useful reminder for the non-pilot (i.e. me) of just how much maths is involved in aerial navigation -- this copy even comes with 3 pages of handwritten notes from some poor former owner. As an Australian publication (Brown was late Chief Naval Instructor, Royal Australian Navy and Director of Studies, Royal Australian Naval College), I imagine a few copies of this accompanied Empire Air Training Scheme graduates on their way to Bomber Command.

Stephen Budiansky. Blackett's War: The Men Who Defeated the Nazi U-boats and Brought Science to the Art of Warfare. New York: Vintage Books, 2013. The Blackett of the title is P. M. S. Blackett, a bit of a neglected figure these days. He was awarded the Nobel in physics in 1948 for his work on antimatter in cosmic rays. During the Second World War he was a key figure in the development of operational research, mostly for Anti-Aircraft Command and the Admiralty; he dared to argue that the resources being poured into Bomber Command could be better used elsewhere. Crazy talk.

Martin Woods. Where Are Our Boys? How Newsmaps Won the Great War. Canberra: NLA Publishing, 2016. A gloriously-illustrated book showing how Australians were kept informed (or misinformed) about the progress of the First World War through maps in the press or sold separately. To repeat: glorious.

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3 thoughts on “Acquisitions

  1. Erik Lund

    Right on antimatter, wrong on strategic bombing.

    Actually, probably wrong on antimatter, because I am coming around to the idea that the postwar cosmic ray craze was trying to discover the secret of cheap, compact muon-catalyzed fusion: good for power-too-cheap-to-meter in a post-Communist world. (Because the Communists have all been blown up with fusion bombs.)

  2. Post author

    Erik:

    Well, his cosmic ray research was pre-WWII, so now how foolish do you feel. Though since his positron research helped confirm Dirac's prediction of anti-matter, and Dirac is my academic great-great-grandfather (on my physics side), I admit to some bias in the matter.

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