View Full Version : The World in a Briefcase

5th Feb 2007, 16:15
The World in a Briefcase (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6331897.stm) :ok: :ok:

In the summer of 1940, the war with Germany was at a critical stage.

France had recently surrendered and the Luftwaffe was engaged in a concerted bombing campaign against British cities.

The United Kingdom was being cut off from the Continent, and without allies to help her, she would soon be near the limit of her productive capacity - particularly in the all important field of electronics.

On the morning of 29 August, a small team of the country's top scientists and engineers, under the direction of Sir Henry Tizard and in conditions of absolute secrecy, was about to board a converted ocean liner. With them they carried possibly the most precious cargo of the war - a black japanned metal deed box containing all of Britain's most valuable technological secrets.

They were on their way to America - to give them away.........

The course of the Second World War was about to be changed. It was, says writer Robert Buderi, possibly the most important development of the 20th Century.

In fact, it was so important a development that the official historian of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, James Phinney Baxter III, wrote: "When the members of the Tizard Mission brought the cavity magnetron to America in 1940, they carried the most valuable cargo ever brought to our shores."

The World in a Briefcase, made by Pier Productions, is on BBC Radio 4 on Monday 5 February at 2000 GMT. You will also be able to hear the programme on the Listen Again service on the Radio 4 website. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/progs/listenagain.shtml)

The original cavity magnetron is held at the Science Museum in London

7th Feb 2007, 11:02
Interesting chap Tizzard, he very nearly lost the entire war by his point blank refusal to accept the potential of Atomic weapons and power thus gifting the Nazis nearly a thousand tons of uranium that was in Belgium. About the same ammount that was eventually used by the Manhatten project. Had the Germans not lost their way in the atomic race the result of this would have been disastrous.

As for the gift to the Americans......:eek: