The story of
the development of 'radio direction finding' (RDF) equipment is
a fascinating one. It is not limited to one country or one scientific
discipline and certainly is not limited to one man or even a group
It is fair to say that German research and development in the late
1930's was just as capable of producing working equipment as was
the British efforts. The large German company, Telefunken was persuaded
to become involved in the production of a number of working systems
at this time.
The most plausible reason to explain the phenomenal progress that
was made in Britain in just eight short years (between 1935 and
1943) was the unprecedented cooperation between three groups of
The British Government (including the top military personnel) were
concerned about the air defences that could be mounted in the event
of a war with Germany. They had the sense to call in the best scientists
from Universities and Industry and discuss the problems openly.
When funding was released work progressed rapidly (although still
not rapidly enough for some) and British industry was encouraged
to participate in problem solving and design and then to produce
the equipment for the armed forces as soon as possible.
The energy and directed thought of just a few dozen enlightened
men made all the difference. For the first time there was an extraordinary
intimacy between government, the military, the inventor, the user
and the manufacturer