Secret Weapon That Won World War Ii

Episode 1 of 1

THE SECRET WEAPON THAT WON WORLD WAR II reveals how the small Florida town of Boca Raton and a tiny device turned the tide of World War II for Allied forces. In the early years of World War II, after the fall of France, Britain stood alone against the German conquest of Europe. Hitler's U-boats ruled the Atlantic, blockading British ports in an attempt to starve England into defeat and sinking American convoys that were re-supplying Britain. By May of 1940, it looked like it was only a matter of time until the Germans invaded the U.K. At this point, the British had a series of radar stations along the English coast that could spot large waves of German bombers crossing the English Channel. But the technology couldn't detect smaller-scale submarines and defend against attacks from the sea. They needed a radar system that could utilize shorter wave lengths for accuracy. Fortuitously, Winston Churchill and his closest counselors had in their possession a device called a cavity magnetron, which had the potential to put portable microwave radar into planes. Churchill made a bold decision and dispatched Britain's top scientists to America with England's military secrets. A secret weapons laboratory was set up at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to design and test a radar device that, if developed in time, would alter the course of the war. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States entered the war, the race to develop this technology and ensure victory intensified. With wintery conditions blanketing Massachusetts, the United States needed a secret place with a mild, ocean side location to train pilots in the use of airborne radar to hunt German submarines. In Boca Raton, the U.S. Army found an isolated backwater on the edge of the impenetrable Everglades, where thousands of troops trained. Only recently has the role Boca Raton played in the war come to light. The risky gamble Roosevelt and Churchill embarked on is also the story of how radar won the war for the Allies. In three months, the Germans were forced to pull their submarines out of the Atlantic, and the increased pinpoint bombing of German cities, railroads and industry sealed the fate of the Third Reich.

Previously Aired

Day
Time
Channel
5/28/2019
5/28/2019
3 a.m.
5/30/2019
1 p.m.
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