Science at War

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Science, War Documentary hosted by Mark Halliley, published by BBC in 1998 - English narration

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Scientific breakthroughs in the practice of warfare world. The twentieth century witnessed the arrival of science as the most potent force a country could wield - in peace or at war. Of the enduring legacies from the two world wars that changed all aspects of life—from economics, to justice, to the nature of warfare itself—the scientific and technological legacies of World War II had a profound and permanent effect on life after 1945. Technologies developed during World War II for the purpose of winning the war found new uses as commercial products in the decades that followed the war's end. This series of six programs shows how scientific breakthroughs in the practice of warfare have shaped the age in which we live. Each episode examines a key area of science - from physics to engineering and the life sciences - and shows the impact they had both at the time and on later generations. Scientists and military planners explain the role they have played in the discoveries and the series features both archive and specially shot film. A Blakeway Productions, BBC / A&E Networks Co-Production --- episode nr. 4 of 6 "Rocket Men" is missing from this set ---

[edit] Laboratory of War

This is a documentary on the worldwide history of chemical and biological warfare and the scientists who developed these agents.
The programme begins with the 1995 poison gas attack on the Tokyo subway which left 12 people dead and 5,000 in need of hospital treatment. The programme then goes back to the First World War and the development of chlorine by Fritz Haber. The use of gas went against German military tradition but as the war dragged on, scruples were set aside and Haber was enlisted to produce chlorine as a weapon. Britain followed suit and Porton Down was established in 1915 to assist the war effort. In 1916 Haber produced phosgene, which was used in Germany's las campaign. Soldiers were demoralised by gas, an enemy they could not fight.
Haber went on to develop zyklon B which was used in the Nazi concentration camps. In 1936 Gerhard Schrader produced the nerve gas tabun, an accidental outcome of his organophosphate research. However, Britain's chemical weapons were equally well-developed and the mutual fear of retaliation saved Europe from chemical bombardment. During the Cold War, Soviet Russia and the West pile up huge stocks of nerve gas. These were destroyed in 1993 but Iraq used chemical weapons against the Kurds in 1988.

[edit] Enemy of all Mankind

Biological Warfare: For the first time Japanese and American scientists talk about their experiences in germ warfare research.
In the 1930s Japan developed a biological warfare programme to strengthen its hold on China which it invaded in 1937. The water supplies of small Chinese towns were infected with laboratory-grown bacteria as an experiment and samples were taken from victims who were then murdered. Chinese men were also rounded up for use in germ warfare experiments, which included anthrax spores, bubonic plague and glanders. The Japanese also set up germ warfare centres in Manchuria, Thailand and Singapore. Throughout the 1940s they field-tested bombs containing anthrax spores and even collected plague-infected fleas which were packed into bombs and dropped over China.
Britain experimented with anthrax in 1942 on the island of Gruinard. There is film of these experiments, in which sheep were used to test the spread and toxicity of the anthrax organism. However, germ 'bombs' were never put into mass production in Britain. Japanese efforts to produce a war-winning weapon were finally defeated by the US atom bomb; and after World War II germ warfare research became a serious business in the US. That country gave an undertaking that it would be for defence purposes only, but elsewhere in the world biological weapons research was directed towards aggressive as well as defensive ends, with Iraq causing current concern over its holdings and their potential use.

[edit] Echoes of War

This episode of Science At War looks at the achievements of the young radar scientists on both sides of the Atlantic who carried out their pioneering experiments in the shadow of war. No single scientific invention was to have a more devastating effect on the enemy.
Edward George "Taffy" Bowen, CBE, FRS, was a Welsh physicist who made a major contribution to the development of radar. On August 29, 1940 Taffy Bowen had arrived at London with a small black box. Inside lay Britain's most closely guarded secret: the box contained the first production copy of a mysterious device so powerful conventional scientific wisdom predicted anything like it was years off. It was a microwave transmitter that could take radar out of the stone age and into the present day. The device called a cavity magnetron held the key to the continued defence of Britain and the radar war against Germany.
But war-torn Britain was nearly at the limit of its production capacity. The only hope lay with America . Scientists in New York had failed to design a powerful microwave transmitter. The Americans needed our magnetron, we needed their manufacturing capability. Churchill met with Roosevelt and made an extraordinary decision - to share the secret of the new radar device with the Americans. Radar not only helped the Allies win the Battle of the Atlantic and allowed Britain and America to carry out bombing campaigns over Germany, it also ensured the D-day Landings in Normandy were a success. The unprecedented scientific collaboration that came about because of radar would transform the face of British and American science and its relationship to war.

[edit] Russia's Nuclear Patriots

Working under intense political pressure, fear of execution and with near-primitive technology, the Soviets, headed by a young Andrei Sakharov, were still able to produce a deliverable H-bomb way ahead of Western predations.. For the U.S the possibility of Soviet nuclear dominance was too terrible to contemplate – and the Cold War was about to enter its most terrifying phase.
The story had begun in the ruins of Hiroshima in 1945. In a state of shock, Soviet observers were able to report to Stalin that their spies had been correct, the American atomic bomb was a weapon of incredible destructive capability. In an immediate and massive mobilisation of scientific manpower, the Soviets were able to match their enemies atomic achievements after only four years. So began a scientific tit for tat which was to define the nuclear age for the next forty years.
By 1961, Soviet scientists were ready to test the most powerful bomb ever. It would, said Premier Nikita Khrushchev, 'hang over the heads of the Capitalists like a Sword of Damocles'. At over 100 megatons, the force of the explosion would be equal to that of 10,000 Hiroshima bombs. The brinkmanship of the Cuban missile crisis a year later demonstrated to the world how tenuous the stalemate had become. Using previously unseen archive film and first time interviews with surviving witnesses, Russia's Nuclear Patriots tells the story of the unknown men and women of Russia who dedicated their lives to the development of the Hydrogen bomb – the greatest weapon of mass destruction ever known.

[edit] Full Spectrum Dominance

The United States is now pursuing the most massive ever marshalling of raw science to the needs of warfare. Before the dust settled from Desert Storm, American scientists were working to win the next war.
No area of physics, biology or chemistry is being left unexplored in the continuous thrust to give the United States every technological advantage on the battlefield. The next war will have already been fought a hundred times in a virtual copy of the battlefield. Technicians are mapping every target in every major city across the globe using construction codes to predict how each building can be destroyed; years before hostilities are announced. Meanwhile, nuclear weapons formerly aimed into Russia now target "rogue states" - the US military's newest enemy. But, the most insidious future war may be over before the public knows it has been fought. By hacking into an enemy's computer network the US has the capability to secretly place a virus throughout a country's phone system, jam its airport navigation or take out its stock exchange.
So called information warfare gives the power of a 1000 bombs to a one scientist with a keyboard. In the next war, this may be the most devastating weapon of all. Go against America's best interests and there will be no blood, cordite or CNN crew, simply a blank computer screen in a blacked out room.

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: XviD ISO MPEG-4
Video Bitrate: 1390 kbps
Video Resolution: 576x432
Video Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1
Frames Per Second: 29.970
Audio Codec: 0x2000 (Dolby AC3) AC3
Audio Bitrate: 192kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 48 min
Number Of Parts: 5
Part Size: 550 MB
Source: PDTV
Encoded by: EPiSODE

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