Small Town, Big Secrets

Mar 30, 2016

SMALL TOWN, BIG SECRETS (Coming Soon) How a small town and a tiny device turned the tide of World War II.

With the fall of France after the first year of World War II, Britain stood alone. Hitler’s U-boats ruled the Atlantic, sinking American ships, many off the Florida coast, to sever an essential supply line to the beleaguered British. As Britain’s air force fought desperately to delay a German invasion, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made a bold gamble. He dispatched a delegation to the United States to share his country’s top military secrets, including a key technological breakthrough that, if developed in time into an operational airborne radar system, could turn the tide of battle, both at sea and in the air.

The big secret was a small device, no larger than a human fist, which was to transform radar, still in its infancy, from a defensive into an offensive weapon, dooming the U-boat “wolf packs” and giving Allied bombers the precision tool they needed to destroy the Nazi war machine. Churchill’s gambit would not only convince America of Britain’s resolve to resist the Nazis, it would also thrust South Florida into a pivotal role in the conflict and make the small town of Boca Raton the base for a new battle front that would prove decisive.

Historians agree that, while the atomic bomb may have ended the Second World War, it was radar that won it. Exactly how, is a South Florida story of which few people are aware.