Proximity Fuze – The 3rd Most Crucial Development of WW2

Proximity Fuze – The 3rd Most Crucial Development of WW2

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It was considered so secret that in the beginning it was only allowed to be used over the open sea just in case any failed they would be lost and not fall into enemy hands.
The proximity fuze has since the end of the war been considered the 3rd most influential technological development of WW2 with its effect in battle both in the Pacific and Europe as greater than atomic bomb which was only used twice compared to the over 20 million proximity fuzes which were produced.
This is the story of how they worked and how they change the course of the war.

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Written, Researched and Presented by Paul Shillito
Images and Footage : JHAPL, US Navy, US Army

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  1. Neoprene, or synthetic rubber. Japan controlled most of the rubber plantations in the world during WW2. Neoprene was discovered in the 1930's but the US invested billions during the war to build enough plants to make enough for the war effort. Think about how much rubber was used during the war.

  2. Our museum has one of the proximity fuses that the War Department turned into a presentation trophy, awarded to one of the engineers on the original project. The attached plaque also states that the fuse, along with Radar and the Atomic Bomb, were the three inventions that most helped to win the war. In the collection of the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

  3. Yet another amazing video from "Curious Droid" Looking at the pictures of "the forest of death" It dawns on me how the atomic bombs droped over Japan could be so devastating over a large area, I believe they detonated at a height above ground ~600m

  4. The best book I have ever read on the subject is by Ralph B. Baldwin, "The Deadly Fuze", and goes into really great detail. Forget the atomic bomb. We could eventually conquered Japan even without, albeit at great human cost to both us and them. Far more cost to them than that produced by the atomic bomb. This weapon is easily #2, and since it is so closely tied to radar, which is #1, I would rate it of equal importance.

  5. The outcomes of the modern wars are no longer determined by the size of the armies or the valour of the soldiers. They are determined by the abilities of the engineers and scientists of a side. The billigerent with technological edge tends to prevail.

  6. My 1st boss had been a captain during the war. They were given the VT fuse and told: these are great; don't use them. So, of course, they did use them to great effect. We'll never know how our approach to the Home Islands(Japan) might've gone if we were without the VT. As it was, the Kamikaze took a terrible toll…

  7. I was ARTY in Target Acquisition in the Army in the '70s and we ran tons of High-Burst missions. I always assumed they were timed and maybe they were… First, they'd call "Shot, Over" followed a little while later with "Splash, Over" We would respond appropriately "Shot/Splash, Out" and watch them go off. They always went off on time and man, I'd have hated to be anyone under that shit!

  8. You forget the biological weapon. The next world war will be biological warfare at the beginning and be finish with the annihilation of the life on planet Earth. The first biological experimental attack was already done in China last year. The trivialization of evil is wonderful.

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