A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David C
Date: 2021 Oct 30, 15:25 -0700
From reading those recollections of Sadler posted here I wouldn't call what was being done in 1936 "advent of first digital computers" as Karl remarks in his book. Karl says this about the US attempt to produce HO 214 but Sadler makes it sound like it was the British who did the computations for subsequent volumes. It's all a bit murky and it may have been considered classified which is why there is no real evidence on how it was done.
This is one of the subjects where it is probably best NOT to engage in who was first discussions. Your view will depend on which side of the Atlantic you are from or even which part or Europe. For example I "know" the the British invented radar, the gas turbine, the digital computer and TV. I know that Scott reached the South Pole and that Oates(??) said "I am just going out for a while as he left the tent. And of course the band on the Titanic played Abide With Me as the ship went down. I am sure all cultures have there own similar beliefs.
A good place to start is "Most Secret War" by RV Jones. The author documents the Gernan development of beam technology. Unfortunately my copy of the book is packed away so I cannot confirm what I am about to say next. As part of Lend Lease Churchill authorised that a prototype magnetron (used for radar) be flown to the US. The US then made big advances in radar thanks to British technology.
Getting back to 214 buried in the US and UK archives there must be lots of interesting, little known, information. 76 years after the war they have probably been declassified. I think that Turing's work was declassified in the 1970s or 1980s. In this Covid era I will not be visiting those archives!