Science and the Pacific War: Science and Survival in the Pacific, 1939–1945
Roy M. MacLeod
Springer Science & Business Media, Dec 31, 1999 - History - 352 pages
In 1995, the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War occasioned many reflections on the place of science and technology in the conflict. That the war ended with Allied victory in the Pacific theatre, inevitably focussed attention upon the Pacific region, and particularly upon the Manhattan project and its outcome. It was in the Pacific that Western physics and engineering gave birth to the Atomic Age. However, the Pacific war had also proved a testing time, and a testing space, for other disciplines and institutions. Extreme environments and opemtional distances, and the fundamental demands of logistics, required the Allies and the Japanese to innovate many scientific and technological practices. Just as medicine and botany were called upon to fight tropical diseases and insect pests, so engineers, anthropol ogists and geographers were called upon to understand local conditions and cli mates, and to work with local peoples whose traditional lives were changed forever by the experience. At the same time, the war played midwife to a host of new de velopments, not least in scientific intelligence and in chemical and biological weapons, which were to acquire far greater importance after 1945.
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