The ability to transmit military information by radio, first made practical at the beginning of the twentieth century, and developed in the First World War, brought immediate advantage over a potential enemy. Radio warfare came to play a key role in the Battle of Britain in 1940, and in the war against the U-boats in the Atlantic. The Searchers reveals how radio technology shaped the course of the Second World War.
This is the story, not of the codebreakers, but of the Y Service, the searchers who made their vital work possible: men and women with headphones clamped to their ears who for hours on end searched the radio bands in order to overhear the enemy.
Their achievements were made possible by brilliantly clever inventors and technologists, constantly pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge. The intelligence derived from their work influenced, often determined, the course of battle in the global war against the Germans, Italians and Japanese.
Kenneth John Macksey (1923 – 2005) was a British author and historian who specialised in military history and biography, particularly WWII. He was commissioned in the Royal Armoured Corps and served during the Second World War, winning a Military Cross. Macksey gained a permanent commission in 1946, was transferred to the Royal Tank Regiment, reached the rank of major in 1957 and retired from the Army in 1968. He wrote over 15 books on various aspects of the war.