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Book Most Secret: The Hidden History of Orford Ness


Most Secret: The Hidden History of Orford Ness

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Most Secret: The Hidden History of Orford Ness.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Paddy Heazell(Author) Dick Strawbridge(Foreword)

    Book details

Orford Ness is so secret a place that most people have never even heard of it. Yet, the role it played in inventing and testing weapons over the course of the twentieth century was far more significant and much longer than that of Bletchley Park. Nestled on a remote part of the Suffolk coast, Orford Ness operated for over eighty years as a highly classified research and testing site for the British military, the Atomic Research Establishment and, at one point, even the US Department of Defence. The work conducted here by some of the greatest 'boffins' of past generations played a crucial role in winning the three great wars of the twentieth century: the First, the Second and the Cold. This book reveals an incredible history, rich with ingenuity, intrigue and typical British inventiveness.

Paddy Heazell read History at Queen's College, Cambridge, then went into teaching, eventually becoming headmaster of three schools. He has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects. He regularly lectures on the history of Orford Ness and its secrets.

2.5 (6285)
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Review Text

  • By John on 25 June 2014

    This is an excellent book! It's been well researched and well written.It details the Suffolk coastal military research station of Orford Ness. It was supposedly established as a research station to do with maritime activities. But it's real purpose was a top secret establishment to aid the RAF with radio and radio direction finding in all its guises. Activities then branch out to encompass all manner of military research, such as bombs and bombing.From a book lay-out point of view, the chapters aren't especially long, and most of them have one or more sub-headings. This makes it pretty easy to put the book down, then take it up later without having to re-read swathes of text. That was nice for me! There's a kind-of sketch map at the start of the book and a few, good quality, monochrome photographs which all help to give the reader a sense of understanding the layout of the Orford Ness site.The book covers the period of the First World War, the inter-war years and the Second World War. Thereafter Mr Heazell looks at the cold war, the UK nuclear programme and beyond until Orford Ness was closed for good and taken over by The National Trust as a visitor 'attraction'.There's a strong humanist element where the main characters and their inter-relationships (usually squabbles!) are discussed. This then relates to the experimental work carried out (or not carried out, in some cases, where these relationships undermined the work going on). Readers familiar with other works on the technical / experimental side of WWI to WWII and the inter-war years will come across many well known names.Geographically, the 'action' takes place in Suffolk (and Norfolk) with references to other major research establichments such as Farnborough.There's also a fair amount of technical information pertaining to radio and / or RADAR for folk interested in that side of military equipment development - Eg. radio frequencies, transmitter powers, etc.Basically, this is a very interesting read, and a must for anyone interested in military / defence technical development. Equally, though, folk interested generally in militay history, even politics of the era should enjoy this book.Buy it. Can't say more!!

  • By frankie on 19 August 2015

    We have recently moved to this area and this book is wonderful and full of the stories which come with a lot of tales. It's well written and easy to read and full of information, if you are a local then highly recommend this book. If you have an interest in the the goings on at Orford Ness give this a read!

  • By Mr. D on 9 June 2017

    Fascinating history of Orford Ness - really good read, well written, and tells the timeline wonderfully.

  • By jpm on 9 February 2014

    Intersting general history of the Orfordness military devices research establishment. Bit weak on the technical issues but a good overview

  • By V. J. Ludlow on 30 April 2014

    An interesting insight into the multiple activities conducted at Orford Ness to investigate defence approaches, in the lead up to WWII and later. Not too technical for general reading.

  • By drew on 2 April 2017


  • By dr david on 10 March 2014

    interesting book lots of information gathered by author makes a good read and may visit to have a look myself

  • By CHRIS on 24 January 2016


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