The riveting story of the American scientists, tinkerers, and nerds who solved one of the biggest puzzles of World War II—shooting Nazi drones out of the sky—and developed one of the most powerful weapons of the war.
For fans of Erik Larson and Ben Macintyre, 12 Seconds of Silence is the remarkable, little-known narrative of how a ragtag team of United States scientists solved one of the biggest puzzles of World War II: shooting things out of the sky.
Working in a secretive group known as Section T over the course of four years of the Second World War, physicists, engineers, and a collection of industrialists, technicians, and everyday joes and janes created the world’s first “smart weapon”—the proximity fuse, which allowed an artillery shell to “know” when to explode in order to destroy a target. A holy grail sought after by Allied and Axis powers alike, the revolutionary technology enabled defensive positions to reclaim a foothold in a war that was dominated by offense. Against overwhelming technological odds and in a race against time, using every scrap of resource, ingenuity, and insight, the scientists of Section T would eventually save tens of thousands of civilian and military lives, and help bring about the end of the war.
Complete with dueling spies, the ambiguities of espionage and war, and the dawning of an age in which science would determine the fate of the world, 12 Seconds of Silence is a reminder of the extraordinary nature of the mobilization of American science, an ultimate American can-do story.