Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"written in the law of the LORD" - Japanese Radar in WWII

A Tokyo Railway Station

Japanese Radar in WWII

In WWII, the Empire of Japan could not well compete with the US in terms of development of new technologies.

A young man learning in a high school in Tokyo in 1945 started to work in a technical development center of the Imperial Navy.  As US air raids intensified, the Navy started to relocate the center to local regions by separating each division.  The young man belonged to the wireless technology division that moved to Nikko, a sightseeing spot 100 km north of Tokyo.

(At the time, then crown prince Akihito was evacuated from Tokyo to Nikko to avoid US air raids.)

The wireless technology division was stationed in a tourist hotel where Navy engineers brought in various equipment.  They concentrated in development of radar.  The Empire was behind the US, the UK, and even Germany in this field.  Most of US Naval ships mounted advanced radar systems, but Japanese war ships had only a primitive type of radar systems.  Even Japanese cities were not defended by radar systems, so that US air raids gave great damage on many Japanese cities.

(The Imperial military stationed its radar systems only to some locations suitable for observation of the Pacific Ocean as the figure below shows.


Specifically, the US military used all bands of electric waves for radar to secure reliability.  Japanese engineers also aimed at realizing such a radar system.  The division the young man belonged to started to assemble a new radar system,  They even referred to a German radar system brought into Japan by a submarine from Germany though the Atlantic, Indian, and the Pacific Oceans.

But, the young man found that vacuum tubes manufactured in Japan had poor quality, though the devices were essential for radar.  The failure rate of Japanese vacuum tubes was 50%, meaning five of ten tubes did not function well.  Observing this data, the young man realized that the Empire would lose the war.

And, months later, when he was listening to US radio broadcasting with co-workers, he heard that a US radio station announced that the Empire of Japan was going to surrender by accepting the Potsdam Declaration.  Then, three days later, the Emperor announced the surrender of the Empire to the US to the Japanese people through radio broadcasting.

Today, Japanese products are enjoying reputation of high quality, but at the end of WWII, Japanese engineering quality was a half of America's as this episode told.

Indeed, it is estimated that if the Empire of Japan had had a radar system advanced as much as America's, the Empire should not have been defeated only in four years after the Pearl Harbor Attack of 1941.

In this context, WWII was a war where electronics came to take a decisive part.  However, WWIII might be featured by something more horrible.

In other word, as technology and science have advanced so much globally today, the mankind might not dare to fight the Third World War.  Or at least we have to claim that as technology and science have advanced so much globally today, the mankind must not launch WWIII.

(Incidentally, one of the co-founders of Sony, Akio Morita, was a young engineering officer of the Imperial Navy of Japan in WWII.)

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Luk 2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
Luk 2:22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
Luk 2:23 (As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)