The Secret War (1977): S01E02 – To See for a Hundred Miles


The Secret War was a seven-part television series that was produced by the BBC in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum (IWM) that documented secret technical developments during the Second World War.


This episode covers the development of radar from its first discovery to the creation of the Chain Home system in time for the Battle of Britain and the subsequent development of the cavity magnetron. The episode goes on to explain how British intelligence learnt of German radar developments, including Freya, Würzburg radar systems and the Operation Biting (the Bruneval Raid) to capture a Würzburg system. It also contains details of the RAF Bomber offensive electronic warfare with the Luftwaffe that used devices such as Window, Gee, Oboe, H2S and Airborne Interception radar. It features interviews and demonstrations with Jones, Arnold Wilkins, John Randall and Harry Boot, Bernard Lovell, Donald Bennett, Richard Philipp and others. Speer also appears and talks about the Bombing of Hamburg.

The Secret War Series

You can find a full index and overview of The Secret War here.

Production & Filming Details

  • Release Date: 12 January 1977.
  • Rating: Unknown.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes (per episode).
  • Country: UK.
  • Language: English.

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