DIRECTION FINDING OUTFITS

  Direction Finding, whilst important to many organisations if only for safety purposes, is one of the key tools in the armoury of a warship. It helps in finding and destroying the enemy, its primary role, in navigation and safety upon the high seas and in locating those hapless seafarers which the Royal Navy regularly assists.

  The principles of direction finding are nearly as old as wireless telegraphy is itself and there are many text books covering the subject. For our purposes, we are interested only in D/F from the Royal Naval point of view and equipment.

  No organisation can tell 'our' story better than our own scientists and engineers who worked for ASWE [Admiralty Surface Weapons Establishment] and of course many other places of excellence. Their story is not in the public domain, although one astute man by the name of O.L. RATSEY did bother to get his pen out to leave for posterity a 'wonderful' composition which he called "AS WE WERE", the AS WE representing ASWE. "AS WE WERE" had a title which read "Fifty Years of ASWE History 1896-1946", and it has a Section on Direction Finding fully relevant to our needs which is from 1918. The composition was copied many times and issued in an A4, blue coloured, hard-back cover, with punched pages held in place by a four-ganged spring clip. Regrettably, the copying of this composition was so prolific that many copies, including ours, is often difficult to read, and sometimes needs to be re-processed before being re-produced. The modern computer technique of OCR [optical character recognition] is also out of the question because of the poor quality offered to the associated scanning device.

  We have undertaken the reprocessing function [of some of the pages] as a mark of respect to these men of ASWE even though we have neither sought or received approval to use the composition. I am sure that they will not be offended by seeing some of the composition here in print, and after all, 1946 is a long time ago. This will bring their time and work back to life!

Before we begin, O.L. Ratsey published this poem on the front page:-

"I summon up remembrance of things past
And seek their forms now vanished from our sight
But sigh the lack of many a thing I sought
The work of men hid in death's dateless night.

After S.S. xxx "

and dedicated his work "To The Men of the hour and of all the hours".

  He was generous in his Acknowledgements, and since we are going to quote verbatim, it is fitted that we too reproduce the list - we owe them a great deal. Click on this thumbnail.

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