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Geoffrey Wellum

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G194025/07/2018 17:36:42
3523 forum posts
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When we were in the USA a few years ago we visited a WW2 US warship in S Carolina. It had a computer to calculate shell trajectories but it was analogue, mechanical, and very big Not feasible to carry in a Lancaster let alone a Spitfire.

I suppose technology has moved on very rapidly since WW2, particularly in electronics/computing, so I suppose youngsters can be excused for not realising how new things they regard as 'normal' are. However, I guess Geoffrey Wellum would have taken the question in his stride.


J D 825/07/2018 18:32:48
1340 forum posts
78 photos

A similar mechanical computer can be seen on HMS Belfast in London.

My youngest daughter [ now in her twenty's ] once asked " How,just HOW did we live without computers and mobile phone's!

Percy Verance25/07/2018 19:31:31
8108 forum posts
155 photos

Odd you mention that J D. I recently worked for a short period with a young woman (24 years old) and she found it utterly unbelieveable that we managed without mobile phones and computers.... I almost found it amusing how resolute she was that it simply couldn't be possible!

She suggested I'd need to use a computer to check train timetables. I replied by telling her I hadn't been on a train for 50 years......

Edited By Percy Verance on 25/07/2018 19:35:39

dave parnham25/07/2018 20:17:34
170 forum posts
11 photos

I downloaded the AudioBook First Light for my Summer Break in Cornwall in September...….im already on chapter 9 just cant stop listening to it Fascinating!! What a life these young men lived.....always be grateful.

Peter Jenkins25/07/2018 21:22:43
1309 forum posts
132 photos
Analogue computers would have been familiar to pilots at the time. The good old slide rule and rotary computer, still in use today, to plot wind speed and direction to calculate required heading at your cruising speed. There was also the later version of the gun sight which helped pilots by calculating the lead by which they had aim ahead of the target driven by gyro. So, there were computers then but not in a form today's youth would recognise. These computers also needed you to have an estimation of the answer and certainly its order of magnitude. That would amaze today's youth!

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