Admiralty Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapon Development, 1941-1945
46 files and volumes
Immediate source of acquisition:
Ministry of Defence , from 1986
Series is accruing
Administrative / biographical background:
The Directorate of Miscellaneous Weapon Development was a temporary wartime body which developed in 1941 from the Inspectorate of Anti-Aircraft Weapons and Devices, set up in 1940 to advance radar and other devices for anti-aircraft and other purposes.
Its research and experiments were carried out by officers based in universities, in research establishments, and in the directorate's own experimental establishment, HMS Birnbeck at Weston super Mare, and the Frythe at Welwyn, which it took over from the Inter-Service Research Bureau in 1945. It undertook anti-aircraft research, providing devices such as vertical rocket mountings; anti-submarine research, producing radar deflectors and decoys among other things; and amphibious assaults research, producing nets for landing craft etc. It also investigated camouflage for vessels.
In 1944 some of its staff were detached to set up a Directorate of Admiralty Research and Development in India, which undertook liaison between the East Indies Fleet and technical Admiralty departments, and provided some scientific and technical advice. After the war the directorate amalgamated with Coastal Forces Material and Combined Operations Material Departments to form the Craft and Amphibious Material Directorate. Responsibility for the Admiralty Experimental Station, Welwyn, was transferred to the Director of Aeronautical and Engineering Research in 1946.
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