From the Art of Sailing to the Science of Navigation: Seamanship, Typhoons and US Naval Operations in the Western North Pacific, 1944–45
The Pacific theatre of World War II represents a turning point in the history of navigation – when practical observation of weather conditions was supplanted by land-based weather forecasts, generated with newly developed technologies. The question was whether a ship’s commander should entrust the safety of his vessel to his own judgement or instead rely on radio broadcasts, the beginnings of ‘big data’, and the output of machines.
US naval campaigns in the Western Pacific and South China Seas during World War II provide notable occasions when the old and the new knowledge were tested under extreme weather conditions and the exigencies of wartime operations. This lecture examines the role of typhoons and the science about their prediction in relation to US naval operations in the Pacific Ocean theatre in 1944 in 1945.
Entry is free; no ticket is needed. Places are on a first-come, first-served basis, so latecomers may not be admitted when the lecture room is full.