• 12 Seconds of Silence

  • How a Team of Inventors, Tinkerers, and Spies Took Down a Nazi Superweapon
  • By: Jamie Holmes
  • Narrated by: Chris Mayers
  • Length: 12 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The riveting story of the American scientists, tinkerers, and nerds who solved one of the biggest puzzles of World War II - and developed one of the most powerful weapons of the war.

12 Seconds of Silence is the remarkable, lost story of how a ragtag group of American scientists overcame one of the toughest problems of World War II: shooting things out of the sky.

Working in a secretive organization known as Section T, a team of physicists, engineers, and everyday Joes and Janes took on a devilish challenge. To help the Allies knock airplanes out of the air, they created one of the world’s first “smart weapons”. Against overwhelming odds and in a race against time, mustering every scrap of resource, ingenuity, and insight, the scientists of Section T would eventually save countless lives, rescue the city of London from the onslaught of a Nazi superweapon, and help bring about the Axis defeat. A holy grail sought after by Allied and Axis powers alike, their unlikely innovation ranks with the atomic bomb as one of the most revolutionary technologies of the Second World War. Until now, their tale was largely untold.

For fans of Erik Larson and Ben Macintyre, set amid the fog of espionage, dueling spies, and the dawn of an age when science would determine the fate of the world, 12 Seconds of Silence is a tribute to the extraordinary wartime mobilization of American science and the ultimate can-do story.  

©2020 Jamie Holmes (P)2020 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about 12 Seconds of Silence

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Insufferable, massive, irrelevant details

The story of the VT fuse is a key weapon in WWII. It was considered one of the top three most closely held secrets of the Allies during the war:, the A-bomb, broken German and Japanese communications codes, and the VT proximity fuse. The fuse helped defeat the Japanese air forces, including a high percentage of Kamikazis, downing of the V-1 buzz bombs, and use in killing German troops in the Battle of the Bulge.

The trouble with this book's version is the interminable, insufferably long spells of irrelevant details about the childhood, schooling and personal lives of some of the principals in the VT fuse development story.

Live is short. Go elsewhere to learn about the development of the VT fuse. Google is a good start, can be thorough and far shorter than this punishment.

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Excellent story and production

This is a well researched and great story and should be a staple of WW2 and technology development enthusiasts. Well done.

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Great story, not the best performance.

Story is fantastic, but the narrator is pretty hard to listen to. Worth struggling through.