Chamber Divers: The Untold Story of the D-Day Scientists Who Changed Special Operations Forever

National Archives Museum

Wednesday, June 12, 2024 - 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Author Rachel Lance will discuss her book Chamber Divers. It was two summers before D-Day, and the Allies realized that they were in dire need of underwater intelligence if they wanted to stand a chance of launching another beach invasion, and of winning the war. Led by the controversial biologists JBS Haldane and Dr. Helen Spurway, an ingenious team of ragtag scientists worked out of homemade labs throughout the London Blitz. Beneath a rain of bombs, they pioneered thrilling advances in underwater reconnaissance through tests done on themselves in painful and potentially fatal experiments. Their discoveries led to the safe use of miniature submarines and breathing apparatuses, which ultimately let the Allies take the beaches of Normandy. Joining the author in conversation will be Alex Kershaw, author of Patton's Prayer, A True Story of Courage, Fairy, and Victory in World War II.

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