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Between Human and Machine
Feedback, Control and Computing before Cybernetics
By David A. Mindell
Descripton: Although not dealing directly nor exclusively with naval warfare, the book is interesting insofar as it describes in detail the history and development of feedback and control systems in the US before and during WWII. In particular it details the Naval Control Systems from 1916 onwards: rangekeepers, gyrocompass, servo control systems and the shipwide fire control system that thus became possible. We get a description of the 'Ford Rangekeeper', a specialized version of which was used as Torpedo Data Computer on US submarines. Systems covered include: land and sea-based antiaircraft fire control, signal transmission in phone networks, representation of power systems, development and integration of radar into fire control.