- Frederick Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell
name = Frederick Alexander Lindemann
image_width = 100px
birth_date = birth date|1886|4|5
Adolph Frederick Lindemann
mother: Olga Noble (American)
death_date = death date and age|1957|7|3|1886|4|5
work_institutions = 1915-1919:
Royal Aircraft Factory
Walther Nernst, University of Berlin
Reginald Victor Jones
known_for = dehousing paper
footnotes = 1911: attended
*1941 June 4: Raised to the peerage as Baron Cherwell
*1943: Appointed a Privy Counsellor (1943)
Companion of Honour(1953)
*1956: Created Viscount Cherwell
Frederick Alexander Lindemann, 1st Viscount Cherwell PC CH was an English
physicistwho was an influential scientific adviser to the British government, particularly Winston Churchill. He advocated the wartime carpet bombing of German cities, and was a strong doubter of the existence of the Nazi "V" weapons program.
Early life, family and personality
Frederick was the second of three sons of
Adolphus Frederick Lindemannwho had emigrated to Britain circa 1871 [http://www.jstor.org/pss/531544] and become naturalised.Crowther (1965), "p."343] Frederick was born in Baden-Badenin Germanywhere his American mother, Olga Noble the widow of a wealthy banker, was taking "the cure". After schooling in Scotlandand Darmstadt, he attended the University of Berlinand, as a physicist at the Sorbonne, he carried out research that confirmed theories first put forward by Albert Einstein, on specific heats at very low temperatures.cite web |last=Blake |first=R |year=2004 |url=http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/34533 |format=html ODNBsub |title=Lindemann, Frederick Alexander, Viscount Cherwell (1886–1957) |work=Oxford Dictionary of National Biography |publisher=Oxford University Press |accessdate= ]
Lindemann was a precise, austere, teetotal, vegetarian, non-smoker, though Churchill would sometimes induce him to take a glass of
brandy. An excellent pianistand keen tennisplayer, he was later to compete at Wimbledon. [http://books.google.com/books?id=qRhx3UmYBz0C&pg=PA238&lpg=PA238&dq=lindemann+wimbledon&source=web&ots=6B2jjZNBFK&sig=b1q6wD3A9B0dntUBdHzOWXc2eJM&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result]
World War I and Oxford University
At the outbreak of
World War I, Lindemann was playing tennis in Germany and had to leave in haste to avoid internment. In 1915, he joined the staff of the Royal Aircraft Factoryat Farnborough. He developed a mathematical theory of aircraft spin recovery, and to prove it, learned to fly, testing the theory on himself;cite journal
journal=Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society|volume =4
year=1958 |month= |publisher=Royal Society |location=London |language= |id= |doi = |pages=p54,56,63
title= Fredrick Alexander Lindemann, Viscount Cherwell
url = http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0080-4606%28195811%294%3C45%3AFALVC1%3E2.0.CO%3B2-O]
as of 2006, the methodClarifyme is still used. Prior to his development of this method spinning an aircraft was almost invariably fatal.
In 1919 Lindemann was appointed professor of experimental philosophy at
Oxford Universityand director of the Clarendon Laboratory, largely on the recommendation of Henry Tizardwho had been a colleague in Berlin. In 1919, Lindemann was one of the first people to suggest that in the Solar Windparticles of both polarities, protons as well as electrons, come from the Sun. [Lindemann, 1919] He was probably not aware that Kristian Birkelandhad made the same prediction three years earlier in 1916.Fact|date=August 2007
Lindemann's opposed the
UK General Strike of 1926and mobilised the reluctant staff of the Clarendon to produce copies of Churchill's anti-strike newspaper, the " British Gazette". He was also alarmed and fearful of political developments in Germany.
In the 1930s, Lindemann advised Winston Churchill when the latter was not in Government and leading a campaign for rearmament. Lindemann also helped a number of German Jewish physicists, primarily at the
University of Göttingen, emigrate to England to work in the Clarendon Laboratory. Several of these German physicists subsequently worked on the Manhattan Projectto develop the atom bomb.Fact|date=August 2007
World War II
When Churchill became Prime Minister, he appointed him as the British government's leading scientific adviser, with
David Bensusan-Buttas his private secretary,Fact|date=August 2007 and later to the ministerial post of Paymaster-General. He would hold this office again in Churchill's peacetime administration. At this point Lindemann was known to many simply as the Prof.
Lindemann established a special
statisticalbranch within the government, constituted from subject specialists, and reporting directly to Churchill. This branch distilled thousands of sources of data into succinct charts and figures, so that the status of the nation's food supplies (for example) could be instantly evaluated. Lindemann's statistical branch often caused tensions between government departments, but because it allowed Churchillto make quick decisions based on accurate data which directly affected the wareffort, its importance should not be underestimated.
In 1940, Lindemann joined experimental department MD1. He worked on
hollow chargeweapons, the Sticky bomband other innovative weapons. General Ismay, who supervised MD1, recalled:
:"Churchill used to say that the Prof’s brain was a beautiful piece of mechanism, and the Prof did not dissent from that judgement. He seemed to have a poor opinion of the intellect of everyone with the exception of Lord Birkenhead, Mr Churchill and Professor Lindemann; and he had a special contempt for the bureaucrat and all his ways. The Ministry of Supply and the Ordnance Board were two of his pet aversions, and he derived a great deal of pleasure from forestalling them with new inventions. In his appointment as Personal Assistant to the Prime Minister no field of activity was closed to him. He was as obstinate as a mule, and unwilling to admit that there was any problem under the sun which he was not qualified to solve. He would write a memorandum on high strategy one day, and a thesis on egg production on the next. He seemed to try to give the impression of wanting to quarrel with everybody, and of preferring everyone’s room to their company; but once he had accepted a man as a friend, he never failed him, and there are many of his war-time colleagues who will ever remember him with deep personal affection. He hated Hitler and all his works, and his contribution to Hitler’s downfall in all sorts of odd ways was considerable." [Ismay, 1960, p173]
He has been described as having "an almost pathological hatred for Nazi Germany, and an almost medieval desire for revenge was a part of his character". [Wheeler-Bennett, J.W. & Nicholls, A., 1972, p.179]
Air Ministry Area bombing directiveon February 12, 1942, Lindemann presented the dehousing paper to Churchill on March 30, 1942, which advocated area bombardmentof German cities to break the spirit of the people. [cite web | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1892714.stm |format=html |accessdate=2008-06-19 |title=Blitzed by guidebook | publisher=BBC News | year=2002 ] Lindemann also played a key part in the battle of the beams, providing insight on how the Germans were using radio navigationto increase the precision of their bombing campaigns.
Lindemann also repeatedly made arguments against
V-2 rocketevidence, such as inaccurately claiming "to put a four-thousand horsepower turbine in a twenty-inch space is lunacy: it couldn't be done, Mr. Lubbock" and that at the end of the war, the committee would find that the rocket was "a mare's nest ".
cite book |last=Irving|first=David|authorlink=David Irving|title=The Mare's Nest|year=1964|publisher=William Kimber and Co|location=London|pages=p159
NOTE: MacRae's 1971 p170 absolute claim that "Prof certainly never suggested that nothing need be done about the V weapons; on the contrary he was always urging us to try to think up some brilliant counter measure against it which we were unable to do." differs with the official records (meeting minutes, etc.) that indicate otherwise.] p159 A pivotal exchange where Churchill rebuffed Lindemann occurred at the Cabinet Defence Committee (Operations) on Jun 29, 1943 and which was dramatized in the film Operation Crossbow.
Lindemann enthusiastically supported the controversial
Morgenthau Plan, which Churchill subsequently endorsed on September 15, 1944. [cite web |last=Irving |first=David |authorling=David Irving | url=http://www.fpp.co.uk/bookchapters/Morgenthau.html |format=html |accessdate=2008-06-19 |title=Introduction |work=The Morgenthau Plan |publisher=Focal Point |year=1986 ]
Following his 1945 return to
Clarendon Laboratory, Lindemann createdClarifyme the Atomic Energy Authority.
http://alsos.wlu.edu/qsearch.aspx?browse=people/Cherwell,+Lord Reference List]
References and Notes
* cite book
title=Statesmen of Science
author=Crowther, J. G.
title=The Professor and the Prime Minister: The Official Life of Professor F. A. Lindemann Viscount Cherwell
author= Furneaux-Smith, F., Earl of Birkenhead
authorlink = Frederick Smith, 2nd Earl of Birkenhead
publisher=Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company
* cite book
author=Harrod, R. F.
title=The Prof: A Personal Memoir of Lord Cherwell
last = Ismay
first = General Lord
authorlink = Hastings Ismay, 1st Baron Ismay
title = The Memoirs of Lord Ismay
publisher = Heinemann
year = 1960
*Lindemann (1919) "On the Solar Wind", "
Philosophical Magazine", Series 6, Vol. 38, No. 228, December, 674.
author = Stuart MacRae
authorlink=Stuart MacRae (inventor)
title = Winston Churchill's Toyshop
publisher = Roundwood Press
year = 1971
id= SBN 900093-22-6
* cite book
title=Science and Government
author link = Charles Percy Snow
author=Wheeler-Bennett, J.W. & Nicholls, A.
title=The Semblance of Peace
title=Churchill and the Prof
title=Prof: The Life and Times of Frederick Lindemann
The Times", July 4, 5, 8 1957;
*Obituary:"Nature" 180, 579-581.
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