This month's article is concerned with The Battle of the Atlantic.
This is a big subject and initially I wanted to put alot more in the graphic.
I eventually decided to just concentrate on the Sonar and Radar war. There was also an idea to do a graphic (that will feature in the book proposal) on what I am calling 'The Radar Race', but the editor decided that that subject was pretty well covered and we should go for a lesser known aspect of the struggle for intelligence.
In concentrating on one aspect of The Battle of the Atlantic, I had a good opportunity to investigate others for a later date.
- Further exploration of the Leigh Light and it's use
- The Radar Race in the Air
- U-Boat attack tactics
- The Schnorkel U-Boat - German technology to enable longer diving times was late in delivery
- Torpedo technology
- The Air Gap and Anti-Submarine planes - especially the long range of the B-24 and how it helped to close the 'Air Gap'.
This timeline is slimmed down and ultimately better for it.
It did include ranges of the radar too. It was difficult because some of them had a small - 20 mile - range and some had a massive range - 300 miles. This would have made the scale too large and meaningful comparison would have been difficult.
I wanted to see if I could show the difference between airborne and shipborne too as regards range but again, doing the basics of presenting facts by date - and the amount of apace available - negated the ability to lay out the data in that way.
The timeline was initially just vertical solid lines, but the left-to-right fade gives it some movement and alludes to the subject without detrating from the data. There would probably not be any need to 'affect' left to right movement on a larger and more spacious timeline, where the eye builds up it's own head of steam across the page, but this one was small and fairly cramped and I wonder that the 'go faster' lines help it acheive a more 'kinetic' (albeit a little forced) quality.
I should credit this phrase to Chris Pullman of WGBH in the US. I am fortunate enough to know Chris through my fiancée and he gave me some good advice when I last saw him. He was looking at the Bazooka graphic (I always carry a small folio of work in progress around at conferences in case I bump into wise people) and he mentioned how I should seek to improve the 'kinetic' quality of the composition.
At that time, the sense of movement in the graphic - both to lead the eye - and for a degree of excitement - wasn't so pronounced and his use of that word pretty much told me what I should do. It's inspiring when someone speaks in words of instant affordance. Thanks Chris.