December 17, 2002


One of the war's great innovations was a fuse that exploded a
projectile when directly over its target, rather than on impact,
making the projectile five to 20 times more effective. The "radio
proximity fuse" was a tiny radio transmitter and receiver about
the size of a lightbulb, powered by batteries or generators. First
tested in early 1941, the fuse was not released for general use
until 1944. The first major combat use of the fuse was during
the pre-invasion bombardment of Iwo Jima in 1945.