Two Australian scientists played a vital yet largely unknown role in the Allied victory in the Second World War. Almost eight decades later, Wizards of Oz finally tells their story.
In this fast-paced and compelling book, Brett Mason reveals how two childhood friends from Adelaide – physicist Mark Oliphant and medical researcher Howard Florey – initiated the three most significant scientific and industrial projects of the Second World War. Manufacturing penicillin, developing microwave radar and building the atomic bomb gave the Allies the edge and ultimate victory over Germany and Japan.
More than just a story of scientific discovery, Wizards of Oz tells a remarkable tale of secret missions, international intrigue and triumph against all odds. Mason tells how Oliphant and Florey were also instrumental in convincing a reluctant United States to develop and deploy these three breakthrough inventions in time to change the course of the war. The two Australians not only helped win the war but shaped the peace, with their war-time contributions continuing to influence international politics and the health and wealth of nations.
Oliphant and Florey emerge in Wizards of Oz as the two most consequential Australians of the Second World War – perhaps of all time.