Copy typewritten letter from Frederick Lanchester to Geoffrey Smith

Scope and Content

Reports on enquiry from a correspondent who wishes it kept quiet that he is contacting Lanchester (“the action of asking your advice would be as fatal to my career as immorality or Communism”). Lanchester claims that he originated the idea of the multiple-mounted machine gun in an article in “Engineering” and later in his book “Aircraft in warfare”; this idea has been attributed to Lord Trenchard, and Lanchester suspects that Trenchard wished to conceal the fact that he had got the idea from him. Lanchester also says that the Titcomb report on the Bombing of the German Iron Industry, in the 1914 – 1918 war, was concealed from Lord Weir but served up to him by his military advisors as though their own inspiration (for Titcomb Report see LAN/1/13/4).