Naval Fire Control Computers in the 1950s

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

This US Navy training video at GENE SLOVERS US NAVY PAGES website shows how the 1950s mechanical fire control computers worked. It is explained simply enough for a layman to understand. I found it fascinating to watch. It is crazy to think that the ballistic software on my $199 iPod Touch can do nearly everything that this huge mechanical device did.

UPDATE: Part 2 can be watched online here. Thanks to Steve for the link.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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3 of 19 comments
  • Destroyer Destroyer on Feb 23, 2010

    i didn't. my dail up is too slow LOL. I imagine it being done mechanically. haha. but again, its not like whipping out my cellphone when the going gets tough.

    • Steve Steve on Feb 23, 2010

      @Destroyer Destroyer, lol, yea, not something that you can carrying in your pocket!

  • JJ JJ on Feb 28, 2010

    The fire control computer videos you reference are hosted on Gene Slover’s US Navy Pages. He's a 74 years young Navy veteran. We welcome visitors from your blog and encourage them to look at our over 4000 pages of indexed material covering all things Navy.

    We would, however, appreciate a credit on your blog and a link:

    Thank you for your consideration,


    PS As for instructions under the videos, we're doing the best we can. Many of our visitors are elderly Navy veterans who are not as computer savvy as you. We did, however, figure out how to flash encode a 1950's video and get it on the web, right? Could YOUR grandparents do it? Ease up guys.