A laser includes a gain medium located in a laser resonator. The gain medium generates plane polarized radiation plane polarized in a first polarization orientation. An electro-optical switch is located in the resonator. When the switch is activated the polarization plane of the laser radiation is rotated to a second orientation after making a forward and a reverse pass through the optical switch. When the switch is deactivated, the polarization orientation of the forward and reverse transmitted laser radiation remains about the same. A polarization selective device is located in the resonator between the electro-optical switch and the gain medium. The polarization selective device is arranged to permit circulation in the resonator of laser radiation in the first polarization orientation, and to restrict circulation of laser radiation in the second polarization orientation. The Gain medium is energized and the switch activated to allow energy to build in the gain medium. The switch is then deactivated to allow laser radiation to circulate in the resonator and deliver a laser pulse. A method of activating the switch by a sequence of DC pulses is disclosed.

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