First atomic bomb was German !?!

Discussions on the equipment used by the Axis forces, apart from the things covered in the other sections. Hosted by Juha Tompuri
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Christian Ankerstjerne
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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 28 Dec 2021 11:41

Simon Gunson wrote:
28 Dec 2021 02:22
Image


i suggest you read the sources, otherwise you are merely replying to be argumentative. Jette projected results up until February & May 1945 based on known enrichment rates. ie 200 grams/month. What changed was using K-25 product as feed stock for Alpha Caultrons, this raised total output to 257 grams/month from February 1945 when Alpha product was used as feedstock for Beta Caultrons. it still does not get anywhere close to 64kg HEU.
That image says February 1944. It also says that this was only for one out of five tracks with a combined goal of one kilogram per month, and that a total of four tracks were operational by April. From the way that this is phrased, this implies a production of 800 grams per month.

From what I could find, K-25 didn't become operational until March 1945, so its contribution in February 1945 would presumably be quite small. In either case, a projection is by definition not fact.

Your claim is that the US could not have produced enough HEU for by August 1945. So far, the sources you have provided that are easily verifiable do not seem to support this conclusion. Which source can you point to that details the specific HEU production, including the period between March 1945 and July 1945?

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Dec 2021 12:55

Hi Simon Gunson,

You post, "It is not my job to reconcile other people's lies."

No. but first you have to restablish that they are lies. The mere fact that they don't agree with your own premise doesn't make them "lies".

The source seems reputable, (I am sure you will tell us if it is not), so what is your specific objection to its contents?

You say, "What I say is corroborated.....". That is my point, it is arguably NOT corroborated by the source I put up. Again, what is your argued objection to it?

You say, ".....so since you raise an inconsistency, why don't you explain it?" If I could explain it, I wouldn't be asking you. I am asking you to explain it because it is you who made the original proposition it contradicts. I didn't.

Here is the source again, in case you want to have a closer look: https://fissilematerials.org/library/doe01.pdf

I am perfectly willing to accept a well argued explanation. Well?

Cheers,

Sid
Last edited by Sid Guttridge on 28 Dec 2021 15:14, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by PunctuationHorror » 28 Dec 2021 14:32

Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:
28 Dec 2021 11:41
Simon Gunson wrote:
28 Dec 2021 02:22
Image


i suggest you read the sources, otherwise you are merely replying to be argumentative. Jette projected results up until February & May 1945 based on known enrichment rates. ie 200 grams/month. What changed was using K-25 product as feed stock for Alpha Caultrons, this raised total output to 257 grams/month from February 1945 when Alpha product was used as feedstock for Beta Caultrons. it still does not get anywhere close to 64kg HEU.
That image says February 1944. It also says that this was only for one out of five tracks with a combined goal of one kilogram per month, and that a total of four tracks were operational by April. From the way that this is phrased, this implies a production of 800 grams per month.

From what I could find, K-25 didn't become operational until March 1945, so its contribution in February 1945 would presumably be quite small. In either case, a projection is by definition not fact.
[...]
Agree. I understand the text in the same way.

----------

However, it wouldn't hurt to do the math:

It's 18 months from 1944 til August 1945. They needed 64kg of enriched Uranium for the Hiroshima bomb, right?

Assuming one kilogram a month, it would total to 18 kilograms in 18 months. If 64 kg is the goal, that's not enough. Obviously.

Let's assume 1kg/month for the first half of 1944, then 2 kg/month for the second half and 3kg/month till August 1945. It sums up to 6kg + 12kg + 24kg = 42 kg. Still insufficient, still need 22kg to reach 64kg.

Maybe 6kg for Jan-June 1944, 18kg for Jul-Dec 1944, 32kg for 1945? Still only 6*1kg +6*3kg +8*4kg = 56kg. Still need 8kg.

64kg in 18 months equals 3.56kg per month. With a monthly average of under 1kg in early 1944, they would have needed to increase their output enormously until Aug 1945 to get the average of 3.56kg per month.

This is what the numbers say.

Maybe the 64kg are wrong? Was there more time than 18 months? Or maybe there were other sources for enriched Uranium (enriched to what grade of 235U?) to flll the gap?

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by Christian Ankerstjerne » 28 Dec 2021 15:03

PunctuationHorror wrote:
28 Dec 2021 14:32
Agree. I understand the text in the same way.

----------

However, it wouldn't hurt to do the math:

It's 18 months from 1944 til August 1945. They needed 64kg of enriched Uranium for the Hiroshima bomb, right?

Assuming one kilogram a month, it would total to 18 kilograms in 18 months. If 64 kg is the goal, that's not enough. Obviously.

Let's assume 1kg/month for the first half of 1944, then 2 kg/month for the second half and 3kg/month till August 1945. It sums up to 6kg + 12kg + 24kg = 42 kg. Still insufficient, still need 22kg to reach 64kg.

Maybe 6kg for Jan-June 1944, 18kg for Jul-Dec 1944, 32kg for 1945? Still only 6*1kg +6*3kg +8*4kg = 56kg. Still need 8kg.

64kg in 18 months equals 3.56kg per month. With a monthly average of under 1kg in early 1944, they would have needed to increase their output enormously until Aug 1945 to get the average of 3.56kg per month.

This is what the numbers say.

Maybe the 64kg are wrong? Was there more time than 18 months? Or maybe there were other sources for enriched Uranium (enriched to what grade of 235U?) to flll the gap?
The danger here is that such calculations are speculation, which can't really prove or disprove anything. In a situation with a strong focus on accellerating production from a very low baseline, increases can happen very suddenly.

In one of the sources I posted previously, K-25 delivered about 150 kg of U-235 between March and July 1945.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by Sid Guttridge » 28 Dec 2021 15:38

Hi Guys,

According to an article in American Scientist in January 2011 (https://www.americanscientist.org/artic ... an-project):

The needed isotope accumulated gradually at Oak Ridge. By April 1945, the Y-12 facility had produced only 25 kilograms of bomb-grade uranium and, in conjunction with other enrichment methods, was producing more at about 200 grams per day. By mid-July the facility had produced slightly more than 50 kilograms. By this time Y-12 had consumed about 1.6 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, about 100 times the energy yielded by the bomb called Little Boy, which was dropped on Hiroshima on August, 6, 1945. Essentially every atom of 235U used in Little Boy was processed in Lawrence’s calutrons. By the end of 1946, Y-12’s cumulative production amounted to just more than 1,000 kilograms of 235U, the equivalent of about 15 Little Boys.

It would appear that (1) US production of 235U was rising exponentially and (2) there may just have been enough time to produce 64Kg for an August 1945 Little Boy from Oak Ridge alone.

These figures also conform with the link I posted twice above.

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by PunctuationHorror » 28 Dec 2021 17:11

Thank you.

I just try to collect the sourced data from the last pages:

Yield of 235U (grade of enrichment not given):

Code: Select all

Y-12 facility

by April 1945    25kg
by mid-July 1945 50kg
Source:
Sid Guttridge wrote:
28 Dec 2021 15:38
According to an article in American Scientist in January 2011 (https://www.americanscientist.org/artic ... an-project):

The needed isotope accumulated gradually at Oak Ridge. By April 1945, the Y-12 facility had produced only 25 kilograms of bomb-grade uranium and, in conjunction with other enrichment methods, was producing more at about 200 grams per day. By mid-July the facility had produced slightly more than 50 kilograms. By this time Y-12 had consumed about 1.6 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, about 100 times the energy yielded by the bomb called Little Boy, which was dropped on Hiroshima on August, 6, 1945. Essentially every atom of 235U used in Little Boy was processed in Lawrence’s calutrons. By the end of 1946, Y-12’s cumulative production amounted to just more than 1,000 kilograms of 235U, the equivalent of about 15 Little Boys.
Recalculation of the data in the souce with the given rate of 0.2kg per day:

Code: Select all

April  30d
Mai    31d
June   30d
July   15d
total 106d

106d *0.2kg/d =  21.2kg

25kg + 21,2kg = 46.2kg.
So it misses the given 50kg by ~10%.

-----------------------------------

Code: Select all

K-25 facility

March to May 1945 150kg
Source:
Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:
21 Dec 2021 14:55
For example, between March and May 1945, K-25 delivered about 150 kg of U-235.

You can read more on the website of the US Department of Energy:
https://www.osti.gov/opennet/manhattan- ... hrough.htm
-------------------------------

Code: Select all

Site X

by Feb 1945 10 to 15kg
Source:
Christian Ankerstjerne wrote:
21 Dec 2021 14:55
Simon Gunson wrote:
20 Dec 2021 22:59
For example Manhattan project could not possibly have enriched 64 kg HEU by July 1945

Image
Transcribing (my emphasis):
[...]

Date: December 28, 1944

Subject: Production rate of 25.

A study of the shipment of T from Site X for the past three months shows the following:
  1. From November 13 to December 2 we received T at the rate of 95 gms/day calculated as metal.
  2. From December 2 to present the rate is 63 gms/day.
  3. At the present rate we will have 10 kilos about February 7 and 15 kilos about May 1.
  4. To secure 15 kilos by February 15, the rate of receipt must become approximately 150 gms/day or 2.4 times the present rate.
  5. There is nearly enough material available for the 3½" sphere.
[...]
-----------------------------------

Code: Select all

US total

1945 to 1946 603kg
Source:
Sid Guttridge wrote:
22 Dec 2021 00:30
According to: https://fissilematerials.org/library/doe01.pdf, in 1945 and 1946 the USA produced a combined total of 603Kg of 90-98% HEU.
--------------------------------------
--------------------------------------
This is quite a maze.

Still more data is needed.

Attention: I did NOT check the sources, I just collected what was posted here.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by Sid Guttridge » 29 Dec 2021 09:48

Hi PunctuationHorror,

That assumes that production of 0.2Kg per day given for April 1945 was a constant. However, if they had over 50Kg by mid July, it appears to have been rising in the early stages of the exponential growth shown earlier for 1945-46. Also, the production figures appear only to apply to Oak Ridge. Do we know if there were any other American sources?

Cheers,

Sid.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 24 Mar 2022 01:19

witcher wrote:
24 Apr 2019 17:41
Interesting one hour interview here with Carter Plymton Hydrick.
http://www.militarycityusaradio.org/mai ... ck-author/

Third printing as first had a few errors, second had data denied by AEC as inaccurate(later retracted) and third printing with proof.
No rebuttal from anyone on data in third edition. U234 had enough enriched uranium for 11 'little boys'. He found the U-Boot records in Georgia and follows the path/timeline from U234 to first bomb Japan.
So Germany did give refined u235 to United States as agreed in operation Sunrise. It came from the I.G. Farben plant and the waste was found in 2011. The propaganda said discovered waste was post war but has been proven otherwise. Some details are still denied by 'classified' method but enough is out there to rewrite history.

And the now fat lady is singing.
Adios Amigos..

-
I have never before encountered the code name "Operation Sunrise". I presume this might be from Hydrick's book? I have watched some of his 2005 Oak Ridge presentation and skimmed an earlier edition of Critical Mass but have yet to make the time to carefully study his information. The idea that the cargo of U-234 was sufficient for "11 Little Boy type bombs" is far and away the largest number I have ever encountered in terms of the likely size of the late war German stockpile of fissile material and is in direct opposition to the personal testimony of Heinrich Himmler's top wartime adjutant, Werner Grothmann. According to him, "there was always the shortage" of bomb fuel as the Germans were completing their various prototypes and test detonations in late 1944 - early 1945. This shortage, along with the broad destruction of heavy industry across the board in the Third Reich via strategic bombing, had a direct and decisive impact on deliberations and decisions in the Nazi high command as war's end approached.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 25 Mar 2022 02:37

Since I was last on AHF there has been what I believe is the single most significant development in Second World War archival research and historiography since the end of the Cold War. This was the completion and online publication (in 2020) of Dr. Todd H. Rider's book, Forgotten Creators. Although this work is concerned more broadly with the overall nature, methods, and achievements of German-speaking science since the Industrial Revolution, one of its major points of emphasis is the Second World War German - Axis nuclear weapons effort.

It is my opinion that with this book, Dr. Rider describes the true extent of the Nazi nuclear enterprise with far more accuracy and in much greater detail than has been achieved by any other work that has appeared in the public realm since the end of the conflict. I believe the information found in this book will ultimately revolutionize how the history of the war and the development of atomic and thermonuclear weapons will be written going forward.

By way of brief introduction, Rider is a former long time MIT senior staff scientist who possesses multiple advanced degrees. Although not trained as a professional historian per se, he is a formidable polymath who is quite well qualified to properly assess the information that his nearly decade-long, multinational archival investigation revealed. Anyone interested in digging further into his background can visit his website here:

https://riderinstitute.org/about/

Because I have written extensively about Axis nuclear weapons development elsewhere, I will attempt to keep my approach here from veering into too much duplication. However, some documents and other information will of necessity be the same as was posted previously.

As some have noted, the discussion here is quite a complicated maze in some ways. I will therefore attempt to clarify as many issues that have been raised previously as I can, and otherwise hope to provide a useful framework within which anyone reading can more quickly get their footing rather than spend years (as I did) compiling bits, pieces, and scraps of legitimate information and then attempting to take an educated guess as to how it might all fit together.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 25 Mar 2022 03:05

Although it went largely unnoticed, beginning in 1995 there were three (3) major figures involved in WWII atomic and nuclear weapons research and development who came forward and disclosed crucial information that had long been held in strictest secrecy. These were:

1. The Japanese Army scientist, Lt. Col. Tatsusaburo Suzuki, at a press conference in Tokyo in 1995.

2. The American Manhattan Project intelligence - counterintelligence officer, Col. John Lansdale, in 1995 and afterward, in various print and electronic media interviews.

3. The German SS obersturmbanfuhrer, Werner Grothmann, in a series of interviews he gave to his neighbor, Wolf Krotzky, beginning in 2000 and ending in 2002 (shortly before his death). Grothmann was SS chief Heinrich Himmler's top adjutant for nearly the entire war.

In direct contrast to the heretofore conventional history of the conflict, all three of these men described a pronounced and desperate race to weaponize the atom and then to deploy those weapons before their enemies could do the same to them. Grothmann will be the one most quoted in this thread, for obvious reasons, but the others are obviously relevant. All three spoke for the record shortly before their respective deaths, and all clearly wanted what they knew to be preserved for posterity.

Here I think it would be appropriate to begin with a passage from Forgotten Creators which lays out what is in many ways the central thesis of Dr. Rider's investigation and subsequent rejection of the conventional history of the end of WWII in Europe. Although a number of perfectly legitimate and otherwise qualified historians have written innumerable tomes about the war, nearly all of them repeat most or all of the talking points laid out in 1947 in a single book: Dr. Samuel Goudsmit's Alsos. This was perhaps somewhat understandable given the harsh clampdown and widespread document classifications that were swiftly enacted by the victorious Allied powers, but I still say these writers as a group deserve considerable rebuke simply because they rarely bothered even to ask the obvious questions, let alone attempt to find any of the answers.

From Page 3566-7 (2021 2nd edition), Analysis of the German Nuclear Program:

“Any U.S. or U.K. information on a large wartime German nuclear program would have been classified and concealed (even more so than the rocket, jet, and chemical warfare programs were) in order to (i) try to hide that information or western knowledge of that information from the Soviet Union; (ii) make imported German scientists more palatable to the U.S. public and politicians (avoiding questions along the lines of “Why are we hiring scientists this month who were on the verge of nuking us last month?”); (iii) downplay wartime German technological accomplishments; and (iv) play up U.S. wartime and postwar accomplishments to both domestic and foreign audiences.

(a) Samuel Goudsmit’s job as scientific head of the Alsos Mission was to investigate the German nuclear program in great detail and report his findings, yet there is well documented evidence that completely contradicts his public portrayal of the German program. Goudsmit appears either to have been incredibly incompetent at his assigned job or else to have been deliberately making false public statements about the German program. Here are just a few examples:

i. Goudsmit testified to the U.S. Senate that the German nuclear scientists “were still a hundred years away from” producing a bomb at the end of the war. Just a fraction of those scientists, completely starting over in the technologically backward Soviet Union, built an atomic bomb in four years.

ii. Goudsmit stated that “approximately 100 scientists were active on this project,” and that many of those “worked only part time on this important research and the rest of the time did routine teaching or administrative work.” The list of known German nuclear scientists is much larger, the total number working on the program may well have been far larger still, and the urgency and time commitment that these scientists accorded to their wartime nuclear work is documented in many of their postwar accounts.

iii. Goudsmit claimed that Erich Schumann was “a second-rate physicist” whose “main interest was the physics of piano strings.” It is well documented that Erich Schumann was the Ph.D. thesis advisor of Wernher von Braun, spent years during the war developing, demonstrating, and optimizing highly sophisticated implosion bomb designs, and was directly involved in a number of other groundbreaking military research and development programs [Nagel 2012a].

(Schumann was the head of the research department of the German Army Weapons Bureau, the heereswaffenamt, from 1934–45 and was closely involved with its biological weapons program as well as its work on nuclear weapons. He received a thank you note from von Braun in the wake of the successful Moon landing by Apollo 11 in 1969. Goudsmit’s sneering comment about “piano strings” was a reference to Schumann’s grandfather, the famous classical music composer Robert Schumann, and also a nod to the younger Schumann’s prewar civilian post as a lecturer in acoustics at the University of Berlin. -- WJP)

iv. Goudsmit characterized Manfred von Ardenne as merely “a clever technician and businessman” who tried to divert government funding away from “the really competent scientists.” After the war, von Ardenne was the German nuclear scientist most highly courted by the Soviet Union (presumably based on Soviet intelligence about his wartime nuclear accomplishments in Germany), and he was ultimately awarded a first class Stalin prize for helping the Soviets build their first atomic bombs [Oleynikov 2000]. (This was the highest award a civilian could earn in the Soviet Union, the equivalent of the Presidential Medal of Freedom in the US. Von Ardenne in fact won it twice — WP).

(b) A large number of Alsos-related documents from Samuel Goudsmit’s files remain classified (see for example pp. 3454–3455 and 3472).

(c) Some very important Alsos-related files from the Manhattan Project’s Foreign Intelligence Unit also remain classified and unavailable, as shown by the example on p. 3376 (see below).

(d) Numerous other files related to the German nuclear program and its scientists have been removed from the U.S. National Archives as evidenced by yellow withdrawal cards (see for example pp. 3535), or never were there yet are referenced in documents that are present.

A large German nuclear program would have had a direct impact on subsequent U.S. programs, just as the rocket, jet, and chemical warfare programs did. (a) As discussed in Section D.2.10, there is evidence that captured German enriched uranium and implosion bomb detonators may have significantly aided and accelerated the final phase of the wartime U.S. nuclear program. The United States also captured large amounts of unenriched uranium, beryllium, zirconium, and other materials that presumably aided the postwar U.S. nuclear program (the capture of German uranium ores and uranium oxide was mentioned several times by Colonel Lansdale -- WP). German-developed rockets, missile silos, jet bombers, cruise missiles, and submarines proved to be the ideal delivery methods for U.S. nuclear weapons after the war, just as they were likely intended to be delivery methods for any nuclear weapons that Germany had been developing during the war. (b) More archival research is needed to determine whether postwar nuclear weapons work in the United States was influenced by German nuclear scientists, materials, or information that had been found at the end of the war, especially for lighter and smaller implosion systems, high-voltage fusion neutron initiators, lithium deuteride fusion fuel, the layer cake H-bomb design, two- and three-stage H-bomb designs, and improved U-235 enrichment methods. Evidence such as the U.S. capture and interrogation of Hans Kammler (pp. 3504–3515), Edward Teller’s invitation to Siegfried Flugge (p. 3536), files on German fusion research (Section D.2.4), and redacted or missing files from German scientists (e.g., p. 3535) raise very serious questions that deserve to be thoroughly investigated.”

Rider elaborates further on page 1449ff and Appendix D in Forgotten Creators:

“The conventional historical view that has been held from 1945 to the present is that the World War II German nuclear program was very small and poorly funded, that Germany was still trying to complete its first prototype fission reactor when the war ended, and that Germany never even made a serious attempt to develop nuclear weapons. This view is based on three categories of evidence, although each category has its own limitations as summarized below:

1. The U.S.-led Alsos Mission searching for evidence of nuclear-related work at the end of the war found the incomplete fission reactor at Haigerloch, some papers on basic nuclear physics, and apparently not much else, according to the public accounts. Unfortunately, the Alsos Mission failed to properly investigate numerous specific organizations, scientists, and locations that could have revealed a more advanced nuclear program. If any more advanced nuclear work had in fact been discovered, that information would have been automatically classified at the time, and could remain classified or buried in archives and unreleased to this day.

2. Ten German nuclear scientists (Erich Bagge, Kurt Diebner, Walther Gerlach, Otto Hahn, Paul Harteck, Werner Heisenberg, Horst Korsching, Max von Laue, Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker, and Karl Wirtz) rounded up by the Alsos Mission were kept under house arrest from July 1945 until January 1946 at Farm Hall in the United Kingdom, where their private conversations were recorded without their knowledge. The transcripts, which were not released to the public until 1992, record the scientists’ surprise at news of the 6 August 1945 Hiroshima bombing and do not reveal significant apparent knowledge of nuclear weapons design and development. However, a huge number of relevant nuclear scientists were not at Farm Hall. There is evidence that those who were there suspected surveillance and conducted their conversations accordingly. The preserved transcripts document only a small fraction of the discussions that would have occurred among ten people and their British attendants during those six months. Moreover, the transcripts are English translations, which may not accurately reflect the original German conversations. Both the original recordings and the original German transcripts are said to have been permanently lost, a shocking lapse for such an important operation.

3. In their public interviews and writings in the years after the war, German nuclear scientists professed a lack of desire, plans, materials and/or political support to produce nuclear weapons for the Third Reich. On the other hand, only a small number of nuclear scientists went on the public record. It is not clear how much of what they said was factual history versus personal spin meant to avoid postwar criticism; the answer may vary for different scientists in question. With access to some of the previously unavailable former Soviet and East German archives and witness testimony, as well as newly discovered and released U.S. and British documents, beginning in the 1990s several authors argued (with varying degrees of success and accuracy) that wartime German work on nuclear weapons was actually much more (advanced)….As discovered by those authors, the wartime German nuclear program was much more extensive than had previously been acknowledged, and involved many more scientists and engineers than had been recognized….Such (findings) should spur modern scholars to set aside (the) conventional historical narrative and make a de novo, detailed, and fully independent evaluation of the wartime German nuclear program.”
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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by Michael Kenny » 25 Mar 2022 03:10

williamjpellas wrote:
25 Mar 2022 02:37
Since I was last on AHF there has been what I believe is the single most significant development in Second World War archival research and historiography since the end of the Cold War. This was the completion and online publication (in 2020) of Dr. Todd H. Rider's book, Forgotten Creators. . ...................... I believe the information found in this book will ultimately revolutionize how the history of the war and the development of atomic and thermonuclear weapons will be written going forward.

It was not well received when you introduced it here:

https://www.secretprojects.co.uk/thread ... 247/page-8

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 25 Mar 2022 03:13

Thanks for that, Michael. Have you read it? Yes or no?

Apparently at least one member of "that other forum" did read Rider's book. Here is what he said about the "discussion":

"Joining this topic for the first time, I'd like to suggest that like many of these contentious historical issues there is a grain of truth on both sides and a great cloud of heat in the middle. There certainly was a German nuclear effort that ran on through WWII, what can we say about it?

For the prosecution: The German programme descended into chaos. Most of its leading lights bunked off and the Chief Remainer claimed to have methodically derailed it. The chaotic Nazi leadership of all technology programs (witness the constant aero engine and jet aircraft infighting), combined with the Anglg-Norwegian sabotage of heavy water production, ensured that it stayed that way. All since has been fantasy-fuelled conspiracy nonsense.

For the defence: Such strategically critical tech naturally remained top secret for decades. Many German scientists did stay behind and would have been far more than mere acolytes worshipping at their departed forebears' altar. From the 1990s onwards, documents have been progressively declassified and are revealing hitherto unsuspected factoids about the programme; it was far bigger and more expensive than we all thought.

Firstly, the prosecution have a point about the lack of leadership and general chaos. It became pervasive across Nazi technology programmes as the war progressed. Nothing ever came of the nuclear work. You can recognise the conspiracy nonsense by the thin disguise of "only asking questions".

But what of the defence case? The Nazis also had a track record of throwing megabucks at speculative technologies (it was an enabler for the scale of the chaos); the ongoing costs of the heavy water project in Noway would not have come cheap and thus suggest that the nuclear game got the same treatment, so what else did they throw money at? There is certainly a case that those left behind destroyed documents and kept their mouths shut, with the secrets-sequestered-and-only-now-tricking-out scenario amply duplicated in the aircraft and aero engine sectors. Again, the surprise would be if this did not apply to the nuclear sector.

Now, about that thin disguise. I will take the Blohm & Voss aircraft programme as a parallel example, because I know about it. The MGRP piggy-back missile and Ae 607 have long been held up as "only asking questions" projects. You can find static replicas of their MGRP two-stage jet interceptor in museums, I have a very nice plastic kit of the Ae 607 delta flying-wing jet with a cute little forward-swept moustache. Which would you put your money on? Dan Sharp found the original documentation, now we know that the MGRP was a distortion of somebody else's work entirely, while the Ae 607 was a genuine design study.

Rider has sought to do the same for both the aviation and nuclear programmes among others. On the aviation side, which I can judge well, he is reasonably neutral. For example he takes seriously the claims of Gustave Whitehead to have beaten the Wright brothers, without declaring for either side. But he is somewhat ill-informed in his German advocacy. For example he includes Bernoulli, who was Swiss, and credits the P-51 Mustang's excellence to its German-born designer Edgar Schmüd, when we now believe it was down to the British-developed Merlin engine and second-generation Meredith-effect radiator. Indeed, in aircraft and engine work generally he happily ignores the international nature of the design community and their technologies - one could write similarly impressive nationally-oriented chapters on British, American, French and Italian innovations.

On directed energy, you may recall that I spent some years as a professional electromagnetics and EMP test engineer. So I hope you will trust me when I note that the particle-beam section is a similar curate's egg (good in parts) to the above, but the electromagnetic section is facile and gullible in its ignorance. Rider is reflecting an ignorance found in a contemporary official document and few historians would be able to recognise it for what it is; a long-range radar beam would be more on the mark than a weaponised EMP, and this misdiagnosis has led him astray.

How does that reflect on his treatment of the documents and anecdotes now surfacing? Plenty of truth in the detail, but also plenty of mistakes. A certain selectivity of evidence leading to over-egging of the German case. But this is more in the line of a serious historian with a point to prove than a wacky super-waffen nut "only asking questions"; even the ignorant superstitions on electromagnetic technologies are typical of the average academic historian. Of course he asks questions, but seriously - what historian doesn't? Would Sharp have exposed the truth about B&V if he had not been asking questions and going through archives to find answers? Rider is absolutely correct when he reserves judgement on many issues and cries out for better access to the archives. He is less correct when he dons his German-tinted glasses or strays into technology folklore. I know an awful lot of British and American historians whose glasses are far stronger and whose electromagnetic gullibility is as profound; Rider's study stands as a significant work in the field and a signal for the 21st century sceptic to pull together some better refutation than mere name-calling.

Strip away the heat here and what do we have? A really great thread with some excellent points being made on both sides. The truth is buried somewhere, for us to find, but it isn't to be found in the heat of name-calling. I have long argued that too much rudeness is allowed in this forum, and here we see yet another example: the anger and rudeness should be locked down, not the subject matter."


I don't agree with all of his criticisms, but that comment was nevertheless one of the few honest ones in that thread. I'm not holding my breath that there will be better behavior (or "behaviour" for our Imperial British friends) on AHF, but hope springs eternal. Meanwhile I am here to post some of the most pertinent information from Rider's research so that others will know where to look on the slim chance that they actually want to do some homework. Thanks.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 25 Mar 2022 03:48

Regarding Werner Grothmann, according to him there were only about ten (10) people in the entire Third Reich who knew the full extent of German nuclear weapons research and development. Secrecy in this enterprise---which was originally split between several different entities until eventually coming completely under SS control---was so extreme that Grothmann opined it hindered work on the project. There are many details like that one, details which do not show the German work in an altogether positive light, which is one of the reasons why I personally give credence to Grothmann's account.

In his own words:

Heinrich Himmler’s chief adjutant Werner Grothmann on nuclear weapon designs [Krotzky 2002]. See p. 2849 regarding the background and reliability of this source.

[p. 9] "What I know is the actual preparation for the prototype production of the two fully constructed atomic bomb types for uranium and plutonium. [...] I was not allowed to know anything about it, so I can only say that there were two standard types for use against cities and two more of a different size, which were supposed to be front-usable [for tactical battlefield use] and contain smaller charges.

I learned only after the war that one of the two smaller ones would have had a charge equivalent, that is a comparable explosive material quantity, of I believe 130 tons. This was supposed to be used against railway tunnels, port facilities and military installations. The point was that the small weapons required only very little material, which overcame first of all the shortage [of fission fuel]. Of the larger one I heard only a statement, which I cannot confirm, that it was about three kilotons, that must remain [an] open [question].

[p. 18] I never heard what all was going on in detail. It was true, however, that there were two entirely different constructions; of a third, about which I do not know anything else, I did not hear much. It must have looked like a swollen bomb. About the other two, I know that the smaller was about the size of the SC 250, but the weight was higher. The larger weapon would have possessed a spherical shape with a diameter of over one meter. It was very heavy, even though the bomb body itself was supposed to be out of aluminum. It was said, if one reduces the weight, the yield is not as high. For this purpose, a variant was planned, in which the bomb body itself was supposed to have been a component of the explosive system. I cannot say better now, it was anyway to reduce the weight and still get a really big explosive energy.

p. 44] Yes, now comes the third problem. Wemhave already talked about the fact that the scientists wanted to have an ignition in the air at a certain altitude. It should be an altitude of approximately 400 meters. But there was not even a single ignition mechanism that made it reliable, even though many had worked on it. It was even thought of doing this with a time fuse, but I do not know if this was done. The problem was, if one uses an impact fuse, most of the effect fizzles. Then the weapon would not have been worth the effort. In the test, which was carried out in late autumn 44 with the parachute drop, they had tried out something.But I do not know if this was really a proximity fuse.

[p. 42] By the way, what the physicists told Himmler in their private lecture on the hydrogen bomb had really electrified him, because he heard that the explosive effect would be a hundred times greater than that of the uranium bomb."

Dr. Rider summarizes:

"Grothmann appeared to describe work on at least five different types of nuclear weapons:

1. A tactical bomb using U-235 (produced in any of several uranium enrichment facilities that Grothmann alluded to) with an explosive yield of less than a kiloton (Grothmann thought he remembered 130 tons). He compared it to the size of an SC 250 bomb, a common cylindrical German bomb with a 37-cm diameter and 120-cm body length, but said it was heavier than an SC 250 (250 kg). In principle, a bomb of that size might have been an implosion bomb design employing cylindrical compression as considered by Gottfried Guderley as well as Erich Schumann and Walter Trinks; see p. 3156. Alternatively it might have been an biconic implosion bomb design employing focused compression from each end, as considered by Schumann and Trinks; see p. 3154. The bomb described by Grothmann does not match the characteristics of a gun-type fission bomb. For example, the U.S. Little Boy had a mass of 4400 kg, diameter of 71 cm, and length of 300 cm, and because of its inherent physics used a very large amount of uranium, had a very low efficiency, and produced a large explosive yield, in contrast to the weapon that Grothmann described.

2. A tactical bomb using Pu-239 (produced in any of several plutonium breeding facilities that Grothmann alluded to). Other than the difference in fuel, presumably this bomb had the same design as the tactical uranium bomb, as well as a roughly comparable yield.

3. A strategic bomb using U-235 with an explosive yield of several kilotons. (Grothmann thought he remembered 3 kilotons, but he seemed uncertain; that value may have been the yield of one of the small tests, not the yield that a fully fueled and deployed version of the bomb would
have.) The bomb was a sphere with a diameter of somewhat over 1 meter, an aluminum shell, and a large mass. It apparently used a sophisticated implosion system. All of these details are highly consistent with the bomb design reported by Ilichev (pp. 3280 and 3284).

4. A strategic bomb using Pu-239. Presumably this bomb had the same design as the strategic uranium bomb, as well as a roughly comparable yield.

5. A hydrogen bomb or H-bomb using fusion reactions but initiated by reactions in fission fuel. According to Grothmann, its explosive yield would be a hundred times larger than a fission bomb, or on the order of a megaton. Grothmann knew much less about this bomb design, but he described it as “a swollen bomb.” That might be taken to mean an oversized spherical implosion bomb, which could match the description of a “sloika” or layer-cake H-bomb design. Alternatively, Grothmann’s wording might be construed to mean an ellipsoidal shape, which could match the description of a Prandtl-Meyer two- or three-stage H-bomb design (p. 3220). This bomb was expected to be operational by late 1945 (p. 3217) or early 1946 (p. 2853), which suggests that it was at a fairly advanced stage of development, not merely a paper design. For more information on German development of fusion fuels and fusion bombs, see Sections D.2.4 and D.4.5."

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 25 Mar 2022 04:13

Grothmann went on to describe what he said were at least five (5) German nuclear weapon tests during WWII. The last of these were the pair of sub-kiloton yield explosions near Ohrdurf, Thuringia, in March 1945 which first came to light in the west with the publication of Rainer Karlsch's book, Hitler's Bombe. Note that Grothmann considered the Ohrdurf tests to be a single event, even though the two explosions took place several days apart during the first week in March.

Page 3255 in the 2021 2nd edition of Forgotten Creators. Heinrich Himmler’s chief adjutant Werner Grothmann on test explosions [Krotzky 2002]. For a discussion of the background and reliability of this source, see p. 2849.

[p. 31] Well, it is so: It is known to me that there were four atomic tests. The first still in 1943 in the autumn in the North Sea, which failed. Then two in 1944 in the autumn and the late autumn. One of them on the ground, that is on a small stand, the later one in the atmosphere on a parachute. That one in winter1944 in the air was highly explosive and the charge [fuel] was also larger. That could have been in November. The last test was then again with a small charge in March 1945. Where the tests were I would like to not say now, because otherwise the population would be unnecessarily upset.

[p. 32] I can definitely declare that I was told of six atomic bombs that came from three different research installations. All were prototypes. In addition, there were some very small devices that were intended for laboratory experiments. For the experiment in the winter of 1944, a larger charge was indeed used, as I already told you.

[p. 13] When, in October 1944, it was clear that the theory of the atomic bomb was in principle correct, various circles had, of course, also been
thinking about what should be done to end the war as quickly as possible.

[p. 17] But I would like to say something about the background, why Himmler did not come to Thuringia for the atomic bomb test on the fourth of March. [p. 40] This test was to provide proof that the ignition system worked stably and to serve as preparation for a corresponding attack that
was supposed to be flown with a rocket.

[p. 40] But these were all projects where industry was involved in one way or another. Whether the skilled workers were placed, or their special technical competence. Of course, they also supplied individual pieces or components for prototypes or for the tests. That was not a problem, because one cannot tell from a piece of metal for what purpose it is needed. You see, that went so far that the stand for our atom test in Thuringia was manufactured by a metalworking shop in Thuringia. I know it because when meeting there, (German Army - SS physicist Kurt) Diebner explained, in response to someone’s question about whether our people had built it, it was from a metalworking shop from the area. They would not have known what it was meant for.

The test was carried out directly there, even though that was in an inhabited area, because due to the course of the war we did not have a lot of choice and, of course, because time was also critical. So we just stayed where the necessary material was produced and stored. In addition, our people and those of Diebner’s other group had their laboratories and the development department. And here close by, too, the mass production of uranium bombs had been planned. In addition, at the beginning of January, the ignition [system] production or at least the development of an ignition system intended for the uranium bomb was likewise supposed to be relocated here, according to my memory. But this was placed in an abandoned mine, not in one of the facilities on site. Diebner allegedly assured that the explosive effect would be quite small for the small amount [of fuel] that the test would require. Unfortunately his prediction was not confirmed. What happened there was horrible. In addition, there were other consequences in the surrounding area, of which I only heard, that doctors, who were under contract with us, had to be deployed there.

[p. 13] After the third attempt, which was the one from March in Thuringia, Hitler was informed. [...] It was like this: when the test in Thuringia succeeded, according to my understanding, workers from a camp died accidentally. The people involved in the test had some of the biggest concerns about using the weapon, I mean, it was clear that deployment would not involve an experimental device.

[p. 43] What remains are the three successful atomic weapons tests, including a big one, a failure and an accident."

Rider comments:


"According to Grothmann, at least six prototype atomic bombs were produced at at least three different facilities. Of those, at least four were detonated in test explosions:

1. A test in autumn 1943 in the North Sea that failed. Grothmann provided no other details, and no other details are known from other sources. Elsewhere, Grothmann stated that fission fuel was very scarce even in 1944–1945 and that the implosion system was not perfected until 1944. Although it is very surprising that a test would even be attempted in 1943, either or both of those problems could have easily caused the failure.

2. A test in the first half of October 1944 at a location that Grothmann refused to name for fear of public reaction. The bomb was on a low stand or holder, and its explosion successfully demonstrated the principles of the device. This information is consistent with statements from Rudolph Zinsser (p. 3243), Luigi Romersa (pp. 3249–3254), Elisabeth Mestlin (p. 3258),and other sources, who described a test explosion on the Baltic coast, possibly on Rugen Island, on approximately 12 October 1944. That area of the Baltic coast has long been a popular tourist destination for people from all of Germany and beyond, which may explain Grothmann’s reluctance to name the location.

3. A test during or around November 1944 at another location that Grothmann refused to name for fear of public reaction. That bomb was suspended from a parachute (presumably after having been dropped by a large aircraft), contained more fission fuel, and had a larger explosive yield. This information is consistent with statements from Robert Jackson (p. 3266), Felix Kersten (p. 3271), Wilhelm Wulff (p. 3272), and other sources, who described a test explosion near Auschwitz, which was said to have occurred over a specially constructed concentration camp and its inmates. If that is true, both that specific war crime and the larger issue of war crimes at Auschwitz and elsewhere in Poland could explain why Grothmann would not name the location.

4. A test on 4 March 1945 in Thuringia. Although Grothmann did not name the specific location, he said the test occurred very close to the research installation, and he separately said the research installation was located at or adjacent to the Ohrdruf Truppenubungsplatz military base. According to Grothmann, the bomb was mounted on a test stand, used a smaller amount of fission fuel, and had a smaller explosive yield, but was intended to test an improved implosion system that would be light enough to be carried on a rocket. Nonetheless, the explosive yield was still larger than had been expected, killed a number of workers, contaminated the area, and necessitated the use of special doctors to treat local people who were affected by the “horrible” event. This description closely matches those given by Ivan Ilyichev (pp. 3280–3284), Oscar Koch (p. 3347), Clare Werner (p. 3333), Heinz Wachsmut (p.3339), and other sources.

Assuming that Grothmann did not overlook any tests or failures and that there were at least six bombs as he stated, at least two bombs remained at the end of the war. Grothmann reported that the United States captured at least one bomb (p. 3554)."

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 25 Mar 2022 04:24

Page 3392 in Forgotten Creators: Heinrich Himmler’s chief adjutant Werner Grothmann on why nuclear weapons were not used in combat [Krotzky 2002]. For a discussion of the background and reliability of this source, see p. 2849. See also Grothmann’s testimony on pp. 2849, 3171, and 3255.

[p. 13] "Himmler had in any case come up with a report, and a consultation took place regarding what we could make now. The one problem was the small quantity [of fuel] and always still the uncertainty of how it would work in action. The other was the question of the real political effect.

[p. 13] Some said that a direct hit on Moscow must be the first goal. But this has been countered by the argument that this would not change anything on the eastern front. [p. 14] If we were now to use such a weapon on Hitler’s order, for example to employ it on London, a completely new situation would arise, but not in our favor. If the weapon’s impact corresponds to the calculations, important parts of the political and military leadership will fall, but many other levels that have been relocated outside will be preserved. There are heavy casualties among the civilian population, and when the horror has subsided, it is clear that the supply of potential British troops in the Reich is still possible via their ports and is still under their control. Besides, the British are also on our territory. And the most important argument: with us, no one really believed that they would then withdraw. Quite the contrary! We could picture their reactions to our population. The other side, which must also be considered, is the Americans.

[p. 15] At the meetings I attended, or about which I learned in hints, no one was so crazy to use a weapon which could no longer help us, but would only make things even much worse.[p. 16] So, the first point was that the decisionmakers had to know how they personally fared, if a completely new, terrible mass-destruction weapon were deployed by our side and achieved its effect, but the war were nevertheless lost by us. What the victors would then read out of the Geneva Convention was clear.

The second point was that: At that time, the demand for unconditional surrender had long been on the table. And that was the result of the normal war situation. What would have happened after the use of our atomic bomb? You are certainly familiar with the ideas of Morgenthau. Everything would be much worse."

Dr. Rider:

"Grothmann made several points:

• By the end of the war, there was only enough fission fuel for a very small number of bombs.

• With the possibilities of rockets malfunctioning, aircraft getting shot down, or the bombs themselves malfunctioning, there was no guarantee that those bombs could be successfully delivered to Allied targets.

• Even if the bombs were successfully delivered and destroyed a very small number of Allied cities, they would not stop the large Allied military forces that were invading Germany, and in fact they would only inspire the Allied forces to defeat Germany more quickly before it
could deliver more bombs.

• If Germany had used nuclear bombs against Allied targets, the Allies would have retaliated with even greater destruction (such as firebombing or mustard gas) against German targets than what the Allies were already doing.

• If Germany had used nuclear bombs against Allied targets, those individuals who were responsible would have been prosecuted for war crimes after the war.

• If Germany had used nuclear bombs against Allied targets, the Allies would have imposed much harsher terms on Germany after the war. Grothmann mentioned the Allied Morgenthau plan that was actually considered but not implemented, which would have eliminated all
industry in postwar Germany.

Grothmann’s arguments are the same reasons why Germany did not use its stockpile of very advanced nerve gas [Tucker 2006], which was far larger than its stockpile of nuclear weapons as estimated by Grothmann."

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