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.”
Last edited by williamjpellas on 25 Mar 2022 05:22, edited 2 times in total.