German Atomic Weapons Program

Discussions on High Command, strategy and the Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) in general.
GLENN DYER
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German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by GLENN DYER » 13 May 2020 17:07

Why didn't the Nazi's force Niels Bohr, a world renowned scientist who was living in occupied Denmark, to work on their atomic bomb project (Uranprojekt)? Werner Heisenberg, who was in charge of the program, visited him September of 1941 to enlist his involvement. Bohr wasn't interested. The Germans could have forced him to work for the program. Why didn't they? Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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wm
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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by wm » 13 May 2020 19:12

The Germans had a limited production capacity and they were running out of time so they prefered weapons that could be built fast.
For that reason the bomb got kicked to the curb, they knew it would arrive too late to save them.

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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by AllenM » 13 May 2020 20:20

In March 1945, a letter was sent to President Roosevelt to tell him that production was not yet guaranteed. In May, 1945, a declassified ALSOS document reveals that the German atomic program had continued until at least January 1945. There were three programs. One under the Army, the second under the Reichspost and a third under the SS. Members of the British intelligence team, T-Force (operating as 30 Assault Unit), had found a hidden underground laboratory. In the book The Paperclip Conspiracy by Tom Bower, it states: "Unless the migration of important German scientists and technicians into the Soviet zone is immediately stopped, we believe that the Soviet Union within a relatively short time may equal United States developments in the fields of atomic research and guided missiles and may be ahead of U.S. developments in other fields of great military importance, including infra red, television and jet propulsion. In the field of atomic research for example, we estimate that German assistance already has cut substantially, probably by several years, the time needed for the USSR to achieve practical results." Page 161.

That was not the author's opinion. He was quoting the Joint Intelligence (Sub-) Committee. Who did the Russians get? Manfred von Ardenne, whose laboratory equipment was seized by them.

See also Atomversuche in Deutschland by Günther Nagel.

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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by GLENN DYER » 13 May 2020 20:30

Thanks for the response. Much appreciated.

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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by OpanaPointer » 13 May 2020 22:20

The investigators sent to Germany from the US atomic bomb program sent back a quick report when they had completed their investigations.

"Mother never pregnant. Baby never born."

This is getting tedious.
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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by AllenM » 13 May 2020 23:45

From the back cover of The Also Mission, paperback, by Colonel Boris T. Pash.
From SHAEF Headquarters
Classification: Eyes Only

The special Alsos Mission headed by Boris Pash has hit the jackpot. For Eyes Only of General Marshall and Secretary of War, from Eisenhower. Information and material exceed greatest expectations. Full details follow through usual channels. We now unquestionably have everything.

Urgent
Original Destroyed

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wm
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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by wm » 14 May 2020 00:00

OpanaPointer wrote:
13 May 2020 22:20
The investigators sent to Germany from the US atomic bomb program sent back a quick report when they had completed their investigations.

"Mother never pregnant. Baby never born."

This is getting tedious.
The second sentence (Baby never born) was unnecessary.

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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by OpanaPointer » 14 May 2020 00:45

wm wrote:
14 May 2020 00:00
OpanaPointer wrote:
13 May 2020 22:20
The investigators sent to Germany from the US atomic bomb program sent back a quick report when they had completed their investigations.

"Mother never pregnant. Baby never born."

This is getting tedious.
The second sentence (Baby never born) was unnecessary.
I didn't write it. However, each phrase had a specific meaning to the folks back home. I'm not going to quote them from memory and I'm not in a position to dig up that information. Sorry.
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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by GLENN DYER » 14 May 2020 17:53

AllenM wrote:
13 May 2020 23:45
From the back cover of The Also Mission, paperback, by Colonel Boris T. Pash.
From SHAEF Headquarters
Classification: Eyes Only

The special Alsos Mission headed by Boris Pash has hit the jackpot. For Eyes Only of General Marshall and Secretary of War, from Eisenhower. Information and material exceed greatest expectations. Full details follow through usual channels. We now unquestionably have everything.

Urgent
Original Destroyed
Thanks, AllenM.

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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by AllenM » 14 May 2020 22:33

You're welcome.

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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by VWKDF » 02 Jul 2020 14:44

ALSOS was a deeply flawed operation. It's remit was a mile wide and an inch deep with a team barely exceeding one hundred men at its peak. In addition to mission creep, ALSOS suffered poor communication once team members were deployed to individual and dispersed sites. This meant those teams made decisions on site without coordination. A final but jarring methodological flaw was ALSOS’s exclusive reliance on prewar information to identify targets to be investigated: “It must be noted that no information on scientific targets was made available through intelligence channels, and that all information was, therefore, based upon pre-war knowledge.” That is, ALSOS targets were identified only by information from the late 1930s. In his report judging that the Germans made practically no progress in the nuclear field, Goudsmit makes a categorical assertion of a sort virtually never seen in government intelligence documents—a claim of complete finality: “It is certain that complete research data and all key scientists fell into the hands of the Alsos Mission.” ALSOS never set foot in Czechoslovakia where “In the last years of the war, central command for the development and manufacturing of the most secret weapons and equipment was in the hands of SS Gruppenführer Dr. Kammler and his Special Staff. It included secret weapons, equipment and proceedings, which were either in use or which were not yet in use at that time, and as much as I know, this mainly involved work in the area of atomic fragmentation, the conversion of the elements, the atomic bomb and nuclear energy, and additionally rockets, the latest airplane propulsion systems and remote control.” — Dr. Wilhelm Voss, director of Skoda. Interestingly, a June 4, 1947 Air Intelligence Division report states that the Russians removed an large operational - industrial scale - cyclotron from Czechoslovakia at the end of the war.

Ref for the above information is book - The Hidden Nazi: The Untold Story of America's Deal with the Devil by Rean Reuter, Nov 2019.

Pulitzer Prize Final historian and author Arthur Herman had this to say about Reuter's book and research ... "It’s strange that no one has yet written a biography of SS General Hans Kammler, one of the brutal masterminds of the German military-industrial complex and the Holocaust. But when you read The Hidden Nazi you will realize that until now no one had the knowledge, persistence, and sheer nerve that the authors brought to the job of unlocking the multiple mysteries surrounding this evil genius of the Third Reich. It’s a story where Schindler’s List meets Doctor Strangelove. Read it, be amazed and shocked by what Kammler did, and outraged by how he escaped final justice; but above all read The Hidden Nazi."

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Re: German Atomic Weapons Program

Post by steevh » 11 Jul 2020 12:06

There seem to be a proliferation of low-budget TV documentaries recently on the German atomic program. In the UK they crop up in various guises on the Yesterday channel, in such shows as Abandoned Engineering, as well as the WWII-themed stuff.

Its all very clickbait in style, with wild claims of how the Germans almost built the bomb etc. etc.
But from what I read somewhere the bottom line on German atomic research was that very little was spent on it, so it was never going to amount to much.

Just look at the timeline of other countries developing the bomb -- it took UK until 1950s despite it starting before the Americans, and having access to all of the early research. Or even modern-day Iran.

Sure DPRK has got the bomb, but that can be seen as one of their main goals for the past 50 years. In the meantime they have missed out on the Samsung smartphone, and all sorts of other goodies.

By contrast the Germans spent massive amounts on their rocket program, and made huge progress in that field.

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