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> Hitler's Atomic Bomb, BUUUUMMM!
Alexandru H.
Posted: March 17, 2005 07:32 am
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Hitler 'tested small atom bomb' 
By Ray Furlong
BBC News, Berlin 



Sceptics agree the book sheds new light on Nazi nuclear experiments
A German historian has claimed in a new book presented on Monday that Nazi scientists successfully tested a tactical nuclear weapon in the last months of World War II.

Rainer Karlsch said that new research in Soviet and also Western archives, along with measurements carried out at one of the test sites, provided evidence for the existence of the weapon.

"The important thing in my book is the finding that the Germans had an atomic reactor near Berlin which was running for a short while, perhaps some days or weeks," he told the BBC.

"The second important finding was the atomic tests carried out in Thuringia and on the Baltic Sea."

Mr Karlsch describes what the Germans had as a "hybrid tactical nuclear weapon" much smaller than those dropped on Hiroshima or Nagasaki.


'Bright light'

He said the last test, carried out in Thuringia on 3 March 1945, destroyed an area of about 500 sq m - killing several hundred prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates.

The weapons were never used because they were not yet ready for mass production. There were also problems with delivery and detonation systems.

  Karlsch has done us a service in showing that German research into uranium went further than we'd thought... but there was not a German atom bomb

Michael Schaaf, German physicist
"We haven't heard about this before because only small groups of scientists were involved, and a lot of the documents were classified after they were captured by the Allies," said Karlsch.

"I found documents in Russian and Western archives, as well as in private German ones."

One of these is a memo from a Russian spy, brought to the attention of Stalin just days after the last test. It cites "reliable sources" as reporting "two huge explosions" on the night of 3 March.

Karlsch also cites German eyewitnesses as reporting light so bright that for a second it was possible to read a newspaper, accompanied by a sudden blast of wind.

The eyewitnesses, who were interviewed on the subject by the East German authorities in the early 1960s, also said they suffered nose-bleeds, headaches, and nausea for days afterwards.

Karlsch also pointed to measurements carried out recently at the test site that found radioactive isotopes.

Scepticism

His book has provoked huge interest in Germany, but also scepticism.


The bomb was much smaller than the weapon dropped on Hiroshima
It has been common knowledge for decades that the Nazis carried out atomic experiments, but it has been widely believed they were far from developing an atomic bomb.

"The eyewitnesses he puts forward are either unreliable or they are not reporting first-hand information; allegedly key documents can be interpreted in various ways," said the influential news weekly Der Spiegel.


"Karlsch displays a catastrophic lack of understanding of physics," wrote physicist Michael Schaaf, author of a previous book about Nazi atomic experiments, in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.

"Karlsch has done us a service in showing that German research into uranium went further than we'd thought up till now. But there was not a German atom bomb," he added.

It has also been pointed out that the United States employed thousands of scientists and invested billions of dollars in the Manhattan Project, while Germany's "dirty bomb" was allegedly the work of a few dozen top scientists who wanted to change the course of the war.


Karlsch himself acknowledged that he lacked absolute proof for his claims, and said he hoped his book would provoke further research.

But in a press statement for the book launch, he is defiant.

"It's clear there was no master plan for developing atom bombs. But it's also clear the Germans were the first to make atomic energy useable, and that at the end of this development was a successful test of a tactical nuclear weapon."
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cipiamon
Posted: March 17, 2005 11:24 am
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I heard about this verry controversated book.

But in my opinion if they wanned to use atomic weppons the wold it used it even it reqaired sinucide operations.
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C-2
Posted: March 17, 2005 09:01 pm
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Not long before the end of the third reich, the Germans sent U-234 loaded with Uranium to Japan in order to help them with a nuclear program.
U 234 never got to japan,but surrended to the Americans(the two Japaneese oficers comited suicide ).
The Americans were glad about the Uraniumfound on bord and it was sent to the Menhatten project-and helped to make the Atomic bomb that was droped on Hiroshima.
cinic isn't it?
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Indrid
Posted: March 19, 2005 07:02 am
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QUOTE (C-2 @ Mar 17 2005, 11:01 PM)
Not long before the end of the third reich, the Germans sent U-234 loaded with Uranium to Japan in order to help them with a nuclear program.
U 234 never got to japan,but surrended to the Americans(the two Japaneese oficers comited suicide ).
The Americans were glad about the Uraniumfound on bord and it was sent to the Menhatten project-and helped to make the Atomic bomb that was droped on Hiroshima.
cinic isn't it?

cinic cinic...but is it true? and if he had it, why not use it then?
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Florin
Posted: March 19, 2005 08:08 pm
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QUOTE (Indrid @ Mar 19 2005, 02:02 AM)
QUOTE (C-2 @ Mar 17 2005, 11:01 PM)
...............
The Americans were glad about the Uraniumfound on bord and it was sent to the Menhatten project-and helped to make the Atomic bomb that was droped on Hiroshima.
cinic isn't it?

cinic cinic...but is it true? and if he had it, why not use it then?

It is a truth supported by many proofs, but one sure thing is that the 500 kg of Uranium Oxide could provide just a small percent of the raw material needed for the American bombs as they were in 1945. This is the real unclear part: if the refined product from the German Uranium Oxide was really a part of the bombs dropped in Japan, or just used for the following bombs.

Anyway, this truth is more solid than the subject we discuss here.
Something I don't understand:
Considering how desperate was the military situation of Germany in the spring of 1945, why they wasted the chance given by this test? They should drop the bomb somewhere on the Western Front, over the Allied troops, and then try to bargain / negotiate by claiming (i.e. lying) that there are many others available.
(Indrid also made a similar statement, in less words.)

The argument that there were no bombers available does not stand. There were German bombers in the skies as late as May 8, 1945. (And maybe even on May 9, 1945.)

The sad thing is that in the spring of 1945 Germany was in such a situation that whatever she could try, there was no way out. A resonable leadership should surrender after the failure of the Battle of the Bulge (the German offensive in Ardennes).

This post has been edited by Florin on March 19, 2005 08:09 pm
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Florin
Posted: March 19, 2005 08:27 pm
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The reactor functioning near Berlin is a matter known for decades. There is a photo with it in the book "The history of the atomic bomb", written in the 70's by Castelano Gigante.
Returning to the article quoted by Alexandru, 500 square meters means a square with an edge of 22.36 meters, or a circle with the diameter of 25.23 meters. You can do more damage with a classical bomb, even with one to be lifted by a twin engine WWII bomber.

Something which so many people didn't / don't know (including Isaac Asimov, who made one character to hide an atomic bomb in the mouth, under his tongue, in the "Foundation" series of novels) is that you cannot make an atomic bomb as little as you want. You cannot make an atomic bomb to develop the equivalent of a one ton classical bomb, for example. Somebody explained to me once upon a time that at least about 2 kg of Uranium / equivalent material are needed to produce the fission. This means the "smallest" nuke still have the equivalent effect of 1000 tons of TNT or more.

This post has been edited by Florin on March 20, 2005 10:01 pm
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Indrid
Posted: March 20, 2005 07:18 am
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QUOTE (Florin @ Mar 19 2005, 10:27 PM)
The reactor functioning near Berlin is a matter known for decades. There is a photo with it in the book "The history of the atomic bomb", written in the 70's by Castelano Gigante.
Returning to the article quoted by Alexandru, 500 square meters means a square with an edge of 22.36 meters, or a circle with the diameter of 25.23 meters. You can do more damage with a classical bomb, even with one to be lifted by a twin engine WWII bomber.

Something which so many people didn't / don't know (including Isaac Asimov, who made one character to hide an atomic bomb in the mouth, under his tongue, in the "Foundation" series of novels) is that you cannot make an atomic bomb as little as you want. You cannot make an atomic bomb to develop the equivalent of a one ton classical bomb, for example. Somebody explained to me once upon a time that at least about 2 kg of Uranium / equivalent material are needed to produce the fission. This means the "smallest" nuke still have the equivalent effect of 1000 or more kg of TNT.

ok, but i still doubt that there would have been lift problems....so if they had it, once again, why not use it?
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johnny_bi
Posted: March 20, 2005 11:42 am
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Somebody explained to me once upon a time that at least about 2 kg of Uranium / equivalent material are needed to produce the fission. This means the "smallest" nuke still have the equivalent effect of 1000 or more kg of TNT.


So, no nuclear grenades? :(
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Alexandru H.
Posted: March 20, 2005 11:50 am
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I don't know "why he did not use it". But that is not an argument, since we are discussing whether he had it or not, not if he used it. Not every bomb is destined to explode.

Besides, I don't think Hitler was very much interested in the nuclear field. Sure, he loved big stuff, but I suspect he relied too much on his WW1 experience in discussing priorities... Anyway, I don't think Hitler had a nuclear bomb but Germany certainly was more advanced in the field than history tells us...
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Florin
Posted: March 20, 2005 10:07 pm
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QUOTE (Alexandru H. @ Mar 20 2005, 06:50 AM)
............................................
Besides, I don't think Hitler was very much interested in the nuclear field. Sure, he loved big stuff, but I suspect he relied too much on his WW1 experience in discussing priorities..........

Sometime during 1942, before Stalingrad and El Alamein, Hitler had a meeting with a whole bunch of German scientists from various fields, and he guaranteed full support for developing any idea which may become a weapon, however unconventional.

The result was tens and tens of projects and prototypes, but just few reached the series production, and of course when it was too late.

The question is why the Germans lost 3 precious years until they "woke up" to realize that the war cannot be won with conventional weaponry. There were no big leaps in basic physics, chemistry and mathematics from 1939 to 1942, and the scientists and engineers were the same guys, so all that "weirdo" could be researched 3 years earlier, and be ready for series production by the end of 1943 or the beginning of 1944.

This post has been edited by Florin on March 20, 2005 10:16 pm
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Florin
Posted: March 20, 2005 10:22 pm
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QUOTE (johnny_bi @ Mar 20 2005, 06:42 AM)
QUOTE
Somebody explained to me once upon a time that at least about 2 kg of Uranium / equivalent material are needed to produce the fission. This means the "smallest" nuke still have the equivalent effect of 1000 tons of TNT or more .


So, no nuclear grenades? :(

No. But they built in the 50's or 60's nuclear mines. Yes, like the mines buried in the ground, to walk on them. But I don't know what was the point, because even when you roll over a classical mine, you get anyway a fast trip to paradise (or hell).
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Indrid
Posted: March 21, 2005 07:16 am
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QUOTE (Florin @ Mar 21 2005, 12:22 AM)
QUOTE (johnny_bi @ Mar 20 2005, 06:42 AM)
QUOTE
Somebody explained to me once upon a time that at least about 2 kg of Uranium / equivalent material are needed to produce the fission. This means the "smallest" nuke still have the equivalent effect of 1000 tons of TNT or more .


So, no nuclear grenades? :(

No. But they built in the 50's or 60's nuclear mines. Yes, like the mines buried in the ground, to walk on them. But I don't know what was the point, because even when you roll over a classical mine, you get anyway a fast trip to paradise (or hell).

well maybe the purpose was to wipe out an entire natallion or more, rather than just maim one and make the others careful....
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tomcat1974
Posted: March 21, 2005 12:59 pm
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Actuly the information about the size of a nuclear weapon is not accurate.
It is considered that now the smalest tactical Nuke firing weapon is the 152-155mm Howitzer. US developed even a smaller one Davy Crocket rocket projectile . it was a small Rocket 120mm i think..with a power of up to 50t.
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Indrid
Posted: March 22, 2005 07:38 am
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QUOTE (tomcat1974 @ Mar 21 2005, 02:59 PM)
Actuly the information about the size of a nuclear weapon is not accurate.
It is considered that now the smalest tactical Nuke firing weapon is the 152-155mm Howitzer. US developed even a smaller one Davy Crocket rocket projectile . it was a small Rocket 120mm i think..with a power of up to 50t.

oh, and that is small? :blink:
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tomcat1974
Posted: March 22, 2005 08:20 am
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Sory I was wrong about Davy Crokett M-388 ... a little ;)

here is a picture:
DavyCrocket warhead Copyright nuclearweaponarchive.org

The warhead is Mk54.It had 2 yelds 10T and 20T ..Lenght 10.75 " x Width 17.6".
there was another version of it Atomic Demolition Warhead .Same warhead but with a selectable yield from 10T to 1KT. This where manufacture between 1961 and 1965.
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