What if Hitler had nuclear weapons? - Page 4

June 27th, 2011  
Berlin historian Rainer Karlsch claims that the Nazis conducted three nuclear weapons tests in 1944 and 1945. But he has no proof to back up his theories.

The United States needed 125,000 people, including six future Nobel Prize winners, to develop the atomic bombs that exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The uranium enrichment facility alone, including its security zone, was the size of the western German city of Frankfurt. Dubbed the Manhattan project, the quest ultimately cost the equivalent of about $30 billion.

In his book, "Hitler's Bomb," Berlin historian Rainer Karlsch claims Nazi Germany almost achieved similar results with only a handful of physicists and a fraction of the budget. The author writes that German physicists and members of the military conducted three nuclear weapons tests shortly before the end of World War II, one on the German island of Ruegen in the fall of 1944 and two in the eastern German state of Thuringia in March 1945. The tests, writes Karlsch, claimed up to 700 lives.

If these theories were accurate, history would have to be rewritten. Ever since the Allies occupied the Third Reich's laboratories and interrogated Germany's top physicists working with wunderkind physicist Werner Heisenberg and his colleague Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, it's been considered certain that Hitler's scientists were a long way from completing a nuclear weapon.

Karlsch's publisher, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, is already issuing brazen claims about the "sensational results of the latest historic research." The Third Reich, says the publishing house, was "on the verge of winning the race to acquire the first functioning nuclear weapon." Even before the book was published, the generally reserved publishing house sent press kits to the media, in which it claimed that the author had solved "one of the great mysteries of the Third Reich."

The only problem with all the hype is that the historian has no real proof to back up his spectacular theories.

His witnesses either lack credibility or have no first-hand knowledge of the events described in the book. What Karlsch insists are key documents can, in truth, be interpreted in various ways, some of which contradict his theory. Finally, the soil sample readings taken thus far at the detonation sites provide "no indication of the explosion of an atomic bomb," says Gerald Kirchner of Germany's Federal Office for Radiation Protection.

Karlsch spent several years in archives researching his subject, discovering many unknown documents on the history of science in the Third Reich. That includes a manuscript of one of Heisenberg's speeches which historians had previoulsy assumed had been lost. The manuscript alone would have been a significant find, but it wasn't enough to satisfy Karlsch or fully support his offbeat theory. As a result, in order to give his theory wings, he had to make some speculative leaps.

The bazooka effect

For one thing, he focuses on Erich Schumann, who served as chief of research for Germany's weapons division until 1944. At Schumann's estate, Karlsch discovered records from the post-war period. Schumann was a former physics professor and wrote that in 1944 he discovered a method of generating the high temperatures (several million degrees Celsius) and extreme pressure necessary to trigger nuclear fusion using conventional explosives. The hydrogen bomb is based on this principle.

During World War II, explosives experts experimented with hollow charges -- essentially hollowed-out explosive devices -- which possess extremely high penetration force. The success of the bazooka is based on this effect and Schumann believed he could apply it to a nuclear weapon. He assumed that enough energy for nuclear fusion would be released if two hollow charges were aimed at each other.

It's a theory that deserves serious consideration. However, Schumann never claimed to have tested his theory in practice. Karlsch, however, believes it was applied. He claims Schumann presented his ideas at a conference in the fall of 1944. He then speculates that, under instruction from the SS, a team of physicists working with Kurt Diebner, a rival of Heisenberg, made use of the discovery.

Karlsch bases his theory in part on statements made by Gerhard Rundnagel, a plumber, to the East German state security service, the Stasi. In the 1960s, the Stasi became aware of rumors circulating in the former East German state of Thuringia that there had been a nuclear detonation in 1945. Rundnagel told the security service that he had been in contact with the research team working with Diebner. He said one of the physicists in the group had told him that there were "two atomic bombs in a safe." Rundnagel later said the two bombs were dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Despite that inconsistency, Karlsch believes the man should be taken seriously.

An argument full of holes

The biggest hole in Karlsch's argument stems from his inablility to prove how the Diebner group managed to implement Schumann's ideas. According to Karlsch, Diebner and his colleagues used a special device that combined nuclear fission and fusion to initiate a chain reaction. With the help of physicists, Karlsch came up with a design for such a weapon and presents it in his book. Joachim Schulze, a nuclear weapons expert at Germany's Fraunhofer Institute, took a look at Karlsch's model and said it would be "incapable of functioning."

Another theory Karlsch presents in his book -- that the Germany navy tested a nuclear weapon on the Baltic Sea island of Ruegen -- is nothing short of fantastic. His key witness is Luigi Romersa, a former war reporter for a Milan newspaper, Corriere della Sera. For years Romersa, a Roman, has been telling the story of how he visited Hitler in October 1944 and then was flown to an island in the Baltic Sea. Romersa says that he was taken to a dugout where he witnessed an explosion that produced a bright light, and that men wearing protective suits then drove him away from the site, telling him that what he had witnessed was a "fission bomb."

Unfortunately, Romersa doesn't recall the name of the island he claims to have visited or who was in charge of the bizarre event. Karlsch believes it was Ruegen. He dismisses the fact that soil analysis shows no evidence of a nuclear explosion by pointing to erosion.

A more credible witness is the deceased Thuringian resident Clare Werner. On March 4, 1945, Werner, who was standing on a nearby hillside, witnessed an explosion in a military training area near the town of Ohrdruf.

"It was about 9:30 when I suddenly saw something ... it was as bright as hundreds of bolts of lightning, red on the inside and yellow on the outside, so bright you could've read the newspaper. It all happened so quickly, and then we couldn't see anything at all. We just noticed there was a powerful wind..." The woman complained of "nose bleeds, headaches and pressure in the ears."

The next day Heinz Wachsmut, a man who worked for a local excavating company, was ordered to help the SS build wooden platforms on which the corpses of prisoners were cremated. The bodies, according to Wachsmut, were covered with horrific burn wounds. Like Werner, Wachsmut reports that local residents complained of headaches, some even spitting up blood.

In Wachsmut's account, higher-ranking SS officers told people that something new had been tested, something the entire world would soon be talking about. Of course, there was no mention of nuclear weapons.

Did Stalin hear reports about the weapon?

And what about the 700 victims, supposedly concentration camp inmates, Karlsch claims died in the tests? This impressive figure is nothing but an estimate based on the number of cremation sites Wachsmut recalls. However, on the reputed detonation date, the Ohrdruf concentration camp, part of the larger Buchenwald complex, recorded ony 35 dead.

Another piece of evidence Karlsch cites is a March 1945 Soviet military espionage report. According to the report, which cites a "reliable source," the Germans "detonated two large explosions in Thuringia." The bombs, the Soviet spies wrote, presumably contained uranium 235, a material used in nuclear weapons, and produced a "highly radioactive effect." Prisoners of war housed at the center of the detonation were killed, "and in many cases their bodies were completely destroyed."

The Red Army's spies noted with concern that the Germany army could "slow down our offensive" with its new weapon. The fact that dictator Josef Stalin received one of the four copies of the report shows just how seriously the Kremlin took the news.

Unfortunately, the document Karlsch presents is of such poor quality that it cannot be clearly determined whether the report describing the explosions was written before or after the detonation Clare Werner claims to have witnessed.

More importantly, however, what Clare Werner claims to have seen could not have a detonation of the type of bomb the German informer sketched for the Red Army. That type of device would have required several kilograms of highly enriched uranium, which all experts, including Karlsch, believe Nazi Germany did not possess.
June 28th, 2011  
In respect of Rugen the explosion occurred on the Bug Isthmus which has been out of bounds as a military reserve since WW2

The Intelligence Report of Capt Hickey USN actually corroborates Romersa and describes a mushroom cloud from an atomic test blast in october 1944 with intense flashes of blue luminosity. That is an indication of Lithium and deuterium in the warhead.

With respect to remaining radiation at test sites, fall out from Uranium used in the Hiroshima blast is all but undetectable at Hiroshima now.

The bazooka effect as Seehund refers is behind modern US tactical nuclear weapons developed in the 1950s based on the original work by Otto Haxel, Eric Schumann and Walter Trinks in 1941-42.

The fusion of just 1.6 grams of Trittium for example is sufficient to trigger a fission reaction in just 120 grams of plutonium to cause a nuclear blast of 11.6 kilotons. The Hiroshima blast was about 12 kilotons.

In effect this means that the nazis did not need to enrich 64 kg of Uranium 235, nor did they require 9kg of Plutonium to have the atomic bomb.

We are talking quantities of fissionable material small enough to be harvested from cyclotrons.

The report which i referred does exist and i have already cited the NARA box number and location. It is largely declassified although parts of the report cited are still classified.

Yes you are correct. History would have to be rewritten.
June 28th, 2011  
Originally Posted by tazjet
In respect of Rugen the explosion occurred on the Bug Isthmus which has been out of bounds as a military reserve since WW2

From 1935 to 1945 it was an airfield and in 1946 it was blown up by Russians.

In 1954 a shelter for young boys was built. Taken over by the East German navy for use by the 6. Flottille.

Taken over by the German Navy in 1990 as a base for torpedo boats.

1991 to 1999 the area lies desolatet.

In 2001 the area was opened to the public and today's lots of vacation homes have been build there.

I've been there several times and the local inhabitant knows the myth.
Peenemünde is not far away, and several V2 rockets have fallen into the area all around.

It is a myth in line with Nazi UFO´s and bases at the South Pole!

BTW. in 2005 a soilsampel was taken at "Ground Zero" to check them for radioactivity and Isotopes, NOTHING!

One last point needs to be made about the unusually large bomb blasts at Rügen in October 1944 and Ohrdruf in March 1945 which Luigi Romosera raised with Rainer Karlsche.

The blast at Ohrdruf was most likely a test of a thermobaric bomb. The pinkish liquid appears to have involved some quantities of (possibly) enriched Uranium and coal dust, creating a Fuel Air Explosive.

As for the tests performed in Rügen, it probably also was a fuel-air bomb designed to disable the Allies ‘boxes’ of bombers. The spray was formed by different combinations of coal powder, hydrogen, ethylene, petrol, Butane-Propane 50/50 and the “Myrol” compound based on vinylic ethers and aluminum powder.
July 2nd, 2011  
Korean Seaboy
I hear some members say that Nazi nukes were myths, and I am inclined to agree.
They might have been far from nukes, but they were certainly interested.
A few facts:
1)In January 1939, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Brlin published the results of their recent expeiments with atom smashers. Using neutron bombardment, they had split atoms of uranium, producing several hundred million volts of electricity.
2)Three months later, a secret German War Office report stated that "the newest developments in nuclear physics....will probably make it possible to produce an explosive many orders of magnitude more powerful than the conventional ones...That country which first makes use of it has an unsurpassable advantage over the others"
3)Albert Einstein, Enrico Fermi, and Leonard Szilard (all three were important figures in the Manhattan Project) lived in Germany and Italy until they were driven out or left voluntarily. If Germany and Italy could have captured them inside their country, they would have very much prevented the US developing nukes, or might have even started their own nukes project
September 9th, 2011  
If you take the time to read the Virus House (which Irving based on Guodsmit's papers) ALSOS captured Gerlach's correspondence with an SS Lt Colonel Matzka in which gerlach was debating the need for a plant to produce SH.220 (trittium)

Gerlach was unconvinced that trittium could be used to boost and thereby induce fission in small quantities of uranium. However the SS were asserting it was possible and they needed Gerlach's support to build the trittium plant. What other possible use does trittium have?

Correspondence from the SS clearly indicated it was required for a nuclear weapon with a very small quantity of Uranium.

Lenard Stark operated a nuclear research project entirely separate from gerlach's uranium project. it appears they did not co-operate very much and that most of the civil Uranverin scientists were unaware of the SS efforts. Uranverin scientists were also largely unaware of Diebner's efforts at Stadtilm creating X-rays from the hollow charge implosion of lithium spheres. One of Diebner's assistants actually died of radiation poisoning from these experiments.

There was also wartime correspondence from Gerlach raising concern about the radiation hazards from Diebner's hollow charge experiments.

Readers seem to entirely ignore or disregard that in USA Seaborg first obtained Plutonium by transmuting Uranium 238 into Pu 239 (via Neptunium) using a cyclotron much more primative than Dallenbach's Sycnhrotron at Bisingen.

Heisenberg called Dallenbach's synchrotron a super-klystron.

Nazis were well aware that Thorium 232 could be converted to pure bomb grade Uranium 233 without impurity or contamination by Uranium 232 via transmutation in a cyclotron. Indeed at Harnack Haus in June 1942 Heisenberg advocated a project to breed Protactinium. Pa233 is the intermediate step between Thorium 232 and Uranium 233. Heisenberg recounted this Protactinium path to the bomb at Farm Hall and one only needs read the farm Hall transcripts.

There were also references by Harteck, Gerlach and Diebner at Farm Hall to the photo-chemical method for obtaining fissile Uranium. Photo-fission is a process occuring inside a heavy particle accelerator in which electrons collide with photons to emit neutrons.

The Nazis had no need of a nuclear pile (reactor) to develop Plutonium
September 26th, 2011  
because we`re assuming that the Germans had nukes i would say that they would also have to develope the planes to be able to list them. from what i remember hearing about the german nuclear bomb project, the scientiests calculated that the bomb would have to be something in the reigon of 13 tonnes. and is far as i know, there were NO planes able to carry a 13t bombload at that time. they could have detonated under Berlin to stop the russians capturing it and they would have killed millions of soviet troops and several brillent generals.
October 11th, 2011  
Little Boy had a weight of 4.4 ton and was transported to Hiroshima
October 28th, 2011  
Originally Posted by lljadw
Little Boy had a weight of 4.4 ton and was transported to Hiroshima
yes but because of a simple maths miscalculation(somthing about how far the electrons had to travel) the German bomb was estimated to weigh about 13tonnes. if there was a plane that could transport a bomb that heavy please tell me

also tazjet, they needed uranium 235 not 233. if that was just a typo i appoligize
October 28th, 2011  
Originally Posted by r.fox
yes but because of a simple maths miscalculation(somthing about how far the electrons had to travel) the German bomb was estimated to weigh about 13tonnes. if there was a plane that could transport a bomb that heavy please tell me

also tazjet, they needed uranium 235 not 233. if that was just a typo i appoligize
As far as I am aware, Germany had a bomber on the drawing board capable of hitting the east coast of the USA. If I remember correctly it was called the Amerika Bomber, the bomb they had in mind wasn't a nuke, but a dirty bomb.

Thank God neither were built.
October 28th, 2011  
Originally Posted by r.fox
yes but because of a simple maths miscalculation(somthing about how far the electrons had to travel) the German bomb was estimated to weigh about 13tonnes. if there was a plane that could transport a bomb that heavy please tell me

also tazjet, they needed uranium 235 not 233. if that was just a typo i appoligize
US had a plane that could transport a nucleair bomb,Germany had not .Germany also had no aircraft that could attack the US and return .
I also doubt very much that a German V1/V2 could transport a nucleair weapon.
IMHO,the whole theory of Germany having nucleair weapons, is senseless.

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