The German Atomic Bomb
By June 1942, the German scientists working on the atomic bomb had solved the problem of creating one- in theory, but nothing could be done in the short term because of a lack of plutonium. Germany feared that the USA would have one by 1944. If developed, Germany might be able to drop on New York City from a flying boat, a BV 238. By 1944, the Germans had a very comprehensive nuclear facility at Eulenberg producing heavy water and the development of a strange high-energy weapon by the SS. One of the companies heavily involved is around today, Siemens AG and Farben.
After the war, in 1946, the USN produced a report by Capt. Hickey about the German Atomic Bomb after extensive investigation, it was reviewed and signed off by a leading German scientist. It is the only known eyewitness report confirming one of the few atomic bomb tests the Germans conducted.
The report states that a German, ZInsser, a rocket expert, was flying in a small aircraft around in the first week of October, 1944, in the vincinity from Ludwiglust and south of Lubeck. This was 12-15 km from the German atomic bomb test facility. Zinsser, suddenly witnessed a strong, bright illumination of all the atmosphere and saw the clearly visible pressure wave approaching with a diameter of 1 km. The cloud changed colors rapidly mostly blue to red. It lasted for 2-3 seconds. He described that there was a short period of darkness and then numerous blue light spots. After 10 seconds, the cloud seemed to disappear but reappear in a lighter color. He noticed that the pressure wave, which was still visible, was at least 9000 m in diameter and continued for 15 seconds. His aircraft felt the wave which jostled the small observation plane, but he remained in control of it.
Zinsser landed his aircraft and was flying again in a He 111 within an hour of the mystery. His aircraft flew to the spot where the explosion had been spotted. This is where he encountered and odd shaped mushroom cloud at 3-4000 m, which continued to produce turbulence. he noticed strong electrical communication interference. Zinsser, in the report, noted he could not understand why such explosions would be conducted near large population centers.
The USN stated that the report is highly credible and has all the signatures of an atomic bomb test and determined the Germans had tested a 1,000 ton TNT bomb, or something else with as much force. They concluded that the Germans had by this date produced enough fissile material for at least two atomic bombs, maybe more. Zinsser or other investigation yielded nothing about radioactive fallout, which is odd.
More tests did, in fact occur, another occurred on March 4, 1945 at Ohrdruf using a 100 gram nuclear explosive. This test actually seriously wounded or killed over 700 POWs, as they were too close. Those killed were burned, those who survived suffered from severe nosebleeds and untreatable burns. Another A-bomb test occurred on March 12, this time with no casualties.
Hitler was informed and on March 27th, he wanted to use it somehow. Oddly enough, Speer and Himmler vehemently opposed to using this new weapon in a long range rocket! By this date, Germany did have a few atomic bombs to use but lacked the means to deliver them because the Allies ruled the sky and much of Germany was now part of the front line.
Whatever secrets found at the German atomic bomb facility at Ohrdruf in May, 1945, remains classified from the public until 2045. Zinsser's report is the only document not classified as such and is a window into the other still classified documents at the National Archives.
Robert Sacchi on April 13, 2015:
I find the claim a report is closed to the public for 100 years dubious. Claiming something is classified is a way to give credibility to something that deserves no credibility.
perrya (author) on April 13, 2015:
Well, the truth will be known in 2045, when the records are made public. I think making these records closed to the public 100 years after the fact, speaks volumes to the truth. If this were not true, why do so?
Robert Sacchi on April 12, 2015:
This flies in the face of the known facts. The German atomic program didn't get very far. An atomic explosion as described would have had more than 1 eye witness. It also stretches the imagination to think Albert Speer wouldn't have said something.
CHRIS57 from Northern Germany on December 28, 2012:
Simon - who is Christopher (Perrien)? At least that is not me.
There are 3 reason why i am very sceptical about any kind of intelligence reports, and reports on nuclear weapon tests in paricular.
1. I have family ties with intelligence people. I guess i understand how they tick.
2. Same issue with nuclear scientists.
3. My personal professional background. I am fairly high up in the technology food chain and that allows me to do and verify many scientific calculations for myself.
While 1. goes back to WWII and there are bookshelves of literature published on the persons in question, 2. are people still in active science function (teaching on universities and reseaching in science labs) 3. my interest in hubpages and articles like this one is simply enjoying to rub my intellect on fellow hub community participants like you. Thank you.
By the way, i browsed for the names you mentioned in your comment. It is very telling how different the returns were in English, German and Russian. The farther away, the more magnified the matter.
Simon Gunson on December 27, 2012:
Chris (Perrien) I presume?
Firstly I doubt anybody could educate you as you say because apparently you have a fully closed mind. Secondly you have not argued with me at all, just thrown a little mud and then run away from a real debate... I consider that childish.
Thirdly I base my claims not on theories but all upon carefully researched facts. Facts which you will not confront or debate.
The Iraq issue is entirely different. Iraq had acquired Zippe centrifuges in the 1980s from Germany which had no moral scruples where it sold such technology in contravention of the Non Proliferation Treaty and Hussein did have a goal of developing nuclear weapons, but abandoned those aims before 1993. IAEA inspectors carried out thorough investigations and reported accurately before the invasion that there were no longer any WMD in Iraq nor any means to produce them.
Even the CIA confirmed this, but for Political reasons President Bush refused to accept the Intelligence and began trying to manufacture Intelligence by bribing defectors from the Iraqi regime to present that manufactured evidence to the United Nations.
It was not a failure of intelligence, but interference by politics. A different issue from WW2 Intelligence.
WW2 Intelligence was based on highly accurate investigation from multiple sources. If the claims about Nazi Atomic testsing at Rugen was flawed or false there would not be so many multiple corroborations from multiple independent sources.
Typical of the wartime intelligence about tests on Rugen is that often it was gathered from captured German military personnel, for example TIME magazine dated 27 November 1944 the Manhattan Project scientist Philip Morrison cited capture of three German officers from Penemunde who confirmed tests at Rugen.
In 2004 the wartime Rugen resident Elisabeth Mestlin came forward to recount how she had witnessed a blast and seen a purplish mushroom cloud handing over Bug isthmus.
After the War a letter came to light from Prof Walter Gerlach to Himmler's adjutant Grothmann describing these Atomic tests. Gerlach was the leader of Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in 1944 and successor to Heisenberg.
One of the hardest to refute confirmations came from intercepted and decrypted signals from Japanese diplomatic missions back to Tokyo reporting on the German project. These signals known as ULTRA to the british or as MAGIC to the Americans were the most accurate and dependable source of intelligence through the war on a whole range of issues. You are not worthy to sneer at such sources.
Romania's Marshal Antonescu whom Hitler had briefed about the German atomic bomb on 5 August 1944. When his rule was overthrown in September 1944 he pleaded for his life and revealed all he knew about Hitler's atomic weapons.
Mussolini also sent Luigi Romersa to witness the atomic tests at Rugen and on the day he was captured, 27 April 1944, Mussolini tried to save himself by revealing secrets about the German atomic bomb.
Another OSS source in WW2 was Reichstag Treasury official Erwin Respondek. The German treasury funded all Nazi nuclear projects except those run by the SS which were funded by a national trust fund. Respondek was the most accurate and dependable source of Allied intelligence in WW2. He spied not for financial reward but out of moral convictions and risked his life many times to smuggle jews from Germany. He was arrested by the Gestapo and faced hanging until after the 1944 bomb plot against hitler when himmler freed him and sent him to negotiate a separate peace deal for the SS with the Americans in Switzerland.
The OSS also interviewed Dr Ing Ernst Nagglestein in Zurich in November 1944 about his work on Atomic waepons at Tubingen, with Dr Otto Hahn. The OSS report A-44 136/5985 of 7 November 1944 comes directly from Nagglestein. It also warned of Tabun B nerve gas manufacture at Dyhrenfurth of which the Allies had previously been entirely unaware and this proved 100% accurate.
Then one cannot refute the postwar memoirs of General Dr Erich Schumann and Dr Walter Trinks who described their development of the atomic bomb. The Schumann Trinks bomb using plasma pinch technology today is referred to as a Third Generation nuclear weapon design.
The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are today referred to as First generation because they were so crude and primative. USA did not acquire the technology for third generation weapons until 1952 when they recruited former Nazi scientist Dr Kurt Diebner.
Few people are aware that both Switzerland and Sweden had their own atomic weapons projects in 1946 and were developing third generation atomic bombs with German experience and expertise. These countries were later discreetly persuaded by NATO to abandon their nuclear programs in return for security assurances.
Another thing you have to explain Christopher is how the Soviets were able in 1946 to publish the principles of third generation nuclear weapons in 1946 based on principles developed by Schumann and Trinks.
I think you wont argue the facts I cite because you can't so you resort to sneering at them, but that is not an answer.
So Christopher when you say to me use common sense, I say back to you open your eyes.
Jimmy on November 23, 2012:
The German navy surrounded the U.S. with 24 U-boats, armed with (V-6?) I.C.B.M.s, having celestial guidance systems, and armed with neutron bomb warheads, trained on key American cities and centers, in a 1945 stalemate; German Admiral Karl Doenitz negotiated a secret truce and amnesty agreement with American authorities, under which he was required to order all 24 U-boats "...scuttled, with all hands on board...", under the agreement, pursuant to which Nazi skippers opened the hatches and the subs and all men on board went to the bottom. Under Operation Paperclip, all Nazi scientific research materials, most of their important scientists, and the "KT-p2 Projekt" technology, were transferred to the U.S. and to the Trilateral Commission corporations, thus attempting to insure that the Illuminati would retain control of the materials. Certain unusual security procedures were initiated to insure this, including the "sacrificing" of some major German scientists to the Soviets, to plant misinformation, and to insure that the hoax was successful.
During the war, German scientists bypassed development of the "atom bomb", and built and tested the neutron bomb. German field marshall Erwin Rommel and the Afrika Korps were originally sent to North Africa to test the neutron bomb, as well as Tesla's "death ray" (which freezes whole armies); this technology was acquired by American corporations, held chiefly by David Rockefeller, and was later sold in part back to the U.S. government and tested in the '60s, and the same technology was again sold to the U.S. government again in the '70s and '80s, as "star wars" technology.
Over 15,000 German military, technical, intelligence, and support personnel were brought to America (mostly New Mexico-Manzano Base, Sandia Base, White Sands Missile Range, Alamogordo, Holloman A.F.B., Los Alamos, etc.) with the "KT-p2" project, in Sept., 1945, at which time, under Operation Paper Clip, Wernher von Braun became Director of Research, U.S. Army Ordnance, Ft. Bliss, Texas; he and his 116 top rocket scientists commenced rocket (and flying saucer) R.& D. at nearby White Sands Missile Range, and Alamogordo.
Howard Hughes "Glomar Explorer" was built to retrieve the 24 scuttled German U-Boats, before terrorists or unfriendly governments found and retrieved the subs, missiles, bombs, and related technology, and because the WW II German U-boats were powered by a type of magnetic-electric generator (invented by an American named Dort of Virginia) which was superior to nuclear power. Further details about the German 'ship', the Graf Zeppelin are included in this book; Adolf and Eva (Braun) Hitler were daringly rescued from the Berlin Bunker by flying saucer, piloted by test pilot Hanna Reitsch and long distance flight expert Hans Ultich Rudel. The couple were later protected by the secret amnesty agreement, live their remaining lives under protection of the N.A.T.O. alliance, in Kassel, Germany, ironically the home of an international monument to the Holocaust. The "Hitlers" even visited America on the invitation of L.B.J. to visit "Hemisfair", the World's fair at San Antonio, Texas, in 1967.
perrya (author) on November 23, 2012:
Well, iraq had chemical weapons, which could be "mass destruction"
CHRIS57 from Northern Germany on November 22, 2012:
Simon, thanks for educating me on this subject. But please allow me to put this into the world of fairy tales, of invented stories.
What do you think intelligence people do if they don´t have anything to report? They invent something and because they are smart, they line up bits and pieces to create a chain of evidence.
Almost reminds me of a discussion with a few Americans and Isreali on a deserted flight to Israel in 2003 during the first weeks of war. They insisted on intelligence reports about weapons of mass destruction in Irak. Well - we all know, there were no such weapons. So why is everybody so much in believing what the James Bond kiddies are coming up with? Switch on your own common sense. It gets you further than any technology conspiracy.
It is a pleasure arguing with you, Simon. :-)
Simon Gunson on November 22, 2012:
Firstly Chris if it were just one isolated report about nuclear tests at Rugen in October 1944, then you would be entitled to dismiss it as such but the OSS had a key informant in the Reichstag (Erwin Respondek) who proved correct in everything he ever predicted to OSS station agent Sam Woods from before America's involvement with the war, plus an engineer from the Atomic weapons development faculty at Tubingen (Ernst Nagglestein).
The blast in October 1944 was witnessed by two people who were not acquainted with each other and gave remarkably identical accounts (pilot Hans Zinsser and Italian war correspondent Luigi Romersa -died 2007). The British Press reported from Stockholm during the War a series of black-outs in communication between Stockholm and Berlin accompanied by atmospheric electrical interference. It was also reported by the Japanese military attache in Stockholm to Tokyo by encyphered radio signals, decrypted by the Americans as "MAGIC" decrypts. A signal sent on 12 December 1944 reports German use of "Uranium atom splitting weapons" of "devastating effect." The signal was not declassified until 1978. These are not lightweight sources however your dismissal of them is.
Test blasts at Ohrdruf were the subject of wartime Soviet intelligence reports declassified in 2005. The fact these reports happened 70 years ago has nothing to do with their veracity, but may have something to do with your disapproval as they are harder to disprove 70 years later. The Ohrdruf tests in March 1945 were witnessed by individuals who testified in 1961 to an East German Court of Inquiry, One of whom Clare Werner was still alive in 2005 and repeated her testimony which can now be viewed on Youtube as also can the 2005 testimony on Youtube by Luigi Romersa who also witnessed the Rugen test in October 1944. Their testimony is not 70 years old.
You are talking nonsense about lack of noise and radioactivity in Germany. Ohrdruf has been a closed military reserve since WW2 and there are indeed elevated levels of Cobolt 60 and Caesium 137 there. What is lacking at Ohrdruf are any radioactive decay products like Xenon which would clearly indicate the source was fall out from Chernobyl.
Likewise at Bug Isthmus on Rugen where the October 1944 tests occurred the area is a remote and unpopulated spit of sand which has been a closed military reserve with elevated levels of radiation just like those at Ohrdruf. At the heel of the isthmus in WW2 was a Luftwaffe base for a top secret unit IV/KG200. The town of Dranske next to the isthmus was evacuated of normal civilians and turned by the Nazis into a safe haven resort for the families of Nazi party faithful. All civilians there were evacuated before the Russians arrived and displaced by Poles.
There were not just a few technological achievements by Germany during the War. There were 173 train boxcar loads of patents shipped to USA via Cherbourg at the end of WW2 and turned over to US industry as War booty. Germany developed swept wing technology and axial flow jet engines far advanced of Allied efforts. They developed infra red guided air to air missiles, numerous alloys and synthetics which seem common everyday items now. Your dismissiveness of Germany's abilities borders on dishonest.
In 1942 Enrico Fermi proposed to the Manhattan project committee a method for detonating a nuclear blast called a "Plasma Pinch." The same method was set out in wartime patent applications by German Army ordnance scientists Schumann and Trinks for the weapon they detonated at Rugen in October 1944. It used a "Plasma Pinch" caused by the implosion of two shaped Hollow Charges with Lithium-6 liners onto a target of Uranium 233 coated with Lithium Deuteride.
After the war USA recruited Prof Kurt Diebner head of the German Ordnance project to teach the US military how to build practical atomic warheads which did not have to weigh 4.8 tonnes.
It was Diebner who taught USA tricks like Tritium and Hohlraum cavities. Teller commented many years latter that without such German technology USA would have taken decades more to develop the H-bomb. Diebner's real key contribution however was not the H-bomb but the minaturisation of nuclear weapons.
US knowledge of nuclear physics may have been limited in the 1940s but from the 1900 to the 1940s German science in fact invented Quantum Physics which explained the very methods used, discovered the fission of Uranium and were aware of and even experimented with nuclear fusion of Lithium and deuterium as early as October 1935 (Ronald Richter).
I fully expect you will respond dismissively again, but ignoring the facts or downplaying them will not make them go away. There is a mounting pile of evidence emerging from dusty archives to prove that Germany in fact did have tactical nuclear weapons in late 1944.
The reason why they were not employed is the real debate and that opens a can of worms about secret US wartime diplomacy with the Nazis behind the backs of it's Allies which frankly embarrasses USA today. That is the real reason why a postwar myth was allowed to evolve denying German nuclear achievements.
CHRIS57 from Northern Germany on November 22, 2012:
Simon, please don´t believe every information garbage that some intelligence organizations had collected 70 years ago. Again, there were no A-bomb tests, not north of Ludwigslust and not on one of the narrow islands of Rügen.
Besides the many fairy tale stories, there seems to be a misinterpretation of physical units. Near Rügen some type of "Zerlegungsbombe" with 1000 kg TNT was tested. That is not to be confused with 1000 tons TNT of a "small" A-bomb. If you know about the technical obstacles of building an A-bomb, especially with the limited knowledge of the 1940ties, you will know that there was no "small" A-bomb, not in Germany, not in the USA and not in the Soviet Union during WWII.
I have and had the opportunity to visit or get close to the sites of action that are refered to in the hub and comments. I assure you, if there would be the slightest idea real evidence, it would cause very much noise in the German society of today and yesterday. Radioactivity of any non natural source was and is investigated thoroughy immediately. Just imagine: Here in G. they are shutting down nuclear power stations that automatically sealed their gate locks during Chernobyl fall out, because it was cleaner inside the core building than outside.
There were quite a few technological achievements accomplished by German science and enginering during desparate times of WWII. The V3 rail gun or the Horten IX that made today's stealth fighter planes look like copy watches, just to mention a few, but no A-bomb.
Simon Gunson on November 21, 2012:
You're on the wrong side of history Chris. The Fairy Tale as you put it comes from the following sources:
Declassified USN Intelligence file “Investigations, Research, Developments and Practical Use of the German Atomic Bomb” dated 19 August 1945, NARA/RG 38, Box 9-13 Entry 98c issued by COMNAVEU London on 25 January 1946 affidavit of Captain RF Hickey USN recounting testimony given to him during investigations by Penemunde observer pilot Hans Zinsser concerning atomic bomb tests at Rugen October 1945. The report was given a rating of “B-1” USN Intelligence on a scale defines B-1 to mean: B= “usually reliable and 1= “Report confirmed by other sources”
also Press reports from Stockholm about communication blackouts accompanied by electromagnetic interference in October 1944
also Declassified MAGIC decrypts "Stockholm to Tokyo, No. 232.9 December 1944 (War Department), National Archives, RG 457, declassified October 1, 1978 referring to German Uranium atom splitting weapon.
also OSS Report of 2 November 1944, in G-343B. (The original interrogation report (of Naggelstein) is in NA, RG 77, MED Foreign Intelligence Unit, entry 22, box 169, folder 32.7002-1.)
First-hand account of Luigi Romersa 2005 of witnessing Atomic test blast on Baltic coast in October 1944.
also OSS report from Switzerland A-44 316, report 5985 of 7 November 1944 disclosing German possession of nuclear weapons.
also Disclosure by Manhattan Project scientist Philip Morrison to Time magazine in November 1944 that Germany already had the bomb.
....and the location of the A-bomb test was the isolated Bug isthmus on the Island of Rugen near Dranske. home to an air base occupied by Luftwaffe unit IV/KG200. The blast itself had a 1000 metre radius as the warhead was intended for the V-2 rocket (according to British transcripts of secretly recorded conversations by Maj Gen. Dornberger 2-7 August 1945)... thus a very underpopulated area.
CHRIS57 from Northern Germany on November 20, 2012:
Where are all those fairy tales coming from?
The territory between Lübeck and Ludwigslust is quite densely populated. This not Kazakhstan or New Mexico or Nevada. Even a "small" 1000 kiloton overground test would have effected enough fallout to be detected for years. But guess what, nothing detected, no unaccounted craters in the rolling meadows of "Mecklenburgische Schweiz", nothing.
kschang from San Francisco, CA, USA on November 19, 2012:
Don't forget German's attempt to obtain heavy water, the ingredient needed for hydrogen bomb from Norway, and the Norwegian resistance had to blow up the ferry carrying it in the local lake, as well as multiple operations to blow up the production plant itself.
Simon Gunson on November 19, 2012:
Lack of plutonium was not an issue for the germans. Schumann and Trinks issued a wartime patent for a tactical nuclear weapon using plasma pinch ignition specifying Uranium 233. This was harvested from the 6.4 MeV van der graff generator installed at the Berlin Dahlem research bunker complex. This was a concrete bunker hardened to withstand bombing raids. The particle accelerator there bombarded Thorium 232 with X-rays to transmute it into Protactinium 232, which then simply decayed over 27 days into pure bomb grade Uranium 233. KGB file declassified in 2005 reveal that heisenberg advocated this method in a speech to a conference of nazi scientists in July 1942. There is sufficient cross corroborated witness evidence of several successful Atomic weapons tests at rugen in October 1944 to confirm the Germans had lightweight tactical nuclear weapons. An OSS report of 7 November 1944 from switzerland also confirms these tests.
perrya (author) on May 02, 2012:
henrik on May 02, 2012:
I found the story of the U-boat U-234.
Henrik on May 02, 2012:
If you read the story of the submarine there were sent towards Japan in March/April 1945 together whit some japanese officeres and a dismanteled ME 262 and blueprints for it, there is also eyewitnesses there told stories of goods loaded in the balance tanks. The stories indicating it was the German plutonium..
Sorry for the Japanese officers the German Captain selected to surender when the war ended for Germany and the japanese officers commitede suicide.
The Plutonium on the uboat was actual the plutonium used for the second abomb US droped over Hiroshima!!
That is the reason for that the two boms was not identical.
Why creates two different factories (with all those problems and money issues and engineering shortage this would had resultet in, when it was just a matter of redoing the process twice for crating a sedond atomic bomb? It would had done a lot more sence..
So In fact there the German atomic bomb was used in the war..Againt Japan their allied!! :-)
Rod Martin Jr from Cebu, Philippines on June 30, 2011:
Fascinating read! I love uncovering the secrets of history and prehistory. Sure glad the Germans didn't have the whole package (the bomb plus delivery plus opportunity).
Simon Gunson, New Zealand on November 14, 2010:
If you read the Cordell Hull Papers; Woods memorandum pp.18-19, refers to a series of earthquakes in Schwabian alps 4th 14th and 22 July 1943 at 09 degrees east, 48.2 degrees North, close to Bisingen where German atomic scientists had relocated, raised the concern that these were nuclear test blasts.
Sam Woods was the OSS spymaster in Switzerland controlling Reichstag informer Erwin Respondek. Respondek informed Woods that Germany was creating nuclear weapons at a laboratory near Bisingen.