Discussion in 'Education' started by onedomino, Jun 1, 2005.
Seems to be some ambiguity in this story. Scary if true.
There is a movie about the nazi's nuke prgramm, isn't it ? The "heroes of Telemark".
Well, fortunatly the nazi Germany was not able to go until the end this programm...
Onedomino, that drawing is not of a rocket, but rather a free-fall uranium A-bomb. Professor Kurt Deibner was promoting development of such a bomb as early as 1941. The uranium fission bomb in that drawing seems entirely competent and would work. Uranium bombs are not hard to design. Enrichment of the uranium is the hardest part.
In 1942 the gaseous uranium centrifuge was developed at Keil Univaren (university) by (I think) Klaus Clusius. In september 1942 armaments minister Albert Speer tried to close down the Nazi A-bomb project and withdrew funding. Both Bormann and Goering, took over the funding of various projects and became patrons from 1942. Albert Speer continued to support Werner Heisenberg of the KWG project. The Nazi nuclear projects were:
(1) The Kaiser Wilhelm Gesellschaft (KWG) project of Heisenberg to develop fission for nuclear power.
(2) The secretive OKM Naval Weapons Office or Kreigsmarine project under General Admiral Karl Witzell and Konteradmiral Wilhem Rhein (which amongst other things was involved with towed V-2 capsules and planning to power a type XXI with a nuclear reactor). The science team was led by scientist Prof Walther Bothe. When the OKM nuclear laboratory at Hamburg was destroyed by allied bombing in 1943, efforts were shifted to Koneigsberg on the Baltic.
(3) The plutonium bomb project of Dr Fritz Houtermans (who studied nuclear physics at the Ukraine Physics Insitute in 1934). The plutonium project was least likely to succeed because plutonium is derived by a six step chemical precipitation process from spent nuclear fuel. Since Heisenberg failed to develop the nuclear reactor a plutonium bomb was impossible.
(4) The Heereswaffenamt uranium enrichment project, subsequently taken over by the SS under leadership of Dr Paul Harteck. This HWA project had far superior funding to Heisenberg's project. Allied intelligence and bombings continually pin-pointed enrichment laboratories and bombed them before they came online. Harteck's final laboratory was found under a football stadium in Stadtilm by the ALSOS mission. It is likely therefore that Germany persued a joint venture with uranium starved Japan to develop uranium enrichment out of the range of Allied bombing. Various u-boats, Italian and Japanese subs carried uranium oxide east for enrichment in Korea during late WW2. Italian subs were taken over by Germany as UIT-22, UIT-23, UIT-24, UIT-25. In Japan the A-bomb project was led by Yoshio Nishina and Arakatsu Bunsuku.
(5) Goering's privately funded Reichsforschungsrat-Goering (Physikalische Technishe Reichanstalt [PTR] at Ronneburg) to develop an A-bomb which was headed by Kurt Deibner. Diebner's efforts were later absorbed by the SS project under Paul Harteck. Deibner was also the German Army's chief nuclear physicist. Deibner was a strident campaigner for the A-bomb during 1941.
Uranium came from mines in Czechoslovakia 30 miles south of Chemnitz at what is now Jach-ymore.
South Africa and Pakistan have both enriched uranium for A-bombs using gaseous centrifuges developed by Germany in 1942.
Uranium oxide powder is mixed with flouric acid to make uranium hexaflouride. This gas compound is spun at up to 500 rpm and the containment bowl is heated from below which boils enriched U235 to the top. Electro-magnets then sluce the enriched material from the top.
The Nazi gaseous centrifuge project was discovered by British espionage through project Epsilon in Stockholm. Large contracts were awarded in Nazi Germany for manufacture of such centrifuges in 1944.
These centrifuges had nothing to do with heavy water from Norway, where the sabotage of the Voermark plant and later sinking of the Telemark ferry did nothing to hamper uranium enrichment.
Germany also prepared three He-177 bombers with extra large bomb bays as nuclear bombers. The intention was to drop three A-bombs, including one on London. By the time of D-Day landings in June 1944 British airspace was denied to all, but Luftwaffe high speed jet aircraft. The Nazis realised that the He-177, could no longer perform the mission. Thus one of the three He-177s fuselages was incorporated as the basis of the Ju-287 jet bomber. The Ju-287 had four jet engines and flew in October 1944 with fixed undercarriage and forward swept wings. The undercarriage slowed this aircraft considerably. Had the retractable undercarriage version flown it would have been able to bomb London.
It appears that in October 1944 General Walter Dornberger and V-2 rocket scientist Walther von Braun negotiated a discreet surrender to US Forces with General Electric Corporation at Lisbon. Their boss SS Lt Gen Dr.ING Hans Kammler and deputy Fuhrer Bormann seemed to support these parley talks.
Prof Kurt Deibner is the right person in Nazi Germany to have developed this drawing of an A-bomb. I would like to know more of how the drawing came to USA if anyone out there knows the facts please ?
It is not strictly correct that neither Prof Deibner, nor Dr Paul Harteck revealed knowing anything about an A-bomb in the Farm Hall transcripts. Rather both men with their high IQs guessed they were being evesdropped and clammed up about what they knew. Both sank into relative obscurity after the war.
Heisenberg knew nothing, but then he was not in a position to know either.
Actually after studying the picture more closely (enlarged on the BBC site) i note the core shown there seems to have the word Plutonium.
That rings an alarm bell for me and makes me wonder if the diagram is a hoax ?
You see the Nazis did know about Plutonium, but the diagram is not of a Plutonium bomb but of a Uranium bomb. A uranium bomb shoots a slug of uranium 235 into a Uranium 235 core like in this diagram, but Plutonium bombs work differently.
Plutonium bombs have to be in a ball shape and imploded inwards.
Also the other alarm bell which rings in my mind is that the Nazi proponents of plutonium weapons, Fritz Houtermanns and Austrian, Josef Schintlemeister both called Plutonium "Eka Rhenium," not Plutonium.
Plutonium was not a term used by the Germans in WW2.
Thus on reflection, this diagram is definitely postwar and by somebody with a confused idea of how nuclear warheads work.
I stand by all my other claims though about Nazi A-bomb research and development.
Why was that, PE?
The British helped the Norwegian resistance to blow-up the hydro-plant the Nazi's were using to produce heavy water. The Germans had decided to use plutonium generated by a reactor as uranium deposits were difficult to come by and the critical mass of plutonium was smaller.
The team who sabotaged the plant even left a British machine gun behind at the scene of the explosion so the Nazi's would not take out reprisals on the local population.
As a result of the raid and subsequent bombing runs by the RAF and USAF, the Germans decided to abandon the plant and move the more critical componants back to Germany by ferry. The British trained SOE Norwegian resistance discovered this plan and again scored a massive coup. They managed to sink the ferry, despite the loss of some Norwegian passengers lives.
Some of the barrels which survived the sinking were subsequently examined in 2005 and did indeed contain heavy water. The shipment was not a decoy and prior to these operations, the Germans were very close to developing an atomic weapon.
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