U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

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Sejanus
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Sejanus » 26 Apr 2019 05:33

Edward L. Hsiao wrote:
24 Apr 2019 08:48
Dear Sejanus,

I was hopping that the U 511 was firing the V-rockets at some important Soviet installations in combat. Turned out it was just a test firing which of coarse was first important step in this development. U 511 never had a chance to fire the rockets in combat at all which was too bad in my opinion.

Edward L. Hsiao
So more people could have suffered and died needlessly? As long as they were on the Soviet side?

Unless they possessed nuclear warheads I doubt that sea launched V weapons could have been decisive for a Nazi victory, especially given the increasing sophistication in Allied anti-submarine warfare and the resultant crippling losses of U boats.

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Ironmachine
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Ironmachine » 26 Apr 2019 07:06

Atrevida wrote:A substance known as "Schwere Luft" (heavy air) which greatly increased the force and extent of an explosion when detonated simultaneously with the explosive was then tested at Ohrdruf military depot in the Harz on 4 March 1945. Although fantasized by many recent writers as a "tactical nuclear weapon" the U-bomb was simply a large flak projectile exploded with "Schwere Luft".

It was expected that the efficiency of the explosion would be increased at least tenfold but it went far beyond that, killing several hundred concentration camp inmates present together with their SS guards. The bodies were burnt on funeral pyres and the ashes spread across the Harz by aircraft. The fear that the explosive might react unstoppably in certain meteorological conditions led to a halt being called to the project. Although it was not a "nuclear weapon" a minor degree of radioactivity was reported which emanated from the additive substance. In the laboratory operation to create "Schwere Luft" it is likely that uranium in some form was used as an ingredient, thus giving the bomb the name "Uranium-Bombe". (The atom bomb in German is Uran-Bombe.)
What is the source for this?

Atrevida
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Atrevida » 26 Apr 2019 17:25

Ironmachine: I will come back to your question on Saturday. I assume you read German.

This is the final report of BIOS (British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee) 142(g) mentioned above:

"In 1944 extremely good results were obtained from a mixture of 60% liquid air and 40% coal dust. The technical man responsible for this was Dr Zippermayr. The first trial was made at Döberitz near Berlin using a charge of about 8 kgs powder in a thin tin plate container. The liquid air and coal dust were mixed together. Kreutzfeld did this himself. In an area of radius 500-600 metres trees were all completely destroyed. Then the explosion started to rise, affecting only the tops of trees up to 2 kilometres radius...

Trials were then made by adding a paper impregnated with some waxy substance to the mixture. Bombs of 25 kgs and 50 kgs powder were dropped on Starberger See and photos taken. Standartenführer Klumm showed the album to Brandt (Himmler's scientific adviser). This more intensive explosion covered an area of 4 to 4.5 kilometres radius and the explosion was still felt at a radius of 12.5 kilometres. Much destruction was caused 12 kilometres away and all trees on a hillside 6 kilometres away were destroyed."

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Grzesio
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Grzesio » 26 Apr 2019 20:16

You want us to believe, explosion of a 50 kg bomb covered area of some 57 square kilometres, while area of 450 sqkm suffered from "much destruction"? :)

BTW, quite an interesting discussion on the Hexenkessel (in German): https://unterirdisch.de/index.php?threa ... ombe.5055/

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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Atrevida » 27 Apr 2019 01:42

The Hexenkessel thread contains at "2 October 2007 Guest Hebbel" a repetition of the BIOS Report which I supplied above but with the text: "and the explosion was still felt on a radius of 12.5 kilometres. Much destruction was caused 12 kilometres away and.." deleted.

Now, I copied this out from the original BIOS report and one wonders at what stage the deletion was later effected, by which body and for what reason.

The question is, what does the word "destruction" in the report mean? A report exists which will provide you with a clearer idea of how the explosion acted and why the the deletion was deemed politic. However, it is fairly long and in German and so under the rules I have to translate it before posting. Kindly bear with me.

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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Atrevida » 27 Apr 2019 16:04

Herewith material relating to the test of the R-Waffe at Ohrduf on 4 March 1945.

PART ONE (of TWO)


In the 28-page thesis by Wolfgang Utschig entitled "Über die im März 1945 auf dem Truppenübungsplatz Ohrdruf in Thüringen stattgefundenen Kernwaffenversuche" we have an effort by Utschig to alter the details of the R-waffe explosion to make it appear to be a nuclear explosion.

Utschig states (p.18) that Cläre Werner, in 1945 a young woman living with her parents near the Wachsenburg, made a declaration to the DDR authorities in 1962. This statement with others was viewable on the Internet until the censorship about fifteen years ago. It went then under the title "Befragung von Bürgern zu Ereignissen zur örtlichen Geschichte", the material can now be inspected only in person at Arnstadt town hall.

Utschig goes on to say, "She also spoke several times after 1990 (i.e. after the reunification of Germany) about what she saw. She said that at 2130 hrs on 4 March 1945 she had seen a flash of lightning red on the outside and yellow on the inside. Basically she said nothing else."

If we look at the relevant extract from Cläre Werner's statement, we find that it is far from correct to say she said nothing else.

CLÄRE WERNER: "I remember that day well. It was 4 March 1945. Hans told us that today at Ohrdruf history was going to be made. In the evening we should go to the Wachsenburg tower and watch towards Röhrensee. On the tower about 2130 hrs we saw behind Röhrensee a brightness like hundreds of lightning flashes, red inside and yellow outside, so bright that one could read a newspaper by it. It lasted only a very short time then there was something like a tremendously powerful squall, followed by silence. Like many inhabitants of Röhrensee, Holzhausen, Mühlberg, Wechmar and Bittstadt I had nosebleeds, headache and pressure in the ears next day. In the afternoon towards two o'clock, between 100 and 150 SS came to the Wachsenburg and asked where the bodies were..."

If this had been "a nuclear explosion" the observers would not have been in the open deliberately looking towards the flash. And what was this "tremendously powerful squall"? It was a lightning storm at ground level which consumed all the oxygen. What has to be remembered about Zippermayr's weapon was that it had been designed to create an artificial whirlwind capable of destroying an enemy bomber aircraft at nearly a kilometre altitude. A plasmoid substance had been added as a catalyst to vastly enhance the effect of the explosion.

In Part Two is the translation of a statement made by a person who witnessed the aftermath.

Atrevida
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Atrevida » 27 Apr 2019 18:23

PART TWO

Heinz Wachsgemut worked for a Reichspost firm at Ohrdruf. He did not see the explosion of 4 March. On the afternoon of the following day many SS lorries drove up. His firm was given orders signed by Kammler. Everybody had to get aboard the lorries and were taken to Röhrensee where SS doctors were treating the population for severe headaches and coughing up blood. His declaration continues:

"At Ringhofen we were told to layer wood for pyres 12 metres square and one metre high at the edge of the forest. We had to put on special protective clothing, the concentration camp workers too. At the edge of the woods there were several pyres with bodies, probably inmates from the camp. All had no hair, some were only partially clothed. Blisters, naked raw flesh, some were missing body parts. SS and inmates brought up the bodies. Once the first six pyres were ready, the bodies were laid on them, fifty to each pyre, which was then set alight. Then we were driven back. At the estate we had to take off the protective clothing and our own clothing. The SS then set fire to these at once, we had to shower and then received a fresh issue of protective and everyday clothing, and each man was given a bottle of schnapps, even the concentration camp people.

"A Senior SS officer told me there had been a big stab of flame up there, they had been trying something new, something the whole world would talk about, we Germans were the first. Unfortunately not everything had gone to plan and now we had less good-for-nothings. On the second trip three more pyres were built. While we were there, some totally deformed living things came creeping out of the forest. Probably some of them were blind. Even today I cannot describe it. There were twelve to fifteen of them and all were shot dead at once by two SS. Inmates carried their bodies to the already burning pyres. We were returned to the estate and went through the whole procedure again.

"We returned to the scene of horror at 2300 hrs. We could see fourteen pyres burning at the edge of the forest. On this and the next day we did not eat, we and the concentration camp people were given only schnapps. One of our inmates said that one of the half-dead had told him "Big lightning - fire - many dead at once - many with major burns, others blind."

"The site of the explosion was a flat area away from woodlands visible only from Wachsenburg.Most of the concentration camp inmates were Yugoslavs and a few Russians."

According to Wachsmut's statement, there must have been between 450 and 700 dead including SS men. According to the GRU report, the inmates were spaced out from the centrepoint of the explosion in a deliberate manner so as to gauge its effect on human targets at selected distances. Accordingly the word "destruction" used in the BIOS report means "harm or death to people" and not to property. It seems certain that a misjudgement occurred as to the distance the effects would extend since many SS guards perished, but an indication of what that distance was is not given.

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der bunkermann
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by der bunkermann » 05 May 2019 07:45

Thanks for this info,
Sound allmost unbelievable🙄

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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by aurelien wolff » 05 May 2019 08:06

what about the apparat F project?
Image
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Atrevida
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Atrevida » 05 May 2019 16:31

"What about the Apparat-F Project?"

PART ONE (OF TWO)

In February 1945, Dr. Lindberg of CPVA (Chemisch-Physikalisch Forschungs Anstalt) inspected a Type XXI with a view to installing an Ursel rocket launch tube through the pressure hull. This would have been primarily a defensive weapon against Allied surface warships.

The two projects to fire rockets from U-boats at New York in 1945 appear to have been:
(1) The R-waffe. For reasons described in length above, the material for a satisfactory explosion remained in the experimental stage.
(2) The Lafferenz underwater barge able to fire a V 2 rocket with a nuclear-type warhead.

Kindly take into account that I am not a scientist and am quoting from documents.

An Internet article in April 2001 by an American physicist, Flanner, proposed a nuclear warhead for the V 2. Flanner considered the real purpose of Professor Heisenberg's Leipzig experiment in 1942 to have been as a plutonium breeder. If the German design had (i) arranged for the closest proximity of the plutonium enriched subcritical masses, no more than a couple of inches: (ii) with kerosene between each subcritical mass to block the Pu-240 emissions, (iii) then the critical assembly for an explosion of sorts would have been achieved at Mach 3.5 in the nose of a V 2.

The size of the atomic explosion would not have been great, possibly sufficient to destroy ten city blocks and leave a massive radiation problem, but the consistency of daily V 2 arrivals might have been enough to convince the United States to sue for peace.

It seems possible that it was also planned to fire V 2 rockets with an atomic warhead from Japan. This many be deduced from the fact that so much heavy water and radioactive uranium powder was found aboard U 234 at her surrender in May 1945. The Leipzig experiments consisted simply of a ball of uranium powder and heavy water, and a neutron source in a radiation absorbing pool. (Refer to my reply of 3 May 2019 in the thread "How could U 234 transport one Me 262?")

As we see it at this moment, the problem with the Lafferenz barge project was that there had to be a large number of them. The towing U-boats had to struggle across the Atlantic for several weeks to some point 300 miles off the US eastern seaboard from where the barge had to be set up and the V 2 fired before being picked off by the coastal defences. Therefore the project was impracticable UNLESS the range of the V 2 rocket could be increased at least tenfold.
Last edited by Atrevida on 05 May 2019 17:46, edited 1 time in total.

Atrevida
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Atrevida » 05 May 2019 17:43

PART TWO

In October 1942 Hitler cancelled the A9/10 America-Rocket project. Work was started to increase the range of the V 2 by increasing the efficiency of its fuel and so making it the all-purpose missile.
On 25 October 1942 the Heereswaffenamt issued a contract to the Reichspost laboratory in Berlin to "increase the efficiency of rocket fuels by the application of atomic decay." (A copy of this document appears in the Appendix of Geoffrey Brooks' volume: Hitler's Nuclear Weapons, Pen & Sword Books, 1991.

The success of this project is self-evident from the following four examples taken from postwar publications:

i) SS-Geheimwaffenspezialist Otto Skorzeny stated that the "America-Rocket" was practically ready by the end of March 1945 and would have been in series production from June 1945.
Otto Skorzeny: Meine Kommando-Unternehmen, Universitas, 1993, p.156.

ii) The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and the British Times newspapers all confirmed the existence of the German intercontinental rocket after the war, and a "manned" rocket with a range of 3,000 miles.

(iii) A NASA Mercury astronaut stated that at the war's end, "a manned V 2" was ready for firing at Peenemünde "with a range of 3,000 miles".
Gordon Cooper: Leap of Faith, Harper Collins, 2000, p.154.

(iv) On 14 June 1945 the British Daily Mail reported on its interview with US Major William Bromley, Assistant Chief of "Special Mission V-2" in which Bromley stated that the "mass production of the V 2 with a range of 3,000 miles would have been possible within 6 months of VE Day (8 May 1945)".

The Bundesarchiv (NS 10/Old 273) has a telegram dated 20 October 1943 from Dr. Kammler to Dr. Brandt, Himmler's scientific adviser, for the information of Reichsführer Himmler, that "today agreement was reached for an underground test base for the development of the America-Rocket "mit der 10-fachen Antriebsstärke", i.e. the rocket for which the efficiency of its fuel had been increased tenfold. The location for the development was caverns in the mountains at Traunstein in Bavaria.

As explained previously, the R-Waffe used a conventional explosive which was detonated simultaneously with an additive to create an environment in which the explosion was increased tenfold. Rocket fuel is an explosive.

Conclusion: A V 2 rocket with small atomic warhead and adulterated fuel for 3,000-mile flight could be safely launched from a Lafferenz barge positioned only 700 miles out from the Norwegian coast so as to hit New York every day until the United States gave in.

For this reason:
"In general it may be said that the Germans were about six months too late in the development and mass production of new weapons".
US Navy Secretary James Forrestal, New York Times, 28 August 1945.
"The Germans were preparing rocket surprises for the whole world in general which would, it is believed, have changed the course of the war if the invasion had been postponed for so short a time as half a year."
Col.Don Leander Putt, Deputy Cmmdg.General AAF Intelligence, Air Technical Services Command: in Harper's Magazine, October 1946, p.329.

aurelien wolff
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by aurelien wolff » 05 May 2019 19:08

"nuclear warhead",not something like the us one when you see how the german nuclear program goes right?

Atrevida
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Atrevida » 05 May 2019 21:06

I do not understand this sentence. Can you rephrase it to make your point clearer.

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Grzesio
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Grzesio » 05 May 2019 23:01

There was no way to increase V 2 fuel efficiency 10 times and there was no way to transport a regular V 2 through the Atlantic.
I also think, it's hard to call Skorzeny a Geheimwaffenspezialist.

Atrevida
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Re: U-Boat Firing V-Rockets

Post by Atrevida » 06 May 2019 00:04

The various experts who knew the situation were quite sure that the fuel efficiency had been increased by a factor of ten. I think it's hard to call Grzesio an expert in anything.

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