First atomic bomb was German !?!

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williamjpellas
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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 30 Aug 2013 00:32

Subsequent to viewing and photographing the MAGIC intercept posted above, I was involved in a lengthy discussion on another site. Unfortunately the snark and ad hominem attacks from both posters and, apparently, at least one moderator on that site led me to the conclusion that I should "transport" the information over here to AHF. Rather than re-state or re-post everything I wrote (and that Simon wrote) on that site, I will post a link to the thread here:

http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/sh ... oto=newpos

One bit of clarification about what I wrote over there.

When we talk about "WWII German Super Explosives", there are several initiatives that were considered, all of which were the subject of considerable R&D, and some of which were actually tested and, perhaps, even used. To date, I have identified four, though I do not believe this is remotely a complete list.

* The Zippermayr coal-dust-and-chemical-reagent bomb. This was definitely tested at least once and was very powerful. Zippermayr was interrogated several times by US and/or Allied intelligence after the war and gave at least a couple of well-attended presentations about his technology that were almost symposiums.

* The end of war Diebner "hybrid" device. This is probably the bomb that was tested at Ohrdurf and that Rainer Karlsch was talking about in his book Hitler's Bomb, on which Gunson bases some of his own reasearch. Diebner's design was a very interesting technological approach that as far as I can tell, utilized a method that was totally different from that of the Manhattan Project to provoke some kind of nuclear fusion for explosive effect. According to the article from Physics World about Karlsch's book, an article that I included in the thread on the other site linked above, the Diebner bomb was neither a fission bomb nor a fusion device, but rather utilized certain aspects of both fission and fusion to achieve detonation. This weapon, however, was not as powerful as the US bombs and was more of a tactical or battlefield nuke. Thus the Germans would have had to produce them in larger numbers, and by the end of the war this was probably impossible. In addition, delivering enough of them on target to alter the course of the war at that late date would have been extremely difficult.

* The "T-Weapon", which, as far as I can tell from the very limited sources I have found on the subject, was another super chemical bomb that also produced "certain Tesla effects". One source, a since-deleted thread on AHF, contained an article claiming that the T-Weapon ("T-Waffe") was used at least once against the Russians.

* The Schumann-Trinks device. This is the design that is advocated by Gunson, and it was similar to the postwar US "Swan Device". The Schumann-Trinks weapon was a biconical boosted fission bomb that utilized large numbers of fissioning neutrons from lithium, as well as a deuteride coating painted onto a U233 fissile mass target, to achieve detonation. My only question about this design is whether Simon can prove that it was originally patented during the War; per information on one of his websites, the design appeared in France of all places ca. 1954. If it was first patented during the War, the likelihood that it could have been produced during the War is obviously much greater.


Unfortunately I am out of time at the public library and so I can't post more on this subject at this time. But I hope this will serve to stimulate discussion and spur additional research.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by little grey rabbit » 30 Aug 2013 08:01

Just quickly I will post an extract from Joachim Fest's biography of Speer.
Page 288
Five days before the opening session of the tribunal Speer made a move which, in the opinion of some observers, was not only a tactical master stroke, but also significantly improved his chances of survival. Sensing the inevitable conflict between the victorious powers, but driven above all by his increasing concern over current rumours that he was to be handed over to the Soviet Union after the trial, Speer approahed the chief prosecutor of the US, Robert H. Jackson, through an American intelligence officer. Speer pointed out that, during the interrogations at Gluecksburg and later also under the questioning by Western representatives, he had unreservedly and confidentially discussed his 'partially successful struggle' against the Allie air strategy. As these statements had been made 'out of conviction' and 'not in order to gain personal advantages in the future', he would fell 'wretched' if he were made to reveal his special knowledge openly in court. His letter could be understood as an invitation to Jackson not to question the witness Speer on any point where the answer might provide the Soviet Union with 'useful military and technical information'. In as much as Jackson agreed to this suggestion it could actually look like a secret agreement between Speer and one of the prosecutors.
Fest claims Jackson ignored Speer's request - I am not sure if the record bears that out.

Footnotes give "Testimony of Speer's collaborator Dr Mauterer; cf Spiegel, No 40/1966 page 60" as source.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by LWD » 30 Aug 2013 16:39

From what has been posted to date the evidence for any kind of fission or fusion device at Ohrdurf is unlikely. Coming up with some new mixed device is problematic.

The Zippermayr bomb does sound like a fuel air or hyperbaric explosive of some sort and I find it quite reasonable that the Germans would have been working on one.

The other two appear to be pretty much pure speculation if you are talking WWII.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by ChristopherPerrien » 30 Aug 2013 18:25

The Zippermayr coal-dust-and-chemical-reagent bomb. This was definitely tested at least once and was very powerful. Zippermayr was interrogated several times by US and/or Allied intelligence after the war and gave at least a couple of well-attended presentations about his technology that were almost symposiums.


The Zippermayr bomb does sound like a fuel air or hyperbaric explosive of some sort and I find it quite reasonable that the Germans would have been working on one.
The coal-dust bomb, a.k.a "Whirlwind Bomb" was meant to be a missle payload anti-aircraft, weapon. Detonating a cloud of coal-dust to create a "whirl-wind" to bring down bombers within a few 100m of the blast center.

Info on this and alot of research done at Ohrdruf can be found here. http://greyfalcon.us/Located%20near%20Ohrdruf.htm
This site/link has been mentioned before, just not sure for this topic.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 31 Aug 2013 19:06

LWD wrote:From what has been posted to date the evidence for any kind of fission or fusion device at Ohrdurf is unlikely. Coming up with some new mixed device is problematic.

The Zippermayr bomb does sound like a fuel air or hyperbaric explosive of some sort and I find it quite reasonable that the Germans would have been working on one.

The other two appear to be pretty much pure speculation if you are talking WWII.

LWD, I don't know if you have read the article from Physics World about Karlsch's book Hitler's Bomb, but I posted the article in full on the thread that I linked above. The article contains schematics of several atomic weapon designs, including the familiar American U-235 gun design as well as the Diebner bomb. I don't see anything particularly exotic about the Diebner design per se, though I am not remotely a physicist. But from my layman's researcher perspective, it seems pretty straightforward. Just a different route to a detonation than some other groups of scientists designed.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by LWD » 03 Sep 2013 15:41

I didn't bother to slog through all eleven pages of that thread. What page is the link to the article on?
Bomb design is hardly straight forward in any case at least according to a professor I had that worked in the field.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 03 Sep 2013 17:23

LWD, the article is exactly halfway through that thread, on page 5. The article is called "New Light on Hitler's Bomb" and was written by Rainer Karlsch himself, with help from American historian Mark Walker. You can google the article, as well, but it is behind a membership wall. Thus, I had to "fish it out" by copying and pasting it in sections. I'd be happy to do the same here on AHF if it would help.


I think the following link will take you directly to page 5 and to the article: http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/sh ... ukes/page5

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by LWD » 03 Sep 2013 19:52

Thanks for the link. Niether the illustration of a plutonium bomb nor the descriptoin of Diebner's device sound like they would work to me. It's not a field of physics I'm an expert in but they both seam rather short in the containment area among others.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 04 Sep 2013 16:18

Leaving aside for the moment the question of the viability of the Diebner design as described by Karlsch and Walker, what do we make of the MAGIC intercept in which a Japanese Army attache officer working with the Germans in Europe described what he unquestionably claimed was one or more German nuclear attacks against the Russians? He said that these missions were carried out against a Russian infantry regiment near Kursk, and also against unspecified ground units in the Crimea.


In the thread on the other site, a couple of posters jumped quickly to the possibility that the Japanese officer was describing an attack by some kind of thermobaric or air-fuel weapon, something along the lines of the Zippermayr bomb. This is another angle that deserves thorough exploration and research, but again: the Japanese officer clearly said, and believed, that the German bombs were atomic. Was he sincere in his belief but simply mistaken? Or, did the Germans really succeed in developing---and using, in small numbers---some kind of battlefield / tactical nuclear weapon?


The question in this case becomes, if they had them, even in small numbers, why weren't they used, at minimum, against the Allied invasion in Normandy, or launched against London? My personal theory---again, assuming for a moment and for the sake of inquiry that these bombs really existed---is that they were deterred from using them by Churchill's own Doomsday weapon, which was a massive stockpile of anthrax.


Keep in mind that the German bombs probably used U233 produced by some kind of cyclotron or mass spectrograph method rather than with a breeder reactor. The advantage of this method is that the U233 would be exceptionally pure, as with the P239 that the Manhattan Project made via cyclotron. The disadvantage is that the amount of bomb fuel produced would be very small. Breeder reactors are the only way yet discovered to make large quantities of fissile material, and U233 produced by this route is difficult (though definitely not impossible) to use in bombs because unavoidable impurities are difficult to remove and make the end product rather dirty in comparison with U235 and P239. (Keep in mind, though, that U233 even as produced by breeder reactor is still a perfectly legitimate explosive. See Carey Sublette's excellent article Introduction to Nuclear Weapons Design on the Federation of American Scientists website.)


You see where I am going with this. A German U233 bomb design would have used small amounts of bomb fuel of necessity, because there was no working German breeder reactor (that we know of). A boosted fission method of detonation would have further reduced the amount of bomb fuel needed per weapon, though the scarcity of U233 would still have meant much smaller explosive yields than the simpler but more powerful American designs. Scarcity of fissile material would also have meant a very small stockpile, too small for Hitler to gamble that he could nuke his opponents into oblivion while avoiding massive retaliation, whether by anthrax or, should his opponents last long enough, with their own nuclear weapons. Thus, a small or tactical German nuclear weapon could have existed within the framework of legitimate, documented history.


Again, I am not saying---yet---that I am 100%, fully convinced that this was the case. I am saying that the above scenario is plausible and worthy of further investigation. There is a great deal about the conventional history of WWII that simply does not add up when viewed in the light of the advanced capabilities of German (and Japanese) atomic science, and at minimum, there is ample reason to question the conventional history and to re-examine the evidence and to do so in a much more thorough and open-ended fashion than has usually been the case thus far.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by LWD » 04 Sep 2013 17:52

There is no other evidence of those bombs. I've yet to see anyone produce any Soviet material that suggest them. Furthermore the use of multiples is very questionable. The linkage of nuclear to NBC didn't exit in that period either. Indeed chemical and biological weapons were outlawed this was not the case with nuclear weapons. A misunderstanding or mistranslation is the best bet in this case.

As for U233 there is little to suggest it would be as pure as you seem to think. Indeed contamination was a serius problem with its use as a weapons material. In that regard it's worth noteing that post war the US did experiment with it some but gave up on it. I hardly think that would be the case if you could generate small bombs as easily as you suggest.

The senario is hardly plausible. It is perhaps just short of impossible. There is little or nothing that I've seen that doesn't "add up" in light of the axis atomic science. If some wish to tilt at windmills they are welcome to it but the rest of us know that they aren't giants.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 04 Sep 2013 20:55

LWD wrote:There is no other evidence of those bombs. I've yet to see anyone produce any Soviet material that suggest them. Furthermore the use of multiples is very questionable. The linkage of nuclear to NBC didn't exit in that period either. Indeed chemical and biological weapons were outlawed this was not the case with nuclear weapons. A misunderstanding or mistranslation is the best bet in this case.

As for U233 there is little to suggest it would be as pure as you seem to think. Indeed contamination was a serius problem with its use as a weapons material. In that regard it's worth noteing that post war the US did experiment with it some but gave up on it. I hardly think that would be the case if you could generate small bombs as easily as you suggest.

The senario is hardly plausible. It is perhaps just short of impossible. There is little or nothing that I've seen that doesn't "add up" in light of the axis atomic science. If some wish to tilt at windmills they are welcome to it but the rest of us know that they aren't giants.

Actually, Karlsch produced Soviet material in his book Hitler's Bomb. He pulled from both Soviet and East German archives. One of the most significant nuggets that he unearthed, at least to my mind, is the fact that the "Uranium Club" led by Heisenberg met at least one more time than US or British intelligence ever knew. This was the "Harnack Haus" conference which, if memory serves, occurred in 1942. Only the KGB among the Allied powers was able to penetrate this meeting. It was here, according to Karlsch and the Soviet documents, that Heisenberg specifically mentioned the U233 route to a bomb via bombardment of thorium to produce proactinium, which upon decay forms U233.


As for postwar US experiments with U233 as an explosive, I can document one at this time. This was a detonation that was part of Operation Teapot in 1955. One of the shots, the "MET" bomb ("Military Effects Test"), used U233 along with P239, which is interesting. The explosive yield was less than expected but still viable. The presence of plutonium at this comparatively early point in the development of nuclear weapons would seem to indicate some kind of implosion method of detonation, but maybe this was an early US boosted fission device? Whatever the method was, it was able to ignite both plutonium and U233. Here is a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Teapot

Another tidbit from "World Nuclear Dot Org" mentions the Teapot detonation and also the much more recent Indian U233 bomb, the "Shakti V".

Weapons and non-proliferation

The thorium fuel cycle is sometimes promoted as having excellent non-proliferation credentials. This is true, but some history and physics bears noting.

The USA produced about 2 tonnes of U-233 from thorium during the ‘Cold War’, at various levels of chemical and isotopic purity, in plutonium production reactors. It is possible to use U-233 in a nuclear weapon, and in 1955 the USA detonated a device with a plutonium-U-233 composite pit, in Operation Teapot. Yield was less than anticipated, at 22 kilotons. In 1998 India detonated a very small device based on U-233 called Shakti V. However, the production of U-233 inevitably also yields U-232 which is a strong gamma-emitter, as are some decay products, making the material extremely difficult to handle and also easy to detect.


Here is the link to the entire page: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/Curre ... n/Thorium/


All this to reiterate the viability of U233 as a nuclear explosive, particularly as produced by means other than in a breeder reactor. Again, U233 that does not come from a breeder reactor has far fewer impurities and far less dangerous radiation, but regardless of how it is produced, it will still detonate. Let me be clear. I am not, at this time, fully endorsing the notion that Germany succeeded in producing, and using, small numbers of tactical nuclear weapons during WWII. Only saying that Gunson's research has definitely gotten my attention, that I find his thesis historically plausible, and that I believe significant further research is definitely called for because I definitely do not believe that the whole truth about atomic weapons development during the War has ever come out. Whether further research leads to a smoking gun or to a reinforcement of the more or less "standard history", or to something else entirely, a thorough re-examination is in order.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 12 Sep 2013 17:16

A quick PS to the blurb I excerpted from World Nuclear Dot Org in my post immediately above: when it says "...the production of U-233 inevitably yields U-232", it is speaking stricly about U-233 produced in a breeder reactor. If I am understanding the production of U-233 via cyclotron correctly, U-233 that is made by that route has far fewer impurities and might even approach 100% purity. Let me quickly add, however, that on this issue I am no expert and I invite more informed commentary. Again, though, whether we are talking about U-233 produced in breeder reactors---impurities and all---or the more isoptically pure substance produced by cyclotron, either way it is still a perfectly legitimate bomb fuel.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by LWD » 12 Sep 2013 20:20

I'm not at all sure why you think it would be. There's also the question of how much U233 could reasonably be made in this way especially in the 1940's. There's also the question is there any evidence that any signficant amount was.

That U-233 can be used to make a bomb is clear. The fact that it wasn't tried until the 50's by the US and then discarded suggest that there are signficant draw backs. I don't think I've seen any evidence that the Soviets used it to any significant extent either.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by williamjpellas » 13 Sep 2013 17:32

There's no question that while cyclotrons are perfectly capable of producing bomb fuel via particle bombardment, they do not yield very much fissile material. Their output, while very high in purity, is very low in terms of the actual amount of finished product. However, the boosted fission and "hybrid" bomb designs being discussed by Karlsch and Gunson do not require anything like the amounts of bomb fuel used in the WWII American designs. Thus the cyclotron method of production could still have been viable. Of course, these designs were also significantly less powerful than the US bombs and were really more like tactical or battlefield nuclear weapons unless they could be mass produced and launched in waves, probably via V-2. Again assuming for the sake of discussion that they did succeed in producing some kind of nuke, even here, no one is saying that the Germans had anything like the kind of inventory it would have taken to turn this kind of small atomic bomb into a strategic strike or city killer. My interest in this topic is actually directly related to the bomb fuel production angle. You have an alternate (but still viable) route to an atomic bomb, a route doubly attractive to Germany because of her large stocks of thorium. Their alleged bomb designs required far less fissile material than the US designs did, and so a much smaller production facility or facilities would have sufficed to produce enough U-233 for the smaller weapons. On the other hand, even with a much smaller bomb core, cyclotron production output would have been very small. The end result is a kind of developmental dead end, a technology that worked and was viable but that was not capable of the kind of mass production necessary to turn the weapon into a war winner. They could have had perhaps a handful of them, but no more than that.


So, the question becomes, could this bomb have existed within the established historical framework of World War II? My preliminary conclusion is that it could have, and I am curious enough to call for a thorough investigation. Again, what the Germans might have had was an atomic bomb that was not suitable for mass production, and not powerful enough without mass production (say, a few dozen of them) to truly alter the course of the war. Catch 22. Imagine the frustration of Hitler, knowing that he had a powerful weapon in his hands, but not powerful enough or in large enough numbers to gamble that he could win the war with it. In addition, England's own anthrax Doomsday weapon was lurking in the background and might be what deterred Hitler from trying such an attack even with the small stockpile he might have had on hand.


Regarding the Soviets and U-233, there is some evidence that they produced significant amounts of it in the years immediately following the war, and that their U-233 technology might have been captured from the Japanese in Korea. I have read somewhere that this U-233 eventually caused one of the innumerable Soviet era environmental disasters, but I can't for the life of me recall where I read this. If I can find the reference I will post it here. I am told by what I consider at this time to be reliable sources that there are two or three letters from the postwar Soviet commanding general in what is now North Korea, Terenti Shtykov, in which he discusses U-233 production machinery that fell into Soviet hands at the end of the war. Unfortunately I do not yet have these letters in my possession and so I emphasize that I have yet to confirm whether this story is true. Here is a biographical sketch of Shtykov, though with no mention of the purported atomic angle: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/is ... 03451.html


As I say, while none of this to this point is conclusive, to my eyes there is enough evidence to justify a much more thorough inquiry, one that I do not currently have the time or resources to conduct myself. Hopefully others will take up the cause so we can get some more definitive answers.

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Re: First atomic bomb was German !?!

Post by LWD » 16 Sep 2013 15:49

williamjpellas wrote:There's no question that while cyclotrons are perfectly capable of producing bomb fuel via particle bombardment, they do not yield very much fissile material. Their output, while very high in purity, is very low in terms of the actual amount of finished product. ....
How many cyclotrons did Germany have and when? What was their production capability? Just looking at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walther_Bo ... _Cyclotron
It doesn't look like they would have much of a capability during the war. Here's a relevant quote:
It was during 1941 that Bothe had acquired all the necessary funding to complete construction of the cyclotron. The magnet was delivered in March 1943, and the first beam of deuteron was emitted in December. The inauguration ceremony for the cyclotron was held on 2 June 1944. While there had been other cyclotrons under construction, Bothe's was the first operational cyclotron in Germany
Doesn't sound like it was available for production work until 44 at the earliest and probably not until mid 44 if then.
williamjpellas wrote:.... However, the boosted fission and "hybrid" bomb designs being discussed by Karlsch and Gunson do not require anything like the amounts of bomb fuel used in the WWII American designs.
Again that they could have successfully created such a device particularly in that time frame seems very questionable.
Thus the cyclotron method of production could still have been viable.
That is conjecture and I see nothing to support it other than specualtion.
... Again assuming for the sake of discussion that they did succeed in producing some kind of nuke, even here, no one is saying that the Germans had anything like the kind of inventory it would have taken to turn this kind of small atomic bomb into a strategic strike or city killer.
I see no reason to make such an assumption and Occam's razor suggest very strongly that this was not the case.
They could have had perhaps a handful of them, but no more than that.
There is no real evidence that they could have much less did produce enough U-233 for even a single bomb. Then there is the question of whether or not the desings mentioned would even work.

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