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PANZERKAMPFWAGEN VIII MAUS (1943-1945) By Rob Arndt The Tiger II King Tiger was not the largest German

tank created by the German tank industry. Much precious time and material was wasted on building prototypes of super-heavy tanks of gigantic proportion. Dr Ferdinand Porsche was the driving force behind the first of these, the 188-ton Maus (mouse), while the second type to be built, the 140-ton E-100, was supported by the Heereswaffenamt as a competitive design. Porsche got approval for his project from Hitler, at a time when none of his designs had been selected for production by the Heereswaffenamt. In this way Hitler might have compensated Porsche for the past failures, and it would keep him away from other projects. The turret had a rounded front made from a single bent plate of 93mm thickness. The armament was either a 128mm or a 150mm gun, plus a 75mm gun mounted co-axially. The first turrets, with a weight of 50 tons, were not complete until the middle of 1944, leaving the two prototypes with a simulated turret to complete trials in the winter of 1943-1944, at Krupp's test area in Meppen. Two more hulls were under construction during the closing months of the war, but in April 1944, Hitler personally ordered that all work on giant tank projects was to cease in favor of devoting all resources to building proven tanks like the Panther and Tiger II. Most Maus prototypes were blown up in the last weeks of the war as the Russians closed in on Meppen, although guns, turrets and hulls were found by Allied Intelligence officers abandoned and partially destroyed. According to some sources however, the two experimental Maus tanks were sent into action in the final days of the war, one at the approaches to OKH staff headquarters at Zossen, the other near the proving grounds at Kummersdorf. Design studies found at Krupp showed a version of the Maus carrying a 305mm breech-loading mortar, named 'Bear', and a giant 1500-ton vehicle with a 800mm gun as main armament plus two 150mm guns in auxiliary turrets on the rear quarters. This vehicle, put forward by two engineers named Grote and Hacker, was planned to be powered by four U-boat diesel engines!

Land Cruiser P-1000 "Ratte

Technical Data Weight: Crew: Engine: Fuel Capacity: Speed: Range: Length: Width: Height: Armament: Ammo: 188,000kg (4,136,000 lbs)/206 tons 6 men Daimler-Benz MB 509 / 12-cylinder / 1080hp (V1) Daimler-Benz MB 517 Diesel / 12-cylinder / 1200hp (V2) 2650-2700 liters + 1500 liters in reserve tank 13-20km/h Road: 160-190km Cross-Country: 62km 10.09m (33.297 ft) 3.67m (12.111 ft) 3.63m (11.979 ft) 128mm KwK 44 L/55 & 75mm KwK 44 L/36.5 1 x 7.92mm MG34 128mm - 55-68 rounds 75mm - 200 rounds Turret Roof: 60/90 Gun Mantlet: 250/round Front Turret: 220-240/round Superstructure Roof: 50-100/9 Front Glacis Plate: 200/55 Hull Front: 200/35 Belly Plate Fore: 100/90 Side Turret: 200/30 Hull Side Upper: 180/0 Hull Side Lower: 100+80/0 Rear Turret: 200/15 Hull Rear Upper: 150/37 Hull Rear Lower: 150/30 Belly Plate Aft: 50/90

Armor (mm/angle):

Rear view of Maus

Completed Maus

Maus displayed in Russian Kubinka Museum outside Moscow

In order to transport the Maus, a special 14-axle railroad transport car (Verladewagon) was produced by Graz-Simmering-Pauker Works in Vienna

Possible Maus variant, the Zwilling, with dual 88 mm guns.

A report on the German Maus super-heavy tank, from the Intelligence Bulletin, March 1946. The German Mouse Super-Heavy Tank Became Hitler's White Elephant One of the subjects of liveliest controversy during the Allied invasion of France was the heavy tankthe 50-ton Pershing, the 62-ton Tiger, the 75-ton Royal Tiger. Were these worth their weight? Did they gain in protection and fire poweras much as they sacrificed in mobility? Adolf Hitler's mind was presumably made up on this point. A pet project of his, which few were aware of, appears to have been a superheavy tank that would have dwarfed even the Royal Tiger. Dubbed the Mouse, this behemoth of doubtful military value was to weigh 207 tons, combat loaded. Two were actually built, although they were never equipped with their armament.

German engineers, concerned over the effect of turns upon track performance, made this electricpowered, remote controlled, large-scale wooden replica. The Mouse is an amazing vehicle, with spectacular characteristics. The glacis plate up front is approximately 8 inches (200 mm) thick. Since it is sloped at 35 degrees to the vertical, the armor basis is therefore 14 inches. Side armor is 7 inches (180 mm) thick, with the rear protected by plates 6 1/4 inches (160 mm) thick. The front of the turret is protected by 9 1/2 inches (240 mm) of cast armor, while the 8inch (200 mm) thick turret sides and rear were sloped so as to give the effect of 9 inches (230 mm) of armor. ARMAMENT For the main armament, a pea-shooter like an 88-mm gun was ignored. Selected instead was the powerful 128-mm tank and antitank gun, which was later to be replaced by a 150-mm piece 38 calibers in length.

(The standard German medium field howitzer 15 cm s.F.H. 18 is only 29.5 calibers in length.) Instead of mounting a 7.9-mm machine gun coaxially, the Mouse was to have a 75-mm antitank gun 76 calibers in length next to the 128- or 150-mm gun. A machine cannon for antiaircraft was to be mounted in the turret roof, along with a smoke grenade projector. In size, the Mouse was considerably larger than any German tank. Its length of 33 feet made it nearly 50 percent longer than the Royal Tiger. Because of rail transport considerations. its width was kept to 12 feet (that of the Royal Tiger and Tiger). A 12-foot height made it a considerable target.

A head-on view of the MAUS model affords an idea of the formidable appearance of the original Maus. Note the exceptional width of the tracks. In order to reduce the ground pressure so that the tank could have some mobility, the tracks had to be made very wideall of 43.3 inches. With the tracks taking up over 7 of its 12 feet of width, the Mouse presents a very strange appearance indeed from either a front or rear view. With such a track width, and a ground contact of 19 feet 3 inches, the Mouse keeps its ground pressure down to about 20 pounds per square inchabout twice that of the original Tiger. POWER PLANTS Designing an engine sufficiently powerful to provide motive power for the mammoth fighting vehicle was a serious problem. Though the Germans tried two engines, both around 1,200 horsepower (as compared to the Royal Tiger's 590), neither could be expected to provide a speed of more than 10 to 12 miles an hour. The Mouse can, however, cross a 14-foot trench and climb a 2-foot 4-inch step. Whatever the military possibilities of the Mouse might be, it certainly gave designers space in which to run hog wild on various features which they had always been anxious to install in tanks. One of these gadgets was an auxiliary power plant. This plant permitted pressurizing of the crew compartment, which in turn meant better submersion qualities when fording, and good anti-gas protection. Auxiliary power also permitted heating and battery recharging.

One of the fancy installations was equipment designed for fording in water 45 feet deepa characteristic made necessary by weight limits of bridges. Besides sealing of hatches and vents, aided by pressurizing, submersion was to be made possible by the installation of a giant cylindrical chimney or trunk, so large that it could serve as a crew escape passage if need be. The tanks were intended to ford in pairs, one powering the electric transmission of the other by cable. The electric transmission was in itself an engineering experiment of some magnitude. This type of transmission had first been used on the big Elefant assault gun-tank destroyer in 1943, and was considered by some eminent German designers as the best type of transmissionif perfectedfor heavy tanks. Another interesting feature of the Mouse from the engineering point of view was the return from torsion bar suspensionsuch as was used in the Pz. Kpfw. III, the Panther, the Tiger, and the Royal Tigerto a spring suspension. An improved torsion bar design had been considered for the Mouse, but was abandoned in favor of a volute spring type suspension. WHY THE MOUSE? Just why the Germans wanted to try out such a monstrosity as the Mouse is a question to be answered by political and propaganda experts. Whereas such a heavy tank might conceivably have had some limited military usefulness in breakthrough operations, it was no project for Nazi Germany experimentation in 1943, 1944, and 1945. For not only did German authorities waste time of engineers and production facilities on the two test models, but they even went so far as to construct a special flat car for rail transport. The drawbacks inherent in such a heavy tank are patent. Weigh not only denies practically every bridge in existence to the Mouse, but it impedes rail movement unless railways are properly reinforced at bridges, culverts, and other weak points. Fording to 45-foot depths would have solved many of the stream-crossing problems in Europe, but it seems that the Mouse could actually cross in water no deeper than 26 feet. Though sitting in a rolling fortress, the six men of the Mouse crew are practically as blind as in any tank. Because of low speed and high silhouette their vehicle would be most vulnerable to hits. Since it is reasonable to suppose that heavily fortified, static positions suitable for attack by a Mouse would also be fitted with very heavy, high-velocity guns capable of antitank fire, the even occasional combat value of the Mouse comes into question. The German 128-mm Pak 44 (also known in modified forms as the 12.8 cm Pak 80) is reputed to be able to penetrate 7 inches of armor at 2,000 yards. Since the Germans actually had their Pak 44 in service in 1945, when the Mouse was not yet in the production stage, it would appear that the Germans had the antidote before the giant tanks were ready. Moreover, in the later days of the war, a rolling colossus like a Mouse would have been almost impossible to conceal, and would have fallen an easy prey to air power. The psychological factor thus appears to have played a large part in the demand for construction of the Mouse. The German Army would never have desired such a tank, especially in 1942 when its design was apparently initiated. On the other hand, it would have made lurid headlines and Sunday supplement copy in both Allied and German press circles. But whatever the public reaction might have been, it seems questionable that the Mouse could have exerted any psychological effect on Russian, British, or American front-line troops unless the Germans possessed almost overwhelming strength, as they did when they crushed the Maginot Line in 1940. In 1944-45 it would have been too easy a mark for Allied gun and planes the first instant it appeared. MICE OF THE FUTURE The appearance of such a vehicle in the opening phases of a future war is not to be entirely discounted. When Red Army armored units counterattacked German forces advancing northward toward Leningrad in 1941, the Soviets effected a substantial surprise and just missed obtaining a considerable victory by

throwing in for the first time heavy 46-ton KV tanks backed by 57-ton modified KV's mounting 152-mm tank guns in their turrets.

KV1 as Pz 756(r) The first days of a war are a time of uncertainty. This is a period when peacetime armies are proving themselves, when their personnel are still anxious to determine the validity of their matriel and tactical doctrines, when they are anxious to discover what the enemy is like. Rumors grow fast, and untried men are likely to be impressed with the mere report of the size and gun power of a superheavy tank. Officers and noncoms should therefore be aware of the possibility of encountering such colossal tanks. They should see that their men know the deficiencies and real purpose of outlandish vehicles of the class of the German Mouse, and that they do not attribute to these vehicles capabilities out of all proportion to their actual battle value.

KV 2 as Pz 754(r)

A39 Heavy Assault Tank Tortoise

E100 and E90 vs. Super Heavy Allied Tanks

Future designs

THE E100 The E 100 project was the Heereswaffenamt rival to the Maus, as there was considerable opposition to Porsche and his unconventional mechanical ideas. Under Heydekampf at the Panzer Commission (Porsche was removed as head of this commission) a long-term plan was drawn up to produce a rationalized series of Entwicklung-typen (development-types) or E series. This range of tanks were to use standardized parts and were to be built in classes of varying sizes to replace existing vehicles. The types had a designation with a number indicating their weight in tons: E 10, E 25, E 50 (Panther replacement), E 75 (Tiger replacement) and E 100. Of these, only the E 100 project was actually started, as an attempt to rival Porsche's work. When Porsche started work on the Maus, an initial order was placed with Henschel, builders of the Tiger II, for a much enlarged, super-heavy version of the Tiger II. This project was known as the Tiger-Maus or VK 7001 PzKpfw VII Lwe (Lion). The armament was to be the same 128mm gun as the Jagdtiger. With the Entwicklung-typen programme, the VK 7001 order was replaced by the E 100, with the same gun and turret layout as the Maus, except that a 150mm or 170mm gun was envisaged as the main weapon. Road wheels, sprockets and idlers were to be similar to those used on the Tiger II. Armored covers were proposed for the tracks, which were one meter wide. Construction of the E 100 prototype proceeded slowly at Henschel's test plant after Hitler's order to cease work on super-heavy tanks, and at the end of the war only the bare hull and suspension were completed.

Specifications for E-100 Weight: Crew: Engine: Fuel Capacity: Speed: Range: Length: Width: Height: 137,790kg (303,138 lbs)/151.569 tons 5-6 men Maybach HL 230 P30 / 12-cylinder / 700hp (prototype) Maybach HL 234 / 12-cylinder / 800hp (production) u/k 38-40km/h Road: 120km 10.27m (with the gun)/33.891 ft 8.70m (w/o the gun)/28.71 ft 4.48m (14.784 ft) 3.32m (battle tracks)/10.956 ft 3.29m (transport tracks)/10.857 ft 128mm KwK 44 L/55 & coaxial 75mm KwK 44 L/36.5 1 x 7.92mm MG34 (planned) 150mm KwK 44 L/38 & coaxial 75mm KwK 44 L/36.5 1 x 7.92mm MG34 (prototype) 170mm KwK 44 & coaxial 75mm KwK 44 L/36.5

Armament:

1/2 x 7.92mm MG34/42 (production) Ammo: u/k Front Turret: 240/round Front Hull: 150/40 Front Superstructure: 200/60 Side Turret: 200/30 Side Hull: 120/0 Side Superstructure: 60+120/20&0 Rear Turret: 200/7 Rear Hull: 150/30 Rear Superstructure: 150/30 Turret Top / Bottom: 40/90 Hull Top / Bottom: 80/90 SuperstructureTop / Bottom: 40/90 Gun Mantlet: 240/Saukopfblende

Armor (mm/angle):

The E-100 was originally designed as a Waffenamt alternative to the Porsche-designed super heavy Maus tank. It was authorized in June, 1943 and work in earnest continued until 1944 when Hitler officially ended development of super heavy tanks. After Hitler's announcement, only three Adler employees were allowed to continue assembly of the prototype, and the work was given lowest priority. Even with these handicaps, the three workers were able to virtually complete the prototype by war's end at a small Henschel facility near Paderborn. The prototype lacked only a turret (which was to be identical to the Maus turret save in armament). For its initial tests, a Tiger II Maybach HL230P30 engine had been fitted. This engine, of course, was far too weak to properly power the 140 ton E-100. The production engine was to be the Maybach HL234. The HL234 developed 800hp, which is only 100hp better than the HL230P30. Some sources indicate that a Daimler-Benz diesel which developed 1000hp would have ultimately been used. The Maus mounted the 12.8cm KwK 44 L/55 found in the Jagdtiger. Using the same turret, the E-100 was initially slated to use the 15cm KwK44 L38, but provision was made to eventually up-gun the vehicle with a 17cm KwK 44. The E-100 was very conventional in its architecture. The standard rear-engine / front-drive layout was maintained. The engine deck of the Tiger II was also carried over into this design (rather than the updated design of the E 50/75). The suspension was characteristic of the E-series, however, in that it was of the externally-mounted Belleville Washer type. While the engine-deck layout of the prototype was taken directly from the Tiger II, it is entirely possible that it would have been changed to match the E 50/75 had production of the E-series actually began to allow for maximum commonality of components. The armor on the E-100 was designed to withstand hits from just about any anti-tank round of the day. Armor on the turret ranged from 200mm on the sides and rear to 240mm on the front. The turret roof was protected by a seemingly paltry 40mm of armor. Unfortunately, the round shape of the turret front could have deflected shots downward into the top of the superstructure. Armor protection on the superstructure varied from 200mm on the front to a total of 180mm on the sides and 150mm on the rear. The top of the superstructure was protected by the same 40mm of armor found on the turret. The hull had 150mm of armor on the front and rear and 120mm on the sides behind the suspension. Protection on the bottom of the hull was good at 80mm.

E-100 and PzKpfw IV Given the armored protection of the E-100, most tanks would have needed a shot to deflect into the top of the superstructure from the turret front to knock it out. The vehicle would have, however, been highly vulnerable to air attack as the angles presented to dive bombers or fighter/bombers would have been protected to only 40mm. This protection is comparable to the Tiger II in the same areas.

How the E-100 was discovered in 1945 by Allied troops! Note the sheer size of the monster!

E-100 as discovered uncompleted in 1945

The E-100s giant tracks

The abandoned hull of the E-100

What might have been E50

PzKpfw E.100

Panther III

PANZERKAMPFWAGEN VII LWE (1941-1942) By Rob Arndt The development of this super-heavy tank started as early as 1941, when Krupp was performing studies of super-heavy Soviet tanks.

Early concept of the Lwe In November 1941, it was specified that the new heavy tank was to have 140mm front armor and 100mm side armor. The vehicle was to be operated by five men crew - three in the turret and two in the hull. This new Panzer was to have a maximum speed of some 44km/h being powered by a 1,000hp Daimler-Benz marine engine used in German S-Boots (motor torpedo boats). The main armament was to be mounted in the turret. The weight was to be up to 90 tons.

In the early months of 1942, Krupp was ordered to start the process of designing a new heavy tank designated PzKpfw VII Lwe (VK7201). Its design was based on a previous project by Krupp designated VK7001 (Tiger-Maus) and created in competition with Porsche's designs (including first Maus

designs).VK7001 was to be armed with either 150mm Kanone L/37 (or L/40) or 105mm KwK L/70 gun. Lwe was to utilize Tiger II's components in order to simplify the production and service.

1942 Leopard Design Designers planned to build two variants of this streamlined vehicle with rear mounted turret. The Leichte (Light) variant would have frontal armor protection of 100mm and it would weigh around 76 tons. The Schwere (Heavy) variant would have frontal armor protection of 120mm and it would weigh around 90 tons. Both variants would be armed with 105mm L/70 gun and coaxial machine gun. It is known that 90ton Schwere Lwe was to have its turret mounted centrally and in overall design resembled the future Tiger II. Variants of the Lwe were both to be operated by the crew of five. It was calculated that their maximum speed would range from 23km/h (Schwere) to 27km/h (Leichte). Adolf Hitler ordered that the design Leichte Lwe was to be dropped in favor of Schwere Lwe. The Lwe was to be redesigned in order to carry 150mm L/40 or 150mm L/37 (probably 150mm KwK 44 L/38) gun and its frontal armor protection was to be changed to 140mm. In order to improve its performance, 9001,000mm wide tracks were to be used and top speed was to be increased to 30km/h. In late 1942, this project was cancelled in favor of the Porsche development of the Maus. During the development of Tiger II, designers planned to build a redesigned version of the Lwe (as suggested by Oberst Fichtner), which would be armed with 88mm KwK L/71 gun and its frontal armor protection would be 140mm (as planned before). This re-designed Lwe would be able to travel at a maximum speed of 35km/h and it would weigh around 90 tons. It was to be powered by a Maybach HL 230 P 30, 12-cylinder engine producing 800hp. Lwe would be 7.74 meters long (with the gun), 3.83 meters wide and 3.08 meters high. Lwe would be operated by a crew of five. It was planned that the Lwe would eventually replace Tiger II. From February to May of 1942, six different designs were considered, all based on the requirements for Lwe. On March 6, 1942, the order for a heavier tank was placed and project Lwe was stopped in July 1942. The Lwe project never reached the prototype stage, but it paved the way for its successor's development - Porsches 188 ton Maus. Technical Data: Weight 90 tons [180,000 lbs] Crew 5 Men

Length 7.70 m [25.41 ft] Width 3.80 m [12.54 ft] Height 3.10 m [10.23 ft] Maximum Speed 30 km/h Tracks 900-1000mm [3.6-4.0 ft] Motor Maybach HL 230 P 30 Power 800 Hp Production: Production Status Project Production None Armament: Main Gun 88mm KwK L/71, 150mm KwK L/37 or 38 Armor: Hull and Turret Front 140 mm/5.6 inch Side 100 mm/4.0 inch

One of the first intelligence reports on the Tiger II, the new German heavy tank encountered in the fighting in Normandy, Tactical and Technical Trends, October, 1944. The odd name 'PanTiger' did not last long, and the Allies soon referred to the new tank as the Tiger II, King Tiger, or Royal Tiger. PANTIGER, A REDESIGNED TIGER NEWEST ENEMY HEAVY TANK A new 67-ton German heavy tank - referred to variously as Pantiger and Tiger II - has been employed against the Allies this summer in France. Actually a redesigned Tiger (Pz. Kpfw. VI), it mounts the 8.8-cm Kw. K. 43 gun. On the basis of a preliminary report, the general appearance of the new tank is that of a scaled-up Pz. Kpfw. V (Panther) on the wide Tiger tracks. It conforms to normal German tank practice insofar as the design, lay-out, welding, and interlocking of the main plates are concerned. All sides are sloping. The gun is larger than the Panther gun, and longer than the ordinary Tiger gun. Armor is also thicker than that on either the Panther or the Tiger. The turret is of new design, with bent side plates. In all respects the new tank is larger than the standard Tiger. Principal over-all dimensions of the redesigned Tiger are as follows: Length _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 23 ft. 10 in. Width _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 11 ft. 11 1/2 in. Height _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 10 ft. 2 in. Main armament is the 8.8-cm Kw. K. 43. It is equipped also with two machine guns (MG 34), one mounted coaxially in the turret and one mounted in the hull. Armor thicknesses of the new tank are as follows: Glacis plate _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 150-mm at 40 to 45. Hull side _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _80-mm vertical. Superstructure side _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 80-mm at 25.

Hull rear plates _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 80-mm at 25. (undercut). Superstructure top plates _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 42-mm horizontal. Turret front _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Approx. 80-mm (rounded). Turret side _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 80-mm at 25. Turret rear _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 80-mm at 25. Turret roof _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 42-mm horizontal; front and rear sloped at about 5 from horizontal. The suspension consists of front driving sprockets, rear idler, and independent torsion bar springing, with twin steel-rimmed rubber-cushioned disk bogie wheels on each of the nine axles on each side. The bogie wheels are interleaved, and there are no return rollers. Contact length of the track on the ground is about 160 inches.

Panzerkampfwagen VII 'Lwe'

Panzerkampfwagen VIII 'Maus'

Panzerkampfwagen IX

Panzer IX and Panzer X were meant as disinformation designs published in 1944 in Signal magazine to fool the Allies, but by the end of the war similar rounded German tank designs were being evaluated. PzKpfw X was to be wider but lower than Maus and was to be armed with the German 88mm or even 128mm gun. Both designs were very advanced and modern including many features which can be found in modern tanks of today.

"PzKpfw VII (schwere) Lwe". Germany, 1942

LEOPARD

Light version

Heavy version

1000-ton Panzer By Gary Zimmer In June 1942 Hitler and Krupp discussed the feasibility of a one thousand ton super heavy tank. Unusually, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche does not seem to be involved, although this project would be right up his alley. As of December 29, 1942 some preliminary drawings at least had been done. By then the machine had been named 'Ratte' (Rat). If built, P.1000 would have dwarfed its little cousin, Maus. Intended to be 35m long, 14m wide and 11m high, and armed with an ex-Kriegsmarine turret with two 28cm SchiffsKanone C/28. In other words a triple turret similar to those used on the Graf Spee class, but without the center gun. Each gun weighed 48.2 tons and had a barrel length of nearly 15m. Projectiles were 1.2m long, Panzersprenggranate (armor piercing) rounds weighing 330 kg each and containing 8.1kg of explosive, or 315kg Sprenggranate (high explosive) rounds containing 17.1kg of explosive. The maximum range of these guns was 42.5km (26 miles). Some sort of secondary anti-aircraft armament in the form of 2cm Flak guns was planned. One feature of the design, as indicated on the drawing, was the use of triple tracks, each individual track being 1.2m wide. Power was to have been eight Daimler marine engines (presumably E-boat), developed to produce a total 16,000 hp. There are some anomalies in the design of Ratte, as depicted. The amount of track in contact with the ground is inconsistent with the weight of 1000 tons, either it will have a ridiculously low ground pressure, meaning that all that track is not necessary; or it will be heavier than 1000 tons. If we imagine the center hull between the tracks to be an armored box, without worrying yet about the belly or roof, and 200mm thick (and that is a bit light by battleship standards), it works out to be about 730 tons on its own. That doesn't leave a whole lot for suspension, tracks, engines, belly and deck armor. The pair of guns on their own would be another 100 tons, and we can assume that the turret would have to be armored to at least 250mm. If we include the barbette, the turret should account for at least 380 tons, not counting guns, gun mounts and shell hoists. The ammunition stowage is anybody's guess, but bear in mind every three rounds adds another ton to the total weight. If Ratte was built, it would probably end up closer to 2000 tons. Landkreuzer P1000 'Ratte' The world will probably never see an armored land vehicle on the scale of the Ratte. Tellingly, Germans didnt even refer to it as a tank: they called it a land cruiser. The Ratte was so large its dimensions had more in common with a naval vessel than a tank. It had the crew compliment of at least four heavy tanks, armament usually seen mounted on heavy cruisers like the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, and enough antiaircraft weaponry to ward off waves of attacking fighter-bomber. It was 35 meters long, as tall as some

church steeples, and so wide that maneuvering in an urban area would have been either impossible or apocalyptic. The Ratte was so heavy it would have shattered and churned pavement like a plow through sod and collapsed all but a handful of bridges in Germany. The Rattes much smaller cousin, the Maus, turned out to be a ruinous waste of resources for very limited applications in combat. Had the Rattes development progressed even a fraction as far as the Maus it would have devastated Germany. The Ratte was so large that it would have required naval-scale manufacturing with months of skilled laborers time involved in the construction of each individual tank. Just building and assembling its components would have required transportation and handling equipment usually relegated to a shipyard. It is probably to the detriment of the world that the Ratte project was cancelled. It would have been cool just to see one of these hideous machines built and, more importantly, it would have taken the place of perhaps fifty or a hundred more useful tanks like the Panther or Panzer IV. The Ratte would have meant an earlier end to hostilities in Europe and it would have provided a damn hot ticket at a museum in the United States or the Soviet Union. Development The development history of the Ratte originates with a 1941 strategic study of Soviet heavy tanks conducted by Krupp. This study also gave birth to the Rattes smaller and more practical relative: the Maus. From the start the Maus was envisioned as an even larger and more formidable version of a heavy tank, while the Ratte was to be a class of vehicle unto itself. This 1941 study produced a suggestion from director of engineering Grote who worked for the U-boat arm of the Ministry of Armaments. In June of 1942, Grote proposed a 1000-ton tank that he termed a Landkreuzer equipped with naval armament and armored so heavily that only similar naval armaments could hope to touch it. To compensate for the immense weight of the vehicle the Ratte would have sported three 1.2 meter wide tread-assemblies on each side totaling a tread width of 7.2 meters. This helped with the stability and weight distribution of the Ratte but its sheer mass would have destroyed pavement and prevented bridge travel. Fortunately, the height of the Ratte and its nearly 2 meters of ground clearance would have allowed it to ford many rivers with ease. Hitler became enamored with the idea of a truly super tank and ordered Krupp to set to work developing the Ratte. While development of the Ratte does not seem to have progressed very far some sources believe that a turret was completed for the Ratte and then used as a fixed gun emplacement in Norway. Several such emplacements survived the war, many mounting turrets from broken-up vessels very similar to the turret intended for the Ratte. However, despite references to a Ratte turret being used as a fixed emplacement there is no evidence that it ever existed. The Gneisenau was broken up in 1944 and its turrets were used as emplacements near Rotterdam in Holland. Similar turrets were used near Trondheim in Norway which was the supposed location of the Ratte turret.

Battery rland - Norway [Originally the C turret on the Gneisenau]

Development of the Ratte was completely cancelled in 1943 by the dangerously wise German Minister of Armaments, Albert Speer. Speer exhibited an uncanny ability to cancel the more moronic and wasteful of Hitlers pet projects and focus German resources on proven weapon systems. Technical Mumbo Jumbo There were two proposed power plants for the P. 1000 Ratte. One concept was powered by two MAN V12Z32/44 24-cylinder diesel engines similar to those used on German submarines. This double engine design produced a Herculean 17,000 horsepower. These were the engines used to derive the 44kp/h maximum speed of the Ratte by the Germans. The more likely engine was the Daimler-Benz MB501. This 20-cylinder marine diesel engine was identical to that used on the German fast torpedo boats or S-boots. Linking eight of these engines would have theoretically produced 16,000 horsepower. Given that the MB501 was a more proven, inexpensive, and easier to manage engine it seems likely this eight-engine design would have appeared in the Ratte prototype. The primary armament of the Ratte was two 280mm SK C/34 naval guns mounted in a modified naval heavy cruiser turret fitting two guns instead of three. The SK C/34 was a devastating piece of artillery capable of penetrating more than 450mm of armor at its maximum effective direct-fire range of roughly five kilometers. The guns could also be elevated up to 40 degrees to achieve a range of 40 kilometers. Armor-piercing shells and two types of high explosive shells were available for these naval guns. One difficulty facing the 280mm dual battery would have been the Rattes inability to sufficiently depress its weapons to fire at nearby targets. Accompanying vehicles would have likely accomplished this task.

Jagdtiger Additional armament was a 128mm anti-tank gun like that mounted on the Jagdtiger or Maus, two 15mm heavy machineguns and eight 20mm anti-aircraft guns, probably with at least four of them as a quad mount. The 128mm anti-tank guns location on the Ratte is a point of contention among historians. Most believe it would have been mounted within the primary turret, though some think a smaller secondary turret would have been mounted at the rear of the Ratte near the engine decking. The rear turret makes more sense logistically, but the surface area of engine decking at the rear of the Ratte might have made this unrealistic. A third option would have been a hull-mounted version of the 128mm gun similar to that

seen on the Jagdtiger. This would have at least been able to engage nearer targets than either of the other options. Additional armament would have been spread on and throughout the Ratte. The heavy-machineguns and some of the 20mm guns would have probably been mounted inside ball mounts in the hull of the Ratte. A quad 20mm flak gun could have been mounted on the extremely large top surface of the turret and additional 20mm guns mounted on the top hull at the rear of the Ratte. If they were willing to put up with the exhaust fumes, an entire platoon of Panzergrenadiers could have sat atop the rear hull of the Maus. While the Ratte was supposedly a 1000-ton vehicle this number was an almost mystically optimistic figure, much like the 100-ton weight intended for the Maus. The turret alone for the Ratte would have weighed more than 600 metric tons. The actual combat-loaded weight of the Ratte would have been closer to 1,800 tons. The speed, range, and longevity of the engines and transmission would have suffered accordingly. Variants The Ratte was a paper Panzer and as such the only real variants were the two choices of engines. Analysis The Ratte was a very problematic vehicle and the size of the Ratte was responsible for most of the issues it would have encountered on a hypothetical battlefield. A Ratte on the move would have been relegated to fields and countryside because of its road-destroying weight. Without bridges as a river-crossing option, the Ratte would have been unable to cross flooded or deep rivers and scouting parties might have wasted lengthy periods and squandered lives finding a crossing point. Gunners on a Ratte would have found it awkward to engage targets from close or medium range with even a hull-mounted 128mm gun. Concealing the Ratte from aircraft would have required a blimp hangar or some sort of bizarre camouflage that would make it resemble a building. Such camouflage is feasible, if comical, but would have been useless the first time ground units spotted the Ratte. From that point on the Ratte would have been constantly harassed by fighter-bombers. Even if the Rattes 20mm AA guns had managed to drive these off, the Ratte was such an enormous target that high-altitude bombers could have been employed to attack it. Not everything was bad about the Ratte. Infantry would have been less of a risk than with the Maus because of the number of point defense weapons and the space for infantry to ride on the vehicles hull. The Ratte would have likely served as the cornerstone of a unit of traditional military vehicles and these would have assisted in defending it from enemy tanks and aircraft. Enemy armor posed almost no conceivable threat to the Ratte. They might have destroyed things like the AA guns on the turret or damaged radio antennae or weapon optics, but beyond minor damage enemy tanks were toys next to this mammoth vehicle. Enemy artillery was slightly more threatening and became downright dangerous if the Ratte made the mistake of straying within range of naval bombardment. The greatest strength of the Ratte would have been its ability to single-handedly halt a major enemy offensive. It would have been slow and poor on the attack but the sight of a Ratte looming out of fog on a battlefield would have almost immediately scattered enemy ground forces. If they didnt flee right away they would have once they realized their weapons were nearly useless against it. Make no mistake, the astronomical cost of building a Ratte would not have been offset by its strengths. Once deployed and used in combat, it was just a matter of time before enemy aircraft destroyed it. With such poor speed and the limitations of the terrain the Ratte would not have enjoyed the same advantages of a wide open sea as its naval counterparts. The Ratte could have turned the tide of a single battle at the cost of a campaign.

The 80cm 'Gustav' in Action The largest gun ever built had an operational career of 13 days, during which a total of 48 shells were fired in anger. It took 25 trainloads of equipment, 2000 men and up to six weeks to assemble. It seems unlikely that such a weapon will ever be seen again. The 80-cm K (E), for all its size and weight, to say nothing of its 'overkill' firepower, went into action on only one occasion. It was originally intended to smash through the extensive Maginot Line forts but when the campaign in the West took place in 1940 the 80-cm K (E) was still in the Krupp workshops at Essen and, in any event, the German army bypassed the Maginot Line altogether. Thus when the 80-cm equipment had completed its gun proofing trials at Hillersleben and its service acceptance trials at Rugenwalde there was nothing for the gun and its crew to do. To justify the labour and effort of getting the huge gun and its entourage into action, the potential target had to justify all the bother involved, and there were no really large fortification lines left in Europe for the gun to tackle. The two major fortification systems, the Sudetenland defenses and the Maginot Line, were both in German hands and it seemed that the 80-cm K (E), or 'schwere Gustav' (heavy Gustav) as it became known, was redundant even before it had fired an aggressive shot During early 1941 one potential target appeared on the planner's drawing boards and that was Gibraltar. It was planned to assault this isolated fortress at the mouth of the Mediterranean to deny the inland sea to the Allies but as Spain was neutral, permission had to be obtained from General Franco to allow German troops to travel through Spain to make the attack. Operational planning for the assault (named Operation 'Felix') got to the stage at which German parachute and glider troops were actively training for the assault before a meeting between Hitler and Franco showed that the wily Spanish dictator was not going to allow himself or his country to become mixed up in a major European conflict, Thus another potential target for the 'schwere Gustav' came and went. The invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation 'Barbarossa') took place during the second half of 1941 without any assistance from the 80-cm K (E), but by early 1942 the advances of the German army were so rapid and deep that they were on the approaches to the Crimea. Ahead of them lay the naval base of Sevastopol, which was potentially a useful supply port and base for the southern German armies. The need for such a supply base was not very pressing, but what attracted the German operational planners was that Sevastopol was a heavily-fortified port. Around the perimeter of the city was a long chain of fortifications; some of them dating back to the days before the Crimean War of 1854-6 but others more modern, and near the sea coasts there were numerous heavy coastal batteries. The place looked ideal for an investment and siege in the old manner, to be followed up by a huge assault which would demonstrate to the world the power of the German army. Soon the relatively light forces that advanced into the Crimea were supplemented by more and more troops and the German planners started to scour Europe for heavy guns to form an old-fashioned siege train.

Karl-Gert For centuries it had been the task of the siege train to bombard a besieged fortress into submission or else open a breach for attacking troops to storm. The Germans decided to repeat this performance on a massive scale. From all corners of Europe the German army assembled a massive gun park of all types of artillery from small-caliber field guns up to pre-World War I large-caliber howitzers. Some were German in origin but others were old captured weapons, and to these were added the modern embellishments of artillery rockets and super-heavy artillery. Into this category came the 60-cm (23.6-in) mobile mortars known as the Karl-Gert, and it was realized that at last the propaganda coup could be topped by the first operational use of 'schwere Gustav'. Accordingly the 80-cm K (E) trundled to the Crimea on specially re-laid track. Well ahead of its progress a small army of laborers started to prepare the gun's chosen firing position at Bakhchisaray, a small village outside Sevastopol. Well over 1,500 men under the control of a German army engineer unit dug through a small knoll to form a wide railway cutting on an arc of double track, and the sides of the cutting were raised to provide cover and protection for the gun. On the approaches railway troops labored to re-lay track and strengthen possible trouble points against the passing of the 'schwere Gustav'. Work on the eventual firing site reached the point where the area behind the curve of firing tracks resembled a small marshaling yard over 1. 2 km (0. 75 miles) long. It resembled a marshaling yard, and that was exactly what it was. In the area the 25 separate loads that formed the gun and its carriage had to be assembled and pushed and pulled into the right position and order. Farther to the rear were the accommodation areas where the numerous men of the gun crew lived and prepared for their task The manpower involved in assembling 'Schwere Gustav' was large. Each of the 80-cm K(E)s had a complete detachment of no less than 1,420 men under the command of a full colonel. He had his own headquarters and planning staff, and there was the main gun crew which numbered about 500, most of whom were involved with the complicated ammunition care and handling. Once in action these 500 would remain with the gun, but the rest of the gun's manpower was made up from various units including an intelligence section to determine what targets to engage. Quite a number of troops were involved in the two light anti-aircraft defense battalions that always accompanied the gun when it travelled and also supplied manpower for some assembly tasks. Once the gun was in position these AA battalions warded off unwanted aerial intruders. Two guard companies constantly patrolled the perimeter of the gun position (at one time these companies were Romanian), and at all times there was a small group of civilian technicians

from Krupp who dealt with the technical aspects of their monster charge and advised the soldiers. Railway troops and the usual administrative personnel added to the manpower total. Even using this small army of men it took between three and six weeks to assemble the gun, even using the two 10-tonne cranes that had been designed especially for the task. Just getting the right subassembly load into position at the right time was a masterpiece of railway marshaling and planning, but eventually it was all sorted out and by early June 1942, 'schwere Gustav' was ready, along with the rest of the siege train with all their cumbersome carriages and ammunition emplaced ready to hand. Firing commenced on June 5, 1942. 'Schwere Gustav' was but one voice in a huge choir that heralded one of the largest and heaviest artillery bombardments of all time. By the time Sevastopol fell early in July 1942 it was calculated that no fewer than 562,944 artillery projectiles had fallen on the port, the bulk of them from heavy-caliber guns and howitzers, and this total does not include the noisy storms of artillery rockets and the extra weight of the infantry's own unit artillery. How the civilians of Sevastopol survived it all can now be explained quite easily. They simply went underground. The city knew the bombardment was coming, for not only had their own party and other authorities told them what to expect, but the Germans constantly assailed them with radio broadcasts and other propaganda as to the wrath that was to befall them. By the time the real bombardment started they had already dug deep shelters both underground and in the walls of quarries and hillsides, and there they lived and remained for weeks, A surprising number survived it all. 'Schwere Gustav' was not used against civilian targets. Its first targets were some coastal batteries that were engaged at a range of about 25,000 m (27,340 yards), and all shots were observed by a special Luftwaffe flight of Fieseler Fi-156 Storchs assigned to the gun. Eight shots were all that were required to demolish these targets, and later the same day a further six shots were fired at the concrete work known as Fort Stalin. By the end of the day that too was a ruin and preparations were made for the following day. It might be thought that 14 rounds in a day was slow going, but in fact it was good going for a gun with a caliber of 80 cm (31.5 in). At best the firing rate was one round every 15 minutes, and more often the interval was longer. The preparation of each shell and charge was considerable and involved several stages including taking the temperature of each charge, accurately computing the air temperature and wind currents at altitude, and getting the shell and the charge to the breech. Projectile and charge then had to be rammed accurately, and the whole barrel had to be elevated to the correct angle. It all took time. 'Schwere Gustav' was in action again on 6 June, initially against Fort Molotov. Seven shells demolished that structure and then it was the turn of a target known as the White Cliff, This was the aiming point for an underground ammunition magazine under Severnaya Bay and so placed by the Soviets as to be invulnerable to conventional weapons. It was not invulnerable to the 80-cm K (E) for nine projectiles bored the way down through the sea, through over 30 m (100 ft) of sea bottom and then exploded inside the magazine. By the time 'schwere Gustav' had fired its ninth shot the magazine was a wreck, and to cap it all, a small sailing ship had been sunk in the process. The next day was 7 June, and it was the turn of a target known to the Germans as the Sdwestspitze, an outlying fortification that was to be the subject of an infantry attack. After seven shots the target was ready for the attentions of the infantry and the gun crews were then able to turn their attentions to some gun maintenance and a short period of relative rest until 11 June. On that day Fort Siberia was the recipient of a further five shells, and then came another lull for the gun crews until 17 June, when they fired their last five operational shells against Fort Maxim Gorki and its attendant coastal battery. Then it was all over for 'schwere Gustav'. Once Sevastopol had fallen on 1 July, the German siege train was dispersed all over Europe once more, and 'schwere Gustav' was taken apart and dragged back to Germany, where its barrel was changed. Including the 48 operational shells fired against the Crimean targets, 'schwere Gustav' had fired about 300 rounds in all, including proofing, training and demonstration rounds. The old barrel went back to Essen for relining. There was nothing more for 'schwere Gustav' to do, It spent some time on the Rugenwalde ranges firing the odd demonstration projectile and being used for the development of some long-range concretepiercing projectiles, and at one point there was talk of replacing the 80-cm (31.5-in) barrel with a 52-cm

(20.5-in) barrel to provide the weapon with more range. That project came to nothing, as did a project to place the 80-cm (31.5-in) barrel on a tracked self-propelled chassis for street fighting. Considerable planning was spent on this outlandish idea before it was terminated, though the idea was no more impractical than the whole 80-cm K (E) project, which had absorbed immense manpower and facilities of all kinds, all to fire 48 rounds at antiquated Crimean fortifications. By May 1945 'schwere Gustav' was scattered all over central Europe. The carefully-planned trains had been attacked constantly by Allied aircraft and what parts were still in one piece were wrecked by their crews and left for the Allies' wonderment. Today all that is left of 'schwere Gustav' and 'Dora' are a few inert projectiles in museums. A Czech book seems to suggest that it was planned to move it to the Channel for bombardment of England, and there are drawings of the proposed tunnel. 1500-ton Self-Propelled 80cm Gun By Gary Zimmer In a paperback titled Tanks of the Axis Powers published over 20 years ago there is a brief mention of some of Germany's armored follies. It mentions a 1500 ton super heavy tank, cased in 250mm of armor, armed with an 80cm gun and two 15cm weapons, and powered by four U-boat diesels. Although there was no illustration I have always been curious as to what this 1500 tonner would look like.

"Heavy Gustav " or "Dora"

However we do know something about the proposed main weapon, the 80cm. Although not the largest caliber gun ever made, or the longest ranged, the 80cm railway gun 'Dora' was the biggest. As far as we know it was used only sparingly, to shell Sevastopol in the Crimea, and later Warsaw. Too large to be transported whole, Dora required several trains to transport it. Before assembly could begin, and this took several weeks to accomplish, a second track had to be laid at the chosen firing site. Movable straddle cranes also had to be assembled, these were on their own additional rails. The two 20 axle halves of the chassis were shunted onto the double tracks side by side, and coupled together. Only then could the cranes start putting the really big bits on. Once assembled Dora must have been an awesome sight, all one thousand three hundred and fifty tons of it. The barrel alone weighed 100 tons, the breech was also another 100 tons. It could fling a 7 ton shell about 45 km. As a piece of static siege artillery there was no question of its effect, but even its creators, Krupp, admitted while it was a valuable research tool, as a practical weapon of war it was useless. Which brings us to the 1500 tonner, aptly named 'Monster' by armaments minister Albert Speer. It may have been an attempt to make some use of Dora, or simply an extension of a policy to self-propel all heavy artillery, but someone got the idea of putting Dora on tracks.

Alleged wartime sketch of the "Monster"

The wartime sketch (provided courtesy Karl Horvat, an Australian researcher) is all we have, but it allows us to deduce a few things. One reason why you can't simply scale up an existing tank design is ground pressure. If you know the mass and dimensions (i.e. area of track in contact with the ground) of a vehicle, it is quite easy to work out ground pressure. Put simply, weight will be roughly proportional to the volume or the cube of the dimensions, while the area of track in contact with the ground will be proportional to the square of dimensions. If we double the size of a tank, we get eight times the weight but only four times the track area, thus twice the ground pressure. (There's also twice the stress in suspensions, axles and everything else, it's why elephants have thicker legs than flamingos.) A very light tracked vehicle, such as a Bren carrier, will have what appears to be ridiculously narrow tracks. As a vehicle gets heavier, the proportion of its width covered by track increases. A Centurion has about 40% of its width as track, while for the 188 ton Maus tank, the figure was about 66% or two thirds. In fact the most striking thing about Maus is this proportion of track width to overall width. Assuming a pressure of 1.2 kg per sq cm for this 1500 tonner, that's about midway between that of a Centurion and a Maus, and seems a realistic place to start. Working backwards, we can use ground pressure and weight (1500 tons, or thereabouts) to find how much contact area it needs. Track width appears to be around 80% of the width, giving tracks of 2.4m width (each) for an overall width of 6m. The illustration appears to be about 6m wide, as is the gun on its rail mount. If we stick to an assumed six meter width, close to an upper limit if we ever consider movement by road, this behemoth thus requires 27m of track on the ground. There's only one problem with this, it won't turn. The shorter a tracked vehicle is, that is track length on the ground, the less resistance there is to turning. Also, the wider it is, the outside track is able to generate a greater turning moment, and overcome the resistance of both tracks to being pushed sideways. A governing aspect of tracked vehicle design is the ratio of the distance between track centers, and track contact length. Typically, this is about 2:1 for most vehicles. The 1500 tonner has a length/width ratio of about 7.5 to 1, and this is horrific. The way out of this is chassis articulation. By using four track units, each 14m long, and allowing each pair to be turned independently, it might just work. Having four track units ties in nicely with the four U-boat diesels. All the Porsche heavy tanks were electric drive, and it seems hard to imagine anything else for a machine this size. In a U-boat, the diesels drove dual purpose electric motor-generators, but on the 1500 tonner these would function as generators only. It seems logical that each diesel would have its own generator. These four generators would each run an electric motor in each of the four track units. Of course the diesels and generators could be anywhere in the vehicle, as no mechanical drive to the tracks would be required. The other pieces of information are harder to fit into the picture. Just where the two turrets, each with a 15cm gun, would fit I have no idea. If the layout of Dora is preserved, as the illustration seems to indicate, there appears to be no place for them. Also, having these turrets side by side, as Axis suggests, implies a much greater width than 6m if these turrets are not to foul. More puzzling still is the 25cm of frontal armor. The illustration shows that the loading decks, and of course the crew doing the loading, had no protection at all, nor would they need any being many miles from whatever they were shooting at. Having this extent of armor is only required if the machine is going to be used as a direct fire weapon, in other words as a tank and not a piece of selfpropelled artillery. It also appears that the shell hoists are retained, as on the rail gun. While having no on-board stowage of 80cm rounds is not an issue for SP artillery, it would be an absolute must for a 'tank'. Dora was supplied with 80cm rounds from the rail lines it sat upon, but this would not be any use to an SP operating away from any railhead. I imagine that ammunition vehicles would be required to deliver one round at a time to the hoists, they could possibly be similar to the Panzer IV carriers used with the Karl Mrsers. Apart from these carriers there would probably be a whole retinue of vehicles accompanying this giant machine; fire control and signals vehicles, a flak unit, the cook's truck, and so on.

Munitionsschlepper Panzer IV E-D We can only speculate how this machine might be moved. As with Dora, it could conceivably be transported by rail in pieces, but once assembled and moving under its own power beyond the rail network the fun would really start. As with all oversize vehicles, the planned route would need to be carefully surveyed. It would occupy the entire width of a road on its own, and travelling through any town en route would no doubt lead to a fair bit of urban renewal. Rivers would be less of a problem, as the machine's great height would permit fairly deep fording. However the greatest problem would be the high center of gravity due to the mass of barrel, breech, recoil system so high up, and sideslope of the ground would be the main restriction to travel, lest the vehicle keel over. As with other large land vehicles, there is a distinction between 'movable' and 'mobile'.

Rumor has it, this massive war-machine, dubbed the "Siege Bot" in Western intelligence circles, was built by the Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein. The huge gun tube launched rocket-assisted howitzer rounds, and was intended to crack Iranian fortifications during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. The Siege Bot vanished soon after the first Gulf War, having never fired on Allied troops. The United States denies having it.. It is reminiscent of the German assault gun Panzermrser Sturmtiger of 1944... Sturmmrser Tiger Type: Gigantic Rocket-Assisted Mortar Tank Specific Features: One of the most fearsome and effective German tanks of World War II was the Panzer Mk VI, or Tiger as it was better known. The Tiger mounted a long-barreled 88mm gun specially designed for it, unlike the later King Tiger and Jagdpanther which mounted modified full-size versions of the 88mm anti-tank gun. The Surmmrser Tiger, or Sturm Tiger, was based on the effective Tiger chassis but replaced the turret and 88mm armament with an enclosed superstructure and a massive 380mm rocketassisted mortar. The rocket activated shortly after firing and exhaust often backwashed down the stubby barrel of the Sturm Tiger. To counteract this potentially catastrophic effect the gun barrel had a ring of gas vents so that exhaust would vent outwards from the barrel.

The projectile, larger than most naval artillery, was capable of leveling a building in a single shot or penetrating through 2 and a half meters of reinforced concrete. The Sturm Tiger had a surprisingly large internal magazine given the size of the rockets, carrying 15 in total. For replenishing the magazine a special hatch was built into the roof of the superstructure and a loading arm and pulley system was attached to the back. This system allowed the crew to stand outside the tank and "hand" shells in. When the mortar was utilized it was almost always fired over a "flat" trajectory, meaning that unlike conventional mortars this one was also intended to be fired straight at the target and not lobbed in an arc.

History: Proposed in early August of 1943 as the Germans were once again mounting an increasingly desperate summer offensive against the Soviets, the Sturm Tiger was championed by Panzer Leader Heinz Guderian. He clearly saw the limitations of even heavy tanks when it came to urban fighting and wanted a weapon that could roll in to support the infantry and route the enemy from the toughest positions. The armament was derived from a secret project of the Navy to develop a means for submarines to bombard shore positions. The Kriegsmarine abandoned this project but it proved perfectly suited for the Sturm Tiger and was adopted with modifications. Unfortunately for the Germans, by the time the first of only 18 Sturm Tigers had rolled out of the Alkett plant in Berlin-Spandau a slow-moving anti-bunker tank was of dubious value. Despite this the Sturm Tiger performed well, proving adequate at anti-tank and infantry engagements in defense of the rapidly collapsing Reich.

Land Cruisers P-1000, P-1500 "Ratte"

A size comparative between the Panzer V [Panther] and the P-1000 [Ratte] The protruding barrels in the latter are 8x37mm Flak guns On June 23, 1942, Dir. Dip. Ing. Grote (along with Dr.Hacker) from the Ministry of Armament, who was responsible for the production of U-Boote suggested the development of a tank with a weight of 1,000 tons. Hitler himself expressed interest in this project and allowed Krupp to go ahead with it. The project was designated as the Krupp P.1000 (Ratte - Rat). This behemoth "land cruiser" would be 35 meters long, 14 meters wide and 11 meters high. P.1000 would be equipped with 3.6 meters wide tracks per side made of three 1.2 meters tracks, similar to those used in excavators working in coalmines. It was planned to power P.1000 with two MAN V12Z32/44 24 cylinder Diesel marine engines with total power of 17,000hp (2 x 8,500hp) or with eight Daimler-Benz MB501 20 cylinder Diesel marine engines with total power of 16,000hp (8 x 2,000hp). According to the calculations, this would allow the P.1000 to travel at maximum speed of 40 km/h. P.1000 would be armed with a variety of weapons such as: two 280mm gun (naval gun used on Scharnhorst and Gneisenau warships), single 128mm gun, eight 20mm Flak 38 anti-aircraft guns and two 15mm Mauser MG 151/15 guns.

P.1500 Monster

The Landkreuzer P. 1500 Monster was a pre-prototype ultraheavy tank meant as a mobile platform for the Krupp 800mm Schwerer Gustav artillery piece, in fact, a mobile grand cannon. If completed it would have easily surpassed the Panzer VIII Maus, and even the extremely large Landkreuzer P. 1000 Ratte in size. It would have been 42 m (138 ft) long, would have weighed 2500 tonnes, with a 250 mm hull front armor, 4 MAN U-boat (submarine) diesel engines, [though it would only have enough power to reach up to speeds of 10-15 kph] and an operating crew of over 100 men. The main armament would have been an 800 mm Dora/Schwerer Gustav K (E) railway gun 10 times bigger in diameter than modern tank cannons, and a secondary armament of two 150 mm SFH 18/1 L/30 howitzers and multiple 15 mm MG 151/15 machine guns. In early 1943, Armaments Minister Albert Speer cancelled both projects. The P.1000 turret allegedly ended up at a coastal defense battery rland near Trondheim, Norway. Prior to both the P.1000 and P.1500, in 1939, Krupp began working on other similar projects for a projected series of self-propelled coastal guns for the Kriegsmarine. The series was to include fourteen different platforms designated from R1 to R14. Armament was to range from 150mm to 380mm and they were to be mounted on fully traversable turntables on tracked carriages. One of the designs was the R2 coastal gun armed with a 280mm gun. The series never left the drawing boards for obvious reasons.

Die Glocke (German for "The Bell") is the name of a purported top secret Nazi scientific technological device. The only source for this is the books of Polish aerospace defense journalist and military historian Igor Witkowski, which claims it to be a secret weapon, or Wunderwaffe. The topic has been popularized by Nick Cook, Joseph P. Farrell and conspiracy theory websites, associating it with Nazi occultism and antigravity or free energy research. The device was first claimed to exist by Igor Witkowski, in his Polish language book Prawda O Wunderwaffe (2000, reprinted in German as Die Wahrheit ber die Wunderwaffe), in which he refers to it as "The Nazi-Bell". Little was known or reported on regarding the device until it was popularized in the English-speaking Western world by journalist, author, and former British aviation editor for Jane's Information Group, Nick Cook, in his book The Hunt for Zero Point. Interest grew, and Witkowski's book was translated into English in 2003 by Bruce Wenham as The Truth about the Wunderwaffe. Further speculation about the device has appeared in books by the American fringe authors Joseph P. Farrell, Jim Marrs, and Henry Stevens. "The Bell" has become something of a legend among believers in perpetual motion machines, anti-gravity devices, reality shifting, reanimation, and time-space manipulation. The Bell is said be an experiment carried out by Third Reich SS scientists working in the German facility Der Riese (The Giant) near Wenceslaus mine. The mine is located 50 kilometers away from Breslau a little north village of Ludwikowice Kodzkie (formerly known as Ludwigsdorf) close to Czech border. Cook and Witkowski visited the site for the UK Channel 4 documentary UFOs: the Hidden Evidence (aka An Alien History of Planet Earth).

The device is described as metallic, approximately 9 feet wide and 12 to 15 feet high with a shape similar to a bell. It contained two counter-rotating cylinders filled with a substance similar to Mercury that glowed violet when activated, known only as Xerum 525 it has been speculated to be Red mercury. When active, The Bell would emit strong radiation, which led to the death of several scientists and various plant and animal test subjects. According to Igor Witkowski, the Polish aerospace historian who researched this craft for 20 years and was interviewed for the Discovery Channel documentary Nazi UFO Conspiracy, "...The external appearance... was such that it was [a] ceramic cover, bell shaped, which housed a kind of core or axis, around which rotated two cylinders, around the axis in opposite rotation. And after connecting to high-voltage current, the cylinders start spinning in opposite directions... Everything suggests.. it could have been a way to master gravity." The Bell was considered so important to the Nazis that they killed 60 scientists that worked on the project and buried them in a mass grave and the only reason we know about the Bell is that the SS General that was tasked with the murders, Jakob Sporrenberg, was tried after the war by a Polish War Crimes court for murdering his own people on what subsequently became Polish soil. So it's his Affidavit that gives us the story of the Bell. What might have happened to The Bell, had it existed, were it to have been evacuated out of Germany is unknown, however there has been some speculation: Witkowski speculated that it ended up in a Nazifriendly South American country, Cook speculated that it ended up in the United States as part of a deal made with SS General Hans Kammler and Farrell speculated that it did not reach the United States until it was recovered in the Kecksburg UFO incident. While the purpose of The Bell is unknown, there is a wide range of speculation from anti-gravity to time travel.

Jan Van Helsing claims in his book Secret Societies that, in a meeting that was attended by the members of various secret orders (Vril Gesellschaft, Thule Society, SS elite of Black Sun) and two mediums, technical data for the construction of a flying machine was gathered along with the messages that were said to have come from the solar system Aldebaran. One of Cook's scientist contacts in The Hunt for Zero Point, was a "Dr. Dan Marckus". (Cook states in his book that he has "blurred" Marckus' name and that he is "an eminent scientist attached to the physics department of one of Britain's best-known universities"). Dr. Marckus claimed that The Bell was a torsion field generator and that the SS scientists were attempting to build some sort of time machine with it. The original claims about the existence of the experiment were spread by Igor Witkowski, who claimed to have discovered the existence of the project after seeing secret transcripts of an interrogation by the KGB of SS General Jakob Sporrenberg. According to Witkowski, he was shown some classified files in August 1997 by a Polish intelligence officer (whose identity Witkowski keeps confidential), who had access to Polish government documents regarding Nazi secret weapons. This officer unveiled to him for the first time the details of the testimony of SS Officer Jakob Sporrenberg, who provided details of this secret sub-program during a questioning by Polish military officials in 1950/51, when he was imprisoned in Poland. Witkowski provides lavish details of this in his book The Truth about the Wunderwaffe. Although no evidence of the veracity of Witkowski's claims have ever been produced, these claims reached a wider audience when they were used by British author Nick Cook in his popular non-fiction book The Hunt for Zero Point. The origin, and only evidence of the story, lies solely on Witkowski's testimony of seeing secret transcripts of Sporrenberg's interrogation and his comments on it. These documents have never been made public and Witkowski claims that he was only allowed to transcribe them and was not allowed to make any copies. No other evidence has come to light. The Henge (Fly Trap)

Among Witkowski's other speculations was that a nearby structure dubbed "The Henge" may have been a test rig for the anti-gravity propulsion generated by the Bell. Witkowski said that an industrial complex at the nearby Wenceslas mine was the testing site for the Bell. In August 2005 German investigator, and GAF Staff Officer, Gerold Schelm (aka "Golf Sierra") visited "The Henge" and released his findings in November of that year. He claims to have debunked the "Henge" part of the story, demonstrating that a similar structure he discovered in the Polish city of Siechnice is merely the frame for a cooling tower, and shows both Witkowski's image and his of the completed cooling tower together for purposes of comparison. Schelm goes on to state that: The similarities between the concrete structure known as "The Henge" and the base structure of this cooling tower in Siechnice are obvious. Despite the number of columns does not match (2 at Siecnice and 11 at Ludwikowice), I am sure, that even their dimensions are almost the same. The construction features are exactly the same, leading to the assumption that the cooling tower and "The Henge" once were built using the same plans, maybe even the same construction company. I had no luck in finding out when the cooling tower in Siechnice was erected, but is in very good condition and I think it was built after WW II, maybe in the 60's or 70's. Witkowski had pointed out to Cook some metal bolts, which were visible on the top of the structure, right above every column. Witkowski concluded that those bolts had once absorbed the physical force of a heavy apparatus that must have been placed in the middle of the structure, possibly the Bell. Schelm states that: Comparing the details of both "The Henge" with the Siechnice cooling tower, the purpose of the bolts mentioned by Witkowski becomes clear: The upper metal construction of the cooling tower is resting on exactly those 12 bolts, being visible just on top of every column like they can be seen at "The Henge". Sorry, Mr. Witkowski, but at this point your theory goes down the drain. The concrete structure that you referred to as a possible "test-rig" for carrying the "Nazi-Bell" inside is no more than the remnant of a cooling tower. And, taking this fact into consideration it appears very plausible that the power plant at the northern end of the valley, next to the "Fabrica", would have had a cooling tower, and a good place to erect that cooling tower would have been the bank right next to the "Fabrica". The "Fabrica", whatever it may have produced, of course would have needed huge amounts of electricity, and this in a very remote location. It would have been feasible to build a power plant next to the factory, producing the required electricity from the coal coming from the in-place Wenceslas Mine. As Cook wrote himself, there was a power plant at the end of the valley, and Witkowski showed it to him. When Cook asked Witkowski what it was, Witkowski said: I am not sure. But whatever it is - whatever it was - I believe the Germans managed to complete it. In this light it is difficult to see, but some of the original green paint remains. You do not camouflage something that is half finished. It makes no sense. Later, he stated that he believes it to be a test-rig. Cook later stated that: I didn't buy Witkowski's test-rig thesis, but then again I wasn't dismissing it either. Witkowski went on to show Cook that "the ground within the structure has been excavated to a depth of a metre and lined with the same ceramic tiles that Sporrenberg describes in the chamber that contained the Bell. Schelm stated that: I had brought a small foldable spade with me and started digging at three or four places within the circumference of "The Henge". I didn't find anything, only bare earth, full of worms and bugs and weed roots.

Witkowski is not believed to have commented on the similar structure in Siechnice. Schelm does comment on the paint on the structure in Ludwikowice, stating "when I looked between the columns, I noticed on the south-eastern edge the remnants of what might have been a concrete rim, reaching around "The Henge" at a slightly larger diameter and about 3 meters outside the circle of columns. A portion of the rim of about 4 meters was left, the rest of the rim was either not accessible due to bushes or had been demolished long time ago. The concrete rim had been painted with the same turquoise paint that had been used for the whole structure."

In 2006 Joseph P. Farrell commented in his book, SS Brotherhood of the Bell: Witkowski also provided this author with more information that was not available when his book was published. Rainer Karlsch, a German historian who recently published a book in Germany on Hitler's nuclear program, also mentioned in his book that a team of physicists from a German university (in Giessen) has carried out a lot of research in Ludwikowice, namely in (the Henge). The result is such that there are isotopes in the construction (in the reinforcement), which can only be the result of irradiation by a strong beam of neutrons, thus that there must have been some kind of device accelerating ions, rather heavy ones. It could be calculated what was the intensity of the radiation in 1945 and generally it was very high. In other words, whatever had been tested at the Henge - and there is every indication that it was the Bell - it not only required a sturdy structure to keep it down but also it gave off strong, heavy, radiation. In his book, Hitler's Suppressed and Still-Secret Weapons, Science and Technology, Stevens wrote about a conversation in the early sixties between a friend's father and his boss at NASA, Otto Cerny, a German scientist from Operation Paperclip. At first Cerny was only vague about his previous work, dismissing it as "weird experiments on the nature of time". However, he later drew a structure made of a circle of stones with a ring around the top along with a second ring from which something hung. At some point during the conversation Cerny described something similar to a concave mirror on top of the device allowing "images from the past" to be seen during its operation. He claimed that it was possible to "go back and witness things", but not to go forward.

How close did Hitler really come to getting the Bomb? The history books say the United States and Britain comfortably won the race against Nazi Germany to build the world's first nuclear bomb. Today, that reassuring view is being nibbled away by the evidence from secret documents trickling out of private or former Soviet archives. Hidden for six decades, these papers confirm that Hitler's scientists indeed were way behind their Manhattan Project counterparts in building a Bomb. But the documents also suggest that by the end of the war in Europe, in May 1945, the Nazis had advanced farther down the nuclear road than is conventionally thought and had struck out in unexpected directions. As early as 1942, the Germans had already cracked some of the biggest conceptual problems behind making an atomic bomb. As the Reich's enemies closed in during the final months of the war, the scientists made some extraordinary technical strides. Using a prototype reactor hastily assembled in a disused beer cellar in southwestern Germany, a team nearly achieved a self-sustaining chain reaction, the key step to manufacturing nuclear explosive. According to two new documentary finds unveiled this year, Hitler's scientists even tested a nuclear weapon. The device that these days would be called a "dirty" bomb. The Reich scientists also sketched plans for the world's first mini-nuke missile. The Nazis were not at all close to having an atomic bomb like those dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. The German progress towards such weapons was comparable to what the Americans had achieved by the summer of 1942. During the last desperate year-and-a-half of war... a group of physicists who had been working on nuclear reactors, nuclear reactions and hollow-point arrangements of high explosives put them together to test a nuclear device. ~ Mark Walker, a professor of history at Union College in Schenectady, New York. Work in atomic physics before World War II led scientists in Germany, as well as in Britain and the United States, to speculate that an awesome release of energy could be obtained if the nucleus of a heavy atomic isotope was split apart, its neutrons whacking into other atoms in a chain reaction. Prompted by warnings from Albert Einstein to President Roosevelt of the Nazis' interest in a bomb, the United States launched the Manhattan Project on Dec. 7 1941, coincidentally the eve of the attack on Pearl Harbor that prompted its entry into World War II. The scheme would cost the equivalent of some 30 billion dollars and muster thousands of scientists and engineers, many of them Jewish scientists who had fled Nazi prosecution of their crimes. That same winter, the German military looked into the prospects for a Bomb and concluded the goal was so tough it was not worth the huge investment of billions.

As a result, Germany's so-called "Uranium Project" was a diffuse affair, gathering between 50 and 100 scientists, scattered across the country and prone to disagreements. Many of them did not devote their efforts full-time to nuclear weapons research and their access to raw materials and brainpower was constrained by allied raids and conscription. After the war, American physicist Samuel Goudsmit investigated the Nazi nuclear effort. In his account, published in 1947, Goudsmit said the lead German physicist, the world-renowned theoretician Werner Heisenberg, had vastly overestimated the amount of uranium 235 needed for an explosion, or critical mass. Heisenberg also failed to understand that plutonium, a by-product of enriching uranium, could also be a fissile material and in fact was an even better fuel for a bomb than uranium 235, Goudsmit said. (Plutonium was used for the Nagasaki bomb). But the traditional picture of German incompetence has been proven wrong by documentary finds, says Walker. As early as February 1942, a German military overview of the Uranium Project concluded that critical mass could be achieved with "around 10-100 kilos" (22-220 pounds) of enriched uranium, a figure comparable to the Manhattan Project's own early estimate, of two to 100 kilos (4.4 to 220 pounds). And newly unearthed Russian documents show that in 1941 Heisenberg drafted a de-facto patent application for a plutonium bomb, although he referred to the substance as "element 94" in relation to its position on chemistry's periodic table, says Walker. What is already known is that Heisenberg's organizational rival, German army physicist Kurt Diebner, pushed ahead with a design for a reactor which was tested in February 1945 in the village of Haigerloch, near Tbingen. It came within a whisker of achieving a self-sustaining chain reaction, although if it had worked, the scientists would have been exposed to lethal levels of radiation, allied experts who discovered the device found. In a controversial book, Hitlers Bombe, published this March 2005, independent German historian Rainer Karlsch said Diebner's team also tested a nuclear device in Thuringia, eastern Germany, on March 4, 1945, killing several hundred inmates. The device was not a weapon in the Hiroshima style, Karlsch says. Instead, it appears to have been an attempt to use high explosives to provoke fission in a hoard of enriched uranium and fusion in a batch of deuterium compounds, creating a fierce, localized, highly radioactive blast. Karlsch bases his claim on eyewitness accounts and a Soviet military espionage report. But the details are sparse and Karlsch has been savaged in some quarters. Even so, this astonishing tale is clearly not over. "More archival material continues to be found, and is still trickling out of Russian archives right now," says Walker. "I do not expect any more major surprises...but that is what I thought in 1989, when my first book on the Nazis' nuclear program was published."

Saturday, March 5, 2005 Hitler won atomic bomb race, but couldn't drop it By Ernest Gill in Hamburg ADOLF Hitler had the atom bomb first but it was too primitive and ungainly for aerial deployment, says a new book that indicates the race to split the atom was much closer than is believed. Nazi scientists carried out tests of what would now be called a dirty nuclear device in the waning days of World War II, writes Rainer Karlsch, a German historian, in his book Hitler's Bomb, to be published this month. Concentration camp inmates were used as human guinea pigs and "several hundred" died in the tests, conducted on the Baltic Sea island of Rgen and at an inland test in wooded hill country about 100 kilometers south of Berlin in 1944 and early 1945. Karlsch, 47, author of a number of books on Cold War espionage and the nuclear arms race, supports his findings on what his publishers call hitherto unpublished documents, scientific reports and blueprints. A US historian, Mark Walker, an expert on the Third Reich's atomic weapons program, lent his support to Karlsch's claims on Thursday. "I consider the arguments very convincing," he said. However, Hitler's atomic weapon did not approach the devastating potential of the US bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, said Professor Walker, a history professor at Union College in Schenectady, New York state. He said the weapon secretly developed and tested by Nazi scientists was more comparable to a dirty bomb, nuclear material encased in explosives. Professor Walker praised Karlsch for writing "a whole new chapter" on Hitler's search for the "wonder weapon". Hitler's claims that his scientists were working on the "wonder weapon" have been dismissed as the ranting of a desperate and deranged man. But Karlsch's book lends credence to the possibility that Hitler may have been closer to getting his hands on that weapon than anyone has previously believed. It was known that German scientists had carried out heavy-water experiments in an attempt to split the atom, using research facilities in Norway and elsewhere. But it was widely believed that Nazi scientists had been hampered by a lack of pure-grade uranium, which was almost non-existent outside North America and Africa. It was also surmised that Hitler had favored conventional weapons over nuclear arms because his limited grasp of strategic warfare prevented him from seeing the ramifications of nuclear capability. It was believed that he had discouraged development of the atom bomb. But Karlsch says he found documented proof of the existence of a nuclear reactor and nuclear weapons testing sites. His publishers, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, said his work was based on four years of painstaking research and interviews with independent historians. Among the most compelling pieces of evidence is a 1941 patent draft for a plutonium bomb, said Markus Desaga, a spokesman for the publisher.

"He also based his research on contemporary research reports, construction blueprints, aerial surveillance photos, notebooks of some of the scientists involved as well as espionage reports by US and Soviet agents," Mr Desaga said. "He also based his findings on radiation measurements and soil analysis." Book: Nazis Tested Crude Nuclear Device By Tony Czuczka Associated Press Writer BERLIN - Nazi scientists trying to build an atomic bomb set off a test explosion two months before the end of World War II, killing hundreds of people in eastern Germany, a German researcher claims in a book published Monday. "Hitler's Bomb" theorizes that the March 1945 device didn't achieve fission, but did scatter telltale radioactive particles at the Ohrdruf test site. It also claims that Nazi Germany briefly had a working nuclear reactor, something historians generally dispute. Author Rainer Karlsch, an economic historian, offers no first-hand proof, saying his account is an interpretation of available evidence and he hopes it will spur more research. He said soil samples from the Ohrdruf site he had analyzed for his book turned up above-average levels of radioactive isotopes such as cesium 137 and cobalt 60, though he quotes the testers as saying the site poses no radiation hazard. However, access to what he believes was ground zero was barred because of old munitions at the site, which served as a Soviet military training area in East Germany after the war. A U.S. mission that arrived in Germany with American troops in 1945 to investigate the German atomic bomb program concluded that the Germans were nowhere near making a nuclear weapon. Karlsch doesn't claim they were near. But based on witness accounts recorded after the war, postwar Allied aerial photos and Soviet military intelligence reports, he argues that a test blast happened March 3, 1945, at Ohrdruf -- then being run as a Nazi concentration camp. He says there probably were several previous tests. "Hitler's bomb -- a tactical nuclear weapon with a potential for destruction far below that of the two American atomic bombs -- was tested successfully several times shortly before the end of the war," the book says. Gerald Holton, a professor of physics and the history of science at Harvard University, said the main scientists in the Nazi atomic bomb program never mentioned a test blast or having built a working nuclear reactor. British intelligence bugged the scientists -- including a key planner, Walther Gerlach -- while they were interned at Farm Hall manor in England after the war. Any claims of a Nazi test blast "would have to have a lot of documentary evidence behind it," Holton said. "It also would have to be checked against the remarks that Gerlach made during his period at Farm Hall ... where none of that sort of planning was discussed by him or anyone else." Karlsch says scientists around Gerlach had "a certain amount" of enriched uranium from an as yet unknown source.

The German device probably was a 2-ton cylinder containing enriched uranium, he writes. The amount of uranium was small, meaning the conventional explosives used to trigger the device did not set off a vastly more destructive nuclear chain reaction, Karlsch said. That would mesh with an account Karlsch said he found in Soviet military archives, apparently based on information from a German informant that said the blast felled trees within a radius of about 500 to 600 yards. Witnesses reported a bright flash of light and a column of smoke over the area that day, and residents said they had nausea and nosebleeds for days afterward, Karlsch says. One witness said he helped burn heaps of corpses inside the military area the next day. They were hairless and some had blisters and "raw, red flesh." Karlsch concludes that the blast killed several hundred prisoners of war and inmates forced to work at the site. Two months later, on May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany surrendered after the Soviets captured Berlin. The book also seeks to turn attention from famous physicists like Werner Heisenberg and Carl Friedrich von Weizscker -- who historians believe were often ambivalent about building a nuclear bomb for Hitler - to lesser-known but fiercely ambitious scientists and Nazi officials who Karlsch theorizes were directly involved in the testing program. Physicist Jeremy Bernstein, who edited the Farm Hall transcripts for the book "Hitler's Uranium Club: The Secret Recordings at Farm Hall," said a key question was where the enriched uranium could have come from. "To enrich uranium, you need a plant the size of Oak Ridge, and the Germans never had one," he said, referring to the sprawling U.S. facility that produced enriched uranium for the Hiroshima bomb. Russian officials were unaware of any such test by the Germans, said Nikolai Shingaryov, a spokesman for Russia's Federal Nuclear Agency. "Of course we don't know everything, but we don't have data about this," he said.

A book published in Italy today is set to reignite a smoldering controversy over how close the Nazis came to manufacturing a nuclear device in the closing stages of the second world war. The 88 year-old author, Luigi Romersa, is the last known witness to what he and some historians believe was the experimental detonation of a rudimentary weapon on an island in the Baltic in 1944. Hitler's nuclear program has become a subject of intense dispute in recent months, particularly in Germany. An independent historian, Rainer Karlsch, met with a barrage of hostility when he published a study containing evidence that the Nazis had got much further than previously believed. Mr Romersa, a supporter of Mr Karlsch's thesis, lives today in an elegant flat in the Parioli district of Rome. His study walls are covered with photographs from a career during which he interviewed many of the major figures of the 20th century, from Chiang Kai-shek to Lyndon Johnson. Though he suffers from some ill health these days, he is still lucid and articulate.

He told the Guardian how, in September 1944, Italy's wartime dictator, Benito Mussolini, had summoned him to the town of Salo to entrust him with a special mission. Mussolini was then leader of the Naziinstalled government of northern Italy and Mr Romersa was a 27 year-old war correspondent for Corriere della Sera. Mr Romersa said that when Mussolini had met Hitler earlier in the conflict, the Nazi dictator had alluded to Germany's development of weapons capable of reversing the course of the war. Mussolini said to me: 'I want to know more about these weapons. I asked Hitler but he was unforthcoming". Mussolini provided him with letters of introduction to both Josef Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda chief, and Hitler himself. After meeting both men in Germany, he was shown around the Nazis' top-secret weapons plant at Peenemnde and then, on the morning of October 12 1944, taken to what is now the holiday island of Rgen, just off the German coast, where he watched the detonation of what his hosts called a "disintegration bomb". They took me to a concrete bunker with an aperture of exceptionally thick glass. At a certain moment, the news came through that detonation was imminent.. There was a slight tremor in the bunker; a sudden, blinding flash, and then a thick cloud of smoke. It took the shape of a column and then that of a big flower. The officials there told me we had to remain in the bunker for several hours because of the effects of the bomb. When we eventually left, they made us put on a sort of coat and trousers which seemed to me to be made of asbestos and we went to the scene of the explosion, which was about one and a half kilometers away. The effects were tragic. The trees around had been turned to carbon. No leaves. Nothing alive. There were some animals - sheep - in the area and they too had been burnt to cinders. On his return to Italy, Mr Romersa briefed Mussolini on his visit. In the 1950s, he published a fuller account of his experiences in the magazine Oggi. But, he said, "everyone said I was mad" By then, it was universally accepted that Hitler's scientists had been years away from testing a nuclear device. Allied interrogators who questioned the German researchers concluded that there were vast gaps in their understanding of nuclear fission. In any case, the US had needed 125,000 people to develop the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, whereas Germany's program involved no more than a few dozen physicists, led by the Nobel laureate Werner Heisenberg. But documents published recently by Mr Karlsch and an American scholar, Mark Walker of Union College, Schenectady, have punctured this consensus. Russian archives have shown that one of the German scientists lodged a patent claim for a plutonium bomb as early as 1941 and, in June, the two historians published an article in the British monthly, Physics World, that included what they claimed was the first diagram of one of the bombs Hitler's scientists were trying to build - a device that exploited both fission and fusion. The true novelty of Mr Karlsch's research, though, is to have turned the spotlight off Heisenberg and onto a competing project run by one Kurt Diebner. A Nazi since 1939, Diebner had his own group at Gottow near Berlin. Mr Karlsch found evidence to show that, sponsored by Walther Gerlach of the Reich Research Council, this group abandoned its quest for an A-bomb to concentrate on a weapon made of conventional high explosives packed around a nuclear core. "It was a tactical battlefield weapon they probably wanted to use against the approaching Soviet armies," said Professor Walker. Could Mr Romersa have seen the detonation of an early prototype? He is not the only person to have claimed to have witnessed similar explosions. Former East German archives have produced this account by Clre Werner: On the evening of March 3 1945, she claimed, she was near the town of Ohrdruf when she saw a "big, slim column" rise into the air, "so bright that one could have read a newspaper".

Ohrdruf had a concentration camp, part of the Buchenwald complex. Heinz Wachsmut, who worked for a local excavating company, told officials that the day after Ms Werner claimed to have seen an explosion he was ordered to help the SS build wooden platforms for the cremation of the corpses of prisoners. He said their bodies were covered with horrific burns. After the war, the scientists engaged in the Nazi project were interned. Gerlach, whose research in other fields won him praise from the likes of Albert Einstein, returned to academic life and died a revered figure. Diebner eventually got a job in West Germany's defense ministry. Neither man ever alluded to their work on what would have been the world's first tactical nuclear weapon. "Diebner and Gerlach said nothing about this," said Professor Walker. "They took it to their graves." ~ Le armi segrete di Hitler, by Luigi Romersa, is published by Ugo Mursia Editore.

Did Hitler have a nuclear bomb? October 2, 2005 Hitler was preparing to unleash a nuclear bomb on the Allies in the last days of the Second World War, it was claimed on Friday An 88-year-old former Italian war correspondent has published an account of an explosion he says he witnessed from deep inside a concrete bunker on an island in the Baltic Sea in 1944. In his book 'Hitler's Secret Weapon', Luigi Romersa claims to be the last living witness to an experimental detonation of a Nazi weapon he says was the world's first atom bomb. He describes seeing a sudden blinding flash outside the bunker and watching a huge column of smoke rising into the sky, which turned everything it touched into cinder Romersa's story suggests the Nazis were much further advanced in their nuclear ambitions than has previously been thought. It has reignited a dispute over how close Hitler came to having nuclear weapons. Recently, historian Rainer Karlsch published a study suggesting that the Nazis conducted three nuclear weapons tests in 1944 and 1945, killing 700 people. His claims have been ridiculed by other historians, who pointed out that only a few dozen German physicists were involved in developing nuclear devices. In comparison, it took 125,000 Americans, including six future Nobel Prize winners, to develop the atomic bombs that exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Romersa claims that in September 1944, Benito Mussolini entrusted him with a secret mission. Italy's wartime leader wanted to know more after Hitler boasted to him of weapons capable of reversing the course of the war. Romersa, then a 27-year-old war correspondent for Corriere della Sera, was sent to Germany and he met Hitler in a bunker in Rastenburg, northern Poland. He was also given a tour around the Nazis' secret weapons plant at Peenemnde, on the Baltic coast. Romersa said from his home in Rome how he saw weapons "streets ahead of any conventional weapons the allies had at the time". : They were developing a missile which they said they intended to launch from Europe across the Atlantic to bomb America. On October 12, Romersa was taken to the island of Rgen, where he watched the detonation of what his hosts called a "disintegration bomb". "I was taken into an underground bunker," he added.

We were handed special glasses and when the bomb detonated there was a flash of light so bright that it penetrated the glasses we were given and lit up the room. I was then told I could not leave the bunker for several hours because of the effects of the explosion. When he left the bunker he saw the devastation just a mile away. The trees had been turned to dust and sheep had been burnt to cinders. Romersa then returned to Italy to report his findings to Mussolini.

He described his experiences in a magazine in the 1950s, but his account was dismissed after Allied interrogators who questioned German scientists concluded there were vast gaps in their knowledge. Recent evidence from Russian archives has, however, shown one of the German scientists lodged a patent claim for a plutonium bomb as early as 1941. Romersa said: Hitler and Nazi Germany had a very, very developed weapons program and were certainly capable of creating an atomic bomb.

The Mysteries of Ohrdruf Located near Ohrdruf, Thuringia was located the S-III Fhrer headquarters. Constructed by approximately 15 - to 18,000 inmates of the nearby Ohrdruf, Espenfeld and Crawinkel concentration camps, from autumn 1944 to spring 1945, was a tunnel system over 1,5 miles in length. Ohrdruf was reached by General Patton about April 11, 1945. Colonel R. Allen accompanying him described the installations extensively in his book. The underground installations were amazing. They were literally subterranean towns. There were four in and around Ohrdruf: one near the horror camp, one under the Schloss, and two west of the town. Others were reported in near-by villages. None were natural caves or mines. All were man-made military installations. Over 50 feet underground, the installations consisted of two and three stories several miles in length and extending like the spokes of a wheel. The entire hull structure was of massive reinforced concrete. Purpose of the installations was to house the High Command after it was bombed out of Berlin. This places also had paneled and carpeted offices, scores of large work and store rooms, tiled bathrooms with bath

tubs and showers, flush toilets, electrically equipped kitchens, decorated dining rooms and mess halls, giant refrigerators, extensive sleeping quarters, recreation rooms, separate bars for officers and enlisted personnel, a moving picture theatre, and air-conditioning and sewage systems.

On April 17, 1945, the United States Atomic Energy Commission inspected various underground workings at Ohrdruf, and removed technical equipment before dynamiting surface entrances. The US authorities have classified all 1945 documents relating to Ohrdruf for a minimum period of 100 years.

David Irving comments: Let us marvel once again at the ability of your average broadsheet journalist to write a story like this without once consulting the author who alone interviewed all the Nazi atomic scientists and nuclear physicists (and of course Reich armaments minister Albert Speer, without whom such a project would have been impossible) in writing his book The Virus House (The German Atomic Bomb, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1967): namely, myself. By the time Prof Mark Walker came along, these scientists were dead, and he relied heavily on my 1967 book and documents while at the same time lashing out at me as a -- guess what -- "Holocaust Denier". The biography of Werner Heisenberg by Thomas Powers is more discerning. That Walker can be a professor at a New York college and spout these views is disturbing (unless he is doing so for a fee). That a reputable firm like Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt published the book -- they are after all Germany's quasi-official history publishers -- is equally astonishing. My book was published in Germany, and Der Spiegel serialized it for several weeks. What were these new folks all smoking, one wonders? NOW to the claims which this new author makes: they are rubbish, from the Rudolf-Hess- wasn't-reallyRudolf-Hess school of history. Here is a brief synopsis of the real German atomic research story. There were two rival teams working towards getting an atomic pile critical -- one of theoretical scientists and academics under Nobel prize winner Werner Heisenberg, the other a more empirical team under army scientist Dr Kurt Diebner. Both teams had wrongly been informed by mathematician Professor Bothe that graphite could not be used as a moderator in an atomic pile (now called a nuclear reactor); this left only "heavy water" (deuterium oxide) as a choice, and this substance dribbled forth from the much-attacked heavy water plant in Norway at such a painfully slow rate that they still did not have enough when the war ended. Heisenberg's men nevertheless began building a rudimentary pile in a cave at Haigerloch in southern Germany, with which they experimented until they were captured by the ALSOS mission headed by US colonel Boris Pash and his MI6 colleague Michael Perrin. Diebner's army team did actually attempt to create a fusion reaction by imploding conventional explosives on deuterium (heavy water), in one rudimentary experiment. The German war economy lacked all the basic resources to build an atomic fission bomb, once Speer had assigned top priority to the V2 rocket project. It had no means whatever to build a "dirty" bomb. The suggestion that the Germans lacked "pure-grade uranium" is absurd, unless this refers to the enriched U235, bomb making ("weapons-grade") material; the Germans had captured the Belgian uranium-ore stockpiles in 1940, and Degussa had no problems refining it. The ALSOS teams found hundreds of cubes of solid uranium, as photographs in my book show. Nor is the 1941 "plutonium" patent news: Carl-Friedrich von Weizscker, scientist brother of the later German president Richard von W., was a member of the Heisenberg team, and in the Oak Ridge, Tennessee archives of the US Atomic Energy Authority I found the original proposal made by him to the

Heereswaffenamt (German Army Ordnance Dept) on July 1, 1940, for the production of plutonium from a nuclear reactor -- once they had got it critical. They never did.

HITLER'S BOMB: B.S.? "German historian Rainer Karlsch says in a new book, Hitlers Bomb, that the Nazis successfully tested tactical nukes. While I havent seen his book and I dont speak German, Im frankly very skeptical," says Military.com analyst Joe Buff. Not only does Dr. Karlsch publicly admit that he lacks definitive proof. But long-known facts, and his newly-revealed facts, in my mind just dont add up to anything like a working nuclear weapon. One supposed eye witness to the test describes two huge explosions on one night in March, 1945. Others describe the same event in terms of just one long, slim pillar of light. This pillar swelled at the top so that it gained the appearance of a crown of branches and leaves atop a tree trunk. To me, in modern terms, this does sound like a mushroom cloud. People living nearby said that afterward they experienced nose-bleeds, nausea, fatigue, and headache symptoms. One man who was involved said that authorities asked his building company to cremate hundreds of corpses that were burned and dismembered, and then afterward destroy their own clothes -- he said the bodies were obviously those of concentration camp or forced-labor inmates. To me this reads a lot more like a disaster at a factory handling toxic chemicals, which might or might not have been intended for use as chemical weapons. Here are nine reasons why: 1. Any large explosion creates a mushroom cloud. 2. Any above-ground nuclear detonation, even a small tactical-yield one, begins with a blinding flash across the entire sky. Vision is especially impaired at night, when most peoples pupils are dilated due to the dark. The atomic mushroom cloud only results a few seconds after this initial flash. And in war-time 1945, in the remote area where these tests supposedly took place, between blackouts and chronic power shortages and such, at night it would have been really, really dark. One eye witness says they were looking out a window and then saw the mushroom cloud. OK, but it werent no nuke. 3. Acute radiation sickness severe enough to cause widespread nose-bleeds would cause other subcutaneous hemorrhaging too -- like bruises all over the body -- and both vomit and diarrhea would be bloody as well. Yet these symptoms are not mentioned, and they wouldve seriously stuck in peoples memories if theyd occurred, I think. 4. Its extremely unlikely, especially the way Nazi weapon scientists worked in general, for them to have conducted two nuclear tests at the same place in one night, as one witness claims. A test early in any countrys nuclear weapons program is an incredibly important event. Huge amounts of data are collected and need to be analyzed before it makes any sense to expend additional fissile metal on another test. 5. The Nazis did use slave labor in many of their industrial and weapons plants. Any victim killed in a series of explosions at a chemical factory would likely have been burned and dismembered -- you dont need a tactical nuke for that. And recovery-worker clothing would indeed get contaminated by whatever chemicals caused the original disaster, so youd certainly want to dispose of them once you disposed of the corpses. 6. References in some of the media coverage to a Nazi dirty bomb seem muddled up with an actual fission device. Hitler is stated to have been relying on these dirty bombs to repulse the Soviet Armys advance on the Eastern Front. But its well known now, and it would have been understood by German physicists in 1945, that dirty bombs are largely psychological weapons -- and they wouldnt have dented the psyche of Stalins revved-up minions marching on Berlin. The toxic effects of true dirty bombs are much more likely to be cancers years down the road, not immediate and total incapacitation and/or death such as occurred to victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. To halt a few million Russkie foot-soldiers on a

front across hundreds and hundreds of miles, the idea of using radiological bombs is just delusional -- but then, I admit, toward the end Hitler was completely delusional. 7. The actual supposed A-bomb test is described as having a yield much lower than that of the bombs the U.S. used on Japan. The German test, its said, was maybe about a kiloton. But in reality its actually a much more difficult engineering problem to cause an atomic blast of just one KT instead of 20 KTs. Sure, in theory the smaller yield can be obtained with less fissile fuel, which would seem to make it an easier and quicker thing to do, but again theres a very big but. Achieving super-criticality at all with the amount of uranium or plutonium needed to produce a yield of exactly 1 KT is very, very hard, especially with W.W.II-era technology from any nation. Unless, that is, you willing design the weapon to use 20 KTs worth of bomb fuel and waste it in an intentionally inefficient blast -- which would make no sense at all, even to a crazy Nazi. 8. Ah, you say, but maybe Hitler was going for 20KT and a bad design made the weapon fizzle, so it only yielded 1 KT. Sorry, that still doesnt answer the other objections above. 9. Dr. Karlsch relies on analysis of modern soil samples to say that the Germans operated a nuclear reactor near Berlin for perhaps some days or weeks. Its been well known since 1945 that the Nazis were working on what was quaintly called in those days an atomic pile. The design was dreadfully flawed and its uranium was nowhere near purified enough even to mere reactor grade -- the pile would never have achieved a sustained critical chain reaction. The flawed design, running at its best sub-critical activity level, would indeed leave behind traces to show up in soil samples and get people excited sixty years later, if they enjoy getting excited by this sort of thing. The book says that the nukes were never used against the Allies because the Nazis didnt have enough of them. With this part I agree: not enough, as in having exactly zero.

German nuclear energy project The German nuclear energy project was an endeavor by scientists during World War II in Nazi Germany to develop nuclear energy and an atomic bomb for practical use. Unlike the competing Allied effort to develop a nuclear weapon the German effort resulted in two rival teams, one working for the military, the second, a civilian effort co-ordinated by the German Post Office. Overview The nuclear research effort most widely discussed was that of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute team led by the physicist Werner Heisenberg. The second was a military team under the scientific leadership of Prof. Kurt Diebner. This military team was also associated with Dr. Paul Harteck who helped to develop the gaseous uranium centrifuge invented by Dr. Erich Bagge in 1942. Their team was part of the German Army (Heereswaffenamt Forschungsstelle E), the Kriegsmarine (navy) had a subsidiary team looking at nuclear propulsion for U-boats under Dr. Otto Haxel. Konteradmiral Karl Witzell and Konteradmiral Wilhelm Rein were military leaders of the naval nuclear project. The intentions of Heisenberg's team are a matter of historical controversy, centering on whether or not the scientists involved were genuinely attempting to build an atomic bomb for Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. The project was not a military success by any measure. Effectiveness and implications It is generally accepted that the Nuclear Age began with the 1938 publication by Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman of results that proved Enrico Fermi had observed the bursting of a uranium nucleus, in other words: nuclear fission. Immediately afterwards, Lise Meitner and Otto Robert Frisch described the theoretical mechanisms of fission and revealed that large amounts of binding energy was released in the process. Thus by the beginning of World War II the scientific community was well aware of the early German lead in this area of theoretical physics.

The threat of a Nazi atomic bomb was one of the primary driving forces behind the creation of the British TUBE ALLOYS project which would eventually lead to the Allied nuclear weapons effort under Robert Oppenheimer: the Manhattan Project. (Several Germans eventually would make significant contributions to the Allied nuclear effort.) The German government never did finance a full crash program to develop weapons, as they estimated it could not be completed in time for use in the war, thus the German program was much more limited in capacity and ability when compared to the eventual size and priority of the Manhattan Project. In 1945, a U.S. investigation called Project ALSOS determined that German scientists had only almost reached the point that Allied scientists had reached in 1942, the creation of a sustained nuclear chain reaction, a crucial step for creating a nuclear reactor (which in turn could be used for either peaceful purposes or for creating plutonium, needed for nuclear weapons). There has been a historical debate, however, as to whether the German scientists purposefully sabotaged the project by under-representing their chances at success, or whether their estimates were based in either error or inadequacy. Post war After the war, a number of German scientists including Heisenberg, Otto Hahn (who had co-discovered nuclear fission), and Max von Laue (an ardent anti-Nazi), were taken captive by Allied forces and put under secret watch at Farm Hall, England, as part of Operation Epsilon. Their conversations were recorded as Allied analysts attempted to discover the extent of German knowledge about nuclear weapons. The results were inconclusive, but they allowed them to hear the results of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, which sent Hahn into a near-suicidal despair. By the next morning, Heisenberg claimed to have worked out exactly how the American atomic bomb must have worked, judging from reports of the damage and explosive size, and gave a lecture to the rest of the captive scientists on the effort. While it is clear that Heisenberg had a firm understanding of the principles involved, he most likely greatly overestimated the amount of fissionable material required by several orders of magnitude. Heisenberg's 1941 meeting with Bohr In 1941, Werner Heisenberg met with his former mentor Niels Bohr in occupied Denmark and had a conversation outside of any other witnesses. The exact content of their conversation has, since the 1950s, been a matter of some controversy. The meeting and its controversy was the subject of a Tony Awardwinning play from 1998 by Michael Frayn, Copenhagen. There is considerable speculation on what occurred at the real-life meeting, and the actual accounts of it from the parties involved differ. The pro-Bohr version of the story asserts that Heisenberg was seeking to recruit Bohr to the Nazi nuclear effort, and offering him academic advancement in return. The proHeisenberg version asserts that Heisenberg was attempting to give Bohr information about the state of the German atomic program, in the hope that he might pass it to the Allies through clandestine contacts. At that point the German atomic program was not progressing well (the Nazi government had decided not to undertake the investment required to develop a weapon during the war); Heisenberg may have suspected that the Allies had a viable atomic program, and hoped that by disabusing them of the idea that the German program was also successful he could dissuade the Allies from using an atom bomb on Germany. Much of the initial "controversy" resulted from a 1956 letter Heisenberg sent to the journalist Robert Jungk after reading the German edition of Jungk's book Brighter than a Thousand Suns (1956). In the letter, Heisenberg described his role in the German bomb project. Jungk published an extract from the letter in the Danish edition of the book in 1956 which, out of context, made it look as if Heisenberg was claiming to have purposely derailed the German bomb project on moral grounds. (The letter's whole text shows Heisenberg was careful not to claim this.) Bohr was outraged after reading this extract in his copy of the book, feeling that this was false and that the 1941 meeting had proven to him that Heisenberg was quite happy with producing nuclear weapons for Germany. After the play inspired numerous scholarly and media debates over the 1941 meeting, the Niels Bohr Archive in Copenhagen released to the public all heretofore sealed documents related to the meeting, a move intended mostly to settle historical arguments over what they contained. Among the documents

were the original drafts of letters Bohr wrote to Heisenberg in 1957 about Jungk's book and other topics. The documents added little to the historical record but were interpreted by the media as supporting the "Bohr" version of the events. According to the archivists, the letters were released "to avoid undue speculation about the contents of the draft letter", which had been known about but not been open to historians previously. Analysis and Legacy There have been numerous other cited factors for the failure of the German program. One is that the repressive policies under Hitler encouraged many top scientists to flee Europe, including many who worked on the Allied project (Heisenberg himself was a target of party propaganda for some time during the Deutsche Physik movement). Another, put forth by ALSOS scientific head Samuel Goudsmit, was that the stifling, utilitarian political atmosphere adversely affected the quality of the science done. Another is that the German homeland was nowhere as secure from air attack as was the USA. Had the many massive centralized factories and production facilities constructed for the US bomb project been built in Germany, they would have been prime targets for Allied bombing raids. In 2005, Berlin historian Rainer Karlsch published a book, Hitlers Bombe (in German), which was reported in the press as claiming to provide evidence that Nazi Germany had tested crude nuclear weapons on Rgen Island and near Ohrdruf, Thuringia, killing many war prisoners under the supervision of the SS. Some press reports, however, have reported the book as only having claimed to provide evidence that the Nazis have been successful with a radiological weapon (a "dirty bomb"), not a "true" nuclear weapon powered by nuclear fission. Karlsch's primary evidence, according to his publisher's reports, are "vouchers" for the "tests" and a patent for a plutonium weapon from 1941. Karlsch cites a witness to the Ohrdruf blast and another to the scorched bodies of victims afterwards. He also claims to have radioactive samples of soil from the sites. At the Nuremburg trials in 1946 Nazi munitions minister Albert Speer was questioned by prosecutors about the Ohrdruf blast, in an attempt to hold Speer accountable for its victims. Mainstream American historians have expressed skepticism towards any claims that Nazi Germany was in any way close to success at producing a true nuclear weapon, citing the copious amounts of evidence which seem to indicate the contrary. Others counter that Prof. Kurt Diebner had a project which was far more advanced than that of Dr. Werner Heisenberg. A recent article in Physics Today by the respected American historian Mark Walker has presented some of Karlsch's less controversial claims that the Germans had done research on fusion, that they were aware that a bomb could potentially be made with plutonium, that they had engaged in some sort of test of some sort of device, that a patent on a plutonium device (of unspecified detail) had been filed and found as substantiated. The Germans only source of heavy water, a necessary component of some of their bomb research, was Norsk Hydros plant in Vemork, Norway. In February 1943, a Norwegian commando unit sabotaged the plant. Whether this affected the German program is not clear. It is noteworthy, though, that Germany had already had a significant amount of heavy water and could have built a small reactor with it. The problem of the supply of uranium was solved in 1940 when over 1,000 tons of mixed uranium products were captured at Oolen in Belgium. Germany had everything ready, but just seemed unable to do anything with it.

This is pretty amazing. Its a Scientific American article from October 1939, describing the splitting of the atom. It was written just after Einstein had written his famous letter to F.D.R and before the initiation of the Manhattan Project, yet it is obvious that scientists were well aware of the potential uses of atomic fission: It may or may not be significant that, since early spring, no accounts of research on nuclear fission have been heard from Germany not even from discoverer Hahn. It is not unlikely that the German government, spotting a potentially powerful weapon of war, has imposed military secrecy on all recent

German investigations. A large concentration of isotope 235, subjected to neutron bombardment, might conceivably blow up all London or Paris. How close were the Nazis to developing an atomic bomb? The truth is that National Socialist Germany could not possibly have built a weapon like the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima or Nagasaki. This was not because the country lacked the scientists, resources, or will, but rather because its leaders did not really try. They were certainly trying to win the war. And they were willing to devote huge amounts of resources to building rockets, jet planes, and other forms of deadly and sometimes exotic forms of military technology. So why not the atomic bomb? Nazi Germany, it turns out, made other choices and simply ran out of time. A nuclear program is born In January of 1939, the German chemists Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann published the results of an historic experiment: after bombarding uranium with neutronsneutrally charged particlesthey found barium, an element roughly half the size of uranium. Their former colleague Lise Meitner, who a few months before had been forced to flee Germany and seek refuge in Sweden, and her nephew Otto Frisch realized that the uranium nucleus had split in two. These revelations touched off a frenzy of scientific work on fission around the world. The German "uranium project" began in earnest shortly after Germany's invasion of Poland in September 1939, when German Army Ordnance established a research program led by the Army physicist Kurt Diebner to investigate the military applications of fission. By the end of the year the physicist Werner Heisenberg had calculated that nuclear fission chain reactions might be possible. When slowed down and controlled in a "uranium machine" (nuclear reactor), these chain reactions could generate energy; when uncontrolled, they would be a "nuclear explosive" many times more powerful than conventional explosives. Whereas scientists could only use natural uranium in a uranium machine, Heisenberg noted that they could use pure uranium 235, a rare isotope, as an explosive. In the summer of 1940, Carl Friedrich von Weizscker, a younger colleague and friend of Heisenberg's, drew upon publications by scholars working in Britain, Denmark, France, and the United States to conclude that if a uranium machine could sustain a chain reaction, then some of the more common uranium 238 would be transmuted into "element 94," now called plutonium. Like uranium 235, element 94 would be an incredibly powerful explosive. In 1941, von Weizscker went so far as to submit a patent application for using a uranium machine to manufacture this new radioactive element. Researchers knew that they could manufacture significant amounts of uranium 235 only by means of isotope separation. At first German scientists led by the physical chemist Paul Harteck tried thermal diffusion in a separation column. In this process, a liquid compound rises as it heats, falls as it cools, and tends to separate into its lighter and heavier components as it cycles around the column. But by 1941 they gave up on this method and started building centrifuges. These devices use centripetal force to accumulate the heavier isotopes on the outside of the tube, where they can be separated out. Although the war hampered their work, by the fall of the Third Reich in 1945 they had achieved a significant enrichment in small samples of uranium. Not enough for an atomic bomb, but uranium 235 enrichment nonetheless. Nearing a Nazi bomb Uranium machines needed a moderator, a substance that would slow down the neutrons liberated by chain reactions. In the end, the project decided to use heavy wateroxygen combined with the rare heavy isotope of hydrogeninstead of water or graphite. This was not (as one of the many myths associated with the German nuclear weapons effort had it) because of a mistake the physicist Walther Bothe made when he measured the neutron absorption of graphite. Rather, it appeared that the Norsk

Hydro plant in occupied Norway could provide the amounts of heavy water they needed in the first stage of development at a relatively low cost. The Norwegian resistance and Allied bombers eventually put a stop to Norwegian production of heavy water. But by that time it was not possible to begin the production of either pure graphite or pure heavy water in Germany. In the end, the German scientists had only enough heavy water to conduct one or two large-scale nuclear reactor experiments at a time. By the very end of the war, the Germans had progressed from horizontal and spherical layer designs to three-dimensional lattices of uranium cubes immersed in heavy water. They had also developed a nuclear reactor design that almost, but not quite, achieved a controlled and sustained nuclear fission chain reaction. During the last months of the war, a small group of scientists working in secret under Diebner and with the strong support of the physicist Walther Gerlach, who was by that time head of the uranium project, built and tested a nuclear device. At best this would have been far less destructive than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Rather it is an example of scientists trying to make any sort of weapon they could in order to help stave off defeat. No one knows the exact form of the device tested. But apparently the German scientists had designed it to use chemical high explosives configured in a hollow shell in order to provoke both nuclear fission and nuclear fusion reactions. It is not clear whether this test generated nuclear reactions, but it does appear as if this is what the scientists had intended to occur. Time runs out All of this begs the question, why did they not get further? Why did they not beat the Americans in the race for atomic bombs? The short answer is that whereas the Americans tried to create atomic bombs, and succeeded, the Germans did not succeed, but also did not really try. This can best be explained by focusing on the winter of 1941-1942. From the start of the war until the late fall of 1941, the German "lightning war" had marched from one victory to another, subjugating most of Europe. During this period, the Germans needed no wonder weapons. After the Soviet counterattack, Pearl Harbor, and the German declaration of war against the United States, the war had become one of attrition. For the first time, German Army Ordnance asked its scientists when it could expect nuclear weapons. The German scientists were cautious: while it was clear that they could build atomic bombs in principle, they would require a great deal of resources to do so and could not realize such weapons any time soon. Army Ordnance came to the reasonable conclusion that the uranium work was important enough to continue at the laboratory scale, but that a massive shift to the industrial scale, something required in any serious attempt to build an atomic bomb, would not be done. This contrasts with the commitment the German leadership made throughout the war to the effort to build a rocket. They sunk enormous resources into this project, indeed, on the scale of what the Americans invested in the Manhattan Project. Thus Heisenberg and his colleagues did not slow down or divert their research; they did not resist Hitler by denying him nuclear weapons. With the exception of the scientists working on Diebner's nuclear device, however, they also clearly did not push as hard as they could have to make atomic bombs. They were neither heroes nor villains, just scientists working on weapons of mass destruction for Hitler's Germany. There were heated arguments within the German scientific community over the direction of nuclear research. Heisenberg's group preferred a reactor using uranium and heavy water as moderator. Its research, however, had been going on at a snail's pace. Heisenberg just seemed unable to grasp some fundamental principles of making an atomic bomb. This group seemed to believe that a whole reactor would have to be dropped as a nuclear bomb. Even the scientists involved admitted that no atomic bomb could be built before the end of the war. Another group, led by Paul Harteck and backed by Dr. Wilhelm Ohnesorge, head of the Reich Post Office, opted for the low-temperature (-80C) reactor. A low-temperature reactor would produce neither heat nor

power, but would leave radioactive material behind in the forms of spent fuel, radioactive isotopes and plutonium. These by-products, except plutonium, of course, did not amount to an atomic bomb, but there was another possibility. Fine sand and dust could be mixed with the radioactive material to make themselves radioactive (such a device is now known as "dirty bomb"). Packed around the high explosive warheads of the V-1 and V-2, the radioactive dust could spread far and wide, and knock out large cities like London. Harteck, however, met oppositions from Heisenberg, who disagreed with Harteck and withheld crucial materials. As a result, Harteck and others' work did not amount to much.

New light on Hitler's bomb Controversial new historical evidence suggests that German physicists built and tested a nuclear bomb during the Second World War. Rainer Karlsch and Mark Walker outline the findings and present a previously unpublished diagram of a German nuclear weapon This year marks the 60th anniversary of the American nuclear attack on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The atomic bombs that were dropped on Japan in August 1945 were the fruit of a herculean wartime effort by the American, British and migr scientists involved in the Manhattan Project. They had to overcome great obstacles and were only able to test their first atomic bomb after Germany surrendered in May of that year. The main motivation for these scientists when the project began in 1941 was the possibility that they were engaged in a race with their German counterparts to harness nuclear fission for war. Even Albert Einstein had been involved, signing a letter to President Roosevelt in 1939 urging that the US take nuclear weapons seriously. And in December 1943 the Danish physicist Niels Bohr visited Los Alamos - the home of the Manhattan Project - to offer both scientific and moral support. But when the war was over, it was clear that the Germans did not have atomic bombs like those used against Japan. The German "uranium project" - which had been set up in 1939 to investigate nuclear reactors, isotope separation and nuclear explosives - amounted to no more than a few dozen scientists scattered across the country. Many of them did not even devote all of their time to nuclear-weapons research. The Manhattan Project, in contrast, employed thousands of scientists, engineers and technicians, and cost several billion dollars. Not surprisingly, historians have concluded that Germany was not even close to building a working nuclear device. However, newly discovered historical material makes this story more complicated - and much more interesting. Germany and the bomb: a turbulent tale Our understanding of the German nuclear-weapons project during the Second World War has changed over time because important new sources of information keep turning up. For example, in 1992 the British government released transcripts of secretly recorded conversations between 10 German scientists who had been interned at Farm Hall near Cambridge in 1945. With the exception of Max van Laue, all the scientists - Erich Bagge, Kurt Diebner, Walther Gerlach, Otto Hahn, Paul Harteck, Werner Heisenberg, Horst Korsching, Carl Friedrich von Weizscker and Karl Wirtz - had been involved in the uranium project. What was most interesting was the surprise with which the scientists greeted the news that Hiroshima had been bombed. Ironically, at the end of the war German scientists had been convinced that they were ahead of the Allies in the race for nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. Further intriguing material appeared in 2002 when the Niels Bohr Archives in Copenhagen released drafts of letters that had been written by Bohr in the late 1950s about a visit to occupied Denmark by Heisenberg and von Weizscker in September 1941. After the war, the two German physicists claimed that they had merely gone to Copenhagen to assist Bohr and enlist his help in their efforts to forestall all nuclear weapons. But in the letters, Bohr denied that their actions or motivations had been so noble. The intrigue surrounding the visit has been well dramatized in Michael Frayn's play Copenhagen.

We now have an extra twist to the tale with new documents that were recently discovered in Russian archives, including papers from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Physics in Berlin. There are four particularly notable items among this material: an official report written by von Weizscker after a visit to Copenhagen in March 1941; a draft patent application written by von Weizscker sometime in 1941; a revised patent application in November of that year; and the text of a popular lecture given by Heisenberg in June 1942. One of us (RK) has used these documents - as well as many other sources - as the basis of a new book Hitlers Bombe. The book, which was published in March, prompted a heated debate about how close Germany was to acquiring nuclear weapons and how significant these weapons were (see Physics World April 2005 p7). Working with the journalist Heiko Petermann, RK discovered that a group of German scientists had carried out a hitherto-unknown nuclear-reactor experiment and tested some sort of a nuclear device in Thringia, eastern Germany, in March 1945. According to eyewitness accounts given at the end of that month and two decades later, the test killed several hundred prisoners of war and concentration-camp inmates. Although it is not clear if the device worked as intended, it was designed to use nuclear fission and fusion reactions. It was, therefore, a nuclear weapon. Following the publication of Hitlers Bombe, another document has turned up from a private archive. Written immediately after the end of the war in Europe, the undated document contains the only known German drawing of a nuclear weapon. What did German scientists know? Over the years, several authors have concluded that Heisenberg and his colleagues did not understand how an atomic bomb would work. These authors include the physicist Samuel Goudsmit, who in 1947 published the results of a US Army investigation - entitled Alsos - into Germany's bomb effort. The historian Paul Lawrence Rose came to the same conclusion in his 1998 book Heisenberg and the Nazi Atomic Bomb Project 1939-1945. These critics argue that the German scientists did not understand the physics of a nuclear-fission chain reaction, in which fast neutrons emitted by a uranium-235 or plutonium nucleus trigger further fission reactions. Both Goudsmit and Rose also say the Germans failed to realize that plutonium can be a nuclear explosive. These criticisms of the Germans' scientific incompetence are apparently reinforced by the Farm Hall conversations, which reveal that Heisenberg initially responded to the news of Hiroshima with a flawed calculation of critical mass, although within a few days he had improved it and provided a very good estimate. However, there was other evidence that, no matter how Heisenberg responded at Farm Hall, he and his colleagues understood that atomic bombs would use fast-neutron chain reactions and that both plutonium and uranium-235 were fissionable materials. For example, in February 1942 the German army officials who were responsible for weapons development described the progress of the uranium project in a report entitled "Energy production from uranium". This overview, which was discovered in the 1980s, drew upon all classified material from Hahn, Harteck, Heisenberg and the other scientists working on the project. The report concluded that pure uranium-235 which forms just 0.7% of natural uranium, the rest being non-fissionable uranium-238 - would be a nuclear explosive a million times more powerful than conventional explosives. It also argued that a nuclear reactor, once operating, could be used to make plutonium, which would be an explosive of comparable force. The critical mass of such a weapon would be "around 10-100 kg", which was comparable to the Allies' estimate from 6 November 1941 of 2-100 kg that is recorded in the official history of the Manhattan Project - the so-called Smyth report. Von Weizscker's draft patent application of 1941, which is perhaps the most surprising find from the new Russian documents, makes it crystal clear that he did indeed understand both the properties and the military applications of plutonium. "The production of element 94 [i.e. plutonium] in practically useful amounts is best done with the 'uranium machine' [nuclear reactor]," the application states. "It is especially advantageous - and this is the main benefit of the invention - that the element 94 thereby produced can easily be separated from uranium chemically."

Von Weizscker also makes it clear that plutonium could be used in a powerful bomb. "With regard to energy per unit weight this explosive would be around ten million times greater than any other [existing explosive] and comparable only to pure uranium 235," he writes. Later in the patent application, he describes a "process for the explosive production of energy from the fission of element 94, whereby element 94...is brought together in such amounts in one place, for example a bomb, so that the overwhelming majority of neutrons produced by fission excite new fissions and do not leave the substance". This is nothing less than a patent claim on a plutonium bomb On 3 November 1941 the patent application was resubmitted with the same title: "Technical extraction of energy, production of neutrons, and manufacture of new elements by the fission of uranium or related heavier elements". This submission differed in two significant ways. First, the patent was now filed on behalf of the entire Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, instead of just von Weizscker. Second, every mention of nuclear explosive or bomb had been removed. The removal of any reference to weapons could reflect the change of fortunes in the Second World War: in November 1941 a quick German victory no longer appeared as certain as it had done earlier in the year. Another possible explanation is that von Weizscker and his colleagues had a change of heart - perhaps their initial enthusiasm for the military applications of nuclear fission had cooled. This would support Heisenberg's and von Weizscker's post-war claims that they had visited Bohr in September 1941 because they were ambivalent about working on nuclear weapons. Perhaps the most forceful exponent of this thesis is Thomas Powers in his 1993 book Heisenberg's War. But another of the new Russian documents - von Weizscker's report on his visit to Copenhagen in spring 1941 - suggests that, at least at that time, he was enthusiastic about the uranium work. Indeed, we know that, after the war, scientists from Bohr's institute accused Heisenberg and von Weizscker of acting as German spies when they came to Copenhagen. There may at least be some truth to this because in March 1941, when Germany had not yet invaded the Soviet Union and victory appeared likely, von Weizscker reported the following to the Army. "The technical extraction of energy from uranium fission is not being worked on in Copenhagen. They know that in America Fermi has started research into these questions in particular; however, no more news has arrived since the beginning of the war. Obviously Professor Bohr does not know that we are working on these questions; of course, I encouraged him in this belief...The American journal Physical Review was complete in Copenhagen up to the January 15, 1941 issue. I have brought back photocopies of the most important papers. We arranged that the German Embassy will regularly photocopy [make photographs of] the issues for us." The spotlight turns to Diebner RK's book Hitlers Bombe draws upon what was already known about the German wartime work on nuclear reactors and isotope separation, and uses documents from Russian archives, oral history and industrial archaeology to open up a new chapter in the history of German nuclear weapons. For most of the war, there were two competing groups working on nuclear reactors: a team under the Army physicist Kurt Diebner in Gottow near Berlin; and scientists directed by Werner Heisenberg in Leipzig and Berlin. Whereas the experiments under Heisenberg used alternating layers of uranium and moderator, Diebner's team developed a superior 3D lattice of uranium cubes embedded in moderator. Heisenberg never gave Diebner and the scientists working under him the credit they were due, but the Nobel laureate did take up Diebner's design for the last experiment carried out in Haigerloch in south-west Germany. RK now reveals that Diebner managed to carry out one last experiment in the last months of the war. The exact details of the experiment are unclear. After a series of measurements had been taken, Diebner wrote a short letter to Heisenberg on 10 November 1944 that informed him of the experiment and hinted that there had been problems with the reactor. Unfortunately, no more written sources have been found relating to this final reactor experiment in Gottow. Industrial archaeology done at the site during 2002 and 2003 suggests that this reactor sustained a chain reaction - if only for a short period of time - and may have ended in an accident.

In 1955 Diebner submitted a patent application for a new type of "two-stage" reactor that could breed plutonium. An internal section would use enriched uranium to achieve a self-sustaining chain reaction, while a much larger external section would surround the internal reactor and run at a subcritical level. Plutonium could then be removed from internal section. It appears likely that Diebner's 1955 patent application drew upon his last wartime experiment. More surprising, if not shocking, is another revelation in RK's book: a group of scientists under Diebner built and tested a nuclear weapon with the strong support of both Walther Gerlach - an experimental nuclear physicist who by 1944 was in charge of the uranium project for the Reich Research Council. (Hahn, Heisenberg, von Weizscker and most of the better-known scientists in the uranium project apparently were not informed about this weapon.) This device was designed to use fission reactions, but it was not an "atomic" bomb like the weapons used against Nagasaki and Hiroshima (figures 1a and b). And although it was also designed to exploit fusion reactions, it was nothing like the "hydrogen" bombs tested by the US and the Soviet Union in the 1950s. Instead, conventional high explosives were formed into a hollow shape, rather than a solid mass, to focus the energy and heat from the explosion to one point inside the shell (figure 1c). Small amounts of enriched uranium, as well as a source of neutrons, were combined with a deuterium-lithium mixture inside the shell. This weapon would have been more of a tactical than a strategic weapon, and could not have won the war for Hitler in any case. It is not clear how successful this design was and whether fission and fusion reactions were provoked. But what is important is the revelation that a small group of scientists working in the last desperate months of the war were trying to do this. Blueprint for a bomb Shortly after the end of the war in Europe, an unknown German or Austrian scientist wrote a report that describes work on nuclear weapons during the war. This report, which RK discovered after Hitlers Bombe was published, contains both accurate information and less accurate speculation about nuclear weapons, and may well include some information from the Manhattan Project - the word "plutonium" is used, for example. Unfortunately, the title page is not included and there is no other evidence of who composed it. However, this individual does not appear to have been a member of either the mainstream German uranium project or the group working under Diebner. What the report does demonstrate is that the knowledge that uranium could be used to make powerful new weapons was fairly widespread in the German technical community during the war, and it contains the only known German diagram of a nuclear weapon. This diagram is schematic and is far removed from a practical blueprint for an "atomic bomb". The unknown author also mentions a critical mass of slightly more than 5 kg for a plutonium bomb. This estimate is fairly accurate, because the use of a tamper to reflect neutrons back into the plutonium would cut the critical mass by a factor of two. Moreover, this estimate is particularly significant because such detailed information was not included in the Smyth report. The new report is also interesting because it makes clear that German scientists had worked intensively on theoretical questions concerned with the construction of a hydrogen bomb. Two additional sources confirm this. The papers of Erich Schumann, director of the Army's weapons-research department, include many documents and theoretical calculations of nuclear fusion. The Viennese physicist Hans Thirring also discussed this topic in his book The History of the Atomic Bomb, which was published in the summer of 1946.

The only known German diagram of a nuclear weapon. The diagram is schematic and is far removed from a practical blueprint for an atomic bomb. Although the weapon is shown to be a fission device based on plutonium, the report also reveals that German scientists had worked intensively on the theory of a hydrogen bomb Not the last word Historians, scientists and others have debated for decades whether Heisenberg and von Weizscker wanted to build atomic bombs.Taken together, the new revelations change our picture of German nuclear

weapons. None of this new information supports in any way either the interpretation of Heisenberg and his colleagues as resistance fighters (Powers) or as incompetents with Nazi sympathies (Rose). However, these new documents and RK's revelations do place Heisenberg and von Weizscker in a different context by making their ambivalence about nuclear weapons much clearer. Although they continued to work on nuclear reactors and isotope separation, and dangled the prospect of nuclear weapons in front of powerful men in the Nazi state, they did not try as hard as they could to create nuclear weapons for Hitler's regime. Other scientists were doing that, notably Walther Gerlach,Kurt Diebner and the researchers working under him. It would be rash indeed to believe that this is the last word on the matter. The German atomic bomb is like a zombie: just when we think we know what happened, how and why, it rises again from the dead. Heisenberg's role During the Second World War, Werner Heisenberg was one of the most influential scientists in Germany and its leading theoretical physicist. He had won a Nobel prize for his work on quantum mechanics and the uncertainty principle, had become one of the youngest full professors in Germany when he began teaching at the University of Leipzig, and in 1942 at the age of 40 was appointed director of the prestigious Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics as well as professor at the University of Berlin. However, in the early years of the Third Reich, Heisenberg had been attacked by his fellow Nobel laureate Johannes Stark in an SS publication for being a "white Jew" and "Jewish in spirit". A subsequent investigation by the SS ended in 1939 with his public and political rehabilitation. The result was that, by 1942, Heisenberg enjoyed the support of influential figures in the Nazi regime, including the armaments minister Albert Speer, as well as the industrialist Albert Vgler, who was president of the Kaiser Wilhelm Society. Pulled both ways In February 1942 Heisenberg gave a popular lecture to an influential audience of politicians, bureaucrats, military officers and industrialists. At the time, the future of Germany's uranium project was in doubt because the Army was only interested in weapons that could be delivered in time to influence the outcome of the war. As we know from a transcript of the talk, which was discovered by the historian David Irving in the 1960s, Heisenberg emphasized both the potential of nuclear weapons and how difficult it would be to make them. His conclusion was clear. 1) Energy generation from uranium fission is undoubtedly possible, provided the enrichment of isotope uranium-235 is successful. Isolating uranium-235 would lead to an explosive of unimaginable potency. 2) Common uranium can also be exploited to generate energy when layered with heavy water. In a layered arrangement these materials can transfer their great energy reserves over a period of time to a heatengine. It thus provides a means of storing very large amounts of energy that are technically measurable in relatively small quantities of substances. Once in operation, the machine can also lead to the production of an incredibly powerful explosive. However, by the summer of 1942, the uranium project had been transferred from the German Army to the civilian Reich Research Council and the German uranium-project scientists once again enjoyed secure institutional support. In June of that year Heisenberg gave a lecture at the Kaiser Wilhelm Society in Berlin before Speer and other military and industrial leaders of the Nazi state. The lecture has become famous because of the story that Heisenberg responded to a question about the size of an atomic bomb by saying that it would be about as big as a pineapple. This anecdote was first reported in Irving's 1968 book The Virus House, but a transcript of the talk had never been found. However, it has now been discovered in the new Russian documents. The text of the June lecture - entitled "The work on uranium problems" - differs significantly from the February talk. Heisenberg begins by mentioning the discovery of nuclear fission in 1939, noting that interest in this new development had been "exceptionally great", especially in the US. "A few days after the discovery," he

notes, "American radio provided extensive reports and half a year later a large number of scientific papers had appeared on this subject." Heisenberg continues by describing Germany's work on isotope separation and nuclear reactors since the start of the war, cautioning that "naturally a series of scientific and practical problems will have to be cleared up before the technical goals can be realized". Mid-way through the talk, Heisenberg makes his only mention of nuclear weapons in a rather understated way. "Given the positive results achieved up until now," he says, "it does not appear impossible that, once an uranium burner has been constructed, we will one day be able to follow the path revealed by von Weizscker to explosives that are more than a million times more effective that those currently available." But even if that did not happen, the nuclear reactor would have an "almost unlimited field of technical applications". These include boats and even planes that could travel long distances on small amounts of fuel, as well as new radioactive substances that could be useful for many scientific and technical problems. Heisenberg concludes by saying that new discoveries of "the greatest significance for technology" will be made "in the next few years". Since the Germans knew that "many of the best laboratories" in America were working on this problem, they could hardly afford "not to follow these questions", Heisenberg points out. Even if "most such developments take a long time", they had to reckon with the possibility that - if the "war with America lasted for several years" - the "technical realization of atomic nuclear energies" might "play a decisive role in the war". Heisenberg was right about that, of course. But fortunately for him and his countrymen, the first atomic bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki instead of Frankfurt and Berlin.

A timeline to the bomb January 1933 December 1938 2 August 1939 1 September 1939 3 September 1939 1941 March 1941 June 1941 September 1941 6 December 1941 7 December 1941 8 December 1941 February/June 1942 December 1943 March 1945 7 May 1945 16 July 1945 6 August 1945 9 August 1945 14 August 1945 Nazis come to power in Germany Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann discover nuclear fission in uranium Einstein warns President Roosevelt of dangers of an atomic bomb Germany invades Poland and launches "uranium project" Britain and France declare war on Germany Von Weizscker files a draft patent application that refers to a plutonium bomb Von Weizscker visits Bohr in Copenhagen Germany invades Soviet Union Von Weizscker visits Bohr again, this time with Heisenberg Manhattan Project begins in Los Alamos Japan attacks Pearl Harbour US enters Second World War Heisenberg gives popular lectures on nuclear weapons Bohr visits Los Alamos Germany tests a nuclear device in Thringia, eastern Germany Germany surrenders Trinity test - world's first atomic blast US bombs Hiroshima US bombs Nagasaki Japan surrenders

March and April of 1945, US General George S. Patton and his Third Army were not racing towards Berlin, but across southern Bavaria. They were, claims author Joseph P. Farrell, in his book, Reich of the Black Sun, making haste towards (1) the huge Skoda munitions works at Pilsen; (2) Prague; and (3) a region of the Harz Mountains in Thuringia. Supposedly the maneuver was meant to stymie any attempted Nazi last stand in their Alpine National Redoubt, a series of fortified mountains stretching from the Alps to the Harz Mountains. The true reason for Patton's haste, however, was to prevent Germany from exploding an atomic bomb.

Deep within his embattled Fhrerbunker in Berlin, Adolf Hitler had boasted that Germany was on the verge of using weapons that would win the war for them at "five minutes past midnight." "The desperate ravings of a lunatic" is history's too pat answer to Hitler's intriguing claim. Yet Farrell, Nick Cook (author of The Hunt For Zero Point), and others have argued that the Nazis indeed had developed amazing technologies. Not only did General Patton and his Third Army stop an atomic nightmare, they also secured the evidence of Germany's secret scientific advances based upon bizarre physics.

Alsos was an effort at the end of World War II by the Allies (principally Britain and the United States), branched off from the Manhattan Project, to investigate the German nuclear energy project, seize German nuclear resources, materials and personnel to further American research and to prevent their capture by the Soviets, and to discern how far the Germans had gone towards creating an atomic bomb. The personnel of the project followed close behind the front lines, first into Italy, and then into France and Germany, searching for personnel, records, material, and sites involved. Alsos is sometimes mistakenly written ALSOS by sources including the U.S. Army, perhaps because it does not look like a usual English word and is thus falsely assumed to be an acronym. In fact, Alsos is Greek for "grove", and so this designation is a play on the name of Major General Leslie M. Groves, the military director of the Manhattan Engineer District (the Manhattan Project), the Allied wartime effort to develop an atomic bomb (which itself was sparked out of fears of a German weapon). Groves was the major impetus behind the project, in part because of his desire to make sure that German technology and personnel did not fall into Soviet hands, so as to prolong the anticipated American monopoly on nuclear weapons as long as possible. Samuel Goudsmit was the technical/scientific leader of Alsos, and Lt. Col. Boris Pash, a former Manhattan Project security officer, was its military leader. Major league baseball player, attorney, and linguist, Moe Berg contributed in various phases. The project managed to find and remove many of the German research effort's personnel and a good bit of the surviving records and equipment. Most of the senior research personnel (including Werner Heisenberg, Otto Hahn, and Carl Friedrich von Weizscker) were sequestered at Farm Hall in England for several months. Their discussions were secretly taped, and transcripts of those tapes have been released. In the end, Alsos concluded that the Allies had surpassed the German atomic bomb effort monumentally by 1942. Compared to the Manhattan Project, one of the largest scientific endeavors of all time, the German project was considerably underfunded and understaffed, and it is questionable whether Germany would have had the resources or isolation which were required for the Allies to produce such a weapon. Goudsmit, in a monograph published two years after the end of the war, further concluded that a principal reason for the failure of the German project was that science could not flourish under totalitarianism an argument seemingly rebutted by the German advances on other technologies, such as worlds first jet fighter Messerschmitt Me 262, first stealth fighter-bomber Horten Ho 229, first ballistic missile V-2 and

Soviet Union's development of a nuclear weapon by 1949. The Soviets, however, benefited from Stalin's extensive spy network, which included at least two well-informed scientists at Los Alamos, Klaus Fuchs and Theodore Hall. Both worked to prevent the United States from holding a nuclear monopoly over the world.

Dr. Samuel Goudsmit was the head of the US intelligence mission to Europe codenamed ALSOS, whose objective was to discover to what extent the Nazis had been working on an atomic weapon. In his book ALSOS - The Failure in German Science (New York, 1947), there appears a sketch of the zenith of German scientists' achievement in the field. The same diagram appears in the book authoured by Lt. Leslie Groves, military chief of the Manhattan Project. Both Goudsmit and Groves stated that the diagram and photos represent "the German atom bomb". The bomb was an aluminium sphere, about the size of a medicine ball, and had a tall chimney. The latter enabled the radium-beryllium radio-active source to be introduced into the core of the reaction. Within the sphere was layered alternately natural uranium powder (551 kilos) and paraffin wax. The Nobel Prize winner Professor Heisenberg was looked to as the pioneering genius of Germany's atomic project. This was outwardly aimed at building a working atomic pile, a target which had not been reached by the end of hostilities five years later. The excuse offered was that there was not enough heavy water available for the final successful experiment. Since Heisenberg's assistant Dr Karl Wirtz stated in his 1987 book "Im Umkreis der Physik" that there was easily enough heavy water in aggregate to moderate a nuclear pile in 1944, and he could not understand the reluctance to go ahead and do so, our attentions are drawn to the possibility that the heavy water was needed in another area. As he admitted, Heisenberg's experiments B-III and L-IV at Leipzig made calculations regarding the effectiveness of paraffin wax as a barrier and measured the capture of neutrons by U-238 uranium material after they had been emitted by the radioactive source and been slowed by passage through heavy water. Dr. Flannen, a US physicist, explained in an internet article that these two experiments could only be explained if the aim was to design not a reactor, but a bomb. By 1941 the Germans knew that isotopes of U-238 in capturing neutrons became transformed into isotopes of plutonium, and Heisenberg was measuring where most such transformations took place. This would not be of much interest for reactor technology, but would be vital if building a bomb. The paraffin wax would have a function as a bomb part in connection with a technical problem associated with plutonium isotopes. In June 1942 at Leipzig, Heisenberg placed within an aluminium sphere about 750 kilos of natural uranium, placed a concentric sphere of heavy water at its center, dropped the radioactive source down the chimney and sat back. Five weeks later there was a disastrous fire and the experiment was terminated. But - what was this experiment intended to prove? The United States invested hundreds of millions of dollars into uranium enrichment plants and plutonium breeder reactors. Germany, under heavy aerial bombardment and on a tight budget, could never have competed. What was needed was a nuclear device of small magnitude which could be mass-produced at small cost. When an aluminium sphere of natural uranium powder is left to breed in the manner of Heisenberg's device, within about two years the plutonium bred by U-238 capturing neutrons exceeds the figure of 7%. This is the magic figure for a nuclear explosion of some sort.

If several hundred such spheres were left to breed for two years in mid-1942, by late 1944 Germany would have had a small arsenal of little nuclear devices. All that was needed would be some means of setting them off. The target was London. If Britain could be forced out of the war, even in late 1944 there was still a slim chance of success for Germany. The obvious means of delivering the weapons on London was the V-2 rocket. The little bombs weighed less than a ton, and could fit easily into the space for the V-2 warhead. There was no need for tonnes of conventional explosive to explode the device - the rocket hit the ground at 3,500 per second. This speed was fast enough to assemble the plutonium-enriched uranium material into a critical mass. In the split-second before the reaction collapsed, the resulting blast would be in the region of 20 tonnes TNT with nuclear fallout. The paraffin wax prevented the unstable plutonium isotope Pu 240 from reacting too smartly and so ruin the nuclear reaction. How long could London have withstood two or three such rockets fired on London every day? Each crater region would be unapproachable for years, maybe decades. The effect of the fallout need not be mentioned. No surprise then, that Lt. Gen Putt, Deputy Head of United States Air Force Intelligence, should state shortly after the war that if the invasion of Europe had been delayed by six months, the course of the war would have been changed, for Germany had "rocket surprises in store for the whole world in general and England in particular". The range of a V-2 was 200 miles. In June 1944, London was in range from anywhere along the French and Belgian coasts. Six months after the invasion - December 1944 - the German front line was far back from this 200 mile point. The Germans had no intermediate rocket to hit London from Germany - the critical failure of German science. Hence the need for the Ardennes Campaign to recapture Antwerp which is 200 miles from London. ------------------------------------------------------------------The weapon developed by the Germans could not be called a nuclear device in the sense of it being an atomic explosive. The Americans decided in 1944 that the term "nuclear device" or "atom bomb" should not be applied to any nuclear explosive with an equivalent yield less than 500 tons TNT. The yield of the V-2 warhead would not have exceeded 30 tons TNT or so. If you have a conventional explosive to scatter radioactive dust, that weapon is a radiological device. Similarly the weapon described would have used the effects of meltdown as a localized radiological weapon. Operation Big was a part of the overarching Allied effort (called Operation Alsos) to capture German nuclear secrets during the final days of World War II. In this portion of the operation, nuclear intelligence teams moved quickly from Freudenstadt through Horb to Haigerloch in southwest Germany. Troops taking part in this operation (dubbed "Task Force A")

captured a German atomic pile at Haigerloch that only needed additional heavy water to become operational. Nearby at Hechingen they uncovered the heavy water plant shipped from Norway after the Operation Freshman and Operation Gunnerside attacks. The operation was conducted in April 1945.

During the final days of World War II, Operation Harborage was part of the overall Allied operation to capture German atomic weapons scientists, material and facilities (dubbed Operation Alsos). Harborage teams were directed toward the cities of Hechingen, Bisingen and Haigerloch. These centers of the German nuclear effort were all scheduled to be occupied by the French. By ensuring American technical intelligence units swept the area, the French were locked out of the lively post-war trade in nuclear scientists.

AK Ohrdruf, Truppenbungsplatz Ohrdruf: Kommandatur, Offizierskasino, Jgerblock, Adolf-Hitler-Strae, Eingang u.a.

Secret Projects "Siegfried/Olga/Burg/Jasmin" in the Jonas Valley near Ohrdruf

One of the many Third Reich construction projects that was started but never finished was a series of underground complexes in central Thringen, southeast of the city of Gotha (near the concentration camp at Ohrdruf, the first such camp found by the Americans on German soil). This project had several code names, depending on what part was meant, and the names also changed over time - the following names were used for all or part of this complex - Siegfried, Olga, Burg, Jasmin; the designation S/III was sometimes used for the entire project. The main works were dug into a hill forming the north side of the Jonas Valley, between Crawinkel and Arnstadt. This part of the project was reportedly intended as a lastditch headquarters facility for Hitler and his staff, should they fall back from Berlin into the interior of Germany (some reports say Hitler actually spent the end of March 1945 in this or another nearby underground Fhrer Headquarters). Other theories say this or a nearby site were intended for production of the intercontinental "Amerika" rocket, and even testing and production of a Nazi atomic bomb. Most of the complex never advanced much further than the tunnel digging stage, and the Soviets blasted most of the tunnel entrances after the war. The exact purpose of this facility remains in doubt, as does its codenames ("Siegfried" and "Olga" may actually have been names of other sites). On April 4, 1945, units of the Fourth Armored Division of the Third Army advanced on the German cities of Gotha and Ohrdruf. They were searching for a secret Nazi communications center. Instead, they found a concentration camp. Ohrdruf was a labor camp, small when compared to the other concentration and extermination camps, nothing more than a minor sub-camp of the larger Buchenwald. What made Ohrdruf significant, however, was the fact that it was the first camp discovered by American forces in which the Nazis had failed to eliminate the evidence of brutality, torture, and death that would later be found again and again as the war in Europe drew to a close. The Mysteries of Ohrdruf Located near Ohrdruf, Thuringia was located the S-III Fhrer headquarters. Constructed by approximately 15 - to 18,000 inmates of the nearby Ohrdruf, Espenfeld and Crawinkel concentration camps, from autumn 1944 to spring 1945, was a tunnel system over 1,5 miles in length. Ohrdruf was reached by General Patton about April 11, 1945. Colonel R. Allen accompanying him described the installations extensively in his book. The underground installations were amazing. They were literally subterranean towns. There were four in and around Ohrdruf: one near the horror camp, one under the Schloss, and two west of the town. Others were reported in near-by villages. None were natural caves or mines. All were man-made military installations. The horror camp had provided the labor. An interesting feature of the construction was the absence of any spoil. It had been carefully scattered in hills miles away. The only communication shelter, which is known, is a two floor deep shelter, with the code "AMT 10". Over 50 feet underground, the installations consisted of two and three stories several miles in length and extending like the spokes of a wheel. The entire hull structure was of massive reinforced concrete. Purpose of the installations was to house the High Command after it was bombed out of Berlin. This places also had paneled and carpeted offices, scores of large work and store rooms, tiled bathrooms with bath tubs and showers, flush toilets, electrically equipped kitchens, decorated dining rooms and mess halls, giant refrigerators, extensive sleeping quarters, recreation rooms, separate bars for officers and enlisted personnel, a moving picture theatre, and air-conditioning and sewage systems. Sources and Reference Material a. The Oberkommando der Wehrmacht (OKW, High Command) and Luftwaffe war diaries and all copies of them for the period March 1945 have disappeared and are suspected to be in American keeping. b. On April 17, 1945, the United States Atomic Energy Commission inspected various underground workings at Ohrdruf, and removed technical equipment before dynamiting surface entrances. The US authorities have classified all 1945 documents relating to Ohrdruf for a minimum period of 100 years.

Fortunately for researchers, in 1962 a quasi-judicial tribunal sat at Arnstadt in the then DDR, to take depositions from local residents for an enquiry entitled "Befragung von Brgern zu Ereignissen zur rtlichen Geschichte". The enquiry was principally interested in what went on at the Ohrdruf Truppenbungsplatz (TP) in the latter years of the war. The depositions became common property in 1989 upon the reunification of Germany and may be viewed at Arnstadt town hall. The Ohrdruf military training ground There had been a military training ground at Ohrdruf since imperial times. It was a large, rugged area of upland, nowadays disused and strewn with shells and other military scrap. Its perimeter can be circumnavigated by land rover in about three hours. Through binoculars, small parts of the ruins of Amt 10, described below, can be made out but not visited. During 1936-1938, an Army underground telephone/telex exchange known as Amt 10 was built in the limestone strata below the Ohrdruf Truppenbungsplatz. Its entrances were disguised as chalets. The bunker was 50 feet down and measured 70 by 20 meters. Both floors had a central corridor about 3 meters wide with rooms either side, and 2 WCs. End-doors were gas-proofed, the installation had central heating, air was supplied under pressure, water drawn from a spring 600 feet below. A 475 hp ship's diesel was on hand as the emergency electrical generator, and this piece of equipment plays an important role in understanding the Ohrdruf mystery. One of the three full-time Reichspost maintenance engineers employed there from 1938 to 1945 stated that Amt 10 was never used until the last few months of the war when it was "more than it seemed" and "its clandestine purpose was fairly obvious." Col Robert S Allen, a Staff officer with General Patton's Third Army described in his book a completed underground reinforced-concrete metropolis 50 feet down "to house the High Command". It was on two or three levels and consisted of galleries several miles in length and "extending like the spokes of a wheel." The location of Hitler's Fhrer headquarters was not stated and Amt 10 was described misleadingly as "a two-floor deep concrete shelter." If the structure was built like a wheel, the Fhrer headquarters would logically be at the hub, and Amt 10 was at the hub. Allen's description of Amt 10 as having two floors on April 1945 conflicts with the evidence of two persons who worked there: one hinted that there were more than two floors, the other testified there were three. The latter witness also stated that Amt 10 was two great bunkers of the same size, each of three floors, but not connected except by underground piping. Each bunker was guarded on each level by an SS sentry and passes for each entrance were not common to both. The most likely explanation is that the second bunker was constructed in 1944 at the same time as a third level was added to the first Amt 10 bunker as the Fhrer-suite. As regards the second bunker, a witness stated that in 1944 there was an installation below the Ohrdruf Truppenbungsplatz which created an electro-magnetic field capable of stopping the engines of a conventional aircraft at seven miles. During the war, the Allies never photographed Ohrdruf from the air, nor bombed it, even though their spies must have assured them it was crawling with SS and scientific groups. A German electro-magnetic field which interfered with their aircraft at altitudes of up to seven miles is admitted by a 1945 United States Air Force Intelligence document . The USAF suspected that it was a device to bring down their bombers, but it obviously had some other purpose, or it would have been operating below Berlin. Many Arnstadt witnesses described occasions when electrical equipment and automobile engines cut out. They always knew when this was about to happen, for the ship's diesel engine at Amt 10 would smoke. A diesel motor is not affected by an electro-magnetic field. In 1980, Russians scientists were still able to measure the field on their equipment, but they were never able to identify the source. The Fhrer headquarters at Ohrdruf

The Fhrer headquarters at Ohrdruf is not admitted by academic historians. The evidence for it, however, is strong: a. S-III was an SS military factory complex below Jonastal near Ohrdruf where 1,000 Buchenwald inmates began digging in June 1944. No decision had been taken to build a Fhrer headquarters in Thuringia before 24 August 1944. b. In September 1944, a geologist consulted by SS-WVHA regarding the suitability of Jonastal for a Fhrer headquarters suggested the Ohrdruf Truppenbungsplatz instead. c. In October 1944, General von Gockl, Ohrdruf Truppenbungsplatz commandant, evacuated all Wehrmacht personnel from the plain. Within a fortnight the notorious Ohrdruf-KZ had been set up while SS-Fhrungsstab S-III, in charge of the Fhrer headquarters project, occupied a school at nearby Luisenthal. Firms working on building projects in Poland were ordered immediately to Ohrdruf. d. At the end of 1944, Hauptsturmfhrer Karl Sommer, deputy head of WVHA-DH (forced labour) assembled a workforce at Buchenwald to build a secret Fhrer headquarters named S-III at Ohrdruf. S-III had a fully-equipped telephone-telex exchange before work started, thus identifying it as around Amt 10. e. Hitler's Luftwaffe aid Nicolaus von Below stated in his memoirs that in early 1945 he visited the location of the new Thuringian Fhrer headquarters and it was at the Ohrdruf Truppenbungsplatz. f. In late January 1945, Hitler spoke openly of evacuating Ministry staff from Berlin "perhaps to Oberhof in Thuringia". g. In compliance with order 71/45 and the communique from Fhrer headquarters Berlin issued by Wehrmacht ADC General Burgdorf on 9 March 1945, General Krebs of the Army General Staff reported that between 12 February and 29 March 1945 a substantial proportion of OKW Staff had transferred to the Ohrdruf area. h. On the nights of 4 and 12 March 1945, "a small explosive of terrific destructive power" was tested on the Ohrdruf Truppenbungsplatz. 200 KZ inmates and 20 SS guards were scorched to death on the first test due to a miscalculation of the extent of the effect. The bodies were immolated on a common pyre, the ashes being scattered across central-Germany from aircraft. In mid-March, a 30-metre long rocket was reported test fired into the night sky from a weapons site within five miles of the Truppenbungsplatz. The Amt 10 telephone engineer gave evidence that "200 so-called female signals auxiliaries" arrived to staff the second bunker in this period. Why they were "so-called" is not explained. i. In early March 1945, Organization Todt began work on the Brandleite railway tunnel at Oberhof to accommodate the special trains of Hitler and Goering, installed a telephone exchange in the stationmaster's house and positioned flak batteries on surrounding peaks. j. A witness stated that the Fhrer-Sperrkreis at Ohrdruf was called Burg and alleged that Hitler spent at least one day there in late March 1945. k. In late March a Luftwaffe mutiny occurred in which General Barber and over three hundred pilots and air base command personnel were executed for refusing to obey an unknown order (the Luftwaffe War Diaries for March and first part April 1945 have vanished). l. Upon his arrest in May 1945, Gring told his captors that he had engineered the mutiny thus saving the world by "refusing to deploy bombs that could have destroyed all civilisation". It was freely reported at the time, since nobody knew what he meant. A further interesting set of depositions from the 1962 Arnstadt DDR enquiry refer to the test of a rocket apparently the size of an A9/10 "Amerika" rocket.

Witness 1 was Claere Werner, throughout the war custodian of the Wachsenburg watch-tower. She stated that a rocket with a huge tail-fire was fired after 21.00 hours on the night of March 16, 1945 while she was looking through binoculars towards Ichtershausen. She had been informed earlier by a friend working for the Reichspost Sonderbauvorhaben at Arnstadt that a tremendous achievement was to be celebrated in the sky that night. Witness 2 was a former KZ-inmate who gave evidence to the DDR tribunal that he helped erect staging for "an enormously long rocket" at MUNA Rudisleben. From the Wachsenburg watch tower, Rudisleben is close to Ichtershausen. Witnesses 3 and 4 were a technician and fuel system engineer respectively who all stated that they worked on the construction of a huge rocket over 30 meters in length which was fired on the night of March 16, 1945 at Polte II underground facility, one kilometer from Rudisleben. The first of the rocket series successfully tested that night may have been intended as the carrier for the mysterious explosive, and intended to bring New York under attack, as had been promised by Hitler in his references to a miracle weapon in Hitlers Tischgesprche (Picker's version). Following this successful launch, at what stage the rocket could have entered series production is an interesting question. The Magnetic Ray. A similar device to the one operating below Ohrdruf finds a place in declassified literature as follows: On December 6, 1944, the US Military Intelligence Service commenced Research Project 1217 "Investigation into German Possible Use of Rays to Neutralize Allied Aircraft Motors". This resulted from "recent interference phenomena occasionally experienced on operations over Germany in the Frankfurt/Main area." It was usually described as "freakish interference to engines and electrical instruments" over the north bank of the Main River, about ten miles from Fhrer headquarters Adlerhorst. In a top secret report entitled "Engine Interference Counter-Measures" addressed to the Director, Air Technical Service Command, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, reference was made to OSS discussions about a German unit somewhere near Frankfurt/Main operating: ...an influence interfering with conventional aircraft... however incredible it may appear to project from the ground to a height of 30,000 feet sufficient magnetic energy to interfere with the functioning of the ignition system of an airplane, it must be concluded that the enemy not only intends to interfere with our aircraft by some immaterial means, but has also succeeded in accomplishing this intention... The Miracle Explosive The four items of literature appearing to relate to the explosive tested at Ohrdruf in March 1945 are as follows: a. British Security Coordination (BSC) was the largest integrated intelligence network enterprise in history. Its Director was Sir William Stevenson, a Canadian industrialist. His code-name was "Intrepid". In his autobiography, Stevenson relates: "One of the BSC agents submitted a report, sealed and stamped THIS IS OF PARTICULAR SECRECY which told of "...liquid air bombs being developed in Germany... of terrific destructive effect." The reader should not be misled into thinking that these were modern common-or-garden "liquid air bombs": Stevenson noted that they were "as powerful as rockets with atomic warheads". b. The book German Secret Weapons was authored by Brian Ford, Barrie Pitt and Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart. At page 28, the text states: The Whirlwind Bomb produced an artificial hurricane of fire and is absolutely authentic even though it may seem improbable. The explosive was developed and tested by Dr. Zippermayr at Lofer, an experimental Luftwaffe institute in the Tyrol. The explosive was pulverized coal dust and liquid air. Its effect was

sufficient to create an artificial typhoon and was intended initially as an anti-aircraft weapon able to destroy aircraft by excessive turbulence. The effective radius of action was 914 meters... c. This is a 4-page declassified US Intelligence document of the Zalzburg Detachment of the US Forces Austria Counter-Intelligence Corps, describing Dr. Zippermayr was interrogated at Lofer on August 3, 1945. His laboratories were established at Lofer with head office at Weimarerstrasse 87, Vienna. Staff was 35, work financed by RLM and under direction of Chef der Technischen Luftrstung. Zippermayr worked on three projects of which one was the Enzian/Schmetterling anti-aircraft rockets "charged with a coal dust explosive so strong that the concussion could break the wings of a bomber." This item "was proved successful by August 1943, but orders for its production were not issued until March 9, 1945..." d. This item is an extract from BIOS (British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee) Final Report 142(g) "Information Obtained from Targets of Opportunity in the Sonthofen Area, (HMSO London). The report states that during 1944, an explosive mixture of 60% liquid air and 40% finely powdered coal dust invented by Dr. Mario Zippermayr was tested at Doeberitz explosives ground near Berlin, and was found to be very destructive over a radius of up to 600 meters. Waffen-SS scientists then became involved and added some kind of waxy substance to the explosive. The bombs had to be filled immediately prior to the aircraft taking off. Bombs of 25 and 50 kgs were dropped on Starnberger See and photos taken. Standartenfhrer Klemm showed these to Brandt (Himmler's scientific adviser). The intensive explosion covered an area up to 4.5 kms radius. This waxy substance was a reagent of some kind which was said to interact with air during the development of the explosion, causing it to change its composition and so create meteorological change in the atmosphere. A lightning storm at ground level consumes all the available oxygen. Gering's statement upon his arrest in May 1945 is significant: he claimed to have led a revolt against Luftwaffe use of a bomb "which could have destroyed all civilisation." The bomb was not a nuclear weapon, and it appears to have been a conventional explosive which used a reagent or catalyst produced by Tesla methodology or similar for its inexplicable effect. Conclusion The suggestion at this point is that by late 1944, Waffen-SS scientists in Germany had developed a catalyst or reagent, apparently a waxy substance, maybe a plasmoid of some kind, which when added to a conventional explosive containing liquid air vastly magnified the effect, killing everything within a three mile radius by blast, tremendous heat and suffocation. It appears also to have had undesirable meteorological effects. On April 16, 1945 the Type XB submarine U-234 (KL Fehler) departed Kristiansand, Norway for Japan direct. She had loaded at Kiel in January and February, and besides a strategic cargo in the region of 260 tonnes carried ten German and two Japanese passengers, all of whom were specialists in the military field or scientists.

On May 17, 1945, against his express orders, Kptlt. Fehler decided to surrender his submarine to the US Navy, and arrived two days later at Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire. What is principally of interest is the cargo, and in particular ten cases of "uranium oxide" of 560 kilograms weight, and several items which were not included on the Unloading Manifest. The Unloading Manifest (US NAT Arch, College Park MD, Box RG38, Box 13, Document OP-20-3-G1-A (Unloading Manifest) dated May 24, 1945) is a falsified document purporting to show the entire cargo

aboard U-234. The true Manifests, both American and German, have never been declassified. In the normal course of events, a Manifest upon declassification would bear the censor's deletions where it was intended that certain items should not be displayed. The USN alleged Unloading Manifest is clean of any deletions and purports to be the true Unloading Manifest. From a declassified cable, it is evident that 80 cases of Uranium Powder have been omitted, as was also, from the statements of the U-boat crew members and Kptlt. Fehler, a two-seater Me 262 bomber aircraft brought from Rechlin and stowed in its component parts. Germany had 1,200 tonnes of uranium oxide on hand at Oolen in Belgium throughout the war, but made no strides towards making an atom bomb. Nevertheless, many commentators fantasize an embryonic atom bomb in the 560 kilos of "uranium oxide" aboard U-234. It is a fantasy, for such evidence as exists points to this being a cover word for something else. Two official documents address the ten cases of "uranium oxide" directly. a. A report headed "Regarding 'URANIUM OXIDE' and other CARGO aboard U-234" on the interrogation of Geschwaderrichter Kay Nieschling, U-234 passenger by USN Intelligence Officer Lt Best states that "Lt Pfaff was the man responsible for loading the U-boat" and that "the meaning behind the ore" - peculiar phrase suggesting that the ore was not the ore - would be known by Kptlt. Falk (or Falck) who took some secret courses before he boarded the U-boat. Kptlt. Fehler should also know something about the ore." It does not appear that Kptlt. Falk or Falck survived his interrogation, for there is no record of his return to Germany, and the US authorities have not been able to account for his movements in their custody after interrogating him on May 26, 1945. There are other indications that the "uranium ore" was extraordinary. Lt. Col. John Lansdale, chief of security for the Manhattan Project, wrote in a 1996 newspaper article published in Britain and Germany that he had personally handled the disposal of the ten cases. He stated that the American military authorities "reacted with panic" when they learned what the cases contained. b. The second document was found by researcher Joseph Mark Scalia, a former 12-year US Navy man, during a rummage through old boxes at the Portsmouth Navy Yard. It is a secret cable from CNO to NYPORT on the subject "MINE TUBES, UNLOADING OF" and states: Interrogation Lt. Pfaff IIWO U-234 discloses he was in charge of cargo and personally supervised loading all mine tubes. Pfaff prepared Manifest List and knows kind cargo in each tube. Uranium Oxide loaded in gold-lined cylinders and as long as cylinders not opened can be handled like crude TNT. These containers should not be opened as substance will become sensitive and dangerous... The so-called "Uranium Oxide" would become sensitive and dangerous if exposed to air. The so-called "Uranium Oxide" was perfectly safe in its cylinders provided one respected it as one would dynamite. The so-called "Uranium Oxide" was sealed in a cylinder lined with gold. In nuclear physics gold is used to absorb fission fragments plus gamma rays in containers, and is particularly efficient at capturing neutron radiation as well. From this it is evident that the material in the ten cylinders was not just highly radioactive - it was extraordinarily dangerous and behaving as if it were itself a nuclear reactor. No atomic physicist who has examined the evidence about these ten cases has been able to deliver an opinion as to what substance kept within a lead case might have required these extraordinary precautions. On May 24, 1945, when the US Navy began to unload U-234, it is clear from the US State papers that no decision regarding the atom bomb had been taken by the US government. On May 30, 1945, both Secretary of State Stimson and President Truman were agreed that no alternative existed to deploying America's atomic arsenal against Japan. They had no alternative to using the atom bomb, and no satisfactory reason has ever been forthcoming why that decision was made. So what could have caused these two decent men to decide that such a course of action was unavoidable?

What was aboard U-234 might also be aboard other Japan-bound U-boats. The Japanese had at least two submarines with a range of 30,000 miles, that were capable of being used as aircraft launchers. The Japanese had a plan of mixing the uranium from U-234 with standard explosives, and loading them in bombs or planes which were to take off the submarines and attack San Francisco. The target date was August 1945; they were ready, only waiting for the shipment of uranium to arrive. That would make no sense unless the "uranium" from U-234 was the waxy substance which when mixed with conventional explosives turned the material into the miracle weapon. These two Japanese submarines would be very close to San Francisco, and the pilots of the bomber aircraft would have to be kamikazes, for proximity to the waxy substance meant certain death. If the Japanese were indeed in the process of being supplied with this material by German U-boats for use against the United States west coast, then this was the reason for the nuclear attacks against Japan.

The miracle explosive known nowadays as R-Waffe was not based on uranium, although uranium was used in the creation of the plasmoid. The plasmoid worked as a catalyst on a conventional coal-dust/liquid air mixture to vastly expand the explosion. Lucky Forward: The History of Patton's 3rd US Army, Col. Robert S. Allen, published by Vanguard Press, New York, 1947, A Man Called Intrepid, Sphere Books, 1977, page 414, German Secret Weapons, Ballantyne Press, UK, also Libr. Edit. San Martin, Madrid, 1975, authored by Brian Ford (military scientist), Barrie Pitt (academic historian) and Capt Sir Basil Liddell Hart (military historian), US Forces Austria Counter-Intelligence Corps, Salzburg Detachment, Zell am See report 4 August 1945, Case No S/Z/55 Dr Mario Zippermayr; NARA RG 319 Entry 82a Reports and messages, ALSOS Mission. Additional sources: US Nat Archive NARA/US Strategic Air Forces in Europe - Air Intelligence Summaries, January 1945 et seq. 6 February 1945, Subject: Engine Interference Counter-measures. To: The Director, Air Technical Service Command, Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, Engineering Division. From: Taylor Drysdale, Director Technical Services, HQ European Theatre of Operations, PoW and X Detachment, Military Intelligence Service, US Army

Snger "Silverbird" Orbital Bomber

In June 1935 and February 1936, Dr. Eugen Snger published articles in the Austrian aviation publication Flug on rocket-powered aircraft. This led to his being asked by the German High Command to build a secret aerospace research institute in Trauen to research and build his "Silverbird", a manned, winged vehicle that could reach orbit. Dr. Snger had been working on this concept for several years, and in fact he had begun developing liquid-fuel rocket engines. From 1930 to 1935, he perfected (through countless static tests) a 'regeneratively cooled' liquid-fueled rocket engine that was cooled by its own fuel, which circulated around the combustion chamber. This engine produced an astounding 3048 meters/second (10000 feet/second) exhaust velocity, as compared to the later V-2 rocket's 2000 meters/second (6560 feet/second). Dr. Snger, along with his staff, continued work at Trauen on the "Silverbird" under the Amerika Bomber program. The Snger Amerika Bomber (or Orbital Bomber, Antipodal Bomber or Atmosphere Skipper) was designed for supersonic, stratospheric flight. The fuselage was flattened, which helped create lift and the wings were short and wedge shaped. There was a horizontal tail surface located at the extreme aft end of the fuselage, which had a small fin on each end. The fuel was carried in two large tanks, one on each side of the fuselage, running from the wings aft. Oxygen tanks were located one on each side of the fuselage, located forward of the wings. There was a huge rocket engine of 100 tons thrust mounted in the fuselage rear, and was flanked by two auxiliary rocket engines. The pilot sat in a pressurized cockpit in the forward fuselage, and a tricycle undercarriage was fitted for a gliding landing. A central bomb bay held one 3629 kg (8000 lb) free-falling bomb, and no defensive armament was fitted. The empty weight was to be approximately 9979 kg (22000 lbs). An interesting flight profile was envisioned for the "Silverbird". It was to be propelled down a 3 km (1.9 mile) long monorail track by a rocket-powered sled that developed a 600 ton thrust for 11 seconds, After taking off at a 30 degree angle and reaching an altitude of 1.5 km (5100'), a speed of 1850 km/h (1149 mph) would be reached.

At this point, the main rocket engine would be fired for 8 minutes and burn 90 tons of fuel to propel the "Silverbird" to a maximum speed of 22,100 km/h (13,724 mph) and an altitude of over 145 km (90 miles), although some sources list the maximum altitude reached as 280 km (174 miles). As the aircraft accelerated and descended under the pull of gravity, it would then hit the denser air at about 40 km (25 miles) and 'skip' back up as a stone does when skipped along water. This also had the added benefit of cooling the aircraft after the intense frictional heating encountered when the denser air was reached. The skips would gradually be decreased until the aircraft would glide back to a normal landing using its conventional tricycle landing gear, after covering approximately 23,500 km (14,594 miles). The final test facilities for full-scale rocket engine tests were being built when Russia was invaded in June 1941. All futuristic programs were canceled due to the need to concentrate on proven designs. Dr. Snger went on to work on ramjet designs for the DFS (German Research Institute for Gliding), and helped to design the Skoda-Kauba Sk P.14. Although the Luftwaffe did its best to stop Dr. Snger from publishing his research results, a few copies went unaccounted for and made their way to other countries. Whether the Amerika Bomber would have worked will never be known; the concept was way too far ahead of available technology to have had much chance of success, particularly in terms of avionics. Indeed, post-war analysis of the Silverbird design uncovered a mistake in the calculation of the effect of aerodynamic heating during re-entry - in fact had the Silverbird design ever made it into orbit it would almost certainly had burned up during re-entry. Furthermore, Germany would certainly have needed to develop an atomic bomb to make the attack worthwhile and, even if he survived the very high G forces on take-off and the re-entry, the pilot would certainly be on a one-way mission, so the Amerika Bomber was in reality a highly-advanced kamikaze vehicle. Nevertheless, when WW2 ended, both the Russians and the Americans studied Sngers research with great interest. After the war, he was asked to work (along with mathematician Irene Bredt) for the French Air Ministry, where in a bizarre plot, he was almost kidnapped by Stalin, who recognized the value of the Amerika Bomber.

Snger "Amerika" Orbital Bomber Specific Features: One of the most "out there" aircraft conceived in a wide field of really crazy planes that often got really far in the design process, Snger's "Amerika Bomber was intended to be capable of rapidly deploying to attack any target anywhere in the world. The aircraft was revolutionary on many fronts, from its incredible (and likely terminal) speed to its bizarre launch method, Snger was willing to "go there". His sort of fantastical approach to science was extremely popular with engineers and scientists in Germany, sometimes producing amazing technology; other times wasting incredible amounts of resources in otherwise obvious pipedreams. The Amerika Bomber, had it ever passed the prototyping stage, would have been propelled into the air by a massive 600-ton thrust liquid fuel rocket. Not content to simply shoot stuff into the air, Snger wanted to use this massive booster to shoot a rocket train into the air. The Amerika Bomber was to be mounted on a monorail dolly that also mounted the booster unit. The dolly would have shot down a three kilometer long angled rail in a mere 11 seconds and lifted the Amerika Bomber into the sky roughly a mile. At this point the aircraft's internal rocket thruster would have activated and lifted the plane to a low-orbit altitude of 145 kilometers and a speed of 22,100kph. The plane could have theoretically reached any location on the planet in under an hour and dropped a single 8,000lb bomb. With Germany's actual innovations in precision and wire-guided bombs this means individual buildings in major cities around the world could have been targeted by a massive conventional bomb. Other options include dropping in German storm troops, crazy battle robots, or possibly thousands of spiders. After deploying its payload the bomber would have glided in to land at an airfield in Germany. It had only a single pilot sitting in a small pressurized cockpit at the front of the fuselage. Other than its payload the Amerika Bomber carried no weapons, relying on its speed and altitude for protection. It would have been obviously vulnerable as it glided in for landing, a flaw that marked many of Germany's real and imagined high-tech aircraft. History: Hopes for the Amerika Bomber faded around the time Germany invaded the Soviet Union, which was probably to the advantage of the Germans as the whole thing was ridiculous. The air speed of the Amerika Bomber would have likely caused the plane to simply explode from friction before it even came close to reaching its top speed. The current air speed record from a powered aircraft is held by NASA's X15 at 7,277kph; less than a third of the proposed top speed of the Amerika Bomber. NASA barely kept their plane from burning up, so there's virtually no chance that Snger would have leapt a much higher hurdle, decades earlier. The pilot would have blacked out and died if he was lucky, or been liquefied or immolated if he was less fortunate. If Snger had somehow overcome these problems then he still had the whole "giant length of elevated track and rail car" issue as American and British bombers marauded with virtual impunity across most of Europe. After the cancellation of the project, Snger went on to work with other developers on more feasible ramjet interceptor projects. All that remains of the Amerika Bomber are some models, designs, and an engine. Mystery 1945 German Hypersonic Bomber Prototype? In the late 1930s, Eugen Snger, one of Germany's top theoreticians on hypersonic dynamics and ramjets, and his wife, mathematician Irene Bredt, had begun developing a suborbital rocket bomber, "RaBo" (sometimes called the "Antipodal Bomber") that would be capable of attacking targets at intercontinental ranges. Incorporating highly advanced concepts, including swept, wedge-shaped supersonic airfoils, a flat, heat-dissipating fuselage undersurface that anticipated the Space Shuttle's by thirty years, and rocket engines of extraordinary thrust, the RaBo concept would have taken many years to develop -- precious time that was running out for Nazi Germany. In 1944, Snger and Bredt were moved to a fantastic, isolated laboratory complex in the mountains near Lofer, Austria, where a number of bizarre research projects were underway, including impractical devices such as the infamous "sound cannon" and "wind cannon" and an electromagnetic railgun.

Snger ramjet fighter concept from 1943 DFS report "ber ein Loreneintreib fr Strahljger" reproduced in 1947 NACA report TM 1106. Snger's main known project centered on development of a high-speed, ramjet powered manned bomber interceptor that resembled a stubby missile. Some sources also indicate that work on the Raketen Bomber, which had been suspended around 1942, was revived, and plans for a dedicated "Amerika Bomber" version, specifically intended to drop a 10,000 kg projectile on New York City, were put forward. Snger produced calculations concerning the enormous energy liberated when the ten ton projectile impacted in lower Manhattan at meteoric speeds. This project paralleled in some respects the equally impressive Peenemnde concept for a two-stage version of the V2, the A-9/10, that was also intended to strike New York and other northeast US cities, Most sources indicate that nothing much came of the Amerika Bomber project at Lofer, but this is clearly not the case. The Soviets recovered copies of Snger's RaBo reports and were so fascinated with the concept (particularly Stalin, who seems to have been riveted by its implications) that they dedicated a great deal of effort to designing an updated RaBo equipped with huge ramjet engines for boost and cruise propulsion. Stalin's son Vasili and rocket expert Grigoriy Tokaty-Tokayev were detailed to follow Snger to Paris, where he had moved after the war, in a failed attempt to recruit or kidnap him in 1947. The RaBo influenced Soviet manned and unmanned rocket work for years after the war.

It influenced US work too, leading directly to the Walter Dornberger-sponsored Bell "BoMi" (Bomber Missile) project of the early 1950s, and ultimately the USAF/Boeing X-20 Dyna Soar hypersonic glider program that laid the technical groundwork for the Space Shuttle. No reference source on the Snger-Bredt project indicates that any RaBo hardware was built at Lofer. But a 1947 US technical intelligence manual on the Lofer base contains this fascinating, maddeningly blurry photograph (below) of what appears to be the incomplete nose and forward fuselage of a very unconventional aircraft. The caption reads simply, "A futuristic airplane in a plant near Lofer. It was never flown." There are no references to this aircraft in the text of the report. The fuselage appears to have a flat upper and lower surface, and there appears to be a cockpit area at the right end of the structure. The general shape and size agree with extant RaBo illustrations. Was this a fullscale wooden mockup of the hypersonic bomber? If so, there is little wonder that the Soviets were so impressed with the design. But it raises questions about the lack of documentation on this important prototype. What was this "futuristic airplane?" Who designed it? What was its intended mission? Why has it been lost? Was it a forgotten part of the Snger-Bredt program, an ancestor of the US Space Shuttle and Soviet Buran orbiters? If it was not related to the RaBo, what was it it?

Diagram of RaBo trajectory

After arcing to altitudes of several hundred miles at speeds of over 10,000 mph, the spacecraft would descend and encounter the upper atmosphere. The pilot would execute a high-g pullout as the craft "skipped off the atmosphere like a stone skipping on water." This cycle would be repeated several times as the vehicle slowed and descended on its global path. When it neared its target, the spacecraft would release a large conventional-explosive bomb that would enter the atmosphere at meteor speeds and strike with tremendous force. It is conceivable that USAAF technical intelligence knowledge of this unique and strange concept resonated with Kenneth Arnold's June 1947 story of supersonic UFOs "skipping like saucers on water" and provided some Air Materiel Command UFO analysts with leverage for study of the saucer phenomenon on the basis of possible Soviet origin.

WWII German diagram shows RaBo inertial reference planes and trajectory measurement axes. Pilot was to navigate by taking star bearings during exoatmospheric ballistic peaks

Diagram shows nuclear-bomb-like energy dissipation and radius of destruction produced by hypersonic impact of RaBo's ten metric ton conventional weapon on its primary target -- lower Manhattan

Super Guns Vortex Gun The Vortex Gun was designed and built by an Austrian scientist named Dr. Zimmermeyer at an experimental institute at Lofer in Tyrol. It basically was a mortar barrel of a large caliber sunk in the ground, and the shells contained coal-dust and a slow-burning explosive in the center. The first experiments with compressed air were failures. The shells, once fired, were intended to have the function of creating an artificial whirlwind or tornado which would hopefully make enemy airplanes lose control and thus knock them out of the sky. If all circumstances were perfect and favorable, the strange device seemed to work fairly well. Numerous high-speed films were taken and processed for analysis and study, which concluded that the rotation and forward-moving explosion of the coal dust was in fact able to start the formation of a fairly large vortex. Although it was unknown whether the pressure changes of the tornado would be strong enough to cause frame failure in aircraft caught in the air current, it was known that the pressure on wing loading might be excessive. In the years before this invention, it was known that clear-air tubulence had brought down large airliners and broken them into pieces. It seemed possible and feasible that Dr. Zimmermeyer's unlikely-sounding cannon could have the same effects too. In fact the gun would be cheaper than but as effective as shells filled with high explosive. The range of the prototype was estimated to be about 100m, even though the gun was never used in practice. But similarly designed guns using artificial firedamp explosions and shells were deployed against Polish freedom fighters in Warsaw towards the end of the war.

Wind Cannon Like the Vortex Gun, the Wind Cannon was also developed by a factory in Stuttgart during the war. It was a type of gun that would eject a jet of compressed air against enemy aircraft. It was a strange device consisted of a large angled barrel like a bent arm resting in an immense cradle like some enormous broken pea-shooter lying askew. The cannon worked by the ignition of critical mixtures of hydrogen and oxygen in molecular proportions as near as possible. The powerful explosion triggered off a rapidly-ejected projectile of compressed air and water vapor, which, like a solid "shot" of air, was as effective as a small shell. Experimental trials of the cannon at Hillersleben demonstrated that a 25mm-thick wooden board could be broken at a distance of 200m. Nitrogen peroxide was deployed in some of the experiments so that the brown color would allow the path and destination of the otherwise transparent projectile to be observed and photographed. The tests proved that a powerful region of compressed and high-velocity air could be deployed with sufficient force to inflict some damage. However, the aerodynamics of a flying aircraft would almost surely neutralized the effectiveness of this cannon. In addition, the effects of the cannon on a fast-flying aircraft were quite different from that on a fixed ground target. Still, the cannon was installed on a bridge over the Elbe, but with no significant results -- either because there were no aircraft or simply no successes (as one might suspect). The wind cannon was an interesting experiment but a practical failure. Sound Cannon Besides the Vortex Gun and Wind Cannon, invisible and powerful air waves were used in another devise designed by scientists at Lofer, in the form of the so-called "sound cannon." Designed by Dr. Richard Wallauschek, the cannon consisted of large parabaloid reflectors, the final version of which had a diameter over 3m. The "dishes" were connected to a chamber composed of several sub-units firing tubes.

The function of these tubes was to allow an admixture of methane and oxygen into the combustion chamber, where the two gases were ignited in a cyclical, continuous explosion. The length of the firing chamber itself was exactly a quarter of the wavelength of the sound waves produced by the on-going explosions. Each explosion initiated the next by producing a reflected, high-intensity shockwave, and so creating a very high amplitude sound beam. This high and strong note of unbearable intensity was emitted at pressures in excess of 1,000 millibars about 50m away. This level of pressure is above the limits that man can endure. At such a range, half a minute of exposure would be enough to be lethal. At longer ranges (about 229m), the effect would be excruciating and a soldier would be incapacitated for some considerable time afterwards. No operational or physiological tests were ever carried out. It was suggested, however, that laboratory animals were used to prove the basic soundness of the concept. The cannon was never deployed for its intended purpose. Toward the end of World War II, the Germans were reported to have made a type of acoustic device. It looked like a large cannon and sent out a sonic boomlike shock wave that in theory could have felled a B-17 bomber. In the mid-1940s, the U.S. Navy created a program called Project Squid to study the German vortex technology. The results are unknown. But Guy Obolensky, an American inventor, says he replicated the Nazi device in his laboratory in 1949. Against hard objects the effect was astounding, he says: It could snap a board like a twig. Against soft targets like people, it had a different effect. "I felt like I had been hit by a thick rubber blanket," says Obolensky, who once stood in its path.

Sun Cannon An anonymous inventor, possibly inspired by the sun-reflector of Archimedes, designed the sun cannon during the war. The device had a big sun-reflector intended for use against hostile aircraft - on sunny days, of course. The experimental model of the sun cannon was captured by the Americans. Nothing was known about any operational use or test results with the cannon.

Peenemnde Arrow Shells The Peenemnde Arrow Shells were conceived and developed at the Aerodynamic Research Laboratories at Peenemnde from 1942 to 1945. The arrow shells were dart-like projectiles designed to be fired from special smooth-bore versions of standard German Army artillery pieces. The project was initially envisioned and designed as ultra-long-range shells using a 310mm smooth-bored version of the famed 280mm K5 railway gun (Anzio Annie). The arrow shell was 1.91m long and 120mm in caliber, with four fins at the tail 310mm across and a 310mm sabot or discarding ring around the middle of the shell (center of gravity). The ring was naturally discarded and would fell away outside the gun muzzle when fired, while the accelerating shell would reach a velocity of 1,524m/sec and obtain a maximum range of 150km. Two guns were produced, and one of them fired in anger at the US 3rd Army located 125km away from the gun. There was an anti-aircraft version of the Peenemnde Arrow Shells. The projectile was designed for the 105mm FLAK 39 AA gun, with the goal to reach extremely high velocity so as to shorten flying time and eliminate the need to calculate aiming errors. The AA gunners would be able to aim, fire, and hit without having to worry about the speed of the aircraft and its altitude. During tests and experiments the shells obtained a muzzle velocity of 1,067m/sec, which was considered excellent. Nevertheless, development had to be canceled since mass-production for combat use was impossible with the available production and industrial capacity of Germany. Vergeltungswaffe 3 The Vergeltungswaffe 3 (Vengeance Weapon 3), or V-3, was a super-long-range cannon designed to fire across the English Channel into the Greater Lond area. To disguise its true purpose it was given the cover name Hochdruckpumpe (High Pressure Pump). The cannon's configuration and layout also inspired nicknames like "Busy Lizzie" and "The Millipede." It was designed as a multiple-chambered gun of 150mm caliber with a 150m-long barrel. There was a conventional breech and a pressure chamber at the rear end. Several auxiliary chambers were constructed and arranged at 45 o to the main barrel at intervals of about 40m. The theory behind the mechanism of the cannon was that a fin-stabilized shell would be loaded into the breech, together with the appropriate propelling charge. Additional charges would be added into the auxiliary chambers. The initial charge would be ignited and start the shell soaring up the bore. As it passed the auxiliary chambers additional charges would be fired to produce extra gas and thrust to boost the speed of the shell. With all these additional boosts, the shell would leave the muzzle at a very high velocity - somewhere around 1,524m/sec was projected. The shell would be hauled into the stratosphere, where the thin air offered less air resistance and would permit the projectile to reach a range of about 280km. The idea of multi-chambered cannon is certainly not new. It was first suggested by two Americans, Lyman and Haskell, in the 1880s. A gun built on their specification was fired, but it proved unsuccessful. The propelling gases from the first charge slipped passed the shell and ignited the auxiliary charges before the shell had reached them, producing the opposite result. The idea was revived several times without success. In 1941 engineer Conders of the Rochling Stahlwerke AG put up his proposal. A 20mm prototype was built by May 1943 and appeared to work well. Somehow Conders managed to get Hitlers approval and authorization to proceed on his own, without the knowledge of the Army Weapons Office, which would have certainly killed the project immediately. Full-scale experimental guns were built and tested, all of which exploded or underwent other disasters. At the same time hundreds of workers were set to construct a fifty-barrel gun in a hillside at Mimoyecques (near Calais), 165km from London. The underground launch site would house the gigantic cannon. Five long tubes made up the barrel, and each would fire a 136kg charge. The cannon sat at an angle on the hillside, pointing directly at London. The whole underground launch site was covered by a 5m-thick concrete dome. Ultimately the Army Weapons Office had to be consulted to provide assistance and expertise. The Office somehow managed to get the weapon working, after a fashion. The Allies tried knocking out the site with conventional bombs but failed. Then it was decided that a plane loaded with TNT would be flown to the launch site by radio control and destroy the gun. During a test flight, however, two pilots were killed (Joseph Kennedy Jr. was one) and the plan was canceled. Ultimately a converted Lancaster dropped the "Tall Boy" bomb on the construction site at Helfaut-Wizernes. The

6.4m-long bomb weighed 5,454kg, and fell at a speed of 1,200km/h. The concrete dome was penetrated and the site destroyed. Five days later, the advancing Allies overran the installation at Calais and the project was no longer possible. Hitler had wished to make the cannon his third vengeance weapon. However, only two shortened versions of the gun were built and they were hurriedly thrown into use during the Ardennes Offensive in December 1944. One or two shots were fired without documented result, and the guns were blown up and abandoned afterwards. Fragments and pieces of the experimental guns are said to be still in existence on the Baltic Coast.

The V-3 Hochdruckpumpe (aka HDP, 'Fleissiges Lieschen'; 'Tausend Fssler') was a supergun designed by Saar Rchling during World War II The 140 m long cannon was capable of delivering a 140 kg shell over a 165 km range. Construction began of a bunker for the cannons in September 1943 at Mimoyecques, France. The site was damaged by Allied bombing before it could be put into operation and was finally occupied by the British at the end of August 1944. Two short-length (45 m long) V-3's were built at Antwerp and Luxembourg in support of the Ardennes offensive in December 1944. These were found to be unreliable and only a few shots were fired without known effect. The V-3 used Baron von Pirquet's concept of sequentially electrically activated angled side chambers to provide additional acceleration of the shell during its passage up the barrel of the gun. This allowed a muzzle velocity of over 1500 m/s. The projectiles of the smooth bore weapon used fins for stability, as would be the case with the Canadian Martlet series 25 years later. Lyman and Haskell of the US Army had built an unsuccessful prototype of the concept in the 1880's. It was found that the expanding gases of the base charge moved well ahead of the shell and ignited the auxiliary charges before the shell passed them, actually slowing the shell down. But in 1941 an engineer Conders at Saar Roechling proposed the use of electrically-activated charges to eliminate the problem. A 20mm prototype was built at a test site at Misdroy (Miedzyzdroje), Poland and successfully demonstrated in April-May 1943. Hitler was persuaded that this could be a third terror weapon to supplement the V-1 and V-2. Overruling the German military, he ordered fifty of the guns to be built in concrete bunkers in France in order to bombard London. The first installation of five guns was to be built 165 km from London at Mimoyecques, near Calais, under Operation Wiese. The superguns were built at a fixed angle into a 30 m chalk hill, covered by a 5.2 m thick protective concrete dome. Each 140 m long cannon was capable of delivering a 150 mm / 140 kg shell on London. The angled lateral combustion chambers were spaced every 3.65 m along the bore. The modular weapon could have the lateral chamber sections replaced as they wore out (they would burst after only a few firings). Hundreds of slave workers began construction in September 1943 by sinking an initial tunnel 30 m below the hill's surface into the chalk. French Resistance informed the Allies of the new effort almost immediately. Bombing raids to destroy the site began two months later. However the bunker proved impervious to Allied bombs, even 5,400 kg Tallboy penetrator weapons. The weapons were nearing completion when, on 6 July 1944, three Tallboys happened to make it through the gun shaft openings. They penetrated 30 m to the first level of the complex and exploded, killing dozens of workers. Work on the complex stopped at this point. The Allies were unaware of this success and searched for new methods to destroy Mimoyecques and other German bunker sites. Under Project Aphrodite (USAAF) and Operation Anvil (USN) radio-controlled, television-guided B-17 or PB4Y (B-24) bombers crammed with ten tonnes of explosives were to be flown by a crew near to the target. The pilot and co-pilot would then bail out while an accompanying aircraft guided the missile to a precision strike. This approach was abandoned in August 1944 after a total lack of

success and several crew fatalities (including Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., elder brother of the future president). By the end of August the Germans completely abandoned the complex in the face of the advancing British forces. Two short-length (45 m long) V-3's were built at Antwerp and Luxembourg in support of the Ardennes offensive in December 1944. These were found to be unreliable and only a few shots were fired without known effect. The British dynamited the Mimoyecques complex on 9 May 1945. Electric Cannon Uses No Gunpowder (June 1932) Source: Modern Mechanix Silent guns sending their whistling messengers of death into the sky at speeds far beyond those now attained by powder-driven shells seem likely for the next war, using for propulsion magnetic fields so powerful that when they are short-circuited they produce miniature earthquakes. Dr. Kapitza, F. R. S., working at the Cavendish laboratory of Cambridge University, England, in his attempts to disrupt the atom has produced magnetic fields so powerful that they explode the coils that produce them. This man has finally revealed the secret of the magnetic gun so long anticipated by ballistic experts. Dr. Kapitza accomplishes the electric firing of a shell by shortcircuiting powerful dynamos for periods of one onehundredth of a second. Another English experimenter, Dr. Wall, seeking the same thing, produces ultra-magnetic fields with a more simple apparatus. Dr. Wall simply charges electrostatic condensers and permits them to discharge their powerful currents into specially made coils immersed in oil baths. Here also magnetic fields so powerful that they tear the coils to pieces have been produced. So great are these magnetic fields that they are capable of pulling iron nails out of shoes. While the magnetic effects produced by both of these experimenters are of very short duration, they could be employed to impart their terrible energy to steel shells. The time limit, which cannot exceed one onehundredth of a second, is imposed because of the powerful currents used. If these currents were permitted to flow through wire for a greater period of time, the wire would melt and temperatures greater than those existing in some of the hottest stars would be produced. To produce a magnetic guna silent Big-Berthait will only be necessary to arrange a series of powerful coils within the gun barrel. Each coil will have its own generator and the shell advancing through the barrel will automatically energize the coil just ahead of it. By the time the shell reaches the end of the barrel it will have attained a speed far in excess of the speeds now attainable with even the highest explosives known. Owing to the entire absence of internal pressures these guns may be made of ordinary iron or even of purely non-magnetic materials. The magnetic explosions will be initiated by the simple closing of a switch which will energize the first: coil and snatch the shell from the breech in the first leg of its journey of destruction.

Electric Gun The potential and power of launching a projectile using electro-magnetic force have fascinated inventors and researchers ever since the solenoid was invented. However, none of the attempts was successful. During World War II Germany started two separate projects to study electric propulsion. The first was headed by an engineer and consultant to the Siemens company named Muck. Muck proposed a solenoidtype gun to be built in a hillside near the Lille coal fields in France, since 50,000 tons of anthracite per month would be needed to generate the electricity to power the gun. This gun was designed to attack London from a range of 248km with 204.5kg shells. In 1943 Reichsminister Albert Speer was notified of the proposal, which was rejected as impractical after examination by a number of scientists and technical experts. An electric gun for air-defense was also designed. Engineer Hansler of the Gesellschaft fr Gertbau put forward this idea in 1944. It was based on the linear motor principle and promised a 6,000 rounds per minute rate of fire from a multiple-barreled installation, a velocity of over 1,829m/sec and shells containing 500g of explosive. The Luftwaffe accepted the basic concept for use as an anti-aircraft gun. Intensive tests with an electro-magnetic discharge mechanism were made on a 20mm antiaircraft gun. The tests began in Berlin and were later continued in the foothills of the Alps, where firing tests were carried out against the slopes of the Wetterstein Mountain. A muzzle velocity 2,000m/sec was attained. Preliminary assessments showed that conventional generators would easily and cheaply generate the necessary 3,900 kilowatts per gun. Later it was found that a considerable amount of energy was needed, and a new type of condenser was developed. It was hoped that the new condenser would bring an improvement, but the tests were not finished before the war's end. Work on a prototype gun began in February 1945 but was not finished before the war's end. The gun fell into the hands of the Americans. After the war the Allies closely studied the project, but eventually it was calculated that each gun would have required the services of a major city's power station. The project has never been revived.

From Intelligence Bulletin, May 1946 THE ELECTRIC GUN German Experiment With Electrically Launched Projectiles A super-high-velocity gun, operating on electrical energy instead of an explosive propellant, has been a minor scientific dream for some time. The idea is not new; for it was tried by the French in World War I. But in World War II, a German scientist felt he was so close to a solution of the problems involved that the German Air Force had contracted for an experimental electric gun. This gun was to be capable of ejecting a 40-mm projectile at a muzzle velocity of 6,600 feet per secondfar above the velocity of any shell yet fired from a conventional artillery piece. Diagrammatic sketch of the electric gun projectile (left) and its glide wing, and (right, top to bottom) end view of the projectile, isometric view of the gun tube, and end view of the tube showing the shape of the bore and the position of the copper gliderails through which the propelling electric charge is passed. Although the gun ordered was not delivered before the end of the war, a miniature that actually worked was built and tested. Theoretical calculations, based upon tests made with the miniature gun, led the German scientists to believe it possible to build an electric gun capable of tossing a 14-pound projectile to an altitude of 12 miles in 13 seconds. To men familiar with the problems of antiaircraft artillery, such a weapon appeared a godsend. The 90mm antiaircraft gun of conventional, powder-burning design, can reach only 4.4 miles in altitude in the same length of time. THE DESIGN Although the problem of electrically ejected shells is an old one, it has still to pass the research stages. The chief problem is to obtain a source of sufficient electrical power that will not be all out of proportion to the size of the gun. Designing a gun did not seem to be too great a problem, for the German model appeared logical. The German gun, had it ever been built to full scale, would have had a rectangular barrel 33.7 feet long. The round bore, as designed by the Germans, is flanked by two, square grooves 180 degrees apart, so that when the bore is seen from one end, it is the same shape as the aircraft identification insignia used by the U.S. Army Air Forces. The bore is not rifled. At the extreme ends of the two grooves, an insulated, copper glide rail runs the entire length of the barrel. It is through these glide rails that the electrical energy is conducted for ejecting the shell. The shell is a cylindrical projectile somewhat longer than the conventional artillery shell, and has four narrow fins at its base. It is fitted with a cradle, called a "glide wing," from which extend two studs which fit into the square grooves of the bore, and ride on the copper glide rails. After the shell has been placed in the gun, a jolt of electricity is shot into the weapon. The current, passing along the glide rails and through the glide wing, sets up an intense magnetic field. The reaction is such that the magnetic field and the current flow through the glide rails tend to repel each other. This, in effect, forces the projectile up the bore at an ever increasing velocity until, when it leaves the muzzle, it is traveling at a terrific rate of speed. This reaction is so fast that it is only a matter of a split second between the introduction of the current and the ejection of the shell from the gun. CONCLUSIONS It is the opinion of some scientists that the electric gun deserves further study and experimentation, since it contains, in theory at least, some marked advantages over the conventional antiaircraft artillery of the present day. It is theoretically capable of obtaining muzzle velocities far in excess of what to date has appeared possible for powder-burning weapons. It is noiseless, smokeless, and has no flash. Constructed of materials easily obtainable, it requires comparatively little high-precision machining. Unlike other artillery pieces, the machined surfaces are not subjected to high pressures and intense heat. Moving parts

are few, and these can be greased. Recoil is negligible, and range can be adjusted by varying the electric current. The gun has a high efficiency, compared to ordinary pieces, since there is no energy wasted through heat and escaping gases, and the manufacture and handling of cartridges is eliminated. But perhaps most important is the fact that ranges and penetrating power now unattainable may be reached in the electric gun. Of course, these advantages are in turn offset by the chief problempower supplyand a myriad of minor electrical wrinkles that would require straightening before a truly efficient gun could be produced. It is one thing to handle large amperages in a power house, and quite another to supply them to, and use them in, a comparatively small piece of machinery which, to be of full military value, must retain the essentials of mobility.

PRFSTAND XII (1945) by Rob Arndt. Jr.

The test rocket launches had been successful, both on the surface and submerged to a depth of 12 meters (40 ft) and this in turn led to "Project Ursel" as a missile specifically designed to be launched from a Uboat against a pursuing surface vessel. The missile would be of 165mm caliber and four of them would be mounted on the deck in a special tube launcher. The SP-Anlage detection system was certainly ready - it was capable of detecting and locating propeller noise with great accuracy and then by factoring in the Uboats depth, it could work out the target's precise location up to a range of five times the U-boat's depth. It was installed on the latter production Type XXI U-boats. The missiles for this project were still under development at Peenemnde when the war ended, so no use came of them. Both the Type XXI and future Type XXVI U-boats would have carried this weapon system.

This is picture from the book by Burakowski and Sala, Rakiety bojowe (Combat rockets) from 1972. Summary of text: Caliber 165mm. Germany - 1-stage rocket missile, submarinelaunched, against submarines and surface vessels, underwater-to-underwater and underwater-to-surface class. Unguided. Warhead: conventional. Engine: solid rocket. Dimensions: L=1.8 m, D=0.165 m, B1=0.3 m. Not used in combat. But greater still was the Prfstand XII (Test Stand XII) project involving the towing and firing of the V-2 missile from a U-boat. The concept arose in 1943 which involved towing the missile across the North Atlantic in a watertight container behind the U-boat and then setting it up vertically for launch against US eastern seaboard targets - particularly, New York. Assigned to the project were Klaus Riedel, Bernhard Tessmann, Hans Huter and Georg von Tisenhausen. Due to Kriegsmarine priorities and those of Peenemnde the sub-launched missile was delayed until 1944 when work began on three large containers for the missiles. The containers would be 105 ft long, displace roughly 500 tons, and contain a single V-2 within as well as a control room and fuel tanks. The three initial containers were to be towed by a single Type XXI U-boat with the forward speed keeping them submerged until it was time to raise them and launch against the target. In addition, it was planned that one of the three containers would carry extra diesel fuel for the U-boat for re-supply during the voyage.

Source: Georg von Tiesenhausen

Once on station, the U-boat would quickly surface and stop, allowing the containers to surface. Crews would then board each container, open the valves to fill the ballast tanks, raising the launchers to the vertical position whereby an electrical connection to the U-boat would be made. Once that was accomplished the crews would enter the control room and perform their tasks: fuel the missiles, set the gyroscopic guidance system, and open the electrically-operated doors. When it was time to launch, the men would return to the U-boat where they would be triggered by remote control, the ducts turning the rockets' efflux through 180 degrees up the sides of the containers and out into the atmosphere. The Vulkanwerft at Stettin accepted the contract to build the first three containers in December 1944 while Blohm und Voss shipyard was contracted to convert a single Type XXI for the task. Due to bombing, the U-boat was not converted and of the three containers, only one was actually completed by May 1945 with two others at 65 percent.

Through shared intelligence, the Allies knew a great deal about the secret German naval missile program and had drawn up a contingency plan to defeat it. With "Operation Teardrop" the US would respond with four escort carrier groups to prevent any U-boat penetration into American coasts. Thus, in March 1945, when a group of six Type IXC U-boats equipped with snorkels were detected sailing for American shores, they were promptly hunted with four of the six destroyed. Two got away, although apparently later, it was not the anticipated missile attack. After the war, this concept led to the US and Soviet ballistic missile submarines of the 1950s,