WWII:Extent of German atomic bomb project

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by Yuhi33, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Yuhi33 Active Member

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    Exactly how far could the Germans have gone with their atomic bomb project? Could they have developed one before their surrender? Nuke any major cities? Did Hitler have a strategy for nuclear weaponry?
     
  2. lothaw Texan Nationalist

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  3. wormyguy Banned

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    1. Too vague to give a specific answer. The OTL project would not have gotten anywhere without substantially(as in x500) more funding and better leadership, and even then would have been years behind Manhattan.
    2. No.
    3. No.
    4. No.
     
  4. danwild6 American Exceptionalist

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    It has recently come to light that Germany did test dirty bombs including one on Soviet prisoners.
     
  5. Monopolist Member

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    I don't know about Germany, but, according to the History Channel, Japan successfully tested its own nuke a couple days after Hiroshima. Imagine how different life would be had Japan been a month quicker to the bomb, if its true!
     
  6. xchen08 Member

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    Okay, I know the History Channel's been getting worse and worse over the last few years, but they've hit a new low if this is accurate.
     
  7. dmz23 Member

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    Actually, I think the scenario in the show was an attack on San Fransisco using Japan's aircraft carrying submarines. The Subs would sail to the west coast, surface and deploy their aircraft, which would then proceed to drop bombs carrying radioactive materials over the target. The show claimed that the fallout would cause casualties on par with those of Hiroshima/Nagasaki.
    Of course it could be a different programme I'm thinking of but it was definitely History channel.
     
  8. lothaw Texan Nationalist

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    Nuclear bombs, especially then, were pretty heavy. Does Japan have an equivlent of a B-29 to even carry the thing? And I highly doubt it's able to be assembled and shipped in pieces. And then flown off an improvised carrier deck?

    I think a more likely option is a kamikaze submarine and try to sneak into a harbor and detonate.
     
  9. Zyzzyva Was a Teenage Swine-Flu Vector

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    Nnnnnnnngah! :eek::mad:

    The Japanese did not have nukes, they did not even have a plausible nuclear program, and in the early forties the idea that radioactivity is bad was barely on the table, let alone fallout, let alone dirty bombes.

    In conclusion: the History channel can go $%#* &%#$@$&*!
     
  10. The Kiat I'm going to Nixonland!

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    It isn't just Channel either. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_atomic_program#Rumored_Japanese_weapon_test

    As for the German program; that was a bit of a joke. They were about as close to developing a bomb as Denmark. Speaking of which, I think Heisenberg tried to recruit Bohr into the German program. Here's a link for you (not about that): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German...n_of_the_Manhattan_Project_and_the_Uranverein
     
  11. The Red A virulent, ignorant bigot

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    Evidence?

    It's a hoax based on the claims of one reporter.
     
  12. Michel Van Well-Known Member

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    the Third Reich Nuke program was a total chaos

    serveral groups compete under each other, lack of resource like heavy water

    here the most groups
    Uranprojekt under Werner Heisenberg for the Reichsforschungsrat
    Uranverein under Kurt Diebner of the Army Ordnance Office
    Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kernphysik but this mabye a other name for Uranverein group
    Herman Göring Study group for a Nuclear weapon
    Reich Ministry of Education work on potential military applications of nuclear energy.
    The Auergesellschaft, the company proposed the technical use of nuclear energy from uranium,
    even the Reichs Post Office had a Nuke Program :D

    around 1944 the SS take thing under control
    and Obergruppenführer Hans Kammler became head of German Nuke progam
    There some unclear information that the SS work on Radiological weapon http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiological_weapon
    like SS Obergruppenführer Hans Kammler note to the Army Ordnance Office
    to make the Rheinbote Rocket ready for a "Nuclear warhead" the Rheinbote has only payload of 5 kg
    but no real evidence were found.
     
  13. BlairWitch749 Banned

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    a conventional nuke was never going to get anywhere given their unbalanced national priorities.

    the german post office of all places had the most destructive potential wmd... it was an endothermic ice bomb (works like a nuke except it freezes everything)... the russians did some testing on the concept after the war with sucess (confirmed by truman in the 50's)... they never declassified the stuff so how it works is still conjecture (most educated guess involved something with coaldust and other chemicals... the russian version supposedly had a total freeze radius of like 800 meters)

    the russians via the swedish ambassador told the germans in 44 that if they used any coal dust bombs they would consider it a wmd and respond with gas and anthrx all over germany
     
  14. The Red A virulent, ignorant bigot

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    Also the bomb the Germans were working on was pathetic. Probably around a 1 kiloton yield, even as a tactical nuclear bomb it would be feeble probably killing more people from the radiation emitted than the actual blast.
     
  15. Dathi THorfinnsson Daði Þorfinnsson

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    The same Niels Bohr that had to be smuggled to Sweden because he was Jewish enough the Nazis would have sent him to a concentration camp?:confused:
     
  16. The Manhattan Project cost ~2 billion USD (about 25 billion in present dollars). It is very doubtful that the WWII German economy could have supported a project anywhere near that level - and anything much smaller would not have been able to construct a viable atomic weapon.

    This leaves aside the political nature of research in Nazi Germany, which forced the vast majority of nuclear physicists out of the country.

    The German program that did exist also faced serious material shortages: they did not have enough uranium or the resources to make a gas-separation plant (for a uranium bomb) or the heavy water moderator needed to produce plutonium (thanks to Allied bombing and sabotage early in the war).

    So the Nazi Nukes line is very unlikely indeed.
     
  17. Blue Max Game Designer

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    My opinion on the German Nuclear Project:

    Germany harassed many of its prominent scientists, because of its insane racial beliefs. This is kind of the core belief of National Socialism, and one that throws a monkey wrench into the project.

    That said, it is perhaps plausible that Germany could have avoided the initial mistake made by the Manhattan Project and made it to the "Theoretical Foundation" stage of the project. It may be in Germany's ability to create a pile of radioactive sludge and use it as a "Dirty Bomb", but that's not really a nuclear weapon.

    Germany would have to Enrich Uranium to get to Fission, and that is beyond their abilities, even assuming that they had a single program as opposed to having multiple small ones. Yes, Uranium can be obtained by mines in Czechia, but Enrichment is a formidable task. Germany might get to a proof of concept stage where they can know how to build a weapon.

    Then they'd lose the war. It would take them far too long to get the U235 needed for a weapon, and they're still missing the part where they don't have a launch vehicle to do better than, say, trying to sneak a boat into Dover and activating the bomb as a suicide device.

    All of this, of course, is far more than they managed to do in OTL. Not making a math mistake and figuring out that this weapon is doable, and then getting bogged down in trying to make the weapon seems like as far as it could possibly go, to say nothing of Germany having redundant nuclear programs that only fight each other for resources.

    CalBear had predicted no Nazi Nukes until 1960. Unless someone can remove Hitler and make Germany's economic performance make sense, this is probably the case.
     
  18. Monopolist Member

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    To answer the question, the nazis probably couldn't have ever really gotten to nukes before the end of the war. They had to put more and more of their money into the army rather than research, their economy was being destroyed by allied bombs every minute, and on top of all that, they practically gave us Einstein.

    On my Japanese quote earlier, the show was from before all the absoulute crap they're putting on now like pawn stars and the nostradamus effect and all the stuff like that. (in 2005) And there was evidence to back it up; documents, former scientists (who easily I suppose could be actors), several books published by American researchers, and, a little known fact: the Nazis were shipping uranium in submarines towards the end of the war to the Japanese. Once the war was over, and the allies siezed all the nazi ships at sea, the United States pursued this sub aggressively to make sure they got to it first. Also, the program, if it existed, was very poorly funded compared to all the other programs, and got several lucky breaks to get that close, such as guessing correctly on the best method to create nuclear fission. Now, will all that said, I still don't see Japan ever realistically being able to bomb us, nor do I 100% believe this show, because you're all right; the history channel does tell a load of crap all the time and is only getting worse, but, there is some kind of founded evidence.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010