You will remember my recent astonishing mail on 28 August about a Nazi Train discovered in an underground tunnel by ground-penetrating radar, and the connection with the equally-astonishing Project Riese.
This morning’s Radio 5 Breakfast show (3 Sep) had Walbrzych historian Mateusz Mykytyszyn talking about his take on this train:
That makes far more sense of the huge scope of Project Riese. All that effort + attempts to keep it secret when abandoned makes little sense. However, as efforts to produce an atomic bomb it makes vast amounts of sense.
The German nation was at the forefront of physics & chemistry throughout the early part of the 20th Century. In fact, a great many of the scientists that worked on the American Manhattan Project (which produced the first Atom Bomb + Hydrogen Bomb) were German & European emigrés, whilst the Americans made huge efforts at the end of the war to capture the scientists that produced the doodlebugs & V2 rockets. Those men were responsible for the rockets that took America to the Moon.
One of the first acts of the Nazis was to occupy a Norwegian commercial plant that produced Heavy Water. Heavy Water was essential in producing the nuclear fuel for the Bomb (a HW plant formed part of the Manhattan Project also) and a German version of the Manhattan project began in April 1939. It is likely that only the purge of Jewish & other scientists prevented the Nazis from achieving their goal.
--------- Alex Kemp