Sketch for Nazi nuclear bomb found in archive

2nd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 June 2005, BERLIN - A German and an American historian claim to have found the only existing diagram for the nuclear bomb that Nazi scientist tried to construct during World War Two.

2 June 2005

BERLIN - A German and an American historian claim to have found the only existing diagram for the nuclear bomb that Nazi scientist tried to construct during World War Two.

Although the diagram does not suggest that the Nazis built, or were even close to building, an actual nuclear bomb, the rough schematic shows Hitler's scientists were closer to their goal than was previously believed.

Rainer Karlsch, an independent historian based in Berlin, and Mark Walker of Union College, Schenectady, New York state, published their findings in an article in the June issue of the British magazine Physics World.

The diagram is part of a 60-year-old report that appears to have been written in May 1945, shortly after the end of the war in Europe, describing work carried out on nuclear weapons during the war. However it is unclear who wrote the undated report, which lacks a title page. The historians claim it came from a private archive.

As well as a rough plan for a nuclear bomb, the Nazi report contains an estimate for the amount of plutonium needed to achieve critical mass and therefore a nuclear explosion. The five-kilo estimate is relatively close to the actual amount required, contradicting the conventional belief that Nazi scientist vastly over-estimated the amount of fissile material needed.

Karlsch attracted considerable media attention earlier this year when he published his book 'Hitlers Bombe' ('Hitler's Bomb'). In the book, he claims that the Nazis successfully tested a primitive nuclear device during the closing days of World War Two - a claim disputed by other historians, who say that the Nazis did not possess the know-how to create such a bomb.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: German news

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