A Badly Written Finale
"In southern Germany, meanwhile,
the American Third and Seventh and the French First Armies had been
driving steadily eastward into the so-called 'National Redoubt'....
The American Third Army drove on into Czechoslovakia and by May 6 had
captured Pilsen and Karlsbad and was approaching Prague."
F. Lee Benns,
Europe Since 1914 In Its
1 F. Lee Benns, Europe Since 1914 In
Its World Setting (New York: F.S. Crofts and co., 1946), p. 630.
The end of the Second World War in Europe, at least
as normally recounted, does not make sense, for in its standard form as
learned in history books that history resembles nothing so much as a badly
written finale to some melodramatic Wagnerian opera.
On a night in October 1944, a German pilot and rocket
expert by the same of Hans Zinsser was flying his Heinkel 111 twin engine
bomber in twilight over northern Germany, close to the Baltic coast in
the province of Mecklenburg. He was flying at twilight to avoid the Allied
fighter aircraft that at that time had all but undisputed mastery of the
skies over Germany. Little did he know that what he saw that night would
be locked in the vaults of the highest classification of the United States
government for several decades after the war.
And he certainly could not
have been aware of the fact when his testimony finally was declassified
near the end of the millennium, that what he saw would require the history
of the Second World War to be rewritten, or at the very minimum, severely
scrutinized. His observations on that one night on that one flight resolve
at a stroke some of the most pressing questions and mysteries concerning
the end of the war. By the same token, what he saw raises many more mysteries
and questions, affording a brief and frightening glimpse into the labyrinthine
world of Nazi secret weapons development.
His observations open a veritable
Pandora's box of horrifying research the Third Reich was conducting,
research far more horrendous in its scope and terrible promise than mere
atomic bombs. More importantly, his observations also raise the disturbing
question of why the Allied governments - America in particular - kept
so much classified for so long.
What, really, did we recover from the
Nazis at the end of the war?
But what precisely is that badly written finale?
To appreciate how badly written a finale it truly is,
it is best to begin at the logical place: in Berlin, far below ground,
in the last weeks of the war. There, in the bizarre and surreal world
of the Fuhrerbunker, the megalomaniac German dictator huddles with his
generals, impervious to the rain of Allied and Soviet bombs that are reducing
the once beautiful city of Berlin to piles of rubble.
Adolph Hitler, Chancellor
and Fuhrer of the ever-diminishing Greater German Reich is in conference.
His left arm shakes uncontrollably and from time to time he must pause
to daub the drool that occasionally oozes from his mouth. His complexion
is gray and pallid; his health, a shambles from the drugs his doctors
inject in him. His glasses are perched on his nose as he squints at the
map before him.2
2 Contributing yet another nuance to the end of the
war Legend of Hitler's delusional insanity, some have proposed that the
German dictator's doctors had diagnosed him with heart disease and/or
Parkinson's disease, and were keeping him drugged at the behest of Msrs
Bormann, Gobbels, Himmler et al. in a desperate attempt to keep him functioning.
3 Generaloberst: i.e., Colonel General , the equivalent
of a four star American general.
Generaloberst3 Heinrici, commander
of the vastly outnumbered Army Group Vistula that faces the massed armies
of Marshal Zhukov poised less than sixty miles from Berlin, is pleading
with his leader for more troops. The general is questioning the disposition
of the forces he sees displayed on the battle map, for it is clear to
him that some of Germany's finest and few remaining battle worthy formations
are far south, facing Marshal Koniev's forces in Silesia. These forces
were thus, incomprehensibly, poised to make a stiff defense of Breslau
and Prague, not Berlin. The general pleads for Hitler to release some
of these forces and transfer them north, but to no avail.
"Prague," the Fuhrer responds stubbornly,
almost mystically, "is the key to winning the war." Generaloberts
Heinrici's hard-pressed troops must "do without."4
One may also perhaps imagine Heinrici and the other
assembled generals perhaps casting a doleful glance at Norway on the situation
map, where thousands of German troops are still stationed, occupying a
country that had long since ceased to be of any strategic or operational
value to the defense of the Reich. Why indeed did Hitler maintain so many
German troops in Norway up to the very end of the war?5
5 The standard versions, of course, are that he wished
to maintain the supply line of iron ore from Sweden to Germany, and that
he wished to continue to use the country as a base to interdict the lend-lease
supply route to Russia. But by late 1944, with the huge losses of the
German Kriegsmarine, these explanations no longer were militarily feasible,
and hence do not make military sense. One must look for other reasons,
if indeed there are any beyond Adolph Hitler's delusions.
These paradoxical German troops deployments are the
first mystery of the badly written finale of the war in Europe. Both Allied
and German generals would ponder it after the war, and both would write
it off to Hitler's insanity, a conclusion that would become part of the
"Allied Legend" of the end of the war. This interpretation does
make sense, for if one assumed that Hitler were having a rare seizure
of sanity when he ordered these deployments, what possibly could he have
been thinking? Prague? Norway? There were no standard or conventional
military reasons for the deployments. In other words, the deployments
themselves attest his complete lack of touch with military reality. He
therefore had to have been quite insane.
But apparently his "delusional insanity" did
not stop there. On more than one occasion during these end-of-the-war
conferences with his generals in the Fuhrerbunker, he boasted that Germany
would soon be in the possession of weapons that would snatch victory from
the jaws of defeat at "five minutes past midnight." All the Wehrmacht had to do was hold out a bit longer. And
above all, it must hold Prague and lower Silesia.
They did in fact "do without" and yet managed
to put up a fierce resistance against overwhelming odds in the initial
stages of Zhukov's final offensive on Berlin.
Of course, the standard historical interpretation of
these and similar utterances by the Nazi leadership near the end of the
war explains them - or rather, explains them away - by one of two standard
techniques. One school understands them to refer to the more advanced
versions of the V-l and V-2, and on rare occasions, the intercontinental
A9/10 rockets, the jet fighters, anti-aircraft heat-seeking missiles,
and so on that the Germans were developing. Sir Roy Fedden, one of the
British Specialists sent to Germany to investigate Nazi secret weapons
research after the war, left no doubt as to the deadly potential these
In these respects (the Nazis) were not entirely lying.
In the course of two recent visits to Germany, as leader of a technical
mission of the Ministry of Aircraft Production, I have seen enough of
their designs and production plans to realize that if they had managed
to prolong the war some months longer, we would have been confronted with
a set of entirely new and deadly developments in air warfare.
The other standard school of interpretation explains
such remarks of the Nazi leadership as the utterances of madmen desperate
to prolong the war, and hence their lives, by stiffening the resistance
of their exhausted armies. For example, to make the insanity gripping
the Reich government complete, Hitler's ever-faithful toady and propaganda
minister, Dr. Josef Gobbels also boasted in a speech near the end of the
war that he had seen "weapons so frightening it would make your heart
stand still." More delusional ravings of a Nazi madman.
6 Sir Roy Fedden, The Nazis' V-Wcapons Matured Too Late
(London: 1945), cited in Renato Vesco and David Hatcher Childress, Man-Made
UFOs: 1944-1994, p. 98.
But on the Allied side of the Allied Legend, things
are equally peculiar. In March and April of 1945, US General George S.
Patton's Third Army is literally racing across southern Bavaria, as fast
as is operationally possible, making a beeline for:
(1) the huge Skoda munitions works at Pilsen, a complex
all but blown off the map by Allied bombers
A region of the Harz Mountains in Thuringia known to Germans as
the Dreiecks or Three Corners," a region encompassed by the old
mediaeval towns and villages of Arnstadt, Jonastal, Wechmar, and Ohrdruf.7
7 Arnstadt is where the great German composer
and organist J.S. Bach first began his career.
One is informed by countless history books that this
maneuver was thought to be necessary by the Supreme Headquarters of the
Allied Expeditionary Force (SHEAF) because of reports that the Nazis were
planning to make a last stand in the "Alpine National Redoubt",
a network of fortified mountains stretching from the Alps to the Harz
Mountains. The Third Army's movements, so the story goes, were designed
to cut off the "escape route" of Nazis fleeing the carnage of
Berlin. Maps are produced in old history books, accompanied in some cases
by de-classified German plans -some dating from the Weimar Republic! -
for just such a redoubt. Case settled.
However, there is a problem with that explanation. Allied
aerial reconnaissance would likely have told Eisenhower and SHAEF that
there were precious few fortified strong points in the "National
Redoubt". Indeed, it would have told them that the "Redoubt"
was no redoubt at all. General Patton and his divisional commanders would
most certainly have been privy to at least some of this information. So
why the extraordinary and almost reckless speed of his advance, an advance
the post-war Allied Legend would have us believe was to cut off the escape
route of Nazis fleeing Berlin, who it turns out weren't fleeing, to a
redoubt that didn't exist? The mystery deepens.
Then, remarkably, in a strange twist of fate, General
Patton himself, America's most celebrated general, dies suddenly, and,
some would say, suspiciously, as a result of complications from injuries
he sustained in a freak automobile accident soon after the end of the
war and the beginning of the Allied military occupation. For many, there
is little doubt that Patton's death is suspicious.
But what of the explanations offered for it by those who
do not think it was accidental? Some propose he was eliminated because
of his remarks about turning the Germans "right back around"
and letting them lead an Allied invasion of Russia. Others believe he
was eliminated because he knew about the Allies' knowledge of the Soviets'
execution of British, American, and French prisoners of war, and threatened
to make it public. In any case, while Patton's barbed tongue and occasional
outbursts are well known, his sense of military duty and obligation were
far too high for him to have entertained such notions. These theories
play out best, perhaps, on the internet or in the movies. And neither
seems a sufficient motivation for the murder of America's most celebrated
general. But then, if he was murdered, what was sufficient motivation?
Here too, the lone German pilot Hans Zinsser and his
observations afford a speculative key as to the possibilities, if General
Patton was murdered, of why he had to be silenced. Let us return, for
a moment, to a less-well publicized explanation for his end-of-the war
lightening-like strikes into south central Germany and into Bohemia:
In Top Secret, Ralph Ingersoll, an American liaison
officer at S.H.A.E.F., gives a version of the facts much more in line
with German intentions:
"(General Omar) Bradley was complete master
of the situation.... in full command of the three armies that had broken
through the Rhine defenses and were free to exploit their victories. Analyzing
the whole situation, Bradley felt that to take battered Berlin would be
an empty military victory.... The German War Department had long since
moved out, leaving only a rear echelon. The main body of the German War
Department, including its priceless archives, had been transferred to
the Thuringian Forest..."
But what exactly did Patton's divisions discover in
Pilsen and the forests of Thuringia? Only with the recent German reunification
and declassification of East German, British, and American documents are
enough clues available to allow this fantastic story - and the reason
for the post-war Allied Legend - to be outlined and its questions answered.
8 Vesco and Childress, op. cit., p. 97.
Thus, finally, one arrives at the main theme of the
post-war Allied Legend. As the Allied forces penetrated ever deeper into
the German fatherland itself, teams of scientists and experts and their
intelligence coordinators were sent in literally to scour the Reich for
German patents, secret weapons research, and above all, to find out about
the state of the German atomic bomb project.9
9 "Alsos" was the code name of
this effort. "Alsos" is a Greek word meaning "Grove",
an obvious pun on General Leslie Groves, chief of the Manhattan Project.
It is the name of the book about the Manhattan Project by Dutch-Jewish
physicist Samuel Goudsmit.
vacuuming the Reich of every conceivable technological development, this
effort became the largest technology transfer in history. Even at this
late stage of the war, as Allied armies advanced across western Europe,
there was fear on the Allied side that the Germans were perilously close
to the A-bomb, and might actually use one on London or other Allied targets.
And Dr. Gobbels and his speeches about fearsome heart-stopping weaponry
were doing nothing to alleviate their fears.
It is here that the mystery of the Allied Legend only
deepens. It is here that the badly written finale would be truly comical,
were it not for the vast scale of human suffering involved with it, for
the facts are clear enough if one examines them independently of the explanations
we have become accustomed to apply to them. Indeed, one must wonder if
we were not conditioned to think about them in a certain way, for as the
Allied armies advanced deeper and deeper into the Reich, famous German
scientists and engineers were either captured, or they surrendered themselves.
Among them were first class physicists, many of them Nobel laureates.
And most of them were involved, at some level, with the various atomic
bomb projects of Nazi Germany.
Among these scientists were Werner Heisenberg, one of
the founders of quantum mechanics, Kurt Diebner, a nuclear physicist,
Paul Hartek, a nuclear chemist, Otto Hahn himself, the chemist who actually
discovered nuclear fission, and curiously, Walter Gerlach, whose specialty
was not nuclear, but gravitational physics.
Gerlach had written esoteric
papers before the war on such abstruse concepts as spin polarization and
vorticular physics, hardly the basics of nuclear physics, and certainly not the sort
of scientist one would expect to encounter working on atom bombs.10
10 Nick Cook, The Hunt for Zero Point,
p. 194. Cook notes that these areas have little to do with nuclear physics,
much less A-bomb design, but "much to do with the enigmatic properties
of gravity. A student of Gerlach's at Munich, O.C. Hilgenberg, published a paper in
1931 entitled 'About Gravitation, Vortices and Waves in Rotating Media'....
And yet, after the war, Gerlach, who died in 1979, apparently never returned
to these matters, nor did he make any references to them; almost as if
he had been forbidden to do so. That, or something he had seen...had scared
him beyond all reason."
Much to the Allies' puzzlement, their scientific teams
found but crude attempts by Heisenberg to construct a functioning atomic
reactor, attempts that were wholly unsatisfactory and unsuccessful, and
almost unbelievably inept. This "German ineptitude" in basic
bomb physics became, and remains, a central component of the Allied Legend.
And yet, that itself raises yet another mystery of the badly written finale.
Top German scientists - Werner Heisenberg, Paul Hartek,
Kurt Diebner, Erich Bagge, Otto Hahn, Carl Friedrich von Weizsacker, Karl
Wirtz, Horst Korsching, and Walter Gerlach - were carted off to Farm Hall,
England, where they were kept in isolation, and their conversations recorded.
The transcripts, the celebrated "Farm Hall Transcripts", were
only declassified by the British government in 1992! If the Germans were
so far behind and so incompetent, why keep them classified for so long?"
Bureaucratic oversight and inertia? Or did they contain things the Allies
did not wish to be known even at that late date?
What a surface reading of the transcripts reveals only
deepens the mystery considerably. In them, Heisenberg and company, after
hearing of the a-bombing of Hiroshima by the Americans on the BBC, debate
the endless moral issues of their own involvement in the atomic bomb projects
of Nazi Germany.
11 It was Manhattan project chief General
Leslie Groves who, in fact, revealed in his 1962 book about the bomb,
Now It Can Be Told, that the German scientists' conversations had been
recorded by the British. Apparently, however, not everything could be
told in 1962.
But that is not all.
In the transcripts, Heisenberg and company, who had
suffered some inexplicable mathematical and scientific dyslexia during the whole
six years' course of the war, the same Heisenberg and company who could
not even design and build a successful atomic reactor to produce plutonium
for a bomb, suddenly become Nobel laureates and first rank physicists
after the war. Indeed, Heisenberg himself within a matter of a few days
of Hiroshima, gave a lecture to the assembled German scientists on the
basic design of the bomb.
In it, he defends his first assessment that
the bomb would be about the size of a pineapple, and not the one or two
ton monster he maintained throughout most of the war. And as we shall
discover in the transcripts nuclear chemist Paul Hartek is close - perilously
close - to the correct critical mass of uranium for the Hiroshima bomb.12
12 Q.v. Paul Lawrence Rose, Heisenberg and the Nazi Atomic
Bomb project: A Study in German Culture (Berkeley: 1998), pp. 217-221.
Thomas Powers notes of Heisenberg's lecture that "this was something
of a scientific tour de force -to come up with a working theory of bomb
design in so short a time, after years of laboring under fundamental misconceptions."
(Thomas Powers, Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb
(1993), pp. 439-440). Samuel Goudsmit, of course, used the transcripts
to construct his version of the Allied Legend:
"That the German scientists
were at odds with one another, that they didn't understand bomb physics,
and that they concocted a false story of moral scruples to explain their
scientific failures.... The sources of Goudsmit's conclusions are all
obvious in the transcripts, but what leaps out at the reader now are the
many statements which Goudsmit failed to notice, forgot, or deliberately
overlooked." (Ibid., p. 436)
This demonstrable mathematical prowess raises yet another question directly
confronting the Allied Legend, for some versions of that Legend would
have it that the Germans never aggressively pursued bomb development because
they had - via Heisenberg -overestimated the critical mass by several
order of magnitude, thus rendering such a project impractical. Hartek
had clearly done the calculations before, so Heisenberg's estimates were
certainly not the only calculations the Germans had available to them.
And with a small critical mass comes the practical feasibility of an atomic
In his August 14, 1945 "lecture" to the assembled German Farm
Hall physicists, Heisenberg, according to Paul Lawrence Rose, used a tone and phrasing that indicated that "he has only
just now understood the solution" to a small critical mass for the
bomb,13 since "others" reported a critical
mass of about 4 kg. This too only deepens the mystery. For Rose, an adherent
of the Legend - though now in its highly modified post-Farm Hall declassification
mode - the "others" could be the Allied press reports themselves.14
13 Q.v. Paul Lawrence Rose, Heisenberg and the Nazi Atomic
Bomb Project: A Study in German Culture (Berkeley: 1998), pp. 217-221.
Thomas Powers notes that this lecture was "something of a scientific
tour de force - to come up with a working theory of bomb design in so
short a time, after years of laboring under fundamental misconceptions."
(Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb(1993), pp. 439-440).
14 Ibid., p. 218.
Dutch-Jewish Manhattan Project Physicist Samuel Goudsmit
In the years immediately after the war, the Dutch-Jewish Manhattan Project
physicist Samuel Goudsmit explained the whole mystery, alone with many others, as being simply due to the Allies having
been "better" nuclear scientists and engineers than the very
Germans who had invented the whole discipline of quantum mechanics and
nuclear physics. That explanation, in conjunction with Heisenberg's own
sell-evidently clumsy attempts to construct a functioning reactor, served
well enough until these transcripts were declassified.
With the appearance of the transcripts and their stunning revelations
of Heisenberg's actual knowledge of atomic bomb design, and some of the
other scientists' clear understanding of the means to enrich enough weapons
grade uranium without having to have a functioning reactor, the Legend
had to be "touched up" a bit. Thomas Powers' Heisenberg's War
appeared, arguing somewhat persuasively that Heisenberg had actually sabotaged
the German bomb program.
And almost as soon as it appeared, Lawrence Rose
countered with Heisenberg and the Nazi Atomic Bomb Project, arguing even
more persuasively that Heisenberg had remained a loyal German and had
not sabotaged anything, but that he simply labored under massive misconceptions
of the nature of nuclear fission, and consequently over-calculated the
critical mass needed to make a bomb during the war. The Germans never
obtained the bomb, so the new version goes, because they never had a functioning
reactor by which to enrich uranium to plutonium to make a bomb. Besides,
having grossly overestimated the critical mass, they had no real impetus
to pursue it. Simple enough, case closed once again.
But again, neither Powers' nor Rose's books really go to the heart of
the mystery, for the Legend still requires the belief that "brilliant
nuclear physicists including Nobel prize winners before the war, apparently
struck by some strange malady which turned them into incompetent bunglers
during the... War,"15 were suddenly and quite
inexplicably cured of the malady within a few days of the bombing of Hiroshima!
Moreover, two such widely diverging contemporary interpretations of the
same material - Rose's and Powers' - only highlights the ambiguity of
their contents in general, and Heisenberg's knowledge - or lack of it - in particular.
15 Philip Henshall, The Nuclear Axis: Germany, Japan,
and the Atom Bomb Race 1939-45, "Introduction."
Matters are not helped by events on the other side of the world in the
Pacific theater, for there American investigators would uncover similarly
strange goings on after the war ended.
There, after Nagasaki, the Emperor Hirohito, overriding his ministers
who wanted to continue the war, decided that Japan would surrender unconditionally.
But why would Hirohito's ministers urge continuance of the war in the
face of overwhelming Allied conventional arms superiority, and, from their
point of view, facing a potential rain of atomic bombs? After all, "two"
bombs could just as easily have turned into twenty. One could, of course,
attribute the ministers' objections to the Emperor's intentions to "proud
samurai traditions" and the Japanese sense of "honor" and
so on. And that would indeed be a plausible explanation.
But another explanation is that Hirohito's cabinet ministers knew something.
What his ministers probably knew was what American intelligence would
soon discover: that the Japanese,
"just prior to their surrender,
had developed and successfully test fired an atomic bomb. The project
had been housed in or near Konan (Japanese name for Hungnam), Korea, in
the peninsula's North."
It was exploded, so
the story goes, one day after the American plutonium bomb, "Fat Man",
exploded over Nagasaki, i.e., on August 10, 1945. The war, in other words,
depending on Hirohito's decision, could have "gone nuclear".
By that time, of course it would have done Japan no good to prolong it,
with no viable means of delivery of an atomic weapon to any worthwhile
strategic American targets. The Emperor stood his ministers down.17
16 Robert K. Wilcox, Japan's Secret War, p. 15.
17 The Japanese were, in fact, developing large cargo submarines
to transport a bomb to West Coast American port cities to be detonated
there, much like Einstein warned in his famous letter to President Roosevelt
that initiated the Manhattan Project. Of course, Einstein was more worried
about the Germans using such a method of ship-born delivery, than the
These allegations constitute yet another difficulty for the Allied Legend,
for where did Japan obtain the necessary uranium for its (alleged) A-bomb?
And more importantly, the technology to enrich
it? Where did it build and assemble such a weapon? Who was responsible
for its development? The answers, as we shall eventually see, possibly
explain events far in the future, and even possibly down to our own day.
Yet even now, we have only begun to penetrate into the heart of this
"badly written finale." There are also the "odd little,
and little known, details" to consider.
Why, for example, in 1944, did a lone Junkers 390 bomber, a massive
six engine heavy-lift ultra long-range transport aircraft capable of round
trip intercontinental flight from Europe to North America, fly to within
less than twenty miles of New York City, photograph the skyline of Manhattan,
and return to Europe?18 Germany launched several such
top secret long-distance flights during the war, using these and other
heavy-lift ultra-long range aircraft. But what was their purpose, and
more importantly, the purpose of this unique flight?19
That such a flight was extremely risky goes without saying. What were
the Germans up to with this enormous aircraft, and why would they even
risk such an operation just to take pictures, when they only ever had
two of these enormous six engine monsters available?
18 Q.v. Nick Cook, op. cit., p. 198, Henshall, op. cit.,
19 Italy, as well, launched long-range air missions to Japan.
Finally, and to round out the Legend, there are the odd details of the
German surrender and the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunals. Why does former
Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler, mass murderer and one of human history's
most notorious criminals, try to negotiate a surrender to the Western
Allies? Of course, one can dismiss this as delusion, and Himmler was certainly
delusional. But what could he possibly have thought he had to offer the
Allies in return for a surrender to the West, and the sparing of his own
What of the strangeness around the Nuremberg Tribunals themselves? The
Legend is well known: obvious war criminals like Reichmarschall Goring,
Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Army Chief of Operations Staff Colonel-General
Alfred Jodl, are sent swinging from the gallows, or, in Goring's case,
cheating the hangman by swallowing cyanide. Other Nazi bigwigs like Grand Admiral Karl Donitz,
mastermind of Germany's devastating U-boat campaign against Allied shipping,
or Minister of Armaments Albert Speer, or Finance Minister and Reichsbank
President Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schacht, were imprisoned.
Missing from the docket of the accused, of course, were the Pennemunde
rocket scientists headed by Dr. Werner von Braun and General Walter Dornberger,
already headed to America to take charge of America's ballistic missile
and space programs along with a host of scientists, engineers and technicians
under the then super secret Project Paperclip.20 They,
like their nuclear physics counterparts in Germany, had seemingly suffered
from a similar "bungler's malady", for once having produced
the first successful V-l and V-2 prototypes comparatively early in the
war, they suffered a similar lack of inspiration and ingenuity and (so
the Legend goes) managed to produce only "paper rockets" and
theoretical study projects after that.21
But perhaps most significantly, by joint agreement of the Allied and
Soviet prosecutors at Nuremberg, missing from evidence in the tribunal
was the vast amount of documentary evidence implicating the Nazi regime
in occult belief systems and practice,22 a fact that
has given rise to a whole "mythology, and one that has never been
adequately explored in connection with its possible influence on the development
of German secret weapons during the war.
20 The best sources on the overall outlines of Operation
Paperclip are Mark Aaron's and John Loftus' Unholy Trinity: the Vatican,
Nazis, and Soviet Intelligence (New York: St Martin's Press. 1991), and
Christopher Simpson's Blowback: America's Recruitment of Nazis and Its
Effects on the Cold War (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company. 1988).
21 Henshall, op. cit, "Introduction."
22 Q.v., Jean-Michel Angebert, The Occult and the Third
Reich (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1974); Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult
Roots of nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on nazi Ideology
(New York: New York University Press. 1992); Michael Howard, The Occult
Conspiracy: Secret Societies- Their Influence and Power in World History
(Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1989); Peter Levenda, Unholy Alliance:
A History of Nazi involvement with the Occult (New York: Avon Books, 1995);
Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, The Morning of the magicians, trans
from the French by Rollo Meyers (new York: Stein and Day, 1964); Dusty
Sklar, The Nazis and the Occult (New York: Dorset Press, 1977); James
Webb, The Occult Establishment and The Occult Underground (LaSalle, Illinois:
Open Court, 1988). It should be noted that the SS Ahnenerbedienst did come under
the tribunal's scrutiny.
Finally, a curious fact, one of those obvious things that one lends
to overlook unless attention is drawn to it: the atomic bomb test that
took place at the Trinity site in new Mexico was a test of America's implosion-plutonium
bomb, a test needed to see if the concept would actually work. It did,
and magnificently. But what is immensely significant - a fact missing
from almost all mainstream literature on the subject since the end of
the war - is that the uranium bomb with its apparatus of a cannon shooting
the critical mass of uranium together, the bomb that was actually first
used in war, the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, was never tested. As German
author Friedrich Georg notes, this tears a rather gaping hole in the Allied
Also another question is of great importance: Why was the uranium bomb
of the USA, unlike the plutonium bomb, not tested prior to being hurled
on Japan? Militarily this would appear to be extremely dangerous.... Did
the Americans simply forget to test it, or did others already do it for
23 Friedrich Georg, Hitlers Siegeswaffen: Band 1: Luftwaffe
und Marine: Geheime Nuklearwaffen des Dritten Reiches und ihre Tragersysteme
(Schleusingen: Amun Verlag, 200), p. 150, my translation.
The Allied Legend accounts for this in various ways, some ingenious,
some not so ingenious, but basically they boil down to the assertion that
it was never tested because it did not need to be, so confident were Allied
engineers that it would work. So we have been asked to believe, by the
post-war Allied spin, that the American military dropped an atomic bomb
of untested design, based on concepts of physics that were very new and
themselves very untested, on an enemy city, an enemy also known to be
working on acquiring the atomic bomb as well!
It is indeed a badly written, truly incredible, finale to the world's
most horrendous war.
So, what exactly did the German pilot Hans Zinsser see on that night
of October, 1944, as he flew his Heinkel bomber over the twilight skies
of northern Germany? Something that, had he known it, would require the
previous badly written Wagnerian libretto to be almost completely revised.
His affidavit is contained in a military intelligence report of August
19, 1945, roll number A1007, filmed in 1973 at Maxwell Air Force Base
Zinsser's statement is found on the last page of the report:
- A man named ZINSSER, a Flak rocket expert, mentioned what he noticed one day:
In the beginning of Oct, 1944 I flew from Ludwigslust (south of Lubeck),
about 12 to 15 km from an atomic bomb test station, when I noticed a
strong, bright illumination of the whole atmosphere, lasting about 2
The clearly visible pressure wave escaped the approaching and following cloud
formed by the explosion. This wave had a diameter of about 1 km when
it became visible and the color of the cloud changed frequently. It
became dotted after a short period of darkness with all sorts of light
spots, which were, in contrast to normal explosions, of a pale blue
After about 10 seconds the sharp outlines of the explosion cloud disappeared,
then the cloud began to take on a lighter color against the sky covered
with a gray overcast. The diameter of the still visible pressure wave
was at least 9000 meters while remaining visible for at least 15 seconds.
Personal observations of the colors of the explosion cloud found an almost blue-violet
shade. During this manifestation reddish-colored rims were to be seen,
changing to a dirty-like shade in very rapid succession.
The combustion was lightly felt from my observation plane in the form of pulling
About one hour later I started with an He 111 from the A/D24 at
Ludwigslust and flew in an easterly direction.
24 "A/D" probably "aerodrome".
Shortly after the start
I passed through the almost complete overcast (between 3000 and 4000
meter altitude). A cloud shaped like a mushroom with turbulent, billowing
sections (at about 7000 meter altitude) stood, without any seeming connections, over the spot where the explosion took place. Strong
electrical disturbances and the impossibility to continue radio communication
as by lightning, turned up.
Because of the P-38s operating in the area Wittenberg-Mersburg
had to turn to the north but observed a better visibility at the bottom
of the cloud where the explosion occurred. Note: It does not seem
very clear to me why these experiments took place in such crowded areas.25
25 The entire documentation of this report is as follows:
"Investigations, Research, Developments and Practical Use of the
German Atomic Bomb,"
A.P.I.U. (Ninth Air Force) 96/1945 APO 696, U S Army,
19 August 1945." The report is classified secret. Note that the report
begins in no uncertain terms: "the following information was obtained
from four German scientists: a chemist, two physical chemists, and a rocket
specialist. All four men contributed a short story as to what they knew
of the atomic bomb development."
Note also the
suggestive title of the report.
In other words, a German pilot had observed the test of a weapon, having
all the signatures of a nuclear bomb: electromagnetic pulse and resulting
malfunction of his radio, mushroom cloud, continuing fire and combustion
of nuclear material in the cloud and so on. And all this on territory
clearly under German control, in October of 1944, fully eight months before
the first American A-bomb test in New Mexico! Note the curious fact that
Zinsser maintains that the test took place in a populated area.
There is yet another curiosity to be observed in Zinsser's statement,
one that his American interrogators either did not pursue, or, if they
did pursue it, the results remain classified still: How did Zinsser know
it was a test? The answer is obvious: Zinsser knew, because he was somehow
involved, for clearly the Allies would not have control over a test site
deep in Nazi Germany.
Earlier in the same report, there are clues that unravel the mystery:
14. When Germany was at this stage of the game, the war broke out in
Europe. At first investigations on this disintegrating of U235 were somewhat neglected because a practical application seemed too
far off. Later, however, this research continued, especially in finding
methods of separating isotopes. Needless to say that the center of gravity
of Germany's war effort at that time lay in other tasks.
15. Nevertheless the atomic bomb was expected to be ready toward the
end of 1944, if it had not been for the effective air attacks on laboratories
engaged in this uranium research, especially on the one in Ryukon in Norway,
where heavy water was produced. It is mainly for this reason that Germany
did not succeed in using the atomic bomb in this war.
These two paragraphs are quite revealing for several reasons.
First, what is the source for the assertion that the Germans expected
the bomb to be ready in late 1944, well ahead of the Manhattan Project,
and a statement in flat contradiction to the post- war Allied spin that
the Germans were actually far behind? Indeed, during the war, Manhattan
Project estimates consistently placed the Germans ahead of the Allies,
and project chief General Leslie Groves also thought they were. But after
the war, everything suddenly changed. Not only was America ahead, but
according to the Legend, it had been consistently far ahead throughout
Manhattan Project Chief General Leslie Groves
Zinsser's account raises a disturbing possibility -besides completely
contradicting the Allied Legend - and that is, did the Allies learn of
a German A-bomb test during the war? If so, then we may look for certain
types of corroborating evidence, for the other Statements of the post-w a r report containing Zinsser's affidavit
would seem to indicate that the Allied Legend is already beginning to
take tenuous shape.
The intelligence report talks, for example, only of
laboratories being the facilities conducting isotope enrichment and separation
research. But mere laboratories would simply be incapable of development
of an actual functioning atom bomb. So one component of the Legend emerges
in this early report: the German effort was lackadaisical, being confined
Secondly, note the clear assertion that Germany did not succeed in "using
the atomic bomb in this war." The language of the report is very
clear. Yet it would also appear to be designed to obfuscate in aid of
the then emerging Allied Legend, for the statement does not say that the
Germans never tested a bomb, only that they did not use one. The language
of the report is oddly careful, deliberate, and for that reason, all the
more thought provoking.
Thirdly, note how much is actually - and inadvertently it would seem
-revealed about German atomic bomb research and development, for the statements
make it clear that the Germans were after a uranium based A-bomb. A plutonium
bomb is never mentioned. The theory of plutonium development and the possibility
of a plutonium based A-bomb were clearly known to the Germans, as a Top
Secret memorandum to the Heereswaffenamt (Army Ordnance Bureau) in early
1942 makes abundantly clear.26
26 This memorandum obviously constitutes another sore
spot for the Allied Legend that emerged after the war, namely, that the
Germans never knew the correct amount of the critical mass of a uranium
fission bomb, but that it had been grossly overestimated by several orders
of magnitude, hence rendering the project "unfeasible" within
the span of the war. The problem of the HWA memorandum is that the Germans
had a good ball-park estimate as early as January-February of 1942. And
if they knew it was so small, then the resulting "decision"
of the German High Command as to the impracticality of its development
becomes immensely problematical. On the contrary, because of this memorandum
-most likely prepared by Dr. Kurt Diebner or Dr. Fritz Houtermans - they
knew that the undertaking was not only practical but feasible within the
span of the war.
So it is the absence of plutonium from this report that affords us a
first significant clue into what was probably the real nature of
German atom bomb research. It is this absence that explains why the Germans
never placed much emphasis on achieving a functioning reactor in order
to enrich uranium to make weapons grade plutonium for an atom bomb: they
did not need to do so, since there were other methods of enriching and
separating enough U235 to weapons grade purity and
a stockpile of critical mass.
In a nutshell: the Allied Legend about the
German failure to obtain the atom bomb because they never had a functioning
reactor is simply utter scientific nonsense, because a reactor is needed
only it one wants to produce plutonium. It is an unneeded, and expensive,
development, if one only wants to make a uranium A-bomb. Thus, there is
sufficient reason, due to the science of bomb- making and the political
and military realities of the war after America's entry, that the Germans
took the decision to develop only a uranium bomb, since that afforded
the best, most direct, and technologically least complicated route to
acquisition of a bomb.
Let us pause a moment to put the indications of the German project in
the context of the Manhattan Project taking place in the United States.
There, with a production capacity larger than Germany's, and with an industrial
base not being targeted by enemy bombing, the American project decided
to concentrate on development of all available means to production of
working atom bombs, i.e., uranium and plutonium bombs. But the production
of plutonium could only be achieved in the construction of a functioning
reactor. No reactor, no plutonium bomb.
But it should also be noted that the Manhattan Project also constructed
the giant Oak Ridge facility in Tennessee to enrich uranium to weapons
grade by gaseous diffusion and Lawrence's mass spectrometer processes,
a facility that at no stage of its operation relied upon a functioning
reactor in order to enrich uranium.
So, if the Germans were pursuing a similar approach to that employed
at Oak Ridge, then we must find indicators to corroborate it. First, to
enrich uranium by the same or similar methods as employed in Tennessee,
the Reich would have had to build a similarly huge facility, or smaller
facilities scattered throughout Germany, transporting the various levels
of dangerous uranium isotope from one point to another as feedstock until the desired
level of purity and enrichment was achieved.
The material would then have
to be assembled in a bomb, and tested. So one must first look for a facilities
or facilities. And given the Oak Ridge operation and its massive size,
we know exactly what to look for: enormous size, close proximity to water,
an adequate transportation infrastructure, enormous electrical power consumption,
and finally, two other significant factors: an enormous labor pool, and
Secondly, in order to verify or corroborate Zinsser's astonishing affidavit,
we must look for corroborating evidence. We must look for indications
that the Germans had stockpiled enough weapons grade uranium to constitute
a critical mass for an atom bomb. And then we must hunt for the test site
or sites and see if it (or they) bear(s) the signature(s) of an atomic
Fortunately, the information is now slowly coming available with the
recent declassification of documents by Great Britain, the United States,
the former Soviet Union, and as the archives of the former East Germany
are being opened by the German government itself. This allows us to examine
each of these aspects of the problem in a detail not possible until the
last few years. The answers, as we shall see in the remaining chapters
of part one, are disturbing, and horrifying.
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