A German historian has claimed in a new book that Nazi scientists successfully tested a tactical nuclear weapon in the last months of World War II.
Rainer Karlsch said that new research in Soviet and also Western archives, along with measurements carried out at one of the test sites, provided evidence for the existence of the weapon.
"The important thing in my book is the finding that the Germans had an atomic reactor near Berlin which was running for a short while, perhaps some days or weeks," he told the BBC.
"The second important finding was the atomic tests carried out in Thuringia and on the Baltic Sea."
Mr Karlsch describes what the Germans had as a "hybrid tactical nuclear weapon" much smaller than those dropped on Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
He said the last test, carried out in Thuringia on 3 March 1945, destroyed an area of about 500 sq m, killing several hundred prisoners of war and concentration camp inmates.
The weapons were never used because they were not yet ready for mass production. There were also problems with delivery and detonation systems.
"We haven't heard about this before because only small groups of scientists were involved, and a lot of the documents were classified after they were captured by the Allies," said Karlsch.
"I found documents in Russian and Western archives, as well as in private German ones."
One of these is a memo from a Russian spy, brought to the attention of Stalin just days after the last test. It cites "reliable sources" as reporting "two huge explosions" on the night of 3 March.
Karlsch also cites German eyewitnesses as reporting light so bright that for a second it was possible to read a newspaper, accompanied by a sudden blast of wind.
The eyewitnesses, who were interviewed on the subject by the East German authorities in the early 1960s, also said they suffered nose-bleeds, headaches, and nausea for days afterwards.
Karlsch also pointed to measurements carried out recently at the test site that found radioactive isotopes.
His book has provoked huge interest in Germany, but also scepticism.
It has been common knowledge for decades that the Nazis carried out atomic experiments, but it has been widely believed they were far from developing an atomic bomb.
"The eyewitnesses he puts forward are either unreliable or they are not reporting first-hand information; allegedly key documents can be interpreted in various ways," said the influential news weekly Der Spiegel.
"Karlsch displays a catastrophic lack of understanding of physics," wrote physicist Michael Schaaf, author of a previous book about Nazi atomic experiments, in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.
"Karlsch has done us a service in showing that German research into uranium went further than we'd thought up till now, but there was not a German atom bomb," he added.
It has also been pointed out that the United States employed thousands of scientists and invested billions of dollars in the Manhattan Project, while Germany's "dirty bomb" was allegedly the work of a few dozen top scientists who wanted to change the course of the war.
Karlsch himself acknowledged that he lacked absolute proof for his claims, and said he hoped his book would provoke further research.
But in a press statement for the book launch, he is defiant.
"It's clear there was no master plan for developing atom bombs. But it's also clear the Germans were the first to make atomic energy useable, and that at the end of this development was a successful test of a tactical nuclear weapon."
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Then there were the bombs. Contained in this book are reports of structured bombs of nipolit, N-stoff bombs, cold bombs, oxygen bombs which destroyed all life, atomic bombs and rumors of the mysterious molecular bomb. The true history of the fuel-air bomb is revealed by our own military. There is even a probability that the SS black alchemists of the 3rd Reich were experimenting with red mercury bomb technology.
This book documents very large mystery rockets under development in Germany, far beyond the V-2. Technological history is also examined. Guess who invented the computer, magnetic tape and computer programs? How about refining crude oil using sound waves or producing gasoline for 11 cents per gallon or the synthetic penicillin substitute, "3065"?
Very exotic technologies are also discussed including German experiments in time, sustained fusion reactions, zero point energy and travel in deep space.
Chapters include: The Kammler Group; German Flying Disc Update (Witness to a German Flying Disc); The Electromagnetic Vampire; Liquid Air; Synthetic Blood; German Free Energy Research; German Atomic Tests; "Project Hexenkessel" The Fuel-Air Bomb; Supermetals; Red Mercury; Means To Stop Engines; Magnetic Wave-Motorstoppmittel; "Death Rays"; Distillation of Crude Oil Using Sound Waves; What is Happening in Antarctica?; Large German Mystery Rockets; Experiments in Time; tons more.
In this explosive expose, the legendary Jim Marrs explores the frighteningly real possibility that today, in the United States, an insidious ideology thought to have been vanquished more than a half century ago is actually flourishing. At the end of World War II, ranking Nazis, along with their young and fanatical protÉgÉs, used the loot of Europe to create corporate front companies in many countries, worming their way into corporate America. They brought with them miraculous weapons technology that helped win the space race. But they also brought their Nazi philosophy based on the authoritarian premise that the end justifies the means—including unprovoked wars of aggression and curtailment of individual liberties—which has since gained an iron hold in the "land of the free."
Jim Marrs has gathered compelling evidence of the effort that has been under way for the past sixty years to bring a form of National Socialism to modern America, creating in essence a new empire-or "Fourth Reich"!
About the Author
Award-winning journalist Jim Marrs is the New York Times bestselling author of The Rise of the Fourth Reich, Rule by Secrecy, Alien Agenda, and Crossfire—which served as a basis of the Oliver Stone film JFK. He lives in Texas.
But was the blowing up of the Hydro a crucial defeat for Hitler’s nuclear ambitions? An exclusive NOVA salvage expedition sets out to explore the bottom of a Norwegian lake with a remotely operated vehicle--its goal is to discover the sunken ferry and haul up one of the barrels believed to contain heavy water. Testing the barrel’s contents will provide a crucial clue to resolving the riddles surrounding Nazi Germany’s push to build the bomb.
Hitler's Sunken Secret features gripping first-person interviews with the sole living Norwegian saboteur and survivors who were on board the Hydro when it blew up. Among the NOVA team’s startling new discoveries is evidence that a second secret consignment of barrels eluded the saboteurs and made it all the way to Germany, but arrived too late to make a Nazi bomb feasible.