Is Nazi Germany capable of building an atomic bomb? This question has always been of concern to readers who love the history of World War II. It can be said with certainty that Nazi Germany is capable of manufacturing. In terms of talents, Germany had the world's top scientists and senior scientific and technical personnel at that time. Retrieving data, between 1901 and 1939, a total of 127 people won the Nobel Prize in Natural Science around the world. Among them, German scientists accounted for 36 places. Moreover, German scientists have made the most research results and the highest level of atomic theory. You know, the scientist who discovered and mastered uranium fission was the German. In terms of raw materials, before the outbreak of World War II, Germany not only seized uranium mines in Czechoslovakia, but also discovered new uranium mines in Saxony. In 1940, the German army captured Belgium and seized more than 1,200 tons of selected uranium ore stored in Belgium by the Belgian Congo Mining Company. This amount accounted for half of the world's uranium stocks at that time. With these materials, it is more than enough to make an atomic bomb: in terms of equipment and industrial base, Germany is also among the best. Its advanced level in metal smelting, machine manufacturing, and power generation technology is second only to the United States, ranking second in the world. In the chemical industry, Germany's level surpasses that of the United States, and is fully equipped with the industrial strength to study atomic bombs. In terms of time, before 1942, Germany was at the peak of its expansion, and the domestic situation was relatively stable, which could provide a stable environment for scientific research institutes. In fact, the time and achievements of Germany's research on the atomic bomb were indeed earlier than the "Manhattan Project" of the United States.
Around September 1939, German physicists set up a team to build an atomic bomb and obtained official support. By December 1939, they had made great progress, that is, they had found the ideal material for the moderator needed to make atomic reactors: graphite. In addition, German scientists also calculated the specifications and required quantity of graphite. It can be said that one foot of the Germans has stepped into the gate of making the atomic bomb. So why did they never build an atomic bomb? Speaking of which, thanks to a little-known little man: Schmidt, the chief technologist responsible for the production of graphite.
According to reports, in order to prevent the Germans from building the atomic bomb first, Schmidt added iron disulfide, calcium, and sulfur impurities when manufacturing graphite. As a result, when these "impure" moderators were used in the research institutes of German physicists, they caused many failures in experiments. Due to Schmidt's ingenious movements and strict supervision of the graphite production process, German scientists did not suspect that anyone had moved their hands or feet. Soon, in the face of repeated failures, the Germans had no choice but to retreat to the threshold of the atomic bomb and turn to other ways to explore new moderators. On this matter, Oppenheimer, the father of the American atomic bomb, commented in 1954: Originally, the Germans would have created the atomic bomb two years earlier than the United States. Only because of a mistake, mankind was saved from a complete catastrophe. ! So, did the Germans look for new alternatives afterwards? Yes, this substitute is heavy water.
The Nazis' heavy water factory in Norway, built on a cliff
However, alternatives were found, and the Germans came to a standstill in atomic bomb research. Because the Allied forces were wary of the Nazis studying the atomic bomb, and they continued to send bombers to launch air strikes on Germany. The German research team had to keep moving in order to avoid air raids. The experimental equipment in charge is assembled and disassembled, disassembled and reassembled, and it is difficult to find a stable place for research. In addition, the Allied forces also sent special forces to carry out fatal harassment on the heavy water production of the Nazis. The most terrible thing is that Heisenberg, the physicist in charge of studying the atomic bomb, developed a slack mind. One of the manifestations is that he told the German Armament Minister Speer that it is difficult for the uranium plan to make a substantial breakthrough in a short period of time due to technical reasons; the second manifestation is that he only applied for 35 in the subsequent research process. Wanmark’s research funding. You know, at the same time, the US "Manhattan Project" allocated 2 billion US dollars in funds. So why did Heisenberg tell Speer that the atomic bomb cannot make a substantial breakthrough?
According to Heisenberg's later statement, he miscalculated a number. So, is this data calculated by him deliberately, or is it due to lack of ability? This issue has also become a focus of attention. However, given Heisenberg's superb scientific research capabilities in physics, many people believe that Heisenberg's calculation of the data was deliberate. After Germany surrendered, Heisenberg and 10 other famous scientists were locked up in a house full of bugs near Cambridge, England. After a recording of Heisenberg was released, this statement was confirmed. In the recording, Heisenberg said to the scientist in the same room, “Hitler is a war madman and a madman, and he cannot be given an atomic bomb in any case.”