This is coolbert:
Very good program on PBS television. Well worth seeing. Again, from the continuing series, “Secrets of the Dead”.
“The Hunt for Nazi Scientists”
Frenzied activity in the latter days of World War Two [WW2] by allied and Soviet forces. Capturing German [Nazi] scientists and engineers and their advanced handiwork.
Military units, [at least for the western allies] consisting of an eclectic group of soldiers [persons actually holding military rank], but much more than that. Scientists, linguists, AND all the while soldiers, prepared to fight at a moments notice, AND without the possibility of any back up support.
* American [Alsos] searching primarily for German nuclear weapons development and missile technology.
* British [30 AU] searching primarily for German rocket and jet aircraft technology. [Commanded from London by Ian Fleming.]
* Soviet. [presumably rival teams from NKVD and GRU each] searching for ANYTHING of value. Also looting and moving to the Soviet Union factories from all over the occupied Soviet Zone. Factories both producing military and civilian items! Work [looting] in the case of the factories done by what were called “Trophy Brigades”!
Racing far ahead of the advancing allied armies, attempting to capture intact, to the greatest degree possible, laboratories, experimental models, research documents and files, AND the scientists themselves.
[RACING FAR AHEAD OF THE ALLIED ARMIES WAS AN ABSOLUTE NECESSITY!! SIFTING THROUGH RUBBLE AFTER THE ALLIED ARMIES HAD GONE OVER THE AREA WOULD RESULT IN AN INCOMPLETENESS OF EFFORT WITH TOO MANY UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS!! “FLYING COLUMNS” SUCH AS THE TROOPS OF ALSOS THAT MOVED FORWARD AS THEY DID WERE THE ONLY WAY TO GO!!]
The western allies [British and American] WERE able to achieve success as desired.
The British [30 AU] did capture:
* Working rocket planes, jet aircraft, AND the design team leader [Helmut Walter].
The comments of the British chief test pilot, Eric Brown, with regard to captured German rocket planes and jet aircraft are most interesting.
According to Brown, he was actually able to fly a Me-163 and also ferried a Me-262 back to England. Take the planes up for a spin and see how they handled!
Brown further stated that the Me-163, the Komet rocket plane, was the only aircraft he HAD EVER FLOWN WHERE HE FELT THE PLANE ITSELF WAS IN CONTROL, AND NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
[each and every time the Me-163 took off, IT WOULD BREAK THE THEN-EXISTING WORLD SPEED RECORD, AND DO SO IN A NEARLY VERTICAL CLIMB!!]
Brown also expressed great admiration for the Me-262. Much more versatile and tactically useful than the Me-163, a beauty of an aircraft [Me-262] to fly.
American units [Alsos] captured:
* German nuclear scientists, including Werner Heisenberg, AND the German nuclear pile.
It was determined the German nuclear pile was not of an adequate size to sustain a controlled fissionable reaction [a reactor, not a bomb.] ONLY half of the amount of uranium required was on hand. German nuclear technology HAD NOT advanced much beyond the research stage.
That is not to say that the German physicists DID NOT understand the basic theoretical physics concepts needed to build an atomic bomb. According to David Irving, in his book, “Virus House”, Werner Heisenberg had briefed a group of German military officers that a pineapple size amount of fissionable material would be all that was needed to make a bomb potent enough to destroy a city.
[whether we are talking here about a plutonium implosion style bomb or an enriched uranium U-235 “gun” type atomic bomb I am not sure. Whatever the case, Heisenberg and his colleagues did understand very well the theoretical physics of nuclear weaponry!]
* German missile technology. Werner von Braun and his entire design team with documents and files INTACT!! [von Braun anticipated the allied interest and his worth! Was ready to surrender and had taken measures in advance to make sure things went “smoothly”!!??]
Some aspects of German missile development and manufacture found by the Alsos team [?] left much to be desired.
What can only be called “slave labor” was used to manufacture V-2 missiles. The Nordhausen plant “employed” forced, impressed laborers from all over Europe to assemble the missiles used against English targets. Laborers treated badly and laboring under abysmal conditions. MORE PERSONS DIED [10,000] AT NORDHAUSEN ASSEMBLING THE V-2 MISSILES THAN WERE ACTUALLY KILLED [5,000] BY THE MISSILES RAINING DOWN ON BRITISH CITIES!!!
[as to the quality of workmanship with regard to a very complicated piece of machinery [V-2 missile], who can say!!?? The SS had “ways” of making sure quality was more than adequate??!!]
Soviet efforts at garnering their share of the "loot" were equally impressive. Perhaps even much MORE so!
Keep in mind that whatever the western allies captured, they HAD TO SHARE WITH THE SOVIETS!! That was part of the arrangement that had been made. The Soviets too, were supposed to share with their allied counter-parts whatever it was THEY [Soviets] had found. I bet the Soviets totally ignored their part of the bargain.
Indeed! Large numbers of German scientists and engineers were arrested and sent to the Soviet Union. THEY HAD TO PERFORM HARD LABOR FOR THE SOVIETS DEVELOPING NEW WEAPONRY, TECHNOLOGY, REASSEMBLING AND RESTORING TO WORKING ORDER ALL THOSE FACTORIES TAKEN FROM GERMANY BY THE NKVD AND GRU!!
Labels: 30 AU.