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  #1  
Old 27th January 2005, 04:39
edwest edwest is offline
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Upcoming book on Miracle Weapons

Scheduled for April from Helion:

Hitler's Miracle Weapons Volume 2, The Secret History of the Rockets and Flying Craft of the Third Reich by Friedrich Georg.

It will cover the V-1 and V-2, including those designed to carry nuclear and radiological warheads, the FR-35, V-6, V-101, Waterfall, and Naval EMW A-7. It will also include evidence that V-weapons were used in Italy, Yugoslavia and the Eastern Front.

I am not connected to the author or publishing company in any way.


Ed
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  #2  
Old 27th January 2005, 14:58
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Dear Ed,

I bought the first book, "Hitler's Miracle Weapons: Secret Nuclear Weapons of the Third Reich and their Carrier Systems", and was duly unimpressed. Georg has 5-1/4 pages of notes and sources, but the high majority of sources cited are published works, not primary documentation.

The book is written in a very annoying style. Here's a random excerpt from page 5:

"Without specifying an exact date, Speer states in his memoirs that in the autumn of 1942 he had another discussion with the nuclear experts. When they informed him that no decisive results could be expected sooner than 'within three or four years', that 'we discontinued the atomic bomb project'. According to reports which all agreed, had they not already discontinued the project in June.

Hitler, the Supreme Commander, certainly saw things very differently. At the end of September 1942, he informed Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel about the new weapons. Hitler said that such weapons would soon 'relieve his position' in North Africa. Hitler also told him about a secret new explosive that had such explosive power that it would 'throw a man from his horse at a distance of over two kilometres'. That was nothing other than a reference to the atomic bomb."

There's no specifics, no sources, primary or otherwise, to make attribution, save for a generalized reference to Speer's memoirs. There has been a growing frenzy for information on Germany's nuclear ambitions and I think this is one of a number of books intended to salivate, but not anything of substantive research, nor written in a style that an historian could respect.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 27th January 2005, 18:47
edwest edwest is offline
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Dear Richard,


Generally, when I bring up the subject of German atomic weapons, the immediate response is emotional and negative. However, I have been putting some research time into this.

In the first volume of this series by Friedrich Georg, go to page 124, item 139. A.P.W./U (Ninth Air Force) 96/1945, 373.2 of 19 August 1945, Investigation, Research, Developments and Practical Use of the German Atomic Bomb, Pkts Nos 47 to 53, published by COMNAVEU, 1946.

Further, and I am in no way encouraging you, or anyone, to waste your time and money, from the book Critical Mass by Carter Plymton Hydrick: page 304 reproduces part of a page from the "New York Times," dated August 26, 1945. Headline: 17-Minute Oversea Rocket Plane Among Germany's War Secrets. A relevant quote: "Besides an atomic bomb, on which, as has been made known, the germans had made considerable progress." Considerable progress? By the way, the source of this report was the Office of War Information and based on CIOS Reports.

Atomic bomb components, including fuses, were found aboard U-234. The author notes via official records that no suitable fuses would be ready in the U.S. in time for dropping atom bombs on Japan. Re: cargo of U-234, see "U.S. National Archives II, a green, hardback ledger book with the title "CASH" printed on the front lists a multitude of drawings and parts carried on board U-234, and is marked as such inside, including 'pressurized cabin parts,' various pages, RG 38/370-15-05-07 box 3; Robert Wilcox, Japan's Secret War, p. 141."

I can provide other citations if you'd like.


Regards,
Ed
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Old 27th January 2005, 19:36
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Dear Ed,

What is the source book for the quote:

"U.S. National Archives II, a green, hardback ledger book with the title "CASH" printed on the front lists a multitude of drawings and parts carried on board U-234, and is marked as such inside, including 'pressurized cabin parts,' various pages, RG 38/370-15-05-07 box 3; Robert Wilcox, Japan's Secret War, p. 141."

It looks like someone is quoting a book by Wilcox, but wonder who is citing it.

There seem to be conflicting lists of what was aboard the U-234. One such list is shown as Appendix 2 in Philip Henshall's The Nuclear Axis: Germany, Japan and the Atom Bomb Race 1939-45. In this list, also taken from NARA RG 38, but box 13, there are listed 10 cases, 56 kg, of uranium oxide, the cases bing marked for the Japanese Army. The only mention of fuses is "Fuses (for munitions)". While the list shown is incomplete, I would think that Henshall would have listed "Atomic bomb components, including fuses". The term "Atomic bomb components" conjures up actual hardware, not cases of uranium oxide. That's a completely different level of progress.

I am not averse to a scholarly discussion, backed up with primary documentation, discussing Germany's nuclear ambitions, such as found in Henshall's book. But, I find the style and material used in Georg's first book to be awful, lacking in scholarly depth or prose.

Also not mentioned in Henshall's book list is the oft mentioned Me 262 supposedly transported aboard U-234. Up until reviewing Joseph Mark Scalia's Germany's Last Mission to Japan: The Failed Voyage of U-234, I was, frankly, skeptical. A historian by education, Scalia's book is an outgrowth of his master's thesis. I have often referenced this particular book as a model for others to follow for a truly well-researched and documented history. Scalia changed my skepticism into belief, with adequate referencing to a broken down and crated Me 262 having been aboard U-234. Why it wasn't in any list I've seen to date, remains a mystery. Nor, is there a trail of where it went after it was unloaded from U-234, although it may simply have been shipped that way to Wright or Freeman Field and set aside for use as a spares store. It is known that the nose of Me 262 T-2-711 had to be replaced part way through its test evaluation, so perhaps U-234's Me 262 was the source of this spare nose.

There appears to be a recent huge thirst for information pertaining to anything to do with Germany's nuclear plans. The area of Jonhanisthal is frequently mentioned as being an area of nuclear interest, one that the Allies quickly sealed off after capture. What truth there may be in this I don't know. Both scholars and those pandering to the general public are likely to publish works on the nuclear program and, considering it is one of those fringe topics, I think it will invite fringe authors, i.e., of the German flying saucer type ilk.

Regarding the overseas rocket plane, that sounds like the Sänger anti-podal bomber, one of many paper projects. A bit more possible was the A9/A10 combination.

As you can see by my purchase of Henshall's book, I, too, have an interest in this area, albeit peripheral. That's why I bought Georg's book. But, when I received it, I was quite disappointed.

Regards,
Richard
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Old 27th January 2005, 20:32
edwest edwest is offline
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Dear Richard,

I, too, am not interested in "conspiracy" or "secret knowledge" books that pull "information" out of thin air. On the other hand, it is sometimes these very books that serve as a spark for more scholarly works. One fact that does puzzle me is that certain records that concern U.S. military operations in certain parts of Germany were sealed for 100 years. For what purpose? I do not think "no reason" is the answer. I am aware that some documents that only contained the word "atomic," much less actual plans on how to build the device, were routinely classified solely because that word was mentioned.

Photographs have recently surfaced of a Canadian VTOL aircraft. The photos show a mock-up of an aircraft designed in the 1950s that officially did not exist. When shown the photos, those involved in designing it simply said, "Oh, I thought all of those had been destroyed years ago."


Regards,
Ed
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  #6  
Old 27th January 2005, 20:56
Richard T. Eger Richard T. Eger is offline
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Dear Ed,

Who is saying that certain records have been sealed for a hundred years? If it is Georg, I put it into the category of "conspiracy". The whole area of the study of history is rampant with the effects of the game of telephone.

For instance, I recently picked up an AAHS Journal covering an account of the history of the Air Disarmament Division. In it, the author, a NASM curator, cites material that I am interested in as being in NARA RG 72. I called him to confirm this statement. While he said he didn't personally do that particular piece of the research, he believed the claim to be true. However, he said, a recent finding by an NASM fellow was that the information had been moved to RG 331. Of, course, following a shift like that can be difficult, so I asked who the fellow was. It turns out we had known each other for some time, so I gave him a call. No, he indicated, the curator had gotten the story wrong, although the CIOS reports he found had been listed in a difficult to find manner in RG 331. These, however, were not the reports I was looking for in RG 72.

So, here we had a NASM curator not really understanding what he had been told, innocently playing the game of telephone, with misleading results. You can see why I haven't named names nor been any more specific than I have been. Check and confirm. Go to the source of the information.

If that "sealed for a hundred years" info actually originated with Georg or one of the published sources in his book, be quite cautious. You're definitely into the game of telephone.

Regards,
Richard
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