Why did the Soviet atomic bomb was created by German scientists

Weapons 15/03/20 Why did the Soviet atomic bomb was created by German scientists

the Participation of German specialists in the Soviet atomic project – known fact, however, it tend not to advertise. Largely thanks to German scientists in the Soviet Union, the first to separate isotopes of uranium.


In April 1939, the Supreme military court of Germany from German scientists received a letter in which they pointed to the possibility of creating on the basis of enriching uranium for a new kind of highly efficient explosives. German physicists have developed five methods of uranium enrichment, however, was considered the most promising method of isotope separation using a centrifuge.

However, to follow through and failed. Someone thinks that the blame bureaucracy, others suggest that the German nuclear project stalled due to lack of funding. The leadership of the Reich believed that all efforts should be concentrated on projects that could have short-term impact. The closest to success was a physicist Manfred von Ardenne, in the laboratory, which was built “electromagnetic separator is” not inferior to the American model.

However, the Americans were not averse to take advantage of the advances of the German nuclear scientists. The secret “Manhattan project”, launched in 1939, were connected to many prominent scientists who emigrated from Germany, Frisch, teller, Bloch, Szilard, Bethe, Fuchs. They all, one way or another, were involved in the creation of the first atomic bomb.

Want in the USSR

After the war, the active phase entered the nuclear programme in the USSR. The party leadership decided that the help of scientists from the camp only that a defeated enemy should not be neglected, and conspiratorial Soviet academicians went to Germany for the staff. In the end, the USSR had exported about 400 German experts (many of them were prisonersand), and in addition, 200 tons of uranium metal that, in recognition of Kurchatov, reduced work on the bomb “for a year and a half.”

In his memo to Stalin dated 14 may 1945, Beria pointed out: “Von Ardenne gave me a statement in the name of people’s Commissars of the USSR that he wants to work only with Russian physicists and provides the Institute and himself at the disposal of the Soviet government.”

the Soviet Union got the entire research staff Von Ardenne. Together with the famous scientists to our country goes high-precision equipment of the Kaiser’s Berlin Institute and private Institute Ardenne, including the transformers, one of which is still without a single repair works in the Moscow suburb of Sochi.

Among other specialists deported to the Soviet Union, Nobel laureate in physics Gustav Hertz (a nephew of the famous Heinrich Hertz) and Dr. Max Steenbeck, who created the first working, circular electron accelerator – betatron.

the arrival of the German scientists in Moscow in the area of the October field was built guarded camp. Its a two story house could easily live and work von Ardenne. And the terms were so liberal that the physicist allowed himself to hang on the stairs the portrait, which depicts the episode as the Fuhrer awards him the knight’s cross. Later on, the place will grow Kurchatov Institute.

Not lacking anything

a work on the Soviet atomic project was carried out in an industrial reactor facility “Chelyabinsk-40”. Here was obtained the plutonium for the first Soviet atomic bomb, for which Dr. Nikolaus Riehl in 1949 was awarded the title of Hero of Socialist labor.

However, the biggest party of German scientists were brought to Sukhumi. Put them in a comfortable town, but behind the barbed wire. Soon it was transferred the most sought-after specialists from Germany. Salaries are according to the Soviet standard was very high. If the salary of a simple Soviet engineer was 500 rubles, that Ardenne received more than 10 thousand rubles.

German officers did not need anything. Their requests were carried out immediately: for a desired device, the plane could fly anywhere in the Soviet Union. In the memoirs of one of the German nuclear scientists had written that “the Soviet system of labor is the most efficient in the world, Germany is far away it is, and socialism will prevail”. And some Germans even asked to allow them to participate in the socialist competition.

the Soviet government promised that in 1955 the German scientists back to Germany. All members of the families of German nuclear scientists were given a lifelong right to learn, to heal and to move on the USSR for free.

the Wife of Nikolaus Riehl was scared of such bounty and honor. And he Riehl informed the Deputy of Beria to the General Zavenyagin: “I never was a capitalist, and it would be surprising to expect that I’m a capitalist in a socialist country”.

a Promise kept

In Sukhumi to the new science center on the beautiful Bay was finally obtained that which he sought Moscow. Here they had found a new powerful ion source for a mass spectrometer, allowing analysis of mixtures of uranium isotopes, and for the successful separation of uranium isotopes were created by the gas centrifuge.

the results of the work in Sukhumi, the Stalin prize was awarded to Gustav Hertz. In 1954 he went to Germany, where he became head of the scientific Council for peaceful application of nuclear energy. Returned to Germany and Ardenne also received the Stalin award: since 1955, he headed the scientific research Institute in Dresden.

according to historians, the entire atomic project in the USSR had about 7 thousand specialists from Germany. Few people are seduced by the prospects announced by the government of the Soviet Union, almost all of them decided to return home.

How was the great contribution of German scientists to the development of the Soviet atomic bomb? On this issue there is hardly the answer. It is important that the country is in such a difficult moment is to mobilize all the resources and OTBrosev prejudices, take advantage of the invaluable experience of German scientists.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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