Hitler’s Nuclear Missile

When the Manhattan Engineering District, also known as the Manhattan Project, was first conceived in 1941 out of the fear that the Allies were in a race with Germany to create the world’s first atomic fission bomb. It went down in history that the efforts of the American team beat out the German team and, in an effort to end the war early without having to enact Operation Downfall ((Operation Downfall consisted of 2 planned invasions ; Operation Olympic, scheduled for November 1, 1945, was the planned invasion of Kyushu, and Operation Coronet, scheduled for March 1, 1946, would have put Allied forces on the Kanto plain near Tokyo.)), President Harry S. Truman authorized the dropping of two atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

By this point, of course, the Nazis had been defeated by the Allied forces in Europe, negating the need for the Allies to bomb Berlin, much else any German city. But that hadn’t stopped Nazi physicists from pondering how a nuclear device might be delivered to either New York or London. The diagram at right shows an idea for this.

While far away from the ideal nuclear bomb eventually delivered by the Manhattan Project, Nazi physicists believed that if they could construct a small low-level nuclear device and combine it with a rocket (probably a V-2) that the Axis powers could deliver their nuclear payload to London. Naturally a larger rocket would have to be constructed if this type of scenario were to befall New York, but the war ended before the possibility could even be envisioned. ((A large portion of info for this piece came from the BBC.))

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