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Full-Text Articles in European History

'An Explosive Of Quite Unimaginable Force': Did Werner Heisenberg Obstruct German Atomic Bomb Research?, Aaron G. Noll Mar 2014

'An Explosive Of Quite Unimaginable Force': Did Werner Heisenberg Obstruct German Atomic Bomb Research?, Aaron G. Noll

Graduate History Conference, UMass Boston

Why was Nazi Germany unable to acquire an atomic bomb during World War II? An answer to this question necessarily involves an analysis of the wartime conduct of Werner Heisenberg. As the undisputed leader of German nuclear research, Heisenberg was integral to the successful production of a bomb. Heisenberg claimed after the war that the Nazis lacked the economic resources for this project. Moreover, Nazi military strategy ruled out such a sustained long-term commitment in armaments development. Heisenberg explained that he personally felt fortunate that these circumstances prevented Hitler from having a bomb. He argued that he merely “pretended” to ...


The Secret Weapons Of World War Ii: An Analysis Of Hitler's Chemical Weapons Policy, Reyn Sp Ono Jan 2014

The Secret Weapons Of World War Ii: An Analysis Of Hitler's Chemical Weapons Policy, Reyn Sp Ono

CMC Senior Theses

Very little historical scholarship specifically analyzes or explores the absence of chemical weapons in World War II. This thesis seeks to fill the gaps in the historical narrative by providing insight into the personal and external factors that influenced Hitler’s chemical weapons policy. This thesis also touches upon the wartime violence perpetrated by both the Axis and the Allies, thereby offering a neutral, unbiased historical account. From 1939-1941, Hitler did not deploy chemical weapons because his blitzkrieg of Europe was progressing successfully – chemical warfare was unnecessary. With the failure of Operation Barbarossa from 1942-1943, Armaments Minister Albert Speer oversaw ...