Obviously, man-made disasters – the oxygen explosion in June 1942 that destroyed the German nuclear reactor and the destruction of Norsk Hydro commercial plant capable of producing heavy water (together with the whole half-ton inventory of heavy water) by British commandos of Norwegian origin in February of 1943 (as well as subsequent air raids) – did contribute to the ultimate failure of the German nuclear weapons program.
However, Rainer Karlsch, a German historian and author, claimed in his 2005 purpotedly non-fiction book “Hitler’s Bomb” that the Nazis conducted the first successful nuclear weapon test of some type of nuclear-related device in Ohrdruf, Thuringia on March 4th, 1945.
Other sources cited by Karlsch assert that the Nazi nuclear bomb has been successfully tested even earlier – in the fall of 1944 on the northeastern German coastal island of Rügen in the Baltic Sea, just offshore from the town of Stralsund in Pomerania.
Predictably, in 2006 the German Federal Institute for Physics Technology” concluded tests of soil samples from the area of the alleged test. And (also predictably) found precisely no trace of an explosion of an atomic or even a “dirty” bomb. Consequently, the abovementioned book must be regarded as a complete and utter fiction.
Karlsh’s was not the only claim that the Nazis have successfully detonated a nuclear device (not necessarily a deliverable bomb). On February 23rd, 2017, German-speaking British journalist Allan Hall published an article in the Daily Mirror entitled “Secret files reveal Nazis ‘tested nuclear bomb’ before end of WW2 as Adolf Hitler plotted to decimate Britain”.
Hall quotes the German newspaper Bild and cites U.S. National Archives intelligence reports file, APO 696, which, he says, contains two eyewitness accounts of a Nazi atomic bomb test in ‘early October 1944’.
The interviewees describe seeing a ‘mushroom cloud’ near the North German town of Ludwigslust, close to the Lüneburger Heide (Luneburg Heath) near the city of Hamburg.
This report was corroborated in January 2018 in a BCFM radio interview with Argentinian born blogger, son of a Nazi scientist and former Swiss banker, Manfred Petritsch.
He cited conversations with an unnamed former Nazi scientist who said two German wartime atomic bomb tests took place, one at the ‘Lüneburger Heide’ and one ‘on a North Sea Island’, possibly Heligoland, which is well away from the mainland.
Petritsch also suggested that Nazi expertise was essential for the Manhattan Project’s Trinity test to be successful, which, he says, is why the first test didn’t take place until Nazi scientists had been captured and debriefed by the Allies.
This is all very interesting, but, alas, there is no evidence – physical, documentary or even circumstantial – that these tests have, indeed, taken place (or that the Manhattan project used the expertise of captured Nazi nuclear physicists).
Which would have been impossible had these tests taken place, because such gargantuan projects generate enormous amounts of paperwork (especially in paperwork-obsessed Nazi bureaucracy) and significant amounts of physical objects. Amounts simply impossible to have been destroyed in the chaos of the last weeks of World War II.
Consequently, it will be safe to consider this claim pure fiction as well – either an honest mistake on the part of witnesses, or (more likely) a deliberate hoax.
Failure of the Uranprojekt proved beyond the reasonable doubt that Adolf Hitler was not a “sufficiently visionary leader” because he failed to accurately envision the weapons that would be needed to guarantee the security and prosperity of the Third Reich in the next decade (i.e., in the 1950s), let alone in the next hundred years.
He failed to predict that the wars of the future could not and should not be fought – due to inevitably devastating consequences for all belligerent nations. These wars must be prevented by developing nuclear (and thermonuclear) weapons and unstoppable delivery systems – medium-, intermediate- and intercontinental ballistic missiles resulting in the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) paradigm.
He correctly predicted that his victory on the Eastern front would have forced Britain (and its allies) to sue for peace, kept the United States out of the war in Europe and transform the Soviet Union into essentially a German satellite nation. Thus winning the war on the Western front as well.
However, he did not realize that this victory would not be final, because the USA, Great Britain and even what was left of the Soviet Union still had the potential for development of revolutionary weapons – nuclear bombs and missile warheads – and their delivery systems (high-altitude intercontinental jet bombers and ballistic missiles) that could be used to either destroy Germany or force it to surrender and submit to the humiliation of Treaty of Versailles 2.0.
And that the only way to prevent this from happening was to beat the USA, Britain and the Soviet Union – his key adversaries – in the nuclear arms race (i.e. by developing the abovementioned weapons in sufficient quantities to force his opponents to accept his peace terms).
Including the solemn promise to never develop such weapons, making the Third Reich the global nuclear monopoly. The promise that will be enforced the same way Israel prevented Iraq from becoming a nuclear power (only with nuclear weapons).
Which gives another support for a conclusion that had Hitler won the Second World War (which was very much possible) and prevented his enemies in Germany from overthrowing him (which was not), he would have been forced (most likely, by the USA) to surrender (i.e. return to the 1937 borders and to the terms of the Versailles treaty) under the threat of the destruction of Germany by intercontinental bombers and/or ballistic missiles armed with nuclear bombs and warheads.