Who actually created the atomic bomb
The Germans were the first to get down to business. In December 1938, their physicists Otto Gahn and Fritz Strassman for the first time in the world carried out artificial fission of the nucleus of a uranium atom. In April 1939, the German military leadership received a letter from the professors of the University of Hamburg, P. Hartek and V. Grot, which indicated the fundamental possibility of creating a new type of highly effective explosive. Scientists wrote: "The country that is the first to be able to practically master the achievements of nuclear physics will gain absolute superiority over others." And now, at the imperial Ministry of Science and Education, a meeting is being held on the topic "On the independently spreading (that is, chain) nuclear reaction." Among the participants was Professor E. Schuman, head of the research department of the Third Reich Arms Office. Without delay, we moved from words to deeds. Already in June 1939, construction began on Germany’s first reactor facility at the Kummersdorf training ground near Berlin. A law was passed banning the export of uranium from Germany, and a large amount of uranium ore was urgently purchased in the Belgian Congo.
Germany begins and ... loses
September 26, 1939, when the war was already burning in Europe, it was decided to classify all the work related to the uranium problem and the implementation of the program, called the Uranium Project. The scientists involved in the project were initially very optimistic: they considered it possible to create nuclear weapons within a year. Wrong, as life has shown.
22 organizations were involved in the project, including such well-known scientific centers as the Kaiser Wilhelm Physics Institute, the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the University of Hamburg, the Physics Institute of the Higher Technical School in Berlin, the Physicochemical Institute of the University of Leipzig and many others. The project was personally supervised by the Imperial Minister of Arms Albert Speer. The IG Farbenindustri concern was entrusted with the production of uranium hexafluoride, from which it is possible to extract the uranium-235 isotope capable of maintaining a chain reaction. The same company was also entrusted with the construction of an isotope separation plant. Such venerable scientists as Heisenberg, Weizsacker, von Ardenne, Riel, Pose, Nobel laureate Gustav Hertz and others directly participated in the works.