By Rudolph Herzog
Within the spirit of Dr. Strangelove and The Atomic Café, a blackly sardonic people’s historical past of atomic errors and near-misses revealing the hushed-up and forgotten episodes within which the good powers gambled with catastropheRudolph Herzog, the acclaimed writer of useless humorous, offers a devastating account of history’s such a lot irresponsible makes use of of nuclear know-how. From the rarely-discussed nightmare of “Broken Arrows” (40 nuclear guns misplaced in the course of the chilly battle) to “Operation Plowshare” (a suggestion to take advantage of nuclear bombs for big engineering tasks, corresponding to a the development of a moment Panama Canal utilizing three hundred H-Bombs), Herzog focuses in on long-forgotten nuclear tasks that almost resulted in disaster.In an exceptional people’s historical past, Herzog digs deep into documents, interviews nuclear scientists, and collects dozens of infrequent photographs. He explores the “accidental” drop of a Nagasaki-type bomb on a teach conductor’s domestic, the implanting of plutonium into sufferers’ hearts, and the discovery of untamed tactical nukes, together with guns designed to kill enemy astronauts.Told in a riveting narrative voice, Herzog—the son of filmmaker Werner Herzog—also attracts on formative years stories of the ultimate period of the chilly battle in Germany, the rustic as soon as noticeable because the nuclear battleground for NATO and the Warsaw Pact nations, and discusses facts that Nazi scientists knew find out how to make atomic weaponry . . . and selected to not.
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Within the spirit of Dr. Strangelove and The Atomic Café, a blackly sardonic people’s historical past of atomic mistakes and near-misses revealing the hushed-up and forgotten episodes during which the nice powers gambled with catastropheRudolph Herzog, the acclaimed writer of useless humorous, provides a devastating account of history’s so much irresponsible makes use of of nuclear expertise.
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Extra info for A Short History of Nuclear Folly
If the Germans refused to cooperate with the Soviets, they would be sent to a labor camp or executed. If they cooperated, they would become privy to the most sensitive Soviet secrets and would never be allowed to return to Germany. Just moments after the challenge was posed, Ardenne hit upon a bold idea, which he then proposed to Beria and the other state-security operatives. “Building the bombs is the easy part,” he told them. ” But the German scientists would agree to produce the material needed to make a nuclear bomb.
In 1973, Urenco managers complained about metallurgic problems in their uranium centrifuges, and FDO sent a young man named Abdul Qadeer Khan to deal with the problem. He was a Pakistani engineer. The professor who supervised his dissertation later described him as “a nice guy,” and he was married to an equally intelligent and attractive South African woman. Khan was a moderate Muslim who made no secret about his patriotism toward his home country. The life he led in the Netherlands was unremarkable.
The controversial German historian Rainer Karlsch contends that German physicists, including Heisenberg’s great rival Kurt Diebner, continued to work on a nuclear bomb even as the war was drawing to a close. Karlsch maintains that according to a report by Soviet spies, as late as March 1945, a few weeks before Germany’s surrender, a mysterious explosion took place in the central German state of Thuringia. Trees were reportedly uprooted in a radius of 500 to 600 meters, several buildings were destroyed, and a number of POWs were killed.