Did Hitler have a nuclear bomb?
October 2, 2005
Hitler was preparing to unleash a nuclear bomb on the Allies in the last days of the Second World War, it was claimed on Friday
88-year-old former Italian war correspondent has published an account
of an explosion he says he witnessed from deep inside a concrete bunker
on an island in the Baltic Sea in 1944.
his book 'Hitler's Secret Weapon', Luigi Romersa claims to be the last
living witness to an experimental detonation of a Nazi weapon he says
was the world's first atom bomb. He describes seeing a sudden blinding
flash outside the bunker and watching a huge column of smoke rising
into the sky, which turned everything it touched into cinder
story suggests the Nazis were much further advanced in their nuclear
ambitions than has previously been thought. It has reignited a dispute
over how close Hitler came to having nuclear weapons.
historian Rainer Karlsch published a study suggesting that the Nazis
conducted three nuclear weapons tests in 1944 and 1945, killing 700
people. His claims have been ridiculed by other historians, who pointed
out that only a few dozen German physicists were involved in developing
nuclear devices. In comparison, it took 125,000 Americans, including
six future Nobel Prize winners, to develop the atomic bombs that
exploded over Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
claims that in September 1944, Benito Mussolini entrusted him with a
secret mission. Italy's wartime leader wanted to know more after Hitler
boasted to him of weapons capable of reversing the course of the war.
Romersa, then a 27-year-old war correspondent for Corriere della Sera,
was sent to Germany and he met Hitler in a bunker in Rastenburg,
northern Poland. He was also given a tour around the Nazis' secret
weapons plant at Peenemünde, on the Baltic coast.
Romersa said from his home in Rome how he saw weapons "streets ahead of any conventional weapons the allies had at the time". :
They were developing a missile which they said they intended to launch from Europe across the Atlantic to bomb America.
On October 12, Romersa was taken to the island of Rügen, where he watched the detonation of what his hosts called a "disintegration bomb".
"I was taken into an underground bunker," he added.
were handed special glasses and when the bomb detonated there was a
flash of light so bright that it penetrated the glasses we were given
and lit up the room. I was then told I could not leave the bunker for
several hours because of the effects of the explosion.
he left the bunker he saw the devastation just a mile away. The trees
had been turned to dust and sheep had been burnt to cinders.
Romersa then returned to Italy to report his findings to Mussolini.
described his experiences in a magazine in the 1950s, but his account
was dismissed after Allied interrogators who questioned German
scientists concluded there were vast gaps in their knowledge.
evidence from Russian archives has, however, shown one of the German
scientists lodged a patent claim for a plutonium bomb as early as 1941.
Hitler and Nazi Germany had a very, very developed weapons programme and were certainly capable of creating an atomic bomb.
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