Op SEELOWE

Not so. In 1944, DG MI5 and C wrote to Churchill suggesting the threat of use of 'uranium bombs' against Germany in anticipation of their ballistic missile (V2) campaign, expecting they had 10-ton warheads (in reality only 1 ton warheads were deployed)
I should qualify this - the proposal was to use an 'Uranium Bombs' as a deterrent - perhaps the first suggestion of the deterrence role of nuclear weapons.
 

5645andym

Old-Salt
I recall reading somewhere that in what was known as the generals house (for captured German generals, fully wired up) von Thoma was heard saying in early 1945 that he was surprised that Hitler's Atomic bombs were not falling on London already.
I was re-reading RV Jones memoire, Most Secrect War just a few days ago and that incident is referrenced in it but in relation to the V2 - Von Thoma said in conversation that he knew that they were being held near to London and that as they had not heard any large explosions yet the rocket campaign must have been delayed. This comment was used by Jones to argue that the V2 was not a hoax or a cover for some other weapon, as many thought it was, since the Generals did not know that they were being recorded and not have been part of some co-ordinated disinformation campaign.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
Not so. In 1944, DG MI5 and C wrote to Churchill suggesting the threat of use of 'uranium bombs' against Germany in anticipation of their ballistic missile (V2) campaign, expecting they had 10-ton warheads (in reality only 1 ton warheads were deployed)

You're quite right, it was indeed suggested to Churchill to threaten Hitler with the unproven Uranium Bomb, even though its devastating effects were still unknown.

As far as I know, and as I said originally, there were no plans to use an atomic weapon in the European theatre in WW2. I never saw any evidence of plans during my main employment, but would be interested to hear from you if ever find any.

My personal view is, that had the Allies been driven back into the sea during Overlord (for example) and the war in Europe had continued after the two Japanese events into autumn 1945, then plans would have been made for the US to use the now proven nuclear weapon(s) against Germany.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
I should qualify this - the proposal was to use an 'Uranium Bombs' as a deterrent - perhaps the first suggestion of the deterrence role of nuclear weapons.
I think it may have been referred to as the 'new wonder weapon which was nearly ready', don't you?

I have no idea when the terms 'splitting the atom' and Plutonium became commonplace - perhaps when WW2 ended? Who knows...
 
I was re-reading RV Jones memoire, Most Secrect War just a few days ago and that incident is referrenced in it but in relation to the V2 - Von Thoma said in conversation that he knew that they were being held near to London and that as they had not heard any large explosions yet the rocket campaign must have been delayed. This comment was used by Jones to argue that the V2 was not a hoax or a cover for some other weapon, as many thought it was, since the Generals did not know that they were being recorded and not have been part of some co-ordinated disinformation campaign.

Yes, I remember the anecdote from that source.
 
I think it may have been referred to as the 'new wonder weapon which was nearly ready', don't you?

I have no idea when the terms 'splitting the atom' and Plutonium became commonplace - perhaps when WW2 ended? Who knows...
The term 'splitting the atom' was used when Rutherford identified and separated subatomic particles in the late 1920s.

I tracked down a secondary source in a paper published recently in a USAF publication by a British researcher; this would have taken place in late August 1944:

Just two weeks before the V–2 campaign was launched, and Duncan Sandys’ premature declaration of victory, the Security Service’s (MI5) Deputy Director General, Guy Liddell (1892-1958) expressed his grave concern about the imminent V–2 campaign and suggested to the Chief of SIS (MI6) ‘C’, (Sir Stuart Menzies) that:
‘the uranium [atomic] bomb…be used as a threat of retaliation to the Germans if they used the V.2. ‘C’ said that he had no reason to think the V.2 was imminent although it
was possible to think that it might start in the near future
Menzies agreed to put the suggestion to the Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, but his reply is not recorded.

ETA: the source is Guy Liddell's diaries held in the National Archives and is also quoted in Chris Andrew's official history of MI5 'Defence of the Realm'.
 
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Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
My personal view is, that had the Allies been driven back into the sea during Overlord (for example) and the war in Europe had continued after the two Japanese events into autumn 1945, then plans would have been made for the US to use the now proven nuclear weapon(s) against Germany.
I thought "whataboutery" wasn't your "specialist subject"?

:-D
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
I think it may have been referred to as the 'new wonder weapon which was nearly ready', don't you?

I have no idea when the terms 'splitting the atom' and Plutonium became commonplace - perhaps when WW2 ended? Who knows...
I remember reading a Robert Heinlein short story about using uranium dirty bombs which I believe was written during the war which also predicted the US exclusion of all allies from nuclear weapon development in the 1946 Atomic Energy Act

Edit:

"Solution Unsatisfactory", published 1941

 
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goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
I thought "whataboutery" wasn't your "specialist subject"?

:-D
And you would be correct. In the context of the posted response from @Filthy_contract it was quite acceptable in my opinion to suggest what alternative scenario may have happened if one massive, world changing event had failed. That isn't whataboutery.

It was a measured response in cordial terms to someone who is (was) a fellow specialist in the subject matter.

If you have any really pressing questions about nuclear weapons, their history, their effects, targeting, planning or doctrine then please PM me - I will do my best to respond within the bounds of my security clearances, and yours, with the need to know.

Ok?
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
I remember reading a Robert Heinlein short story about using uranium dirty bombs which I believe was written during the war which also predicted the US exclusion of all allies from nuclear weapon development in the 1946 Atomic Energy Act

Edit:

"Solution Unsatisfactory", published 1941

Yes, some of it may be projection on the part of Heinlein but, at that time how could he know any better?

I don't know much at all about the 1946 Energy Act but hear what you say.

You will know of course that a dirty bomb can be many things to many people and organisations but, it essentially means without fission or fusion occurring.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
And you would be correct. In the context of the posted response from @Filthy_contract it was quite acceptable in my opinion to suggest what alternative scenario may have happened if one massive, world changing event had failed. That isn't whataboutery.

It was a measured response in cordial terms to someone who is (was) a fellow specialist in the subject matter.

If you have any really pressing questions about nuclear weapons, their history, their effects, targeting, planning or doctrine then please PM me - I will do my best to respond within the bounds of my security clearances, and yours, with the need to know.

Ok?
I would suggest that your bold above was what I was doing in my earlier post about which you inferred I was engaged in whataboutery... but it's not worth arguing about semantics.

I don't have any pressing questions about nuclear weapons thanks and I certainly don't have any security clearance any more, but it's refreshing to see that you've moved on from "There were NO plans" to "there might have been plans if...", and accepted that the idea of using nuclear weapons was discussed with Churchill.

Anyway, about those nukes on the Channel ports to prevent SEELOWE.... :wave:
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Yes, some of it may be projection on the part of Heinlein but, at that time how could he know any better?

I don't know much at all about the 1946 Energy Act but hear what you say.

You will know of course that a dirty bomb can be many things to many people and organisations but, it essentially means without fission or fusion occurring.
Heinlein was definitely a projector as you put it!

Agreed on the dirty bombs.
 

AfghanAndy

On ROPS
On ROPs
Can you imagine the carnage if our Coastal Forces and Destroyer’s had got amongst the invasion fleet? I dread to think how many Germans would have been lost.
I’d agree that operation Sealion would fail. This threads been incredibly informative highlighting what German naval units would’ve been unavailable due to battle damage, not finished etc.

So yes, I think militarily it wouldn’t have worked as it was then. Not enough landing craft, too wide a front, home fleet etc etc etc.

But I think that some people may be forgetting a political side to the argument. Not only with the mere threat of Sealion but had it actually have been put into action.

After reading a very informative book on the fifth column during world war 2, and being fully aware of the appeasement movement.

Could Sealion have worked not militarily, but by empowering an awful lot of pro Nazi fifth columnists, many of whom were in senior levels of government.

It turns out that General Ironside was named by multiple sources as a potential pro German leader should the Government be toppled, several MPs, many aristocrats, and the former head of naval intelligence during WW1. But the likes of Lord Halifax.

Might the Germans have been banking on these characters toppling the Government and during for peace. I mean, it’s not like previous German invasions weren’t significantly assisted by fellow travellers. Maybe the Germans couldn’t mobilise their useful idiots in the U.K. in time or in numbers.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
I would suggest that your bold above was what I was doing in my earlier post about which you inferred I was engaged in whataboutery... but it's not worth arguing about semantics.

I don't have any pressing questions about nuclear weapons thanks and I certainly don't have any security clearance any more, but it's refreshing to see that you've moved on from "There were NO plans" to "there might have been plans if...", and accepted that the idea of using nuclear weapons was discussed with Churchill.

Anyway, about those nukes on the Channel ports to prevent SEELOWE.... :wave:

I'm glad you are refreshed, most ex WO1s of my acquaintance usually are. However, you are wrong to believe that my stance has changed. I still maintain that no plans existed to use atomic weapons on Germany during WW2.

I never saw any information to suggest there were plans but accepted the informative post(s) from another site member where 'It was suggested to Churchill that etc'.

A suggestion isn't a plan.

Especially when the suggested solution didn't exist so was unknown, untried and untested. Finally, if you look up there ^, at Post 806, you will see:

'Menzies agreed to put the suggestion to the Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, but his reply was not recorded.'

Are we done?
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
I'm glad you are refreshed, most ex WO1s of my acquaintance usually are. However, you are wrong to believe that my stance has changed. I still maintain that no plans existed to use atomic weapons on Germany during WW2.

I never saw any information to suggest there were plans but accepted the informative post(s) from another site member where 'It was suggested to Churchill that etc'.

A suggestion isn't a plan.

Especially when the suggested solution didn't exist so was unknown, untried and untested. Finally, if you look up there ^, at Post 806, you will see:

'Menzies agreed to put the suggestion to the Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, but his reply was not recorded.'

Are we done?
Far be it from me to suggest you might ever change your mind....

As your posts seem to be veering towards the sneery end of the spectrum, yes, I think we're done.
 

4(T)

LE
It turns out that General Ironside was named by multiple sources as a potential pro German leader should the Government be toppled, several MPs, many aristocrats, and the former head of naval intelligence during WW1. But the likes of Lord Halifax.

Might the Germans have been banking on these characters toppling the Government and during for peace. I mean, it’s not like previous German invasions weren’t significantly assisted by fellow travellers. Maybe the Germans couldn’t mobilise their useful idiots in the U.K. in time or in numbers.


Personally, i think there is a modern tendency to take early 1930s interest/support for Nazism (which was extremely widespread, given the economic and social miracles it appeared to be achieving) out of context. In reality, that admiration very quickly evaporated as Hitler's warlike intentions became clear. Even Moseley's lot melted away when the working class patriots that made up the core membership saw that it was to be a choice between country and ideology. Ditto the aristocrats and (ex) RF.

By the time war broke out, I seriously doubt that there were any committed Nazi sympathisers within the British establishment, and certainly not enough to mount a coup. In fact, by the time June 1940 rolled around and much British blood had been spilt, I think any political coup plotters would have received very short shrift - possibly even the Tower and a rope.

Arguably, even Halifax himself was just doing his job until the endgame played out - i.e. exploring diplomatic options and laying them before Cabinet. Part of the context is that every single British politician, serviceman and civilian over the age of about 40 had already fought the Germans once and probably knew in their hearts that there was no other realistic option but to have to do it again.
 
Part of the context is that every single British politician, serviceman and civilian over the age of about 40 had already fought the Germans once and probably knew in their hearts that there was no other realistic option but to have to do it again.
I think it was a WWI nurse who wrote in her diary, 'war again. Same enemy.'
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Personally, i think there is a modern tendency to take early 1930s interest/support for Nazism (which was extremely widespread, given the economic and social miracles it appeared to be achieving) out of context. In reality, that admiration very quickly evaporated as Hitler's warlike intentions became clear. Even Moseley's lot melted away when the working class patriots that made up the core membership saw that it was to be a choice between country and ideology. Ditto the aristocrats and (ex) RF.

By the time war broke out, I seriously doubt that there were any committed Nazi sympathisers within the British establishment, and certainly not enough to mount a coup. In fact, by the time June 1940 rolled around and much British blood had been spilt, I think any political coup plotters would have received very short shrift - possibly even the Tower and a rope.

Arguably, even Halifax himself was just doing his job until the endgame played out - i.e. exploring diplomatic options and laying them before Cabinet. Part of the context is that every single British politician, serviceman and civilian over the age of about 40 had already fought the Germans once and probably knew in their hearts that there was no other realistic option but to have to do it again.
Thank you for preventing me from typing all that out! :D AFAIK, there really was no fifth column worthy of the name in GB; a few sympathisers but all on high the green ink spectrum...
 
Thank you for preventing me from typing all that out! :D AFAIK, there really was no fifth column worthy of the name in GB; a few sympathisers but all on high the green ink spectrum...
Agreed.

There was quite a bit of support for Germany from communists and trades unions initially due to the pact between Germany and Russia, hence the large number of strikes early in the war. But as soon as Germany launched the campaign to invade Russia that evaporated when Comrade Josef gave them their new orders.
 

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