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What, really, did we recover from the Nazis at the end of the war? To appreciate how badly written a finale it truly is, it is best to begin at the logical place: in Berlin, far below ground, in the last weeks of the war.

There, in the bizarre and surreal world of the Fuhrerbunker, the megalomaniac German dictator huddles with his generals, impervious to the rain of Allied and Soviet bombs that are reducing the once beautiful city of Berlin to piles of rubble.

The German scientists working on uranium neither withheld their figure for critical mass because of moral scruples nor did they provide an inaccurate estimate as the result of gross scientific error." "In southern Germany, meanwhile, the American Third and Seventh and the French First Armies had been driving steadily eastward into the so-called 'National Redoubt'....

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And I would like to thank the many people-too numerous to mention -who listened, read, and critiqued the book along the way. Farrell Tulsa, Oklahoma PART ONE: GOTTERDAMMERUNG "A comprehensive February 1942 (German) Army Ordnance report on the German uranium enrichment program includes the statement that the critical mass of a nuclear weapon lay between 10 and 100 kilograms of either uranium 235 or element 94....

In fact the German estimate of critical mass of 10 to 100 kilograms was comparable to the contemporary Allied estimate of 2 to 100....

When I was a boy, oddities fascinated me, particularly if they appeared to make no sense.

Historical oddities or anomalous news stories especially attracted my interest, lingering in my mind for years to come.

This book argues that the Nazis' quest for this barbarous arsenal of prototypical "smart weapons" and weapons of mass destruction was intimately linked to the Nazi racial and genocidal ideology and war aims, to the machinery, bureaucracy, and technologies of mass death and slavery that the Nazis had perfected. It is best described as a case of possibilities, of speculative history.