Hitler was just a ferry-ride away from getting hold of a crucial ingredient needed for an atomic weapon to blow up London, a new documentary has discovered.
In the middle of a Norwegian lake, 100 miles from Oslo, naval historians and scientists have located the boat on which the Nazis were transporting barrels of heavy water for use in German nuclear reactors.
The Hydro ferry was sunk on Churchill’s orders in 1944, but until now nobody knew if the craft really was containing vital component that Hitler needed for his nuclear arsenal.
The reason the Nazis didn’t get the bomb is that they didn’t take getting the bomb seriously.
Getting it in the sort of timescale the Americans did would have required devoting the same sort of resources to it that the Americans did. Getting it by 1960 was trivial but not of a great deal of use when Berlin fell in 1945. Getting it by 1944 when it might – might note – have made a difference required rather more effort. Which they simply didn’t devote to it.
Sure, we can look at certain aspects, this heavy water for example. Or the raid on the Norwegian plant itself. But no, they weren’t going to get there, not the way they were doing it.