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1940's Japan A-Bomb Program Speculation

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airrocket

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I'm rather surprised to be picking up on recent discussions concerning possible Japanese A-bomb program during WWII. It seems some claim that evidence exist suggesting that the Japanese achieved a small nuclear detonation just before 18 August 1945, and had good heavy water plants in Northern Korea. Anyone confirm this or know of any dependable sources of evidence?
 

Lauge

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airrocket said:
I'm rather surprised to be picking up on recent discussions concerning possible Japanese A-bomb program during WWII. It seems some claim that evidence exist suggesting that the Japanese achieved a small nuclear detonation just before 18 August 1945, and had good heavy water plants in Northern Korea. Anyone confirm this or know of any dependable sources of evidence?
The key word here being ".....claim that evidence exists.....". That klaxon-like noise you may be hearing in the background is my BS-meter redlining.

That aside, the detonation of the "Genzai Bakudan" supposedly happened in Hungnam, Korea (if I remember correctly) a few days before the US nuked Hiroshima. But as indicated above, my less than humble opinion is that we are firmly in "Friedrich Georg / Rob Arndt" territory here, i.e. no evidence, no confirmation, lots of rumor and hearsay. But I am always prepared to be prove wrong ;)

Kind regards,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

Addition, 02 December 2009: In the interest of fairness, let me stress that I have no trouble with the idea that Japan (or Germany) had one or more nuclear weapons programs during WW2, to one extent or another. Since both Japan and Germany had competent nuclear scientists, this would only be natural. But designing and building (to say nothing of detonating) a functional nuclear device? Nope, I'm not buying it.
 

Michel Van

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there were 2 Programs
Army Ni-Go Project
Naval F-Go Project
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_atomic_program

there one TV Interview about Japanese A-Bomb program
it was 1995 for 40 years Hiroshima atomic bombing
The Japanese (i don't recall his name ) explained
that Japan military had building one Prototype A-Bomb
at 15 August 1945, The Program was stop and Prototype buried near City of Kyoto
But he was uncertain if Prototype had works if had tested.
 

Lauge

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Michel Van said:
there were 2 Programs
Army Ni-Go Project
Naval F-Go Project
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_atomic_program

there one TV Interview about Japanese A-Bomb program
it was 1995 for 40 years Hiroshima atomic bombing
The Japanese (i don't recall his name ) explained
that Japan military had building one Prototype A-Bomb
at 15 August 1945, The Program was stop and Prototype buried near City of Kyoto
But he was uncertain if Prototype had works if had tested.
Do you (or anyone else) know if this prototype was supposed to include a live core (enriched uranium or plutonium), or was it "merely" a test article with an inert core?

Kind regards,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

Michel Van

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Lauge said:
Do you (or anyone else) know if this prototype was supposed to include a live core (enriched uranium or plutonium), or was it "merely" a test article with an inert core?

Kind regards,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
sorry in the TV Interview he talk not about technical details
i try to find it on Youtube, but nothing so far :-[
 

airman

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Michel Van said:
there were 2 Programs
Army Ni-Go Project
Naval F-Go Project
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_atomic_program

there one TV Interview about Japanese A-Bomb program
it was 1995 for 40 years Hiroshima atomic bombing
The Japanese (i don't recall his name ) explained
that Japan military had building one Prototype A-Bomb
at 15 August 1945, The Program was stop and Prototype buried near City of Kyoto
But he was uncertain if Prototype had works if had tested.
connected to that page there are also a page dedicated to atomic energy project of Germany
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_nuclear_energy_project
 

Michel Van

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B.O.H.I.C.A. indeed

we had so much german Nazi Nuke, until topic was Lock down

so let stay on Japanese A-Bomb Progam here, please !
 

airman

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Michel Van said:
B.O.H.I.C.A. indeed

we had so much german Nazi Nuke, until topic was Lock down

so let stay on Japanese A-Bomb Progam here, please !
yes, yes but on wikipedia there aren't Nazi Nuke, but only "German nuclear energy project"
 

F-14D

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A number of documents in both the US and Japan were quietly declassified, but not publicized, earlier this decade. They appeared to confirm stories by David Snell of the Atlanta Constitution. A summary of this can be found at http://www.reformation.org/atlanta-constitution.html.

Supposedly Ni-Go was abandoned, but F-Go continued and a small bomb was detonated at a site that is now firmly in North Korea.

The History Channel did a special on it, with some interviews with people involved with the program. It can be found on YouTube in five parts, the first of which can be found at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gdCe2wBeCiw

or in one piece at
http://www.veoh.com/browse/videos/category/technology/watch/v1166258X6EmjegJ,
but you've got to install their viewer
 

JFC Fuller

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A history channel documentary does not make it true, hyperbole and simplifying rumour into fact for those with an equal interest in sharks as they have in quasi-fictional history does not make viable academically credible historical narrative. Japanese and German A bomb detonations come from the same unfortunate vein of the human condition as 9/11 conspiracy theories and eight foot shape shifting lizzards, in other words they are best ignored in order to avoid potentially dangerous discourse.
 

F-14D

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sealordlawrence said:
A history channel documentary does not make it true, hyperbole and simplifying rumour into fact for those with an equal interest in sharks as they have in quasi-fictional history does not make viable academically credible historical narrative. Japanese and German A bomb detonations come from the same unfortunate vein of the human condition as 9/11 conspiracy theories and eight foot shape shifting lizzards, in other words they are best ignored in order to avoid potentially dangerous discourse.
I didn't say a History Channel documentary made it true, I said, "The History Channel did a special on it, with some interviews with people involved with the program", nothing more. One can view it oneself, along with other information out there, and form one's own opinion.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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I'm doing a argumentum ad hominem here, but I doubt you'll get offended by it:

Germany had an a-bomb program. It also had one or more projects dwelling in magic and the occult. That doesn't mean Hitler or the SS carried "the Spear of Destiny" or some such.
 

JohnR

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XP67_Moonbat said:
B.O.H.I.C.A. !
I may be displaying my ignorance or my specific density but WHAT?????

Regards.
 

F-14D

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JohnR said:
XP67_Moonbat said:
B.O.H.I.C.A. !
I may be displaying my ignorance or my specific density but WHAT?????

Regards.
It refers to a very specific file you should always have and always keep, because there are things throughout your life you'll encounter that will really belong there, like, "I'm from the Government and I'm here to help you". It stands for:

"Bend Over, Here It Comes Again"​
 

Just call me Ray

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Can I ask a stupid question, but...as to what I was alluding to in my first post in this thread, is it possible that Japanese research or resources into atomic weapons in Northern Korea could've later contributed to the current North Korean nuclear program?
 

Lauge

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Just call me Ray said:
Can I ask a stupid question, but...as to what I was alluding to in my first post in this thread, is it possible that Japanese research or resources into atomic weapons in Northern Korea could've later contributed to the current North Korean nuclear program?
Well, assuming that the Japanese had a nuclear weapons program during WW2 and that it was based in what is today North Korea, I supposed it is possible. On the other hand, considering the status of the North Korean nuclear weapons program (such as it is), I believe the North Koreans could have easily gotten to where they are today without requiring the "assistance" of any Japanese WW2 technology.

Unless documentation comes to light either way (which I consider to be unlikely), it's difficult to prove either way.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

Lauge

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Hammer Birchgrove said:
It also had one or more projects dwelling in magic and the occult.
Such a statement begs a source reference, I believe ;)

Apart from that, I agree with the rest of your post. Stating that wartime Germany, or Japan, had a nuclear weapons "program" (or a magic/occult program, or for that matter an anti-gravity program ( ::) ), etc. etc. ad nauseam) is not the same as saying that anything other than a few scribbled notes ever came of it.

Kind regards,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

alertken

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One of these books (sorry, I'm unclear now which) T.B.Allen/N.Polmar, Codename Downfall,Headline,96,P307; or P.Henshall, The Nuclear Axis, Sutton,2000,P148, has 3 Jap subs. at sea August,’45 with floatplanes to hit LA with a German irradiating weapon, tested 12/8/45. Known to US Intel and decisive in causing Truman to override the "demonstration" option pre-Hiroshima.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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You know you that statement is going to call down the thunder. Just a heads up.
 

airman

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alertken said:
One of these books (sorry, I'm unclear now which) T.B.Allen/N.Polmar, Codename Downfall,Headline,96,P307; or P.Henshall, The Nuclear Axis, Sutton,2000,P148, has 3 Jap subs. at sea August,’45 with floatplanes to hit LA with a German irradiating weapon, tested 12/8/45. Known to US Intel and decisive in causing Truman to override the "demonstration" option pre-Hiroshima.
We hope to know more about these , but for now seems be only rumors or speculations !
 

F-14D

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alertken said:
One of these books (sorry, I'm unclear now which) T.B.Allen/N.Polmar, Codename Downfall,Headline,96,P307; or P.Henshall, The Nuclear Axis, Sutton,2000,P148, has 3 Jap subs. at sea August,’45 with floatplanes to hit LA with a German irradiating weapon, tested 12/8/45. Known to US Intel and decisive in causing Truman to override the "demonstration" option pre-Hiroshima.
Some thoughts here:

The Japanese were known to be planning attempts at biological attacks.

Any irradiating weapon would have been difficult to use and of limited effectiveness, even if the victims knew what was happening and would have had little affect on the war except to revitalize US resolve against the Japanese (US was losing motivation for a drawn out continued war, which was one of the reasons the Allied leaders were looking for a way to end it quickly).

Truman was the one who would make the decision on how the Bomb was to be used, there was no need for him to "override" anyone, since the decision was his.

The so-called "demonstration" option probably gained more favor in the eyes of those looking back years later, but really wasn't practical for a number of reasons:

1. Operation Olympic was to begin in late October, 1945. It couldn't be postponed because of approaching typhoon season, and also because of the sheer effort involved in launching it. So, any use of the Bomb had to be such that it would insure a Japanese capitulation before it was too "late".

2. On an island as densely populated as Japan, any "demonstration" would of necessity still involve a lot of civilian casualties, even then, so might as well hit something that had military value.

3. On a related note, the fanatics in Japan who wanted the war to go on (remember, there was an attempt to stop the Emperor's message from being broadcast so that the war would continue) still had a lot of power. Unless the "demonstration" was so close to a population or urban setting that its effects couldn't be hidden or denied, they would try and suppress knowledge of it or explain it as a hoax. In other words, the "demonstration" would have to take place in an area like Hiroshima or Nagasaki anyway.

4. Assuming you could find an area for a "demonstration", you would then have to wait while Japanese experts examined the results, reported what they found and then wait for a political decision on whether or not they would surrender before using the next Bomb. Meanwhile, the invasion date would creep closer. Also, during all that time, fighting would go on throughout the various theaters, with many, many casualties on the Allied as well as the Japanese side. What explanation could the leader give to the Allied and subjugated nations as to why he let the war go on and let all that occur when he had something in hand that had a very good chance to stop it?

5. A big one that often gets overlooked: We didn't know if the Bombs would work, which is why the two were of a different design. What if the "demonstration" was a dud?

6. Another big one: We only had three bombs in total, including Alamogordo, and only two that were deliverable, those that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We had to be able to do it twice, in order to make sure the Japanese government understood that it was not a fluke or a trick. More bombs were under construction, but none would be ready before the invasion. Essentially, we pulled off a large bluff.


I do not know if the detonation in Korea really took place, and I am not willing to state unequivocally that it did without more proof, but I find it odd that so many people are unwilling to give credit that the Japanese, whatever else you may think about them in WWII, were not industrious, knowledgeable and dedicated enough to produce a nuclear detonation on their own. Like the first US one, it would not have been a weapon, but a proof of concept experiment. It was too late, if it occurred, to affect the outcome of the War.
 

XP67_Moonbat

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It's not a matter of not willingly giving Japan credit for being industrious enough. That Japan had industrial know-how has never been in question and it's a well-known fact.


However another solid fact out there is that there is no CONFIRMED Japanese A-bomb test on record.

Now unless somebody digs up actual photos, film or documentation of this nuke test, it remains pure speculation and nothing else. It's right up there with the supposed German A-Bomb test or Zippermeyer's Arrow, as seen here: http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php?topic=8554.msg76270#new

Precisely the sort of dime-store history peddled by ATS and History Channel.
 

JFC Fuller

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Chemical and Biological weapons in WW2 are a fascinating subject, both the Japanese and the Germans had pretty successful development programmes. The Germans (and I would imagine the Japanese too) actually had a large stockpile of ready to deliver chemical weapons at the end of the war, in fact much of the German stockpile became a centrepiece of the British one post-war. What is interesting is that they were never used despite the fact that Germany was approaching total defeat, one assumes that is because they knew the allies would respond in kind. It makes a strong argument for suggesting that nuclear proliferation will not end war as some have suggested.
 

Lauge

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sealordlawrence said:
.....one assumes that is because they knew the allies would respond in kind.
I, for one, agree. As I see it, the German leadership knew all too well that they had everything to loose by resorting to chemical and biological weapons, certainly if we're talking strategic "vengeance" strikes against allied population centres. It was (and is) very well known what the RAF and USAAF could do to German cities dropping conventional high explosives and incendiaries. Imagine the consequences if they had used biochemical weapons as well!

As for tactical use, e.g. in order to stabilize the front lines, one possible reason for the German non-use of biochemical weapons in the last stages of the war is that such use (and the ensuing contamination) would almost certainly have occurred on German territory.

Kind regards,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

JFC Fuller

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Lauge said:
sealordlawrence said:
.....one assumes that is because they knew the allies would respond in kind.
I, for one, agree. As I see it, the German leadership knew all too well that they had everything to loose by resorting to chemical and biological weapons, certainly if we're talking strategic "vengeance" strikes against allied population centres. It was (and is) very well known what the RAF and USAAF could do to German cities dropping conventional high explosives and incendiaries. Imagine the consequences if they had used biochemical weapons as well!

As for tactical use, e.g. in order to stabilize the front lines, one possible reason for the German non-use of biochemical weapons in the last stages of the war is that such use (and the ensuing contamination) would almost certainly have occurred on German territory.

Kind regards,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
Thomas,

It is a stated fact that throughout WW2 the Western allies took chemical weapons with them wherever they went in order to provide a retaliatory capability should the Germans use them, of course neither side ever did.
 

Lauge

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sealordlawrence said:
It is a stated fact ......
You probably saw this one coming: "Stated where?" (as in: source, please) ;)

Not that I have any trouble believing that the Western allies (and for that matter the Soviet Union) were fully prepared for biochemical warfare.....which of course would be even more reason for the Germans to desist.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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I read on a Wikipedia article *cough cough* that it's possible, but not confirmed *cough cough* that the Red Army used germ warfare against the invading Wehrmacht Heer. Don't remember which bacteria or virus it would have been. I suppose that's not weirder than poisoning wells as part of a scorched earth strategy.
 

JFC Fuller

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Lauge said:
sealordlawrence said:
It is a stated fact ......
You probably saw this one coming: "Stated where?" (as in: source, please) ;)

Not that I have any trouble believing that the Western allies (and for that matter the Soviet Union) were fully prepared for biochemical warfare.....which of course would be even more reason for the Germans to desist.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
As in open information taught in history, security studies and war studies degree classes. For physical open source evidence check out the SS John Harvey incident.
 

alertken

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UK War Cabinet Minutes W.M(43)57,21/4/43 (on-line): “PM had reason to believe (Hitler) will use gas on the Russian Front. (en clair) No.10 will issue an immediate warning of retaliation”.
 

elmayerle

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There's been at least one book on this subject (sorry, it's at home, 1600 miles away and I can't consult it) but one of its claims is that one reason the USSR came into the war against Japan and moved quickly into Korea was to capture and take back to the USSR the Japanese nuclear weaspons effort based in Korea. I'm not saying whether they did or not, but if they did, the biggest problem they'd have is a delivery system, but that's more a matter of finding ways to use what they did have available.
 

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You know, it occurred to me that this is a very convenient conjecture: It suits some Japanese, as such a belief would help compensate for the sense of having been defeated by technology in addition to sheer numerical strength of the Allies. It would equally suit many Americans, as the idea that Japan was a few months from creating it's own Hiroshimas and Nagasakis on American soil would help balance the sense of having bombed civilians of an already (essentially) defeated opponent.

So for those nursing bruised egos or afraid of guilt there is a subtle incentive to believe in such possibilities.
 

JFC Fuller

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Elmayerle,

The problem with that is that is that Stalin left his invasion of Manchuria and Korea until the last minute, the rapidity of the victory has more to do with the complete superiority of the Soviet Forces at every level by that stage of the war. The Red Army in 1945 was the greatest land bound war machine the world had ever known.

Avimimus,

The United States has nothing to be guilty about. The only tragedy about the Atomic bombings is that many in Japan have come to believe that there effect is sufficient to remove any guilt for their war time crimes.
 

edwest

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As the war drew to a close, the order was given to destroy all documents related to atomic research in Japan. Someone chose to disobey that order and some documents were saved. They were returned to the Riken Institute in Japan shortly after the death of the man who kept them.

http://tttabata.yolasite.com/radiation-physics-news-archive.php#sec14




Ed
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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elmayerle said:
There's been at least one book on this subject (sorry, it's at home, 1600 miles away and I can't consult it) but one of its claims is that one reason the USSR came into the war against Japan and moved quickly into Korea was to capture and take back to the USSR the Japanese nuclear weapons effort based in Korea. I'm not saying whether they did or not, but if they did, the biggest problem they'd have is a delivery system, but that's more a matter of finding ways to use what they did have available.
I think it's more likely that Stalin wanted to get back territory that was lost to Japan during the Russo-Japanese War 1904-05. Stalin was probably as eager to get buffert zones in Asia as he was in Europe. (Then again, USA was eager to get Heisenberg out of Germany before USSR got him, and USSR did get use of the German nuclear scientists they caught. (Gernot Zippe and *his* gas centrifuge, at the very least.))

Can one use the Occam's Razor in humanist science, such as history?
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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I wouldn't dispute that Japan had an atomic bomb program. I just don't see any evidence being presented here that it resulted in anything.

If you want to add to this topic, bring some evidence for us to look at please.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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overscan said:
I wouldn't dispute that Japan had an atomic bomb program. I just don't see any evidence being presented here that it resulted in anything.
I agree, though "anything" could mean that Japanese scientists and engineers succeeded in accelerating particles or to produce small amounts of Pu-238 or Pu-239 in an accelerator. Stuff that means squat for the military can be more than gold for scientists (bless their hearts! ;) ). As in Germany and its Uranium Club, Japan's atomic research could be more about developing nuclear energy for ships and tanks rather than for bombs.

If you want to add to this topic, bring some evidence for us to look at please.
 
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