The German Nuclear Program: The Third Reich and Atomic Energy
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The success of the Manhattan Project makes it easy to overlook the fact that there was a German nuclear program during World War II, and that for some time it ran ahead of its Allied counterpart. For various reasons, the German effort began to lose steam in the summer of 1942, just as the Manhattan Engineer District was coming into existence. But by no means did it die out. Working feverishly in the last weeks of the war in Europe in April, 1945, German scientists came close to creating a self-sustaining chain reaction in a heavy-water-moderated pile.