Klaus Fuchs

Last updated

Klaus Fuchs
Klaus Fuchs - police photograph.jpg
Police photograph of Klaus Fuchs (c.1940)
Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs

(1911-12-29)29 December 1911
Died28 January 1988(1988-01-28) (aged 76)
CitizenshipGermany, United Kingdom
Alma mater University of Leipzig
University of Kiel
University of Bristol
University of Edinburgh
Spouse(s) Grete Keilson (1959–1988)
Scientific career
Fields Theoretical physics
Institutions Los Alamos National Laboratory
Harwell Atomic Energy Research Establishment
Institute for Nuclear Research in Rossendorf
Doctoral advisor Nevill Mott

Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs (29 December 1911 – 28 January 1988) was a German theoretical physicist and atomic spy who supplied information from the American, British, and Canadian Manhattan Project to the Soviet Union during and shortly after World War II. While at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Fuchs was responsible for many significant theoretical calculations relating to the first nuclear weapons and, later, early models of the hydrogen bomb. After his conviction in 1950, he served nine years in prison in the United Kingdom and then moved to East Germany where he resumed his career as a physicist and scientific leader.


The son of a Lutheran pastor, Fuchs attended the University of Leipzig, where his father was a professor of theology, and became involved in student politics, joining the student branch of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), and the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold , the SPD's paramilitary organisation. He was expelled from the SPD in 1932, and joined the Communist Party of Germany (KPD). He went into hiding after the 1933 Reichstag fire, and fled to the United Kingdom, where he received his PhD from the University of Bristol under the supervision of Nevill Mott, and his DSc from the University of Edinburgh, where he worked as an assistant to Max Born.

After the Second World War broke out in Europe, he was interned in the Isle of Man, and later in Canada. After he returned to Britain in 1941, he became an assistant to Rudolf Peierls, working on "Tube Alloys"—the British atomic bomb project. He began passing information on the project to the Soviet Union through Ruth Kuczynski, codenamed "Sonia", a German communist and a major in Soviet Military Intelligence who had worked with Richard Sorge's spy ring in the Far East. In 1943, Fuchs and Peierls went to Columbia University, in New York City, to work on the Manhattan Project. In August 1944, Fuchs joined the Theoretical Physics Division at the Los Alamos Laboratory, working under Hans Bethe. His chief area of expertise was the problem of implosion, necessary for the development of the plutonium bomb. After the war, he returned to the UK and worked at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell as head of the Theoretical Physics Division.

In January 1950, Fuchs confessed that he was a spy. A British court sentenced him to fourteen years' imprisonment and stripped him of his British citizenship. He was released in 1959, after serving nine years, and emigrated to the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), where he was elected to the Academy of Sciences and became a member of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED) central committee. He was later appointed deputy director of the Institute for Nuclear Research in Rossendorf, where he served until he retired in 1979.

Early life

Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs was born in Rüsselsheim, Grand Duchy of Hesse, on 29 December 1911, the third of four children of a Lutheran pastor, Emil Fuchs, and his wife Else Wagner. [1] [2] He had an older brother Gerhard, an older sister Elisabeth, and a younger sister, Kristel. The family moved to Eisenach, where Fuchs attended the Gymnasium , and took his Abitur . At school, Fuchs and his siblings were taunted over his father's unpopular political views, which they came to share. They became known as the "red foxes", Fuchs being the German word for fox. [3]

Fuchs entered the University of Leipzig in 1930, [4] where his father was a professor of theology. He became involved in student politics, joining the student branch of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), a party that his father had joined in 1912, and the Reichsbanner Schwarz-Rot-Gold , the party's paramilitary organisation. [5] His father took up a new position as professor of religion at the Pedagogical Academy in Kiel, and in the autumn Fuchs transferred to the University of Kiel, which his brother Gerhard and sister Elisabeth also attended. Fuchs continued his studies in mathematics and physics at the university. [6] In October 1931, his mother committed suicide by drinking hydrochloric acid. The family later discovered that his maternal grandmother had also taken her own life. [3] [2]

In the March 1932 German presidential election, the SPD supported Paul von Hindenburg for President, fearing that a split vote would hand the job to the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSDAP) candidate, Adolf Hitler. However, when the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) ran its own candidate, Ernst Thälmann, Fuchs offered to speak for him, and was expelled from the SPD. That year Fuchs and all three of his siblings joined the KPD. [3] Fuchs and his brother Gerhard were active speakers at public meetings, and occasionally attempted to disrupt NSDAP gatherings. [6] At one such gathering, Fuchs was beaten up and thrown into the river. [7]

When Hitler became Chancellor of Germany in January 1933, Fuchs decided to leave Kiel, where the NSDAP was particularly strong and he was a well-known KPD member. He enrolled at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics in Berlin. On 28 February, he took an early train to Berlin for a KPD meeting there. On the train, he read about the Reichstag fire in a newspaper. Fuchs correctly assumed that opposition parties would be blamed for the fire, and quietly removed his hammer and sickle lapel pin. [6] [7]

The KPD meeting in Berlin was held in secret. Fellow party members urged him to continue his studies in another country. He went into hiding for five months in the apartment of a fellow party member. In August 1933, he attended an anti-fascist conference in Paris chaired by Henri Barbusse, where he met an English couple, Ronald and Jessie Gunn, who invited Fuchs to stay with them in Clapton, Somerset. He was expelled from the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in October 1933. [6] [7]

Refugee in Britain

Fuchs arrived in England on 24 September 1933. Jessie Gunn was a member of the Wills family, the heirs to Imperial Tobacco and benefactors of the University of Bristol. She arranged for Fuchs to meet Nevill Mott, Bristol's professor of physics, and he agreed to take Fuchs on as a research assistant. [8] Fuchs earned his Ph.D. in physics there in 1937. A paper on "A Quantum Mechanical Calculation of the Elastic Constants of Monovalent Metals" was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society in 1936. [9] By this time, Mott had a number of German refugees working for him, and lacked positions for them all. He did not think that Fuchs would make much of a teacher, so he arranged a research post for Fuchs, at the University of Edinburgh working under Max Born, who was himself a German refugee. Fuchs published papers with Born on "The Statistical Mechanics of Condensing Systems" and "On Fluctuations in Electromagnetic radiation" in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. He also received a Doctorate in Science degree from Edinburgh. Fuchs proudly mailed copies back to his father in Germany. [10]

In Germany, Emil had been dismissed from his academic post, and, disillusioned with the Lutheran Church's support of the NSDAP, had become a Quaker in 1933. [7] He was arrested for speaking out against the government, but was held for only one month. Elisabeth married a fellow communist, Gustav Kittowski, with whom she had a child they named Klaus. [11] Elisabeth and Kittowski were arrested in 1933, and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, but were freed at Christmas. Gerhard and his wife Karin were arrested in 1934, and spent the next two years in prison. Gerhard, Karin, Elisabeth and Kittowski established a car rental agency in Berlin, which they used to smuggle Jews and opponents of the government out of Germany. [11]

After Emil was arrested in 1933, Kristel fled to Zurich, where she studied education and psychology at the University of Zurich. She returned to Berlin in 1934, where she too worked at the car rental agency. In 1936, Emil arranged with Quaker friends in the United States for Kristel to attend Swarthmore College there. She visited Fuchs in England en route to America, where she eventually married an American communist, Robert Heineman, and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She became a permanent resident in the United States in May 1938. [12] [13] [14] In 1936, Kittowski and Elisabeth were arrested again, and the rental cars were impounded. Gerhard and Karin fled to Czechoslovakia. Elisabeth was released and went to live with Emil, while Kittowski, sentenced to six years, later escaped from prison and also made his way to Czechoslovakia. In August 1939, [15] Elisabeth committed suicide by throwing herself from a train, leaving Emil to raise young Klaus. [14] [13]

Second World War

Fuchs applied to become a British citizen in August 1939, but his application had not been processed before the Second World War broke out in Europe in September 1939. There was a classification system for enemy aliens, but Born provided Fuchs with a reference that said that he had been a member of the SPD from 1930 to 1932, and an anti-Nazi. There matters stood until June 1940, when the police arrived and took Fuchs into custody. He was first interned on the Isle of Man and then, in July, he was sent to an internment camp in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. During his internment in 1940, he continued to work and published four more papers with Born: The Mass Centre in Relativity, Reciprocity, Part II: Scalar Wave Functions, Reciprocity, Part III: Reciprocal Wave Functions and Reciprocity, Part IV: Spinor Wave Functions, and one by himself, On the Statistical Method in Nuclear Theory. [16]

Poynting Physics building at the University of Birmingham Poynting Physics building 3.jpg
Poynting Physics building at the University of Birmingham

While interned in Quebec, he joined a communist discussion group led by Hans Kahle. [17] Kahle was a KPD member who had fought in the Spanish Civil War. After fleeing to Britain with his family, Kahle had helped Jürgen Kuczynski organise the KPD in Britain. [18] Kristel arranged for Israel Halperin, the brother-in-law of a friend of hers, Wendell H. Furry, to bring Fuchs some magazines. Max Born lobbied for his release. On Christmas Day 1940, Fuchs and Kahle were among the first group of internees to board a ship to return to Britain. [17]

Fuchs returned to Edinburgh in January, and resumed working for Born. [19] In May 1941, he was approached by Rudolf Peierls of the University of Birmingham to work on the "Tube Alloys" programme – the British atomic bomb research project. Despite wartime restrictions, he was granted British citizenship on 7 August 1942 and signed an Official Secrets Act declaration form. [19] [20] As accommodation was scarce in wartime Birmingham, he stayed with Rudolf and Genia Peierls. [21] Fuchs and Peierls did some important work together, which included a fundamental paper about isotope separation. [22]

Soon after, Fuchs contacted Jürgen Kuczynski, who was now teaching at the London School of Economics. Kuczynski put him in contact with Simon Davidovitch Kremer (codename: "Alexander"), the secretary to the military attaché at the Soviet Union's embassy, who worked for the GRU (Russian: Главное Разведывательное Управление), the Red Army's foreign military intelligence directorate. After three meetings, Fuchs was teamed up with a courier so he would not have to find excuses to travel to London. She was Ruth Kuczynski (codename: "Sonia"), the sister of Jürgen Kuczynski. She was a German communist, a major in Soviet Military Intelligence and an experienced agent who had worked with Richard Sorge's spy ring in the Far East. [23]

In late 1943, Fuchs (codename: "Rest"; he became "Charles" in May 1944) [24] transferred along with Peierls to Columbia University, in New York City, to work on gaseous diffusion as a means of uranium enrichment for the Manhattan Project. [25] Although Fuchs was "an asset" of GRU in Britain, his "control" was transferred to the NKGB (Russian: Народный Kомиссариат Государственной Безопасности), the Soviet Union's civilian intelligence organisation, when he moved to New York. He spent Christmas 1943 with Kristel and her family in Cambridge. [26] He was contacted by Harry Gold (codename: "Raymond"), an NKGB agent in early 1944. [27]

Los Alamos ID badge Klaus Fuchs ID badge.png
Los Alamos ID badge

From August 1944, Fuchs worked in the Theoretical Physics Division at the Los Alamos Laboratory, under Hans Bethe. His chief area of expertise was the problem of imploding the fissionable core of the plutonium bomb. At one point, Fuchs did calculation work that Edward Teller had refused to do because of lack of interest. [28] He was the author of techniques (such as the still-used Fuchs-Nordheim method) for calculating the energy of a fissile assembly that goes highly prompt critical, [29] and his report on blast waves is still considered a classic. [30] Fuchs was one of the many Los Alamos scientists present at the Trinity test in July 1945. [31] In April 1946 he attended a conference at Los Alamos that discussed the possibility of a thermonuclear weapon; one month later, he filed a patent with John von Neumann, describing a method to initiate fusion in a thermonuclear weapon with an implosion trigger. [32] Bethe considered Fuchs "one of the most valuable men in my division" and "one of the best theoretical physicists we had." [30]

Fuchs, who was known as "Karl" rather than "Klaus" at Los Alamos, dated grade school teachers Evelyn Kline and Jean Parker. He befriended Richard Feynman. Fuchs and Peierls were the only members of the British Mission to Los Alamos who owned cars, and Fuchs lent his Buick to Feynman so Feynman could visit his dying wife in hospital in Albuquerque. [33]

Klaus Fuchs's main courier was Harry Gold. Allen Weinstein, the author of The Haunted Wood: Soviet Espionage in America (1999), has pointed out: "The NKVD had chosen Gold, an experienced group handler, as Fuchs' contact on the grounds that it was safer than having him meet directly with a Russian operative, but Semyon Semyonov was ultimately responsible for the Fuchs relationship." [34]

Gold reported after his first meeting with Klaus Fuchs:

He (Fuchs) obviously worked with our people before and he is fully aware of what he is doing. … He is a mathematical physicist … most likely a very brilliant man to have such a position at his age (he looks about 30). We took a long walk after dinner. … He is a member of a British mission to the U.S. working under the direct control of the U.S. Army. … The work involves mainly separating the isotopes... and is being done thusly: The electronic method has been developed at Berkeley, California, and is being carried out at a place known only as Camp Y. … Simultaneously, the diffusion method is being tried here in the East. … Should the diffusion method prove successful, it will be used as a preliminary step in the separation, with the final work being done by the electronic method. They hope to have the electronic method ready early in 1945 and the diffusion method in July 1945, but (Fuchs) says the latter estimate is optimistic. (Fuchs) says there is much being withheld from the British. Even Niels Bohr, who is now in the country incognito as Nicholas Baker, has not been told everything. [35]


At the request of Norris Bradbury, who had replaced Robert Oppenheimer as director of the Los Alamos Laboratory in October 1945, Fuchs stayed on at the laboratory into 1946 to help with preparations for the Operation Crossroads weapons tests. The US Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (McMahon Act) prohibited the transfer of information on nuclear research to any foreign country, including Britain, without explicit official authority, and Fuchs supplied highly-classified U.S. information to nuclear scientists in Britain and to his Soviet contacts. As of 2014, British official files on Fuchs were still being withheld. [36] [37]

He was highly regarded as a scientist by the British, who wanted him to return to the United Kingdom to work on Britain's postwar nuclear weapons programme. [38] He returned in August 1946 and became the head of the Theoretical Physics Division at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell. [39] From late 1947 to May 1949 he gave Alexander Feklisov, his Soviet case officer, the principal theoretical outline for creating a hydrogen bomb and the initial drafts for its development as the work progressed in England and America. Meeting with Feklisov six times, he provided the results of the test at Eniwetok Atoll of uranium and plutonium bombs and the key data on production of uranium-235. [40]

Also in 1947, Fuchs attended a conference of the Combined Policy Committee (CPC), which was created to facilitate exchange of atomic secrets at the highest levels of governments of the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. Donald Maclean, another Soviet spy, was also in attendance as British co-secretary of CPC. [41]


By September 1949, information from the Venona project indicated to GCHQ that Fuchs was a spy, [42] but the British intelligence services were wary of indicating the source of their information. The Soviets had broken off contact with him in February. [43] Fuchs may have been subsequently tipped off by Kim Philby. In October 1949, Fuchs approached Henry Arnold, the head of security at Harwell, with the news that his father had been given a chair at the University of Leipzig in East Germany. [44]

Under interrogation by MI5 officer William Skardon at an informal meeting in December 1949, Fuchs initially denied being a spy and was not detained. [45] In January 1950, Fuchs arranged another interview with Skardon and voluntarily confessed that he was a spy. [46] Three days later, he also directed a statement more technical in content to Michael Perrin, the deputy controller of atomic energy within the Ministry of Supply. [47] Fuchs told interrogators that the NKGB had acquired an agent in Berkeley, California, who had informed the Soviet Union about electromagnetic separation research of uranium-235 in 1942 or earlier. [48] Fuchs's statements to British and American intelligence agencies were used to implicate Harry Gold, [49] a key witness in the trials of David Greenglass and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in the United States. [50]

Fuchs later testified that he passed detailed information on the project to the Soviet Union through courier Harry Gold in 1945, and further information about Edward Teller's unworkable "Super" design for a hydrogen bomb in 1946 and 1947. [51]

Value of data to Soviet project

Hans Bethe once said that Klaus Fuchs was the only physicist he knew to have truly changed history. [40] Because the head of the Soviet project, Lavrenti Beria, used foreign intelligence as a third-party check, rather than giving it directly to the scientists, as he did not trust the information by default, it is unknown whether Fuchs's fission information had a substantial effect. Considering that the pace of the Soviet program was set primarily by the amount of uranium that it could procure, it is difficult for scholars to judge accurately how much time was saved. [52]

According to On a Field of Red, a history of the Comintern (Communist International) by Anthony Cave Brown and Charles B. MacDonald, Fuchs's greatest contribution to the Soviets may have been disclosing how uranium could be processed for use in a bomb. Fuchs gave Gold technical information in January 1945 that was acquired only after two years of experimentation at a cost of $400 million. Fuchs also disclosed the amount of uranium or plutonium the Americans planned to use in each atomic bomb. [53]

Whether the information Fuchs passed relating to the hydrogen bomb would have been useful is still debated. Most scholars agree with Hans Bethe's 1952 assessment, which concluded that by the time Fuchs left the thermonuclear program in mid-1946, too little was known about the mechanism of the hydrogen bomb for his information to be useful to the Soviet Union. The successful Teller-Ulam design was not devised until 1951. Soviet physicists later noted that they could see as well as the Americans eventually would that the early designs by Fuchs and Edward Teller were useless. [54]

Later archival work by the Soviet physicist German Goncharov suggested that Fuchs's early work did not help Soviet efforts towards the hydrogen bomb, but it was closer to the final correct solution than anyone recognized at the time. It also indeed spurred Soviet research into useful problems that eventually provided the correct answer. In any case, it seems clear that Fuchs could not have just given the Soviets the "secret" to the hydrogen bomb since he did not actually know it himself. [55]

Trial and imprisonment

It is likely that Fuchs's espionage led the U.S. to cancel a 1950 Anglo-American plan to give Britain American-made atomic bombs. [56] He was prosecuted by Sir Hartley Shawcross [57] and was convicted on 1 March 1950 of four counts of breaking the Official Secrets Act by "communicating information to a potential enemy." [58] After a trial lasting less than 90 minutes that was based on his confession, Lord Goddard sentenced him to 14 years' imprisonment, the maximum for espionage, because the Soviet Union was classed as an ally at the time. [59] In December 1950, he was stripped of his British citizenship. [60] The head of the British H-bomb project, Sir William Penney, visited Fuchs in prison in 1952. [61]

While imprisoned, he was friendly with the Irish Republican Army prisoner Seamus Murphy with whom he played chess and helped to escape. [62] [63] It was suggested by some that Fuchs had turned IRA leader Cathal Goulding into a Marxist but Seamus Murphy denied it by saying "Fuchs never tried to turn anyone – it was hard to get a word out of him!" [64]

Fuchs was released on 23 June 1959 after he had served nine years and four months of his sentence (as was then required in England where long-term prisoners were entitled by law to one third off for good behaviour in prison) at Wakefield Prison and promptly emigrated to the German Democratic Republic (GDR). [65]

Career in East Germany

On arrival at Berlin Schönefeld Airport in the GDR, Fuchs was met by Grete (Margarete) Keilson, a friend from his years as a student communist. They were married on 9 September 1959. [66]

In the GDR, Fuchs continued his scientific career and achieved considerable prominence as a leader of research. He became a member of the SED central committee in 1967, and in 1972 was elected to the Academy of Sciences where from 1974 to 1978 he was the head of the research area of physics, nuclear and materials science; he was then appointed deputy director of the Institute for Nuclear Research in Rossendorf, where he served until he retired in 1979. From 1984, Fuchs was head of the scientific councils for energetic basic research and for fundamentals of microelectronics. He received the Patriotic Order of Merit, the Order of Karl Marx and the National Prize of East Germany. [67]

The grave of Klaus Fuchs in Berlin Berlin Friedrichsfelde Zentralfriedhof, Pergolenweg - Fuchs.jpg
The grave of Klaus Fuchs in Berlin

A tutorial Fuchs gave to Qian Sanqiang and other Chinese physicists helped them to develop the first Chinese atomic bomb, the 596, which was tested five years later—according to Thomas Reed and Daniel Stillman, the authors of The Nuclear Express: A Political History of the Bomb and Its Proliferation (2009). [68] Three historians of nuclear weapons history, Robert S. Norris, Jeremy Bernstein, and Peter D. Zimmerman, challenged this particular assertion as "unsubstantiated conjecture" [69] and asserted that The Nuclear Express is "an ambitious but deeply flawed book". [70]


Fuchs died in Berlin on 28 January 1988. He was cremated and his ashes buried in the "Pergolenweg" of the Socialists' Memorial in Berlin's Friedrichsfelde Cemetery. [71] [72]

A documentary film about Fuchs, Väter der tausend Sonnen (Father of a Thousand Suns) was released in 1990. [73]


  1. Williams 1987, pp. 10-13.
  2. 1 2 Flowers, Mary. "Fuchs, (Emil Julius) Klaus (1911–1988)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/40698.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. 1 2 3 Moss 1987, pp. 4–8.
  4. Williams 1987, p. 14.
  5. Moss 1987, pp. 4–7.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Laucht 2012, pp. 83–85.
  7. 1 2 3 4 Moss 1987, pp. 10–12.
  8. Moss 1987, pp. 12–13.
  9. Proc. Roy. Soc. A vol. 153 no. 880 (1 February 1936), pp. 622-639.
  10. Moss 1987, pp. 19–20.
  11. 1 2 Williams 1987, pp. 17–18.
  12. "[Lamphere to Gardner], "Emil Julius Klaus Fuchs", aka; Karl Fuchs," 26 September 1949, National Security Agency, Venona Collection at 49–029". Central Intelligence Agency. Archived from the original on 3 November 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  13. 1 2 Williams 1987, pp. 16–18.
  14. 1 2 Moss 1987, pp. 17–18.
  15. Laucht 2012, p. 15.
  16. O'Connor, J. J.; Robertson, E. F. (July 2008). "Emil Klaus Julius Fuchs". University of St Andrews, Scotland. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
  17. 1 2 Moss 1987, pp. 21–26.
  18. Williams 1987, pp. 33–34.
  19. 1 2 Greenspan 2005, pp. 238–239.
  20. Moss 1987, p. 43.
  21. Moss 1987, p. 34.
  22. Bernstein 2010, p. 43.
  23. Rhodes 1995, pp. 51, 57, 63.
  24. Laucht 2012, p. 204.
  25. Moss 1987, pp. 46–47.
  26. Rhodes 1995, pp. 103–105.
  27. Williams 1987, pp. 70–73.
  28. Rhodes 1995, pp. 117–119.
  29. "The Fuchs-Nordheim model and pulsing characteristics". IAEA . Retrieved 28 April 2013.
  30. 1 2 Szasz 1992, p. 89.
  31. Rhodes 1995, p. 175.
  32. Bernstein 2010, pp. 43–46.
  33. Szasz 1992, pp. 35, 90–91.
  34. Weinstein & Vassiliev 1999, pp. 186–187.
  35. Trenear-Harvey 2011, pp. 74–75.
  36. Norton-Taylor, Richard (13 June 2014). "The Spy Who Changed the World by Mike Rossiter – review". The Guardian . London. Retrieved 5 October 2014.
  37. Laucht 2012, pp. 78, 101.
  38. Laucht 2012, pp. 75–76.
  39. Moss 1987, pp. 93–94.
  40. 1 2 Rhodes 1995, p. 259.
  41. Rhodes 1995, pp. 300–301.
  42. Goodman 2005, pp. 126–128.
  43. Rhodes 1995, p. 377.
  44. Goodman 2005, pp. 128–129.
  45. Moss 1987, pp. 134–136.
  46. Goodman 2005, pp. 130–131.
  47. Williams 1987, pp. 124–126.
  48. Rhodes 1995, pp. 411–412.
  49. Rhodes 1995, pp. 425–428.
  50. Rhodes 1995, pp. 479–481.
  51. Rhodes 1995, pp. 244–246.
  52. Holloway 1994, pp. 220–224.
  53. Brown & MacDonald 1981, pp. 626–627.
  54. Bernstein 2010, pp. 49–50.
  55. Goncharov 1996, pp. 1033–1044.
  56. Baylis 1995, p. 76.
  57. Williams 1987, pp. 129–130.
  58. Goodman 2005, p. 132.
  59. Moss 1987, pp. 158–165.
  60. Moss 1987, p. 184.
  61. Laucht 2012, p. 79.
  62. "IRA prisoner on life sentence who escaped from Wakefield prison". www.irishtimes.com.
  63. O’Shea, Helen (16 October 2014). Ireland and the End of the British Empire: The Republic and its Role in the Cyprus Emergency. I.B.Tauris. ISBN   9780857737915 via Google Books.
  64. Hanley, Brian; Millar, Scott (3 September 2009). The Lost Revolution: The Story of the Official IRA and the Workers' Party. Penguin UK. ISBN   9780141935010 via Google Books.
  65. Hoffmann 2009, p. 416.
  66. Rossiter 2014, pp. 311–313.
  67. Laucht 2012, p. 175.
  68. Reed 2008, pp. 52–53.
  69. Norris, Bernstein & Zimmerman 2009, p. 296.
  70. Norris, Bernstein & Zimmerman 2009, p. 293.
  71. Pace, Eric (29 January 1988). "Klaus Fuchs, Physicist Who Gave Atom Secrets to Soviet, Dies at 76". The New York Times . Retrieved 7 July 2008.
  72. "Klaus Fuchs". Soylent Communications. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
  73. "Väter der tausend Sonnen". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2 May 2018.

Related Research Articles

Theodore Hall

Theodore Alvin Hall was an American physicist and an atomic spy for the Soviet Union, who, during his work on US efforts to develop the first and second atomic bombs during World War II, gave a detailed description of the "Fat Man" plutonium bomb, and of several processes for purifying plutonium, to Soviet intelligence. His brother, Edward N. Hall, was a rocket scientist who worked on intercontinental ballistic missiles for the United States government.

Hans Bethe German-American nuclear physicist

Hans Albrecht Bethe was a German-American nuclear physicist who made important contributions to astrophysics, quantum electrodynamics, and solid-state physics, and who won the 1967 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis.

John Cockcroft

Sir John Douglas Cockcroft, was a British physicist who shared with Ernest Walton the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1951 for splitting the atomic nucleus, and was instrumental in the development of nuclear power.

Tube Alloys British nuclear weapons research during WW2

Tube Alloys was the research and development programme authorised by the United Kingdom, with participation from Canada, to develop nuclear weapons during the Second World War. Starting before the Manhattan Project in the United States, the British efforts were kept classified, and as such had to be referred to by code even within the highest circles of government.

Rudolf Peierls

Sir Rudolf Ernst Peierls, was a German-born British physicist who played a major role in the Manhattan Project and Tube Alloys, Britain's nuclear programme. His obituary in Physics Today described him as "a major player in the drama of the eruption of nuclear physics into world affairs".

Smyth Report First official account of the Manhattan Project

The Smyth Report is the common name of an administrative history written by American physicist Henry DeWolf Smyth about the Manhattan Project, the Allied effort to develop atomic bombs during World War II. The subtitle of the report is A General Account of the Development of Methods of Using Atomic Energy for Military Purposes. It was released to the public on August 12, 1945, just days after the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9.

Quebec Agreement Joint agreement between the United Kingdom and United States primarily for nuclear energy

The Quebec Agreement was a secret agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States outlining the terms for the coordinated development of the science and engineering related to nuclear energy and specifically nuclear weapons. It was signed by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt on 19 August 1943, during World War II, at the First Quebec Conference in Quebec City, Canada.

RDS-37 was the Soviet Union's first two-stage hydrogen bomb, first tested on 22 November 1955. The weapon had a nominal yield of approximately 3 megatons. It was scaled down to 1.6 megatons for the live test.

David Greenglass Atomic spy for the Soviet Union

David Greenglass was an atomic spy for the Soviet Union who worked on the Manhattan Project. He was briefly stationed at the Clinton Engineer Works uranium enrichment facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and then worked at the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico from August 1944 until February 1946.

Frisch–Peierls memorandum

The Frisch–Peierls memorandum was the first technical exposition of a practical nuclear weapon. It was written by expatriate German physicists Otto Frisch and Rudolf Peierls in March 1940 while they were both working for Mark Oliphant at the University of Birmingham in Britain during World War II.

Timeline of the Manhattan Project

The Manhattan Project was a research and development project that produced the first atomic bombs during World War II. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada. From 1942 to 1946, the project was under the direction of Major General Leslie Groves of the US Army Corps of Engineers. The Army component of the project was designated the Manhattan District; "Manhattan" gradually became the codename for the entire project. Along the way, the project absorbed its earlier British counterpart, Tube Alloys. The Manhattan Project began modestly in 1939, but grew to employ more than 130,000 people and cost nearly US$2 billion. Over 90% of the cost was for building factories and producing the fissionable materials, with less than 10% for development and production of the weapons.

MAUD Committee British nuclear weapons research group, 1940-1941

The MAUD Committee was a British scientific working group formed during the Second World War. It was established to perform the research required to determine if an atomic bomb was feasible. The name MAUD came from a strange line in a telegram from Danish physicist Niels Bohr referring to his housekeeper, Maud Ray.

Atomic spies

Atomic spies or atom spies were people in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada who are known to have illicitly given information about nuclear weapons production or design to the Soviet Union during World War II and the early Cold War. Exactly what was given, and whether everyone on the list gave it, are still matters of some scholarly dispute. In some cases, some of the arrested suspects or government witnesses had given strong testimonies or confessions which they recanted later or said were fabricated. Their work constitutes the most publicly well-known and well-documented case of nuclear espionage in the history of nuclear weapons. At the same time, numerous nuclear scientists wanted to share the information with the world scientific community, but this proposal was firmly quashed by the United States government.

Gen 75 Committee

The Gen 75 Committee was a committee of the British cabinet, convened by the Prime Minister, Clement Attlee, on 10 August 1945. It was one of many ad hoc cabinet committees, each of which was convened to handle a single issue, and given a prefix of Gen and a number. The purpose of the Gen 75 committee was to discuss and establish the British government's nuclear policy. Attlee dubbed it the "Atom Bomb Committee". It was replaced by an official ministerial committee, the Atomic Energy Committee, in February 1947.

<i>Nuclear Secrets</i> television series

Nuclear Secrets, aka Spies, Lies and the Superbomb, is a 2007 BBC Television docudrama series which looks at the race for nuclear supremacy from the Manhattan Project through to Pakistan's nuclear weapons programme.

British contribution to the Manhattan Project British contribution to the WWII atomic bomb project

Britain contributed to the Manhattan Project by helping initiate the effort to build the first atomic bombs in the United States during World War II, and helped carry it through to completion in August 1945 by supplying crucial expertise. Following the discovery of nuclear fission in uranium, scientists Rudolf Peierls and Otto Frisch at the University of Birmingham calculated, in March 1940, that the critical mass of a metallic sphere of pure uranium-235 was as little as 1 to 10 kilograms, and would explode with the power of thousands of tons of dynamite. The Frisch–Peierls memorandum prompted Britain to create an atomic bomb project, known as Tube Alloys. Mark Oliphant, an Australian physicist working in Britain, was instrumental in making the results of the British MAUD Report known in the United States in 1941 by a visit in person. Initially the British project was larger and more advanced, but after the United States entered the war, the American project soon outstripped and dwarfed its British counterpart. The British government then decided to shelve its own nuclear ambitions, and participate in the American project.

Project Y Secret laboratory established by the Manhattan Project

The Los Alamos Laboratory, also known as Project Y, was a secret laboratory established by the Manhattan Project and operated by the University of California during World War II. Its mission was to design and build the first atomic bombs. Robert Oppenheimer was its first director, serving from 1943 to December 1945, when he was succeeded by Norris Bradbury. In order to enable scientists to freely discuss their work while preserving security, the laboratory was located in a remote part of New Mexico. The wartime laboratory occupied buildings that had once been part of the Los Alamos Ranch School.

British hydrogen bomb programme British effort to develop hydrogen bombs between 1952 and 1958

The British hydrogen bomb programme was the ultimately successful British effort to develop hydrogen bombs between 1952 and 1958. During the early part of the Second World War, Britain had a nuclear weapons project, codenamed Tube Alloys. At the Quebec Conference in August 1943, British prime minister Winston Churchill and United States president Franklin Roosevelt signed the Quebec Agreement, merging Tube Alloys into the American Manhattan Project, in which many of Britain's top scientists participated. The British government trusted that America would share nuclear technology, which it considered to be a joint discovery, but the United States Atomic Energy Act of 1946 ended technical cooperation. Fearing a resurgence of American isolationism, and the loss of Britain's great power status, the British government resumed its own development effort, which was codenamed "High Explosive Research".

High Explosive Research UK atomic bomb development project

High Explosive Research ("HER") was the British project to develop atomic bombs independently after the Second World War. This decision was taken by a cabinet sub-committee on 8 January 1947, in response to apprehension of an American return to isolationism, fears that Britain might lose its great power status, and the actions by the United States to withdraw unilaterally from sharing of nuclear technology under the 1943 Quebec Agreement. The decision was publicly announced in the House of Commons on 12 May 1948.

Oscar Seborer, codenamed Godsend, was an atomic spy for the Soviet Union who worked at the Clinton Engineer Works in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico.


Further reading