The Manhattan Project

Alsos Mission

Reginald C. Augustine's Interview

[The Atomic Heritage Foundation is grateful to the Augustine family for donating this interview for publication.]

Dolores Augustine: Today is January 1st, 2007, and behind the camera is Dr. Dolores Augustine of St. John’s University, New York. I am interviewing Mr. Reginald C. Augustine about the Alsos Mission. So, go ahead. You can start talking to us about what you did on the Alsos Mission.

Reginald Augustine

Reginald Augustine served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. In 1944, he was assigned to the Alsos Mission, the Manhattan Project’s counterintelligence mission in Europe to determine how far Nazi Germany had gotten on the path to building an atomic bomb. Augustine served under Colonel Boris Pash, and accompanied the Mission’s scientists in France and Germany. He also escorted some of the German scientists captured by the Allies to Farm Hall in England, including Otto Hahn.

David Holloway's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly with the Atomic Heritage Foundation and it is Monday, May 14, 2018. I'm in Palo Alto with David Holloway. My first question for him is to please say his name and spell it.

David Holloway: David Holloway, D-A-V-I-D H-O-L-L-O-W-A-Y.

Kelly: Perfect. I would like to start with your telling us a little bit about yourself, and where you were born, and when and how you came to be interested in the Soviet bomb program.

David Holloway

David Holloway, author of Stalin and the Bomb: the Soviet Union and Atomic Energy 1939-1956, is a professor of History at Stanford University. An expert on the international history of nuclear weapons, Dr. Holloway traces the development of the Soviet Union’s nuclear capabilities and policy throughout the Cold War, also offering some remarks on the current state of nuclear weapons internationally.

Michael Joseloff's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly. It is February 1st, 2018. I’m in New York City, and I have with me Michael Joseloff. My first question to him is, please say and spell your name.

Michael Joseloff: Michael Joseloff, M-i-c-h-a-e-l, Joseloff, J-o-s-e-l-o-f-f.

Kelly: Great. Thank you. Well, you’re here today because you’ve written a wonderful book that I just finished, Chasing Heisenberg. Why don’t you tell us something about yourself, what’s your professional background, how did you get interested in this?

George Kistiakowsky's Interview

Richard Rhodes: Interview with Dr. Kistiakowsky in Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 15, 1982.

I have done a great deal of reading into the literature; there are probably two hundred books that are built around the subject that I’ve looked at, including yours, which I enjoyed. Can I go back to some very early things? 

George Kistiakowsky: Sure. 

Richard Rhodes' Interview

Cindy Kelly: We are with Richard Rhodes at Atomic Heritage Foundation’s studio in Washington, D.C. Can you start by telling us your name?

Richard Rhodes: I’m Richard Rhodes.

Kelly: Can you spell that, please?

Rhodes: Yes, R-H-O-D-E-S.

Kelly: And Richard spelled the usual way?

Rhodes: Yes.

Robert Furman's Interview

Robert Furman: Robert Furman. F-U-R-M-A-N. I was an assistant to General Groves in the Manhattan District, in his Twenty-First Street offices here in Northwest. And I joined him in late autumn of ‘43 and left him right after the war—right after the end of the war.

Cindy Kelly: Can we—just to—no one’s going to hear what I say, so. And don’t feel that I’m interrupting you because the beauty of editing is we can cut and paste things.

Furman: Sure.

Alsos Mission (Europe)

A little-known operation of the Manhattan Engineering District took place behind enemy lines in occupied Europe. Code-named the "Alsos" Mission, these intelligence-gathering operations moved with the advancing Allies to learn firsthand how close Germany was to developing its own atomic weapon. Under the command of General Leslie Groves, these operations succeeded in capturing most of the key German scientists, stores of uranium ore and other nuclear raw materials, and thousands of research documents regarding the development of atomic energy.

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