Charles Hobson

Reds Under The Bed

Ultimate Deception: How Stalin Stole the Bomb

By

Rare Books & Berry 374pp £12.95 order from our bookshop

IN 1938 IT became common knowledge that it was feasible, as opposed to just theoretically possible, to build an atomic bomb. However, the Nazis thought that the war would be over by the time they could build their bomb and that the enormous resources required would be better utilised developing conventional weapons. Although many scientists had fled Germany, the Allies feared that the Germans were still capable of manufacturing an atomic bomb, and so on 24 September 1941 the British War Cabinet, at a lengthy meeting chaired by Churchill, decided that Britain should go it alone and build thirtysix atomic bombs of her own. Within nine days of this meeting, its minutes were being read by Stalin. Such was the extent of Soviet penetration at every level of the British political and scientific establishment, and eventually inside the Manhattan Project itself, that the USSR was able to explode an atomic bomb in August 1949, some years ahead of US predictions.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Jeremy Clarke on Red and White: An Unquenchable Thirst for Wine by ,
    • 'Englishmen Abroad in the Reign of Henry VIII'. Free lecture by Dr Susan Brigden, Thurs 18 Oct, 6.30pm Europe Hou… ,
    • It 'contains twists and near misses and bit-part players, everything you might expect from a true-crime story'. Ian… ,
    • Oh normally a week or two before the ceremony itself - so mid-November. ,
    • Ian Sansom reviews The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World by… ,
    • 'It is hard to think of an economist who could craft such an elegantly readable account of postwar failure as this.… ,
    • Frederick Forsyth reviews The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by ,