April 17

This Day in History

World War II

Apr 17, 1945:

Americans seize 1,100 tons of uranium

On this day in 1945, U.S. Lieutenant Colonel Boris T. Pash commandeers over half a ton of uranium at Strassfut, Germany, in an effort to prevent the Russians from developing an A-bomb.

Pash was head of the Alsos Group, organized to search for German scientists in the postwar environment in order to prevent the Russians, previously Allies but now a potential threat, from capturing any scientists and putting them to work at their own atomic research plants. Uranium piles were also rich "catches," as they were necessary to the development of atomic weapons.

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