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If you're already familiar with Manhattan Project histories, check out "Hitler's Uranium Club: The Secret Recordings at Farm Hall" (http://www.amazon.com/Hitlers-Uranium-Club-Secret-Recordings...), by physicist Jeremy Bernstein.

It's an account of the German nuclear programs, with the centrepiece being a curated set of transcripts from secret recordings of the candid conversations of a group of German scientists detained after the war.

Some vaguely YC-ish lessons on how their failure to produce could be attributed in many ways to seemingly mundane organizational structures that were debatably inherent to Nazi German society and internal politics.

Also some borderline pornographic payoff when they find out about Hiroshima. At the time, they were convinced they were 10 years ahead of anyone else, and were being detained as a prelude to being showered with honours and put in place to bring American and British science into the modern age. Then they set about convincing themselves they failed on purpose for moral reasons.

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