The U.S. Army's Alsos Mission in World War II
As work on an atomic bomb progressed in the United States, it was reasonable to
assume that there had been corresponding progress in Germany. Thus, the U. S.
Army initiated the Alsos Mission in the fall of 1943 as part of the Manhattan
The objective of the mission was to follow immediately in the wake of our armies
in the invasion of Europe, for the purpose of determining precisely how much
the Germans knew about the atomic bomb and how far they had progressed in its
The original mission (Alsos I) went to Italy in December 1943, but gained little
information of interest, due in part to the slow progress of the Allied advance
The second mission (Alsos II) followed the Allied advance from France to Germany
in 1944 and 1945. Ultimately it consisted of seven military officers and
Interrogation of French and German scientists combined with the investigation of
laboratories confirmed that the German program was never close to producing an
atomic bomb. The mission also tracked down and secured large amounts of uranium
materials in France, Belgium, and Germany.