On this day in 1950, German born nuclear physicist Klaus Fuchs, who had assisted with the development of atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, was arrested on spy charges. He was caught earlier through the Venona intercepts and had already confessed, revealing the Soviet Union had obtained a lot of atomic bomb secrets from himself and from other sources within the Manhattan Project. Where we executed some of our spies, Fuchs got only 14 years in a UK prison, served 9 years, four months, and ended his days in the DDR near Dresden, a hero of International Socialism.
It is unclear if his information acutally helped the Soviets build bombs sooner, but his information about the number of bombs and the limited fissionable materials we produced clearly emboldened the Soviets just at a time when Eastern Europe, for example, could have used a little more Soviet timidity.
Labels: Soviet Spies