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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • February, 1943

    Report of Secretariat of Council of People’s Commissars of USSR to V.M. Molotov, 'About the Implementing of Decree No. 2352 cc of State Committee of Defence'

    This report, sent from the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR to V.M. Molotov, informs Molotov that the project for Uranium enrichment was prepared by F. Lange and his colleagues by December, 1942. The installation of this project was planned to be produced outside of Ukraine, in a facility in Kasan.

  • April 01, 1943

    Note of I.Kurchatov for M. Pervukhin, 'About Necessity to Demobilize V.M. Kelman'

    In this document, the "father" of the first Soviet nuclear bomb, Igor Kurchatov, asks the chief of the Soviet ministry of energy, Pervukhin, to help demobilize the Ukranian physicist Veniamin Kelman, who was a fellow of UIPhT before the war. In this note Kurchatov writes about the high quality of the Ukrainian nuclear scientist and about his importance for the development of the Soviet nuclear program. This document once again demonstrates that Ukraine played a significant role in the Soviet military nuclear program.

  • August 06, 1946

    Talk with the American Correspondent Anna Louise Strong

    Mao Zedong says that "all reactionaries are paper tigers" and discusses the Chinese Civil War. He also introduces the theory of the "intermediate zone," when he states that "the United States and the Soviet Union are separated by a vast zone which includes many capitalist, colonial and semi-colonial countries in Europe, Asia and Africa."

  • 1950

    Signatures of Pacifists

    Photograph of pacifist petition regarding the manufacture of atomic weapons.

  • April 18, 1951

    Review of Andrei Sakharov about Oleg Lavrentiev’s Paper

    In this document, Andrei Sakharov, "father" of the Soviet thermonuclear bomb program, positively assesses Oleg Lavrientiev's ideas about the Soviet thermonuclear program, which were expressed in Lavrientiev's previously-written letters to Soviet leaders.

  • January 01, 1956

    Twenty-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly, 'Agenda Items Relating to Disarmament'

    Summary of the Twenty-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly's agenda on disarmament

  • 1958

    Information about Conducting in Ukraine of Month’s Campaign of Joint Actions of the People against the Nuclear Weapon and for Universal Prohibiting of the Nuclear Tests for Ever and Ever

    This document describes the monthly anti-nuclear campaign held in Ukraine from September to October, 1958. During this campaign, a number of mass meetings were organized. In this meetings, scientists lectured on the damage of nuclear tests and danger of nuclear war. The lecturers argued that only western states were responsible for conducting nuclear tests and initiating the nuclear arms race, and that the Soviet Union was forced to develop its nuclear capabilities to protect socialist countries, even though the Soviets support the idea of prohibiting the nuclear weapon.

  • September 25, 1958

    SED First Secretary Walter Ulbricht to Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev

    Cover letter and information note from Walter Ulbricht to Nikita Khrushchev on ideas of German scientists Manfred von Ardenne about encasing missiles in a radar absorbing case to evade detection and defeat a missile defense system.

  • February 19, 1960

    A.A. Wells, Director, Division of International Affairs, to Philip J. Farley, Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Disarmament and Atomic Energy, 'Control of and Cooperation in Gas Centrifuge Research and Development Program'

    The development of the gas centrifuge method, according to this report, would make production of U-235 (and by extension, nuclear weapons) possible for as many as 20-30 foreign countries. The U.S. is thus forced to consider its strategy for how to limit proliferation despite this new, cheap technology.

  • February 26, 1960

    S.A. Levin, D. E. Hatch, and E. Von Halle, 'Production of Enriched Uranium for Nuclear Weapons by Nations X, Y, and Z by Means of the Gas Centrifuge Process,' Operations Analysis Division, Union Carbide Nuclear Company

    A Union Carbide Nuclear Company study to determine how quickly and easily foreign countries could develop and utilize gas centrifuges with the goal of creating nuclear weapon facilities. The study determines that, due to the cheap cost and relatively small size of the centrifuges, even un-industrialized countries such as Cuba could achieve this technology within 8 years if helped by a larger nation.

  • April 02, 1960

    Note, G. R. Walker to H. L. Khanna

    The note contains articles on the peaceful utilization of atomic energy and other achievements in nuclear science by China, which were shown to Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai by Prime Minister Nehru.

  • August 18, 1960

    Note by CSMD on IRBM

    Brief Analysis by CSMD on political-military aspects of IRBM and Polaris

  • March 22, 1961

    Message by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Political Affairs and Security (DGAP), 'American attitude toward NATO - German opinions'

    Letter expressing Germany’s opinion that the defense of Europe is impossible without using nuclear weapons as an intimidation tactic and horror at the United States’ suggestion that Europe can defend itself with conventional weapons alone. Defense of Germany should be NATO’s top priority because if Germany falls, the rest of Europe falls. The letter also references NATO’s difficulty in developing a cohesive strategy because each country is too concerned with protecting its own territories and assets.

  • April 01, 1961

    Memorandum by Admiral Corrado Tagliamonte to the Minister of Defense, 'American attitude toward NATO. President Kennedy's declarations'

    Report submitted to the Italian Minister of Defense regarding President Kennedy’s opinion that NATO should not construct a special nuclear force since the US has already developed a nuclear deterrent. According to the Kennedy, the creation of an additional deterrent would be useless and a waste of resources.

  • April 27, 1961

    Message by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Directorate General for Political Affairs and Security (DGAP), 'NATO strategy. Conversation between our Ambassador in London and Lord Home'

    Letter recounting a meeting between the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the British Foreign Secretary regarding NATO’s weapons development. Nuclear weapons should never be employed unless absolutely necessary and instead serve as an intimidation tactic to deter Soviet aggression. The necessity of increasing NATO’s arsenal of conventional weapons to match that of the Soviets was also stressed.

  • May 01, 1961

    Memorandum by Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 'Procedure for the decision to use nuclear weapons'

    In the use of nuclear weapons for a purpose other than response to an attack, NATO members must reach a majority agreement rather than a unanimous vote. Furthermore, this majority vote must include the United States.

  • May 01, 1961

    Note, 'US strategic orientations; consequences on NATO strategy'

    The document presents the argument that nuclear weapons can and should be employed even in cases where they are not absolutely necessary because the cost of developing and maintaining conventional weapons is too high. Therefore, NATO should consider raising its ‘nuclear threshold’ to allow more atomic weapons to be developed in Europe and in the United States.

  • June 14, 1961

    Report by Permanent Representative to NATO Alessandrini to Minister of Foreign Affairs Segni

    Report on the imbalance between nuclear and conventional weapons in NATO’s defense program. The Allied powers have reduced their production of planes and ships in favor of nuclear weapons development, which worries Alessandrini because conventional weapons have not decreased in importance since the start of the Cold War.

  • May 19, 1962

    Memorandum by Chief of Defense Staff Aldo Ross to Minister of Defense Andreotti

    Discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of accepting the terms of nuclear warfare proposed at a NATO meeting in Athens. Whether or not to respond to a Soviet nuclear attack with an atomic weapon of equal strength was debated at the meeting, as well as the role that conventional weapons would play in such a conflict.

  • November 11, 1962

    Message from Raul Roa to Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations Regarding Brazillian Proposal

    Cable coded number 727 from Raul Roa to Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations. Offers three amendments to Brazillian proposal: include Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal in the territorial region, guarantee that nuclear bombs won't be used against Latin America, and the suppression of certain military bases in Latin America or Africa with nuclear potential, including Guantanamo.