Spies in the Congo: America's Atomic Mission in World War II
By Susan Williams
Published in August 2016
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
Spies in the Congo is a history of how the US acquired the uranium that it used for its nuclear weapons during WW2.
During World War 2, the largest uranium mine in the world was located in the far eastern Katanga province of the country today known as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
At the time, the DRC was a colony of Belgium. This would cause a world of trouble during WW2.
At the start of the war, Belgium was a neutral country. Its population was divided between Flemish, French, and German speakers. As a result, when Belgium was invaded by Germany, part of the population sided with the Germans, and part with the allies.
As a result, the white population of the Belgian congo was divided in terms of their support for the axis and allies. The world’s largest uranium mine, the Shinkolobwe mine, was operated by the Union Minière du Haut Katanga (Mining Union of Upper-Katanga).
Spies from all major powers attempting to build nuclear bombs, both axis and allied, flocked to the Belgian Congo to attempt to gain control of the uranium mines in the country.
Spies in the Congo is a fantastic book that recounts the stories of the lives and the men and women who secured the United States uranium supply during the second world war. The spies faced numerous challenges such as assasination attempts, riots, and diplomatic intrigue.
I recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about intelligence operations, WW2, nuclear warfare, and the DRC.
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