When Truman unleashed Fat Man & Little Boy over Japan in the hope of compelling capitulation, he knew American strength had reached heights of military might unrivaled in history. What most American’s don’t know is the history of how those Jewish exiles from Europe manning the Manhattan Project would require African uranium ore to fulfill the mission of ending the Second World War.
Out now from Public Affairs, written by Susan Williams is Spies in the Congo: America’s Atomic Mission in World War II details the mission of capturing uranium ore while preventing German foreign agents from penetrating the Congo in search of uranium.
The source is Katanga, the south eastern section of the Congo and it remained the best kept top secret portfolio throughout the war. The race to control the prize meant capturing Leopoldville where Belgian buccaneers lived for decades under the reign of Leopold II.
Two American’s were charged with dominating the entire region, Office of Strategic Service agent Wilbur Owings Hogue and his assistant Shirley Chidsey. Both succeeded in identifying Congolese ore and shipping it out of Katanga for the American mission to end World War II.
Most importantly, author Susan Williams reveals that the Cold War rivalry underwrites much of Congolese history as the CIA lingered in Katanga in the hope of strengthening Belgian defense while feeding political machinations that perpetuate contemporary regional volatility.