Fun throwback Thursday today, kinda of a did-you-know for all my non-history buffs. ( I imagine that’s most of my readers) I’m talking about Operation Paperclip. The effort by the United States to relocate as many Nazi scientists and their families back to the United States as possible. It turns out we got a lot of guys really good at aeronautics at rocketry and by 1969 we were putting men on the Moon. In your face Russia!
Speaking of Boris, the Russians were probably the driving force behind Paperclip. The only convincing Truman needed to approve Operation Paperclip was the prospect of said scientists falling into the hands of Stalin and the Soviet Union. The absolute last thing the US wanted was a country of Russia’s size and population with advantage in tech as well. Especially in the wake of the Atomic Bomb, the US knew that Germany was developing atomic technology, and they knew Russia wanted it bad.
The Russians were not fully thwarted in that regard, carrying out their own versions of Paperclip in Operation Osoaviakhim and Russian Alsos.
The Crown Jewel of Operation Paperclip was a man named Wernher von Braun. It was von Braun who developed the V-2 rocket technology, and he who envisioned using it as a means to reach outer space. His ballistic missile program working out of Fort Bliss Texas would eventually be folded into NASA. He would be just one of a few former Nazi’s in ground control during Apollo 11.
One of the worst things we brought back from Germany was the idea that we could do experiments on our own people without their consent. Operation Paperclip opened the door for Project MKUltra. The CIA’s mind control project. This was a page taken directly out of the Nazi playbook, as Nazi scientists had already been giving LSD to Russians and studying its effects during interrogation.
Remember Stranger Things? Eleven’s mom was supposedly one of the MKUltra patients.
*Should be noted that the involvement of these men in the Nazi Party was wide-ranging, some were forced to work for Hitler, others were the voluntary card-carrying Nazi Party members.
So we got to the Moon on the back of Nazi science and technology, big deal, they were using it wrong anyway. I’m not sure why they don’t mention it in schools when they teach about the moon landing though. Hope you learned something! A-Train Out.