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Secret Wings of WWII: Nazi Technology and the Allied Arms Race - by Lance Cole

marauder2048

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<snip>
The German state, desperate for a war-winning breakthrough, and researchers, desperate to stay employed far from the front lines, had basically done most of the basic research needed for the next generation of aircraft.

The aircraft designers on the US, UK and Russia were able to skip forward 5 years rather than wait for NASA or the RAE to duplicate this work.
<snip>
This may be a bit overstated. Nazi militarism and racial ideology also cost Germany a lot of basic research. This is usually recognized when it comes to nuclear physics and emigres like Einstein, Fermi, and Bohr. But aerodynamics also had its brilliant refugees. Theodor von Kármán, one of the ground-breaking theorists of supersonic flight, emigrated to the US in the '30s. He was later one of the masterminds behind Operation Paperclip.
In many cases, they were lured away the same way modern researchers get poached; the promise of
better funding, facilities and authority.

I see a lack of further research here. Paperclip was organized by experts to get the best Germans and Austrians. There is this misconception that some of those who were brought over did not work out so to speak.
The ones gathered in the Operations-Before-They-Were-Called-Paperclip were recruited specifically
to aid in employing German built weapons against the Japanese.

Many of the Paperclip proper personnel look more like technicians than researchers or engineers
and it's clear that a lot of them ended up generating a bunch of reports in a make-work scheme.
Keeping them out of Soviet hands was no different than some of the make-work
schemes the US employed with former-Soviet engineers.
 

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You highlight a very important point.

I'm not sure everyone realises that aircraft design companies rely on basic research done by NACA/NASA, RAE, universities, Air Force research centres and the like. The postwar dividend wasn't so much studying the actual German aircraft like Me 262, it was acquiring the basic aerodynamic research that had been completed for those aircraft and beyond.

The aircraft designers on the US, UK and Russia were able to skip forward 5 years rather than wait for NASA or the RAE to duplicate this work. Additionally, some of the German experimental facilities were very well equipped with supersonic wind tunnels etc. Stealing these saved time designing similar facilities.
The U.K. Cranfield Institute of Technology, now Cranfield University was set up using mostly transplanted German research infrastructure ie wind tunnels and the like. It didn’t stop there, I believe bits and pieces of their chemical research infrastructure made a similar trip.

It wasn’t just the U.K./IS;- When I was running a test project in co-operation with the French national aero research establishment CEAT in the early 2000’s, their loading rig had these very large electrical actuators;- they were He 274 landing gear retraction actuators, still with the original Rostock part data plates, made in Nov 44.
 
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Zoo Tycoon

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In the USSR things were different, they were simply vessels of knowledge to be tapped. In a system built on political paranoia they were the uncleanest of the unclean. Yakovlev for example used the 'Germanic' angle against his competitors when they wheeled out things like the Su-9 and I-211. Fearing the knock of the NKVD Sukhoi and Alexeyev quickly ditched any Me-262 look-alikes. The project to clone the Ar 234 was soon stopped dead. The plans to complete Type XXII submarines foundered too, partly from lack of resources, it just proved easier to adapt the technology. Baade's group were allowed to tinker with the last of the Junkers lineage but there was never any sense of urgency or material support and their handful of prototypes were abandoned as Tupolev, Sukhoi and Myasischev got up to speed and overtook their efforts. The EF126 went no further beyond 1948. The team under Rossing developing the DFS 346 was a massive flop, 3 were built and 5 years were spent on the project and they didn't even get beyond Mach 1 by August 1951 and only 3 powered flights were made. Again there was no real drive from the Soviet authorities to exploit the programme at all, it could have been the Soviet X-1 or M.52 and they didn't seem interested at all. As Overscan says in was areas like turboprops and axial-flow jets were the biggest gains were made (for France too, ATAR was massively vital to the French industry), even the TV-2 developed closely to German blueprints was problematic. Just taking German tech was not straightforward. The best dividends came from taking the knowledge and applying it to fresh-sheet designs.
Of course by the mid-50s the Soviets had to let most of the Germans go and they soon legged it. They gave the Soviets a leg up but it wasn't a massive boost. The OKBs during 1946-55 churned out a massive range of designs and prototypes, they were working overtime and like Nazis they had the funding and facilities to really start making inroads on progress. To say it was all German help hides the real impact of Soviet resources.
But when duplication was associated with nuclear weapons it was all different. The USSR went the great lengths at super priory to copy the early US work and the B29, including the battle damage repairs, became the TU4.
 

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If they could not produce, they could be sent back, at any time.
That did not last long. The inhumaniity of such work slavery was recognised and procedures were loosened up several times. Hans Amtmann, Head of Advanced Projects at Blohm & Voss aircraft division, tells how he was first "de-Nazified" before being sent to the US. His family were presently allowed to come over and join him. Naturalization became an option for anybody who had found useful employment. At the time US immigration was still tightly controlled but it had a loophole; there was an open agreement with Canada. So busloads of paperclips and their families were sent just across the Canadian border at Niagara Falls, where they turned round, walked back over the bridge into the US and filed their naturalization papers at the border post. Once Amtmann's had been approved, he led his family through the same rigmarole.
 

Dilandu

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But when duplication was associated with nuclear weapons it was all different. The USSR went the great lengths at super priory to copy the early US work and the B29, including the battle damage repairs, became the TU4.
This works were vital for USSR security. We could develop our own long-range bomber, comparable with B-29 - but it would took time, and time was what USSR didn't have, in the threatening situation of US nuclear monopoly. So, copying was the best way to overcome the problem fast.

About the A-bomb - while we have near-complete set of blueprints for Mark-III, our head engineers insisted, that the work must be done from scratch, using American blueprints only to check the course of development. This was done, because engineers realized, that atomic physics is such a new area of work, that understanding how it was done is extremely important. So basically, we developed the bomb, and on each stage compared with American design to be sure that we do not made any mistakes.
 

steelpillow

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and time was what USSR didn't have, in the threatening situation of US nuclear monopoly.
I wonder how real that threat was. Would the US have held even a token strike capability once the horrendous consequences became clear? Would they have used nukes in the Korean or Vietnam wars if there was no risk of retaliation, or would the horrors and public revulsion have held them back?

It has always been the way of the Great Game, that Russia's paranoia and defensive conquests create new threats to it where none existed before (as well, of course, those episodes when serious threats did erupt and Russia's fears became genuine for a time.)

But of course, Stalin did not see it that way.
 

Dilandu

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I wonder how real that threat was. Would the US have held even a token strike capability once the horrendous consequences became clear? Would they have used nukes in the Korean or Vietnam wars if there was no risk of retaliation, or would the horrors and public revulsion have held them back?
Both in Korean War and Vietnam War the use of nuclear weapon was seriously discussed. In Korea, it was ruled out mainly due to limited size of available stockpile: USAF warned, that using enough bombs to make serious difference in Korea would make a noticeble dent in USAF nuclear deterrence capabilities against USSR.

In Vietnam, it was again seriously considered, mainly on the ground that US troops are better adapted to nuclear battlefield than Vietnamese. But again, it was turned down - now due to concerns, that USSR would start to supply Vietnam with tactical nukes too, and the result would most likely be a totally devastated country.
 

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But when duplication was associated with nuclear weapons it was all different. The USSR went the great lengths at super priory to copy the early US work and the B29, including the battle damage repairs, became the TU4.
That is true. The Soviets were impressed by American technology and did their utmost to copy it from the early 1930s onwards. Germany in 1945 had no effective strategic bomber and designs like the Ju 287 must have looked pretty advanced which meant long development times and they might not work out. In the B-29 they had a proven design.

We also have to remember that Stanislav Shumovky had literally smuggled out planeloads of intelligence on US aviation. The Soviets had been acquiring information on the B-29 since Rickenbacker's visit in 1943, even before that they had obtained a B-29 blueprint. So the planning went back a long way. The systematic copying of its airframe, materials, avionics and engines was impressive, no German design had equivalent impact in terms of a complete revolution across every component. The only German parts of the Tu-4 were things like the IFF system as the US had tried to prevent any radar technology getting to the USSR. Shumovky had already worked out metric conversion tables and doubtless much of the information he sent must have been invaluable in attempting the project.
It kickstarted the Tupolev OKB for sure, soon after many developments and derivatives were on the drawing board. The difference was probably the quality of the designs, Tupolev's team were no amateurs but they could now save a lot of development work.

Saying that, attempts to copy the F-86 quickly foundered, they knew they could do equal or better themselves and Sukhoi's OKB was reborn. The U-2 copy by Beriev never got far either, Zubets worked on the engine technology but it doesn't seem to have led to anything.

Copying American designs was probably less politically problematic in the Stalin era, the copies came from captured material, they didn't have the stigma of needing foreign designers, they could be dissociated and there had already been copies and licence-built American aircraft and engines since the 1930s (Catalinas, DC-3s, Vultees).

The Soviets pre-war had brought British, French, American, German; they had already been copies and licence-built American aircraft and engines since the 1930s (Catalinas, DC-3s, Vultees). Ship designs came from Italy, Christie suspension for tanks. In many respects the Stalinist rearmament was internationalist. Stalin maintained this during the remainder of his life, he used German know-how, brought British jet engines, copied US technology. He took whatever he could buy or steal for the technology which they could build on. He wanted rapid rearmament, he didn't want to wait a decade for R&D to bear fruit. Foreign technology was the booster that his engineers could build on and adapt, it was building blocks. Had the Cold War not chilled so much so fast its open to speculation how much other technology might have been acquired from the West.

Arguably for all their loot and plunder, Germany actually made rather poor use of the aviation resources they captured. There seems to be little evidence they were interested in French research for example, later they gave French industry menial tasks like designing sub-components or civil designs or one-off prototypes but they were hardly tapping into the resources fully.
 

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People seem to be getting awfully "touchy" about this one !

I think that a few persons are getting confused about the difference between "better scientists" and "scientists who had useful experience".

Germany (and France) had a really superb history of academic rigour in aeronautics, and scientific thoroughness, a huge part of the reson German lost was
that they had a huge proportion of their people working on "pie in the sky" projects which were of no practical imminent military use, whereas the Allies
(mostly) did a better job of having their best people working on improving current technologies, and not wasting it on silly dreams which would never
be implimentable in the timescale available.

The obvious result of this is that you get a very large pool of good scientists who had spent 5>10 years working on things which COULD then be implimented by the Allies post-war, due to resource/time/management improvements. The British dont seem to have gone for the "get them to make sure the Russians DONT" technique, but just got the good ones which were still available, and hence recruited far less Germans than America. To interpret this to "the Germans were useless and only got taken over to keep them away from Russia", is also rather obviously a self-defeating argument, as if they had no useful experience there would be no possible objection to the GOING to Russia in the first place (in fact it would have been encouraged).

Its also absurd to suggest that the Allied intelligence agencies didnt KNOW perfectly well which of the German scientists were "keepers" and which were just "chaff", they had detailed lists and knew exactly who was good, and who were not:

1598785797815.png

Anyway, the CIA de-classified an interesting (and relevant) letter from 1956 to the Director Allen Dulles a few years ago which I attach.

(I would like to point out that I have NOT read Cole`s book, so my comments about should be taken as "general" and not in attack towards, or support of said book)
 

Attachments

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steelpillow

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You must admit, that after 1938 and 1941, his paranoia against the West was not exactly unjustified...
Of course the arctic convoys delivering Spitfires and other desperately needed supplies to him (on one of which a relative of mine won the VC but lost an eye fighting off the Germans) were of no consequence, he was just angry we did not send more.
Let us not forget the Franco-Russian pact which so fed Hitler's own paranoia. At that time any threat to Russia from the Western Allies was entirely in Stalin's own imagination.

His nuclear arsenal was in some ways ironically counter-productive. It inadvertently helped secure the end of global warfare, a war which his doctrine deemed historically inevitable and for which historical inevitability would also deliver victory. Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say.
 

Dilandu

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Of course the arctic convoys delivering Spitfires and other desperately needed supplies to him (on one of which a relative of mine won the VC but lost an eye fighting off the Germans) were of no consequence, he was just angry we did not send more.
They were of consequences, but they were during the war against the common enemy. I.e. when helping USSR helped also the Western goals. After the war, the commonality of goals disappeared almost immediately, so the old suspicions started to arose again.

At that time any threat to Russia from the Western Allies was entirely in Stalin's own imagination.
You means 1930s? Hardly. Firstly, the Spanish Civil War demonstrated, that Western powers (at leas Britain) is perfectly fine with the idea of fascist rebels taking over republican government, and France just stepped aside, doing nothing out of fear of breaking the alliance with Britain. This was the first warning. The second was in 1938, when Britain and France basically surrendered Czech, betraying the existing alliance, and even openly suggesting to Czech that they better yield to Germans than ask Soviet for help, because of "circumstances that such attempt might bring".

For Stalin, this events were basically a proof that West is not really interested in any kind of anti-German alliance, and only trying to aim German expansionism toward USSR. Stalin get suspicious, that London and Paris is plotting to persuade USSR to declare war against Germany, promising military help - and then step aside under some formality, and let Germany and USSR fight each other. Those suspicions were essentially confirmed in the last round of talks in 1939 (Soviet-Western Moscow talks): neither Britain nor France wanted to took any actual military responsibility, preferring to limit themselves to vague "common understanding". The last drop was Western inability to persuade Poland to agree on Soviet troops transit, which Stalin assumed to be unwillingness (actually, both Paris and London tried very hard to persuade Warsaw, that Poland could not survive without Soviet help, but it fell on deaf ears). After that, Stalin finally decided that he could not trust any Western initiative, and fully concentrated on the immediate goal of avoiding war with Germany NOW, which USSR was still not prepared to. And let's not forget the infamous "Operation Pike"...

Essentially, the 1930s situation in Europe was a very confusing mess of mutual distrust (not only between USSR and West; Chamberlain actually distrusted France also), misunderstanding, blatant mistakes and wishful thinking. Post-factum, its understandable why both sides did what they done; but from 1930s position, it was impossible to understood.

His nuclear arsenal was in some ways ironically counter-productive. It inadvertently helped secure the end of global warfare, a war which his doctrine deemed historically inevitable and for which historical inevitability would also deliver victory. Every cloud has a silver lining, as they say.
Er, counter-productive to whom? Stalin never have any Napoleonic plans of his own. He wasn't the opportunistic type; while he have nothing against some land-grabbing, he always was pretty cautious to have at least some justification for hist actions.
 

steelpillow

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Of course the arctic convoys delivering Spitfires and other desperately needed supplies to him (on one of which a relative of mine won the VC but lost an eye fighting off the Germans) were of no consequence, he was just angry we did not send more.
They were of consequences, but they were during the war against the common enemy. I.e. when helping USSR helped also the Western goals. After the war, the commonality of goals disappeared almost immediately, so the old suspicions started to arose again.

At that time any threat to Russia from the Western Allies was entirely in Stalin's own imagination.
You means 1930s?
It is my understanding that the arctic convoys were run during the 1939-45 war.

Stalin never have any Napoleonic plans of his own. He wasn't the opportunistic type; while he have nothing against some land-grabbing, he always was pretty cautious to have at least some justification for hist actions.
There is a strong belief among the Western nations that the Russian Establishment version of history is not to be trusted. Suffice to say that justifications can be manufactured. I don't want to get into politics, so I will say no more.
 

Dilandu

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It is my understanding that the arctic convoys were run during the 1939-45 war.
My bad. I though you were talking about pre-war mistrust.

Yes, during the war, there were quite good understanding between all sides. But it did not last for long. Without the Rossevelt to act as mediator whom both sides trust, West and East started to drift apart fast. Recall how fast things fell apart in Greece, when Britain essentially threw support behind former Nazi collaborators, to get rid of Communists! And West on their side was quite worried, how popular and influential Communists became in France and Italy.
There is a strong belief among the Western nations that the Russian Establishment version of history is not to be trusted. Suffice to say that justifications can be manufactured. I don't want to get into politics, so I will say no more.
Well, I'm talking about more Stalin as character. He was EXTREMELY cautious, and his paranoia just fueled his caution more. Taking someone he was sure he could get away with? Yes, of course! But getting into the war with economically-superior America, which was not only formidable military power, but also placed on other continent? No, no and no. War with America would be extremely unpredictable thing, with no clear prospects of victory, and Stalin have no desire to start the fight he might not win or even survive.
 

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You must admit, that after 1938 and 1941, his paranoia against the West was not exactly unjustified...

??? In 1939, Germany invaded Poland and France and Britain declared war in response. Shortly after, the USSR invaded Poland, and France and Britain *didn't* declare war.
 

Dagger

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??? In 1939, Germany invaded Poland and France and Britain declared war in response. Shortly after, the USSR invaded Poland, and France and Britain *didn't* declare war.
Exactly.
In august 1939 Germany and Soviet Union signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, a non-aggression pact that also agreed on a division of Poland between the two of them.
 

galgot

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I think 1938 is because that was when the two European western powers, Fr and GB capitulated to Hitler demands on Czechoslovakia. That would have been their last chance to stop him, and they didn’t grab it.
To Stalin, after that it was clear these two powers were not serious about confronting Hitler. He could not count on them for that. And that is when he sought the non-aggression pact with Germany.
And in that he was right , because Fr and GB only declared war at the last resort when Poland was invaded by Germany. That was too late.

And 1941, because he was completely caught of guard by the German invasion. He thought the non-aggression pact would have given him a bit more time…

So indeed Stalin, already a very cautious (or paranoid) character, had his reasons to distrust anything coming from his west , be it from Fr and GB or Germany.
Not to say Stalin did good or bad, just he had his reasons.
 

Dilandu

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??? In 1939, Germany invaded Poland and France and Britain declared war in response.
Yeah, "strange war". Which at this moment essentially confirmed Stalin's fears, that France and Britain are sacrificing Poland, to aim Germany against USSR. After they allowed Germany to consume Austria, Czechoslovakia and essentially turned blind eye on fascists victory in Spanish Civil War, the "formal war" over Poland looked extremely suspicious. And when in 1940 Germans took France and disclosed secret plans about "Operation Pike"? After THAT, Stalin essentially became absolutely persuaded, that Western powers planned against him, and he managed to outsmart them all.

Looks at the situation from 1930-1940s point of view! Stalin did not exactly knew all about objective reasons for Britain and France to NOT wage active war against Germany in 1939. He was forced to make conclusion on the basic of what he observed, which was only part of facts.

Shortly after, the USSR invaded Poland, and France and Britain *didn't* declare war.
Yes, because Poland by that moment was basically nonexistent - their government fled and was interned - and USSR moved exactly to the Curzon line, which was the agreed original borders of Poland, that not included Western Ukraine and Belarus (which Poland took in 1920s).
 

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And 1941, because he was completely caught of guard by the German invasion. He thought the non-aggression pact would have given him a bit more time…
Yep. He simply could not believe that Hitler would act THAT stupidly. Germany already have Britain on their hands, the war in air and sea wasn't going well for Germany, and African campaign also bogged down. He knew, how German military hated the mere idea of two-front war - after all, the whole Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was signed exactly to avoid it! Also, he was sure that even if Germany decided to attack, they would launch invasion in May, early June at most, to have enough time before autumn came. Definitely not late June.
 

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But when duplication was associated with nuclear weapons it was all different. The USSR went the great lengths at super priory to copy the early US work and the B29, including the battle damage repairs, became the TU4.
This works were vital for USSR security. We could develop our own long-range bomber, comparable with B-29 - but it would took time, and time was what USSR didn't have, in the threatening situation of US nuclear monopoly.
The US had all of 12 bombs in 1947 in some state assembly; That quantity was unknown to US Air Force planners.

But Stalin knew.

Delivery would have been cumbersome and time consuming; transit to Palestine or Pakistan to attack the soft-underbelly
of the Soviet Union. Or a one way trip.
 

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Dilando,
Stalin invaded Poland because that is what he agreed with Hitler in august 1939 in the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, before Britain and France declared war on Germany.

WW2 started when Germany and Russia invaded Poland, as they had agreed.
Without the non-aggression pact with Stalin, and a buffer zone in occupied Poland, Hitler would not have dared to start a war in the west as early as 1940.
 

Dilandu

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DilandU, to be exact.

Without the non-aggression pact with Stalin, and a buffer zone in occupied Poland, Hitler would not have dared to start a war in the west as early as 1940.
Of course. That's what Stalin was aiming for, essentially. He was afraid, that West is going to let Hitler consume Poland, and then attack USSR. By signing Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, he re-targeted German immediate efforts to the West instead of East. At this moment, it was basically the only realistic way of action that remains, you know. Years of attempts to make meaningless alliance with West proven to be futile; and USSR wasn't ready yet to fight Germany all alone. Winning some time - by re-targeting Germany against West, allowing Hitler to fight his most dangerous opponents first (Hitler considered France much more dangerous opponent than USSR in 1939...) - was pragmatical.

As you said it -

Hitler would not have dared to start a war in the west
- but he could perfectly well dare to start a war on the East, if USSR would just sit down and do nothing. Germany was going to attack Poland anyway; it was already in Hitler mind. The question was, what would Germany attack next? They could either attack the USSR (which was considered weaker, but this means leaving France in Germany's vulnerable rear), or could attack France (which was considered stronger, but not well-prepared yet). Stalin just "helped" Hitler to make up his mind...
 

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<snip>
The German state, desperate for a war-winning breakthrough, and researchers, desperate to stay employed far from the front lines, had basically done most of the basic research needed for the next generation of aircraft.

The aircraft designers on the US, UK and Russia were able to skip forward 5 years rather than wait for NASA or the RAE to duplicate this work.
<snip>
This may be a bit overstated. Nazi militarism and racial ideology also cost Germany a lot of basic research. This is usually recognized when it comes to nuclear physics and emigres like Einstein, Fermi, and Bohr. But aerodynamics also had its brilliant refugees. Theodor von Kármán, one of the ground-breaking theorists of supersonic flight, emigrated to the US in the '30s. He was later one of the masterminds behind Operation Paperclip.
In many cases, they were lured away the same way modern researchers get poached; the promise of
better funding, facilities and authority.

I see a lack of further research here. Paperclip was organized by experts to get the best Germans and Austrians. There is this misconception that some of those who were brought over did not work out so to speak.
The ones gathered in the Operations-Before-They-Were-Called-Paperclip were recruited specifically
to aid in employing German built weapons against the Japanese.

Many of the Paperclip proper personnel look more like technicians than researchers or engineers
and it's clear that a lot of them ended up generating a bunch of reports in a make-work scheme.
Keeping them out of Soviet hands was no different than some of the make-work
schemes the US employed with former-Soviet engineers.

You have nothing to back that up, except the comment about developing weapons for use against the Japanese. These people were the equivalent of detainees. Their handlers had complete control over what they did or did not do. If anyone was a liability and/or non-productive, they could be deported at any time. Again, I see a lack of research.

See The Vanishing Paperclips by Hans Amtmann.
 

edwest

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If they could not produce, they could be sent back, at any time.
That did not last long. The inhumaniity of such work slavery was recognised and procedures were loosened up several times. Hans Amtmann, Head of Advanced Projects at Blohm & Voss aircraft division, tells how he was first "de-Nazified" before being sent to the US. His family were presently allowed to come over and join him. Naturalization became an option for anybody who had found useful employment. At the time US immigration was still tightly controlled but it had a loophole; there was an open agreement with Canada. So busloads of paperclips and their families were sent just across the Canadian border at Niagara Falls, where they turned round, walked back over the bridge into the US and filed their naturalization papers at the border post. Once Amtmann's had been approved, he led his family through the same rigmarole.

"de-Nazified"? And how did that work? In the American zone of occupation, party members were removed from their jobs and replaced by Americans. This was done in an attempt to De-Nazify things. It didn't work. Even though the replacements spoke German they lacked the contacts of those they replaced. So the Occupation government made a practical decision: return the original Germans to their former posts.

I am very familiar with Hans Amtmann. And his story is similar to the von Braun team, start in Mexico and then enter the United States. The people behind Paperclip could care less about war crimes. The only goal that mattered was countering the threat of the Soviet Union. I am aware of the situation that existed in Canada. Post-war, a joint British-American-Canadian system was set up. The British only had Dominion countries for the testing of long-range systems, like Canada and Australia.
 

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You have nothing to back that up, except the comment about developing weapons for use against the Japanese. These people were the equivalent of detainees. Their handlers had complete control over what they did or did not do. If anyone was a liability and/or non-productive, they could be deported at any time. Again, I see a lack of research.
"Developing weapons for use against the Japanese" it was almost all just employment and or adaptation like
transferring Tabun and Sarin from shells into US bombs.

It's abundantly clear from the reports these so-called detainees wrote that their apparent talents were
grossly and deliberately underutilized. Even the technicians amongst them were talented.

Given that many volunteered and were brought over (what other prospects did they have in Europe at the time?)
calling them detainees is strange.
 

Dilandu

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"Developing weapons for use against the Japanese" it was almost all just employment and or adaptation like
transferring Tabun and Sarin from shells into US bombs.
Hm. As far as I knew, the only German-designed weapon that was definitely supposed to be used against Japanese was the JB-2 - American copy of Fi-103 missile. But I really doubt that there were any point of inviting German engineers to oversee JB-2 launchers. JB-2 was quite more advanced than German original; it was equipped with command radio guidance and transponder for land/ship-based radar tracking, while original German Fi-103 have only simple preset autopilot.
 

marauder2048

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"Developing weapons for use against the Japanese" it was almost all just employment and or adaptation like
transferring Tabun and Sarin from shells into US bombs.
Hm. As far as I knew, the only German-designed weapon that was definitely supposed to be used against Japanese was the JB-2 - American copy of Fi-103 missile. But I really doubt that there were any point of inviting German engineers to oversee JB-2 launchers. JB-2 was quite more advanced than German original; it was equipped with command radio guidance and transponder for land/ship-based radar tracking, while original German Fi-103 have only simple preset autopilot.
In many cases they weren't German engineers; they were technicians. As were a lot of the Paperclip personnel.
The US had tried to recruit former Me-262 pilots to fly against Japan. Now maybe that was all just a test
of their loyalty (would they do the same for the Russians for example).
 

Dilandu

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In many cases they weren't German engineers; they were technicians. As were a lot of the Paperclip personnel.
I mean, that there weren't exactly that much German-designed weapons that were considered for use against Japanese. I knew only about JB-2, and it's pretty obvious that USAAF/USN did not need German help here in 1945. Were there any other examples?
 

edwest

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You have nothing to back that up, except the comment about developing weapons for use against the Japanese. These people were the equivalent of detainees. Their handlers had complete control over what they did or did not do. If anyone was a liability and/or non-productive, they could be deported at any time. Again, I see a lack of research.
"Developing weapons for use against the Japanese" it was almost all just employment and or adaptation like
transferring Tabun and Sarin from shells into US bombs.

It's abundantly clear from the reports these so-called detainees wrote that their apparent talents were
grossly and deliberately underutilized. Even the technicians amongst them were talented.

Given that many volunteered and were brought over (what other prospects did they have in Europe at the time?)
calling them detainees is strange.

They were nothing less than detainees. The term at the time was "Deny their talents for use by the Russians." Yes, they were offered jobs. The Russians did the same. But once interrogation reports 'filled in the blanks,' and connections were made between those in custody and those who were unknown until interrogation or when documents were found, they were hunted down. The British even admitted to kidnapping some of them. The somewhat sad reality was that the US and England had a special relationship during the war but as the war drew to a close, the gloves came off. The British were bankrupt. The acquisition of military and non-military technology was a race against others, including the United States.

You'll have to provide a reference for what sounds like a bizarre, unsubstantiated statement: "... their apparent talents were grossly and deliberately underutilized."

A scientist who had participated in collecting German personnel wrote that he had the power to detain anyone, and release, from a POW camp, for example, and detain anyone into his custody, regardless of their status.

What other prospects did these Germans have in Europe at the time? A number went over to work in France. A saying, at the time, was: "It is easier to walk back home from France than to swim across the ocean from America."
 

marauder2048

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e British were bankrupt. The acquisition of military and non-military technology was a race against others, including the United States.
Despite the prevailing war-era reciprocal technology sharing arrangements?

The US did cutoff UK access to post-war atomic weapons work after May was arrested and admitted to espionage
and VENONA was revealing the extent to which the UK and the US had been penetrated.

You'll have to show other areas where cooperation was greatly restricted.

Britain was not in great shape economically but some of their Paperclip style harvesting involved
the technology behind German Grand Prix racing in the interwar period.

[What other prospects did these Germans have in Europe at the time? A number went over to work in France. A saying, at the time, was: "It is easier to walk back home from France than to swim across the ocean from America."
The vast majority of French Paperclip was in-situ efforts: embedding French personnel with German technical
personnel in the French Zone of Occupation.

Yes, there were technicians brought to France but that's really the point: in an era with a lot of manual labor in
science/technology you needed a lot of technicians. Particularly with the German approach to fine craftwork.
 
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greenmartian2017

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and time was what USSR didn't have, in the threatening situation of US nuclear monopoly.
I wonder how real that threat was. Would the US have held even a token strike capability once the horrendous consequences became clear? Would they have used nukes in the Korean or Vietnam wars if there was no risk of retaliation, or would the horrors and public revulsion have held them back?

It has always been the way of the Great Game, that Russia's paranoia and defensive conquests create new threats to it where none existed before (as well, of course, those episodes when serious threats did erupt and Russia's fears became genuine for a time.)

But of course, Stalin did not see it that way.
My two cents.


The US did indeed consider using nukes in Vietnam, quite early on. To help the French at Dien Bien Phu. It was first featured in "The Sky Would Fall: Operation Vulture, the Secret US Bombing Mission to Vietnam, 1954" by John Prados (Dial Press, 1983). Subsequent to Prados' revelations, other Vietnam scholars started digging further, and a lot more has come to light in the decades since. LBJ considered using nukes against North Korea soon after the attack and capture of the USS Pueblo. This link: https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB453/. And keep in mind the man-carry-able nuke (parachute into the Vietnam jungle with it, or along the Baltic coast during a European theater war with the Russians, also NK and Iran) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Atomic_Demolition_Munition ; https://www.armytimes.com/news/your...w-it-was-a-one-way-mission-a-suicide-mission/ ; https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smar...arried-miniature-nukes-their-backs-180949700/ .

I should add this also: Russian fears of getting bashed/bludgeoned by US nuclear might did stop a flashpoint from happening in the 1950s. Apparently Stalin (according to CIA and NSA documentation) was planning to invade Yugoslavia with the Soviet Army, but drew back from doing so because of the USSR's vulnerability to nuclear strikes by US bombers.


What I am trying to say is that the contingency plans were always there, and the training was there, and the devices were developed and tested. And the targets were defined, and included in the SIOP plans. Just thank Providence that the actual usage didn't come to pass.
 
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"de-Nazified"? And how did that work?
Unfortunately, and to my surprise and dismay, I find that I have no record of where I came across it. I do remember that it was in an account by one of the B&V team of life after the end of hostilities, growing their own veg and stuff. After the forced closure of the company, several of them would meet up clandestinely at a room in a local library, to try and bring some aircraft design ideas back to life. But it did not pay the rent. One at least got a job as a teacher for a while. Presently the paperclip initiative came calling. Like other colleagues Amtmann was obliged to be de-Nazified, no details given but presumably some short programme of re-education, before he could be clipped to the paperwork. If you ever come across it, I'd appreciate a nudge!
 
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steelpillow

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They were nothing less than detainees.
That is quite untrue. They came voluntarily. For exmple of Blohm & Voss's senior aircraft designers, Vogt and Amtmann gratefully accepted the offer of a new life, while Pohlmann, between them in the hierarchy, chose to stay in Germany and, eventually, helped re-establish the Hamburger Flugzeugbau, which was the B&V aircraft division's original name, and went on to produce the Hansa Jet. Because of the free choice given to Pohlmann, the old Finkenwerder plant where they built the flying boats is today the heart of Airbus Germany.

It is true that paperclips who did not make the grade would be either dropped before migrating, or returned to Germany via a US base in Italy - Genoa, I think.

Also, the US did care about war criminals. The likes of von Braun caused a deal of controversy behind the scenes and hard decisions for special arrangements (ahem) had to be made. I suspect that he was more blackmailed into emigrating than anything.
 
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edwest

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They were nothing less than detainees.
That is quite untrue. They came voluntarily. For exmple of Blohm & Voss's senior aircraft designers, Vogt and Amtmann gratefully accepted the offer of a new life, while Pohlmann, between them in the hierarchy, chose to stay in Germany and, eventually, re-established the Hamburger Flugzeugbau, which was the B&V aircraft division's original name, and went on to produce the Hansa Jet. Because of the free choice given to Pohlmann, the old Finkenwerder plant where they built the flying boats is today the heart of Airbus Germany.

It is true that paperclips who did not make the grade would be either dropped before migrating, or returned to Germany via a US base in Italy - Genoa, I think.

Also, the US did care about war criminals. The likes of von Braun caused a deal of controversy behind the scenes and hard decisions for special arrangements (ahem) had to be made. I suspect that he was more blackmailed into emigrating than anything.

The US cared about war criminals? I don't think so. They only 'cared' when the OSS/CIA was forced to hand over millions of pages of documents pried from their hands. The wrangling to get them started in 1999, I suspect in part because of the collapse of the Soviet Union and because some of the accused were no longer useful.

Sure, some came over voluntarily, others had been kidnapped, by the US, during the war.
 

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The US cared about war criminals?
Taken out of context, that's an over-simplification. If nobody had cared there would have been no need to keep that side of things secret for so long. In the context of common paperclips they do seem to have rejected some lesser candidates for that reason. But in the context of techno-stars like Von Braun their stardom trumped the letter of the law and whitewash was applied. In think I said earlier that nobody was wholly right and nobody wholly wrong. I stand by that.
 

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I would say all sides were extremely pragmatic about these things.
Then of course we haven't touched on Messerscmitt and Tank, who took to wandering the globe working for a series of right-ring dictatorships (Argentina, Spain) and finally ending up trying to build aeronautical powerhouses in Egypt and India when in the heady days of the 1960s everything seemed possible - as long as you had deep pockets and suitable engines. The Hortens too ended up down in Buenos Aries enjoying the climate and beef steaks, Argentina even tried to build a V-1 clone. Ultimately all these efforts came to naught, due to lack of money and probably a lack of local skill in quality production. Lippisch tinkered with aerodynes and WIG vehicles, again never getting that far with either. A lot of talent was being frittered away.

Anyone who would believe the dubious claim Messerscmitt, Tank and the Hortens invented the MiG-15, F-86, VG wings, flying wings, stealth bombers and more besides would have to explain why none of them were given top design jobs in America or kidnapped by NKVD agents. Instead they were earning meagre crusts from banana republics with their dreams thwarted at every turn, only ever getting a few prototypes flying and none of them proving to be anywhere near world beating.
 

Dilandu

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The Hortens too ended up down in Buenos Aries enjoying the climate and beef steaks, Argentina even tried to build a V-1 clone
I'd like to point out, that due to Horten's & Co influence in Argentina, government cancelled the already-running developemwnt program of AN-1 Tabano missile, run by polish engineer Dyrgala. Argentineans could have decent workable missile by early 1950s (enormous advancement by this time!), but allowed themselves to be lured by mirages of German wunderwaffe...
 

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Anyone who would believe the dubious claim Messerscmitt, Tank and the Hortens invented the MiG-15, F-86, VG wings, flying wings, stealth bombers and more besides would have to explain why none of them were given top design jobs in America or kidnapped by NKVD agents.
The failure of the Hortens to obtain positions in the UK after the war is one of the central puzzles of Cole's book. Peel away the conspiracy theories and hyperbolic writing, and there is much that is supported by other sources, and has surely been aired elsewhere on this forum. The Hortens were always outside the mainstream aeronautical establishment. Cole suggests that this left the bulk of their research trail not in stacks of expensively-funded documents but in Reimar's head. Consequently, his statements in interviews were dismissed as lacking any supporting evidence. It is only relatively recently that his and Prandtl's technical work on efficient wing design has been revisited and their discoveries confirmed. It seems to me that Cole has a point.

I don't know about Messerschmitt or Tank; were they refused employment in the West or did they do as some others did and choose to walk away?
 
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