Wernher Von Braun’s Smoke and Mirrors Escape from Germany

On their journey out of Germany, von Braun’s driver fell asleep at the wheel but he escaped with just a broken arm. Centre, with other high ranking rocket engineers right after they surrendered to American soldiers in 1945. Credit: NASA

That the rockets that launched America’s space program had Nazi roots was never a secret. They came to America under Operation Overcast and Project Paperclip before building rockets for the US military but didn’t become citizens until the 1950s. The US Army had them travel to Mexico then walk back onto US soil so they’d have immigration dates that weren’t confidential. But the really interesting part of the story, and the question a lot of people have when they hear about Wernher von Braun and his immigration to the US, is how a group of engineers and technicians managed to move through Germany to find American soldiers to negotiate their transfer to the states with more than a decade of research in tow. It’s a pretty phenomenal story involving quick thinking, clever deceptions, and a fair amount of luck. Read the whole story on Motherboard.

Comments

  1. Jasper says

    Thanks for a nice article with a bit more insight into the life of one of the world’s greatest rocket designers. He might have had a lot of controversial issues in his wake and even though the opinions on Von Braun my vary, he still is a very interesting man with a very interesting story and he deserves to be remembered more as a visionary with an opportune view on the state of things.
    In my opinion his main goal was to get man into space, and if that meant developing stuff with the aid of the military, then so be it. He had the misfortune to have been born at the wrong side. even when he was brought to the US. they kept him from making spacecraft and the military just used him and his team’s knowledge to make the first MRBM’s like the Redstone instead.

    For those who like a good insight in his motives and history, Michael J. Neufeld’s book “Von Braun, dreamer of space, engineer of war”, is greatly recommended. It actually broadens the whole story of Von Braun’s life. I read it last year and I thought it was a great read.

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