Paperclip Operation

Germany / USA



Date: 03 May 1945
At the end of World War II, German rocket pioneer Wernher von Braun (center in cast) arranged the surrender of his top scientists and engineers. He also delivered along rocket plans and test vehicles, to America. The operation to secure Germany's rocket knowledge was dubbed Project Paperclip.
From left to right: Maj. Gen. Walther Dornberger, Commander of the V-2 laboratory at Peenemunde; Lt. Col. Herbert Axter; von Braun, inventor of the V-2 rocket; and Hans Lindenberg, after they surrendered to U.S. troops in Austria.
Image Credit: U.S. Army

The American scheme to detain top German scientists at the end of World War II and relocate them to the United States. These scientists included Wernher von Braun and more than 100 of his colleagues who had worked on the V-2 and other "V" weapons. Having been transferred to their nore home at Fort Bliss, Texas, a large Army installation just north of El Paso, they were given the job of training military, industrial, and university personnel in the intricacies of rockets and guided missiles and helping refurbish, assemble, and launch a number of V-2s that had been shipped from Germany to the White Sands Proving Ground in New Mexico. President Harry Truman had given the go-ahead to Paperclip on condition that none of the detainees could be shown to have been members of the Nazi party or active supporters of the Hitler regime. However, it is now clear that many of the key figures in the roundup, including von Braun himself, Arthur Rudolph, and Hubertus Strughold, had been enthusiastic Nazis and, in some cases, had been aware of, or even involved in, atrocities inflicted on concentration camp detainees.

Ref.: #6r, #8, #95 - update: 25.05.15 Home