How Much Did it Cost to go to the Moon?
Good evening, today’s post is regarding project paperclip. I know those of you who used to watch X Files will be one step ahead of me, but for those of you who didn’t, let me explain.
Sixty years ago, the demise of the ‘thousand year Reich’ saw Germany being occupied by every man and his dog. Russians, Americans and the British frantically scoured post war Germany in a bid to obtain Hitler’s scientific secrets. Allied boffins were somewhat distraught when they discovered how technologically advanced the Germans were. As the allied intelligence community laid eyes on supersonic rockets, stealth technology, nerve gases and guided missiles (& no doubt a whole host of stuff that’s still top secret) they were somewhat dumbfounded. This smorgasbord of high-tech weaponry would become the star prize of the early cold war.
May 1945 saw the Russians locate and secure the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute, Hitler’s nuclear research facility. Which gave Stalin a solid platform for the forthcoming Soviet nuclear arsenal. Meanwhile, the Americans recovered the V2 rockets from a secret underground complex that was later occupied by the Russians. The Americans also captured the brains behind the rockets- Wernher von Braun & Co.
Distraught by what had been found the US generals felt it was critical to take advantage of the recovered technology and scientists, or else risk being years behind the USSR in a number of critical fields. This tactical decision gave birth to project paperclip, which saw the US smuggle von Braun, along with 700 of his colleagues and peers out of Germany behind the backs of the other Allies. The new American ‘citizens’ landed in the US within 3 months of President Truman authorising the project. However, when authorising the deal, Truman expressly stated anybody that was a member of the Nazi party or actively supported Nazi militarism should not be included in the project.
However, there was a slight problem with this, many of the top scientists were also top Nazi’s, including von Braun. Now before I continue, I should probably tell you why the name von Braun is so familiar- because he was the guy who masterminded the Apollo missions. He was also a member of numerous Nazi organisations, and held a ranking position in Hitler’s evil SS! The original US intelligence file even classed him as a security risk.
Von Braun’s associate Arthur Rudolph also landed himself a job at NASA managing the team that built the Saturn 5 rocket. His previous job title was chief operations director at Nordhausen (the underground rocket factory), where 20,000 slave workers died building V2 rockets. This NASA employee had been previously described as "100% Nazi, dangerous type" or as we say here in Wales "a real nasty piece of shit".
Kurt Debus employed in the US as a rocket launch specialist, was also an officer in the SS. His file stated "He should be interned as a menace to the security of the Allied Force." an ideal recommendation to prospective employers don’t you think?
Hubertus Strughold is these days referred to as NASA’s "father of space medicine" for his work designing NASA’s onboard life support systems. He was formerly employed at Dachau and Auschwitz, where his subordinates conducted ‘human’ experiments. Inmates were tested for their reactions to low pressure and freezing. Needless to say, many of them died.
It would be a little reckless for me to say that NASA were the only ones to benefit from project paperclip. The US military can thank the Nazi’s for their help with the stealth technology, cruise missile designs, and NASA’s hypersonic aircraft. Also, bear in mind these are just the things that are public knowledge no doubt there’s a whole host of other Nazi "goodies" that are still being plausibly denied 60 years on.
Well there you have it, next time you see the grainy footage of Neil Armstrong "walking on the moon" just take a moment to ask yourself was it really worth billions of dollars and the lives of tens of thousands of innocent people to stick it to the Russians.