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» Economics » Intelligence operation » Topics begins with O » Operation Overcast

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The operation Overcast (English overcast = cloudily, cloud-imposed) was a military secret project of the USA from the year 1945, over, after the defeat of the German Reich in 2. World war to recruit German scientists and technicians and their military-technical being able and knowing for own purposes. Under the code name operation PAPER tie-clip (paper clip) took place shortly thereafter the placing of the first group, the beginning of the conversion of the operation Overcast. Starting from 1946 the term Project PAPER tie-clip for the naturalization of the scientists and the continuation of the operation Overcast was used. Today the terms are often used (actually falsely) synonymously.

Basis and prehistory

Basis of the operation was a secret document of the general staff dated from 6 July 1945, thus briefly after the end of the war in Europe and still before the defeat of Japan. The basic considerations began however already years before and are with the fact to be explained that in the USA the comprehensive Demobilisierung and interruption of the military research after the end of the 1. World war of many politicians and military retrospectively as errors one judged. The increasing contrasts to directly before still allied USSR under Stalin were conscious of many in the general staff, were also stirred up possibly there. The operation Overcast is to be seen particularly under the criterion to shorten and position themselves for a future arms race by incorporating German military equipment own development. At the same time these scientists and technician should be extracted from the access of the USSR and their armaments industry. The German military equipment was the allied one in many ranges around years ahead, special with jet engines and their employment in rockets and airplanes (V1, V2, Heinkel He 178, Messerschmitt ME 262)

Criteria for choice

To distribute the number of the scientists on 350 limited, who should be gotten first for six months without member into the USA, in order it there on the different branches of service, army, Air Force, navy. In the contingent no transferred war criminals should be, everyone as such were recognized, are to Germany to be sent back. In the year 1946, when it was clear that the researchers would remain longer in the USA, to establish itself partly here and would pull wives tight, followed extremely loose regulations, in order to justify for example the NSDAP and SS-membership who ago from Brauns to. Actually LV loads did not play a role with the selection, were carefully sieved in view of the limited contingent concerning the technical qualification. This is all the more remarkably, since in the context of the of processes for example the responsible arms Minister Albert Speer was condemned at the same time to 20 years detention, not least because of in the context of arms production in great quantities used forced laborers. Also the V2-Produktion in the manufacturing plant Dora central tract happened under inhuman conditions and hard labour. For the responsible persons scientists and technicians remained just as without consequences, as the civilian victims of the V1 and V2-Angriffe for example on London. Completely obviously here the military-technical self-interest of the USA outweighed. Within the American public this proceeding, the immigration of Nazis, was not first by any means undisputed. Thus J. Joesten in the weekly paper The nation wrote:

"… If you love the collective murder, but your skin you is dear, then become scientist, my son! That is at present the only possibility, unpunished to murders. If you are as politicians war driver, then you have recently no safe play more. If you lose, they hang you up. If you are a general and one defeat, they shoot you. As a Industrieller you come into the prison. If you call yourself however researchers, then you become, winner or defeating, with honours over-accumulates up"…

The "PAPER tie-clip Boys"

Under the pseudonym operation PAPER tie-clip was brought to 1945 the first group still in the summer by scientists into the USA. The name PAPER tie-clip (dt: Paper clip) was derived from the paper clips put into the appropriate documents, which marked the sides by relevant scientists, who were to be transferred into the USA. The scientists were called also PAPER tie-clip Boys. Originally 100 should enter, actually amounted to this contingent of 127 persons. Core of the group of scientists was the group of rocket experts, standing under the guidance of Dr. Wernher von Braun.

At the latest 1946 were clearly that it would not remain with the originally planned duration of stopover of 6 months, also the original maximum number of 350 persons were considered as no longer sufficiently. A common committee from army, navy and State Department compiled principle drafts, how together with Great Britain an expansion and a continuation of the program should be regulated. Thus the number of concerning was increased to altogether 1000, as well as regulated the Nachzug of the families up to the later naturalization. These principles were fixed in a secret document with the title employment of the Austrian and German scientists in the context of the project PAPER tie-clip. Introduced apart from the term operation PAPER tie-clip here also the name Project PAPER tie-clip for this "Unterprojekt" and also for the operation Overcast generally uses, which are not to be separated thereby any longer clearly. On 13 September 1946 US president Harry S. Truman signed the document. The "Declaration of Principle" came into force on 24 October. The presence only now became the German "Nazi" - scientist of the American public by the media admits given, on it predominantly with lack of understanding and refusal reacted.

With the technicians also the complete was shipped remaining technology remained after that war, if it fell into the hands of the American booty troops set on it. This were V2-Raketen and partly finished rocket motors from Peenemuende and from the manufacturing plant Dora central tract, not started essentially yet, which would have been assigned otherwise to the USSR.

In away Bliss, White of sand, new Mexico, should research them at the advancement of the American rocket technology. Between April 1946 and October 1951 66 V2-Raketen testweise were started in White of sand. Some were equipped with plants, some even with experimental animals, which were killed all with the landing impacts. Starting from end of 1951 the starts were shifted after Cape Canaveral, Florida. From this for a long time thereafter the manned space programs which led to the moon-landing, arose.

Recruited scientist

Among other things who ago of brown, Friedrich dry, Ernst Eckert, Hans guardian, Anselm Franz, Alexander Lippisch, Hans's von Ohain, Hans K. Ziegler, Kurt Blome, Dr. Hubertus "Strugi "Strughold

Other states

With their program for the utilization of the "brains" the USA did not stand by any means alone. All winner powers had similar programs with different emphasis. Thus Great Britain strove for German naval experts, had however, like also different winner powers, thereby problems since a majority of the population was due to the bad economic situation in GB against the immigration of German scientists. After an admiral smuggled a German submarine team to the southwest coast (German scientists were not desired), reached the mediale argument of the two groups of interests its consequence was that the Germans were taxed doubly (in GB and D).

The largest contingent secured itself however the USSR, whereby the scientists worked first in the SBZ and later completely in a night and nebula action (enterprise "Oswakim "; Start: To 4 o'clock, 22 October 1945) into the Soviet Union "moves" became. The speech is from approx. 5,000 persons, who were allowed only years later back to Germany, and/or the GDR. The Deportationsvorbereitungen lasted 24 Stunden.Eine similar action of the USSR failed 1947 pitifully.

The large influence of German scientists, engineers and technicians on the military equipment of the two superpowers documents itself particularly in the airplane and rocket production in first postwar year tenth. Thus the American F-86 Sabre and the coming MIG 15 faced each other out Soviet production in the Korea war starting from 1950. The similarity of the airplanes became for the pilots a problem during the friend enemy recognition and is with high security to the fact to be attributed that in the Design of both machines on different sides scientists and technicians were involved, who had developed "miracle weapons" still together few years before for the "final victory".


Bower, Tom: Conspiracy PAPER tie-clip: LV scientist in the service D. Winner powers. Munich: Cunning, 1988. (ISBN 3-471-77164-6)

Related links

To sources of NASA the note may be permitted that their view is not necessarily neutral who ago on the prehistory of their important coworker of brown and its colleagues, because of construction and building of the important moon rocket Saturn V.

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