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Operation Paperclip

Paperclip

I've been revising the latest draft of my novel, "Gumshoe Rules." The publisher asked me to provide more historical context around some events during and following World War II. As a result, I have been researching the liberation of the Mittelwerk slave labor manufacturing facility by the 104th Infantry Division of the Army and Operation Paperclip, the US Government program to recruit German scientists to the US after the war. Both of these elements feature in the background of the story.

For those who are curious about Operation Paperclip, I highly recommend the book of that name by Annie Jacobsen. She provides a detailed account of many famous scientist and doctors who were recruited to the US, including Wernher von Braun, who was instrumental in developing the Saturn V rockets which powered the Apollo mission to the moon. He also ran the underground slave labor factory which made V-2 rockets at Mittelwerk and was both a Nazi party member and a Sturmbannfuhrer in the SS. I don't think any of these scientists were quite what they purported to be, but the US government did not want them falling into the hands of the Russians. 

So that’s been the focus for the past month. I’m glad to report that a new revised outline has been submitted and new writing has begun. While it’s still the same noir detective murder mystery, there is a more ambitious middle section and an overall faster pace. My book is available for pre-order at Inkshares and I expect to finish all of the rewriting and editing in the next couple of months.

Comments

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Sounds like Tom Lehrer was actually too easy on him. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEJ9HrZq7Ro

I think Lehrer's song is quite a clever piece of satire. He's called out the hard questions about von Braun. I believe the song is referenced in the book, though I had never actually heard it until now.

Basically the OSS chose to rate all but the most egregious of Nazi scientists as "apolitical." And von Braun engineered his departure from Mittelwerk (by hiding 4 truckloads of plans in a salt mine) in order to better negotiate his team's resettlement with the US.

As damaging as von Braun's V-2 rockets were for London and elsewhere, the staggering fact remains: more people died in the slave labor at Mittelwerk then died from the bombings. An estimated 60,000 people cycled through Mittelwerk with over 20,000 dead, compared to about 2,500 from the bombings.

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