Hitler's Scientists - von Braun Surrenders

As the German war effort frayed, the Allies engaged in fierce competition to find Hitler's top scientists.  The Allies believed von Braun, for example, was hiding in Bavaria.  (He, and other members of his team, were in the Bavarian town of Oberammergau.)

One of von Braun's engineers recalls how their team members discussed the coming end of the war.  If they survived, they would need to surrender - but, to whom?   They thought it best to surrender to the U.S.

On the day after officials announced Hitler was dead, von Braun and his men emerged from their hiding place.  He had previously broken his arm, in a car accident, after his driver fell asleep at the wheel.  

Von Braun surrendered to the Americans, but there was an issue he had to overcome before he could move to the States, to work for the U.S. government.  How would he get around his prior status - as one of Hitler's scientists - and his use of slave labor, at the Nordhausen plant?

After the war in Europe was over, some of the German scientists were taken to a home in England where their conversations were secretly monitored.  They give little of value away, until America dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. 

As they dicussed how that could have happened, Hitler's scientists inadvertently revealed why their efforts at nuclear-bomb-making had not succeeded.  Their calculations had called for significantly more uranium than was actually needed.

One thing became absolutely clear after von Braun joined the U.S. team.  America's rocket program took-off with von Braun as part of the U.S. team.

See, also:
Operation Paperclip

Hitler's Scientists - Building V-2s at Nordhausen

Hitler's Scientists - The ME-163 Rocket Plane

Hitler's Scientists - Impact on US and USSR Technology


0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5183stories and lessons created

Original Release: Sep 05, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Apr 15, 2015

Media Credits

Clip from the series "Revealed," episode "The Hunt for Hitler's Scientists," copyright Windfall Films (2005), all rights reserved.  Clip provided as fair use for educational purposes. 

Producers:  David Dugan, Mark Radice and Emily Roe

Narrator:  Paul Brightwell


To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Hitler's Scientists - von Braun Surrenders" AwesomeStories.com. Sep 05, 2013. Nov 19, 2019.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips