Operation Paperclip

Operation PaperclipPresident Truman, after months of weighing the pros and cons of offering amnesty to many of the German scientists involved in the V2 rocket program, signs off on Operation Paperclip, a project to repatriate those scientists to the United States. The initial estimate is that a thousand German scientists will be brought to the U.S., but over time the total will grow closer to 2,000, bringing well over 3,000 family members with them. Wernher von Braun and Hermann Oberth are among the scientists and engineers who accept the offer to work for the U.S., and their efforts, while they do have military value, will form the core of the nascent U.S. space program, with von Braun eventually designing the Saturn V rocket that will take future astronauts to the moon. The Soviet Union mounts a similar program in the weeks to come, attempting to repatriate German scientists and engineers to continue their rocketry research for the Soviets.