The Great Patents Heist  in Germany after WWII
One of the greatest ripoffs of all time was the theft of German patents after World War II
Article from the "The Barnes Review" March/April 1999
By John Nugent

It is quite acceptable to American pride to acknowledge that immigrants have contributed to our prosperity and greatness. It's a little harder to swallow that a good deal of our scientific lead and prosperity -despite the ever-increasing burdens of non-skilled illegal immigrants and unproductive home-growns- has come from simply seizing German patents and inventions after World War I [the most prominent war booty which Woodrow Wilson seized in 1917 was the patent on Aspirin, that "miracle drug"] and far more so after World War II.

Germany's motor, jet and rocket aerial creativity from early in the century until 1945 was considered remarkable. Few realize that at the end of World War I, after some 1,000 days of combat, Germany's 35 aircraft manufacturers and 20 aero-engine plants had 18,500 planes in inventory. The Versailles Treaty forced severe curtailment of German aviation. The nations of the Inter-Allied Control commission took their pick of advanced German planes and technology, while destroying all remaining military aircraft.

There are those who claim the key to America's felicity has been its Jewish citizens. After all, this is now a "service economy" of stockbrokers and financial and entertainment services. Could America dispense with actually manufacturing or growing anything, and instead focus on the essentials like Broadway shows, Hollywood sitcoms and currency speculation?

The message of Bernt Engelmann's 1974 "Deutschland ohne Juden", published in English by Bantam Books, New York in 1984 as "Germany Without Jews", is clear: You Germans were mediocre until we Jews came, and now that we're gone, you have sunk back into mediocrity.

Engelmann cites endless lists of great Jewish MDs of German or Austrian domicile, several of whom, such as bacteriologists Paul Ehrlich [1854-1915] and Robert Koch [1843-1910], won the Nobel Prize in medicine and physiology [Ehrlich, 1908; Koch, 1905]. Sigmund Freud [1856-1939], of dubious credentials, is one of Engelmann's prize examples.

Engelmann also slays entire forests with pages of printed paeans to forgotten Jewish playwrights, songsters, operetta producers, critics, publishers etc. How could one forget the immortal [Giacomo] Meyerbeer? To the wary eye, it smacks of ethnic self-congratulation. One gifted Jew writes a piece, another publishes it, yet another reviews it favourably, a fourth sits at the box office counting out his money and a fifth takes his 10 percent as agent - an unconvincing proof that the nation of Mozart, Bach and Beethoven needed music lessons.

Gottlieb Daimler [1834-1900] and Karl Benz [1844-1929] invented the modern gasoline engine in 1878-1887. Other Germans took the lead in 19th-century chemistry and created the first contact lens [in the 1880s], X-rays [Wilhelm Röntgen in 1895], quantum physics [discovered in 1900 by Max Planck, 1858-1947], Aspirin [acetylsalicylic acid] and last [and least], Saccharin in 1913. As for previous centuries, the Germans got no credit for inventing the croissant or "Kipferl", as the Germans call it, in Vienna to celebrate defeating the Turks in 1683; one notes the Turkish religious logo, the crescent [a baked good then snatched up by the French as the "croissant"]. Equally, they receive zero credit for baking the first quiche, which in Lorraine and Rhinelander dialects ["Kisch"] simply means "kitchen leftovers baked into a pie".

Baked goods aside, the facts reveal that the most creative period in world history may have been Germany between 1932 and 1945, and that much of America's scientific lead came from looting German patents by the ton, both in World War I and far more so after World War II.

And because Germany was so devastated after World War II, there has been a brain drain ever since of the top young German scientists - to Massachusetts and California for computers and genetics and to greater Los Angeles, Houston and Cape Canaveral for aerospace.

As one German scientist remarked:

"Since the war, we have not had the financing capabilities for basic research for the long-term future. That kind of serious money only the Americans have. In Germany, and in Japan, also, we do applied and clinical research for immediate applications. But to be on the cutting edge, the money and the positions are now in America and we have to go there". [1]

An astounding admission of the stripping of German inventiveness after the war came in an October 1946 article by C. Lester Walker in "Harper's magazine. Entitled 'Secrets by the Thousands',  it presents some problems for the Bernt Engelmanns of this world who imply that German science in the 1932-45 period would have been "nothing without the Jews".

In every collection of "Harper's -even that held in a prestigious university research library- the October 1946 issue is missing. A coincidence?

Fortunately this document exists in Cyber-space...

October 1946:  Page 329

"Harper's readers are familiar with Mr. Walker's articles and the skillful mechanics of the Allied war. He now gives us a look at some of the disconcertingly effective tricks that were hidden up the enemy sleeve.

Secrets by the Thousands
C. Lester Walker

Someone wrote to Wright Field recently, saying he understood this country had got together quite a collection of enemy war secrets, that many were now on public sale, and could he, please, be sent everything on German jet engines. The Air Documents Division of the Army Air Forces answered.:

"Sorry – but that would be fifty tons".

Moreover, that fifty tons was just a small portion of what is today undoubtedly the biggest collection of captured enemy war secrets ever assembled. If you always thought of war secrets – as who hasn't? – as coming in sixes and sevens, as a few items of information readily handed on to the properly interested authorities, it may interest you to learn that the war secrets in this collection run into the thousands, that the mass of documents is mountainous, and that there was never before been anything quite comparable to it.

The collection is today chiefly in three places: Wright Field [Ohio], the Library of Congress, and the Department of Commerce. Wright Field is working from a documents "mother lode" of fifteen hundred tons. In Washington, the Office of Technical Services [which has absorbed the Office of the Publication Board, the government agency originally set up to handle the collection] reports that tens of thousands of tons of material are involved. It is estimated that over a million separate items must be handled, and that they, very likely, practically all the scientific, industrial and military secrets of Nazi Germany.

 One Washington official has called it "the greatest single source of this type of material in the world, the first orderly exploitation of an entire country's brain-power".

How the collection came to be goes back, for beginnings, to one day in 1944 when the Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff set in motion a colossal search for war secrets in occupied German territory. They created a group of military-civilian teams, termed the Joint Intelligence Objectives Committee, which was to follow the invading armies into Germany and uncover all her military, scientific, and industrial secrets for early use against Japan. These teams worked against tine to get the most vital information be: ore it was. destroyed, and in getting it performed prodigies of ingenuity and tenacity.

At an optical company at Wetzlav, near Frankfurt, for example, the American colonel investigating felt positive that the high executives were holding out on him. But nothing would shake their story: they had given him everything. He returned next day with a legal document which he asked them all to sign. It declared they had turned over "all scientific and trade data; and if not, would accept the consequences". Two days later they glumly signed the document, then led he colonel to a cache in a warehouse will. From a safe tumbled out the secret file on optical instruments, microscopy, aiming devices.

One two-man search team found itself completely stymied. Records that they had-to find had completely disappeared. A rumor indicated they might have been hidden in a mountain. The two scoured the region in a Jeep. Nothing. But keeping at it, they stumbled one day onto a small woods road whose entrance was posted:

"Achtung! Minen!"

Gingerly, slowly, they inched their Jeep in. Nothing happened. But a concrete dugout sunk in the hill revealed another sign:

"Opening Will Cause Explosion".

"We tossed a coin", one member of this search team said later, "and the loser hitched the Jeep tow-rope to the dugout door, held his breath!and stepped on the gas".

There was no explosion. The door-ripped from its hinges. The sought-for secret files were inside.

The German Patent Office put some of its most secret patents down a sixteen-hundred-foot mine shaft at Heringen, then piled liquid oxygen, in cylinders, on top of them. When the American Joint Intelligence Objectives team found them, it was doubtful that they could be saved. They were legible, but in such bad shape that a trip to the surface would make them disintegrate. Photo equipment and a crew were therefore lowered into the shaft and a complete microfilm record made of the patents there.

Perhaps one of the most exciting searches was also the grimmest. This was the hunt for hidden documents which might reveal that Nazi scientists had frozen human beings to death and then tried to bring them back to life again. Interviewing four Nazi doctors one day in June 1945, at a laboratory of the Institut für Luftfahrtmedizin, at Gut Hirschau, Bavaria, an American medical corps major, Leo Alexander, was struck with the dreadful conviction, despite repeated denials, that this had occurred.

His suspicion were aroused by three things. All the small animal laboratory equipment was carefully preached; all large-animal equipment destroyed. One of the doctors wanted to dissolve his research institute and dismiss his staff.

And none of the scientists could find any data on human beings at all, not even on those rescued from North Sea waters and saved by the new revival techniques. Did this mean that everything of the sort was hidden away with other data which, the doctors didn't want to show?

Wishing to leave the four Germans in a frame of mind not to destroy their records, the American concealed his suspicions, and, for the time being, transferred his search elsewhere.

Chance suddenly played into his hands. The Allied radio one night broadcast a grim tale of the Dachau concentration camp. Researches on death, and treatment of shock, from exposure to cold had been performed on prisoners. The broadcast named the leading experimenter, one Dr. [Sigmund] Rascher, and called him a member of the medical staff of the SS.

For Alexander this was a lead. He happened just to have learned that the American Seventh Army had recently captured a vast mass of especially secret SS records. He therefore headed for the Seventh Army Documents Center to see what was there.

There was more than he anticipated. Even to the complete and final report –Himmler's personal copy, with his green-penciled annotations, all over it– with the names of Rascher and all others involved, and containing all the damning details of the almost unbelievable experiments.

Victims had been immersed naked in ice water until they lost consciousness. All the time elaborate testings were constantly made: rectal, skin, and interior-of-the-stomach temperatures; pulse, blood sugar, blood chlorides, blood count and sedimentation; urine tests; spinal fluid. Appendix 7, Figure 5, showed that seven subjects were chilled to death beyond revival in from fifty-three to one hundred and six minutes.

"This table," Alexander commented in his own report, "is certainly the most laconic confession of seven murders in existence".

It had been with the rest of the documents in Himmler's private cave in mountain at Hallein. Even though the side of the mountain had been dynamited down over the cave mouth, the American searchers had found it.

The earliest Joint Intelligence Objectives search teams were followed by others, which were to dig out industrial and scientific secrets in particular. The Technical Industrial Intelligence Committee was one group of these, composed of three hundred and eighty civilians representing seventeen American industries. Later came the teams of the Office of the Publication Board itself and many mow groups direct from private industry. Of the latter – called, in Germany, Field Intelligence Agencies Technical [FIAT] – there have been over five hundred; of one to ten members each, operating by invitation and under the aegis of the OPB.

Today the search still goes on. The Office of Technical Services has a European staff of four to five hundred. At Höchst, it has one hundred abstractors who struggle feverishly to keep ahead of the forty OTS document-recording cameras which route to them each month over one hundred thousand feet of microfilm.

What did we find? You'd like some outstanding examples from the war secrets collection?

The head of the communications unit of Technical Industrial Intelligence Branch opened his desk drawer and took out the tiniest vacuum tube I had ever seen. It was about half thumb-size.

"Notice it is heavy porcelain –not glass– and thus virtually indestructible. It is a thousand watt – one-tenth the size of similar American tube. Today our manufactured know the secret of making it. . . . And here's something..."

He pulled some brown, papery-looking ribbon off a spool. It was a quarter-inch wide, with a dull and a shiny side.

"That's Magnetophone tape," he said. "It's plastic, metallized on one side with iron oxide. In Germany that supplanted phonograph recordings. A day's Radio program can be magnetized on one reel. You can demagnetize it, wipe it off and put a new program on at any time. No needle; so absolutely no noise or record wear. An hour-long reel costs fifty cents".

"Vampir" ZG 1229 Infrared System

The Vampir was not the first German Infrared System, but by the end of the war in 1945 it was the most compact and advanced system they had. The technology itself dates back to around the start of the war, when engineers developed the first infrared rangefinder for German light anti-tank artillery.This was improved and some heavier direct-fire artillery was equipped with it as well.

By 1944 the Germans had developed a version flexible enough to be mounted on the Panther tank [Germany's most technologically advanced and complex tank] and by the last year of the war were ready to issue the man-portable Vampir system.

The Vampir system consisted of a "black" spot light, one component of its active infrared system, fixed atop the impressive StG-44 assault rifle. Below this infrared light was a range finder that could detect the light emitted by the IR lamp. Since this light was invisible to anyone not equipped with the system it gave a massive edge over relying on flashlights and flares for illumination.

The system mounted on the gun was linked by insulated wire to a heavy battery pack and simple control box that the soldier wore in place of his normal gear -  a very crude analog to today's "OICW" system being developed by the United States. It could transform a normal soldier to one capable of fighting in complete darkness, be it a cave or a moonless night, without revealing his position.

There is dispute over whether or not the Vampir was actually issued to combat soldiers. Some reports claim it was given to special units of the Waffen-SS for testing, others claim it was issued to crews of the similarly equipped Panther.

Probably that what few units were combat-ready were probably issued to the ultra-elite commandos of commanders like Otto Skorzeny and perhaps in the final defense of Berlin. Chances are we will never know the exact truth as no photographs exist of troops utilizing the weapons in the field, but the system was proven to work.

He showed me then what had been two of the most closely-guarded, technical secrets of the war: the infra-red device which the Germans invented for seeing at night, and the remarkable diminutive generator which operated it. German cars could drive at any, speed in a total blackout, seeing objects clear as day two hundred meters ahead. Tanks with this device could spot targets two miles away. As a sniper scope it enabled German riflemen to pick off a man in total blackness.

There was a sighting tube, and a selenium screen out front. The screen caught the incoming infra-red light, which drove electrons from the selenium along the tube to another screen which was electrically charged and fluorescent. A visible image appeared on this screen. Its clearness and its accuracy for aiming purposes were phenomenal. Inside the tube, distortion of the stream of electrons by the earth's magnetism was even allowed for.

The diminutive generator –five inches across- stepped up current from an ordinary flashlight battery to 15,000 volts. It had a walnut-sized motor which spun a rotor at 10,000 rpm – so fast that originally it had destroyed all lubricants with the great amount of ozone it produced. The Germans had developed a new grease: chlorinated paraffin oil. The generator then ran 3,000 hours.

A canvas bag on the sniper's back housed the device. His rifle had two triggers. He pressed one for a few seconds to operate the generator and the scope. Then the other to kill his man in the dark.

"That captured secret," my guide declared, "we first used at Okinawa – to the bewilderment of the Japs".

We got, in addition, among these prize secrets, the technique and the machine for making the world's most remarkable electric condenser. Millions of condensers are essential to the radio and radar industry. Our condensers were always made of metal foil. This one is made of paper, coated with 1/250,000 of an inch of vaporized zinc. Forty per cent smaller, twenty per cent cheaper than our condensers, it is also self-healing. That is, if a breakdown occurs [like a fuse blowing out], the zinc film evaporates, the paper immediately insulates, and the condenser is right again. It keeps on working through multiple breakdowns – at fifty per cent higher voltage than our condensers. To most American radio experts this is magic, double-distilled.

Mica was another thing. None is mined in Germany, so during the war our Signal Corps was mystified. Where was Germany getting it?

One day, a certain piece of mica was handed to one of our experts in the U.S. Bureau of Mines for analysis and opinion.

"Natural mica," he reported, "and no impurities".

But the mica was synthetic. the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Silicate Research had discovered how to make it and –something which had always eluded scientists– in large sheets.

We know now, thanks to FIAT teams, that ingredients of natural mica were melted in crucibles of carbon capable of taking 2,350 degrees of heat, and then –this was the real secret– cooled in a special way. Complete absence of vibration was the first essential. Then two forces directly perpendicularto each other were applied. One, vertically, was a controlled gradient of temperature in the cooling. At right angles to this, horizontally, was introduced a magnetic field. This forced the formation of the crystals in large laminated sheets on that plane.

"You see this . . ." the head of Communications Unit, TIIB, said to me.

It was metal, and looked like a complicated doll's house with the roof off.

"It is the chassis or frame, for a radio. To make the same thing, Americans would machine cut, hollow, shape, fit – a dozen different processes. This is done on a press in one operation. It is called the 'cold extrusion' process. We do it with some soft, splattery metals. But by this process the Germans do it with cold steel".

Thousands of parts now made as castings or drop forgings or from malleable iron can now be made this way. The production speed increase is a little matter of one thousand per cent."

 This one war secret alone, many American steel men believe, will revolutionize dozens of our metal fabrication industries.

In textiles the war secrets collection has produced so many revelations, that American textile men are a little dizzy. There is a German rayon-weaving machine, discovered a year ago by the American "Knitting Machine" Team, which increases production in relation to floor space by one hundred and fifty percent. Their "Links-Links" loom produces a ladderless, runproof hosiery. New German needle-making machinery, it is thought, will revolutionize that business in both the United Kingdom and the United States. There is a German method for pulling the wool from sheepskins without injury to hide or fiber, by use of an enzyme. Formerly the "puller" –a trade secret– was made from animal pancreas from American packing houses. During the war the Nazis made it from a mold called aspergil paraciticus, which they seeded in bran. It results not only in better wool, but in ten per cent greater yield.

Another discovery was a way to put a crimp in viscose rayon fibers which gives them the appearance, warmth, wear resistance, and reaction-to-dyes of wool. The secret here, our investigators found, was the addition to the cellulose of twenty-five per cent fish protein.

But of all the industrial secrets, perhaps, the biggest windfall came from the laboratories and plants of the great German cartel, I. G. Farbenindustrie. Never before, it is claimed, was there such a store-house of secret information. It covers liquid and solid fuels, metallurgy, synthetic rubber, textiles, chemicals, plastics. drugs, dyes. One American dye authority declares:

"It includes the production know-how and the secret formulas for over fifty thousand dyes. Many of them are faster and better than ours. Many are colors we were never able to make. The American dye industry will be advanced at least ten years".

In matters of food, medicine, and branches of the military art the finds of the search teams were no less impressive. And in aeronautics and guided missiles they proved to be downright alarming. One of the food secrets the Nazis had discovered was a way to sterilize fruit juices without heat. The juice was filtered, then cooled, then carbonated and stored under eight atmospheres of carbon-dioxide pressure. Later the carbon-dioxide was removed, the juice passed through another filter –which, this time, germ-proofed it– and then was bottled. Some thing, perhaps, for American canners to think about.

Milk pasteurization by ultra-violet light has always failed in other countries, but the Germans had found how to do it by using light tubes of great length, and simultaneously how to enrich the milk with vitamin D.

At a plant in Kiel, British searchers of the Joint Intelligence Objectives Committee found that cheese was being made – "good quality Hollander and Tilitser" – by a new method at unheard-of speed.

"Eighty minutes from the renneting to the hooping of the curd," report the investigators.

The cheese industry around the world had never been able to equal that.

Butter [in a creamery near Hamburg] was being produced by something long wished for by American butter makers: a continuous butter making machine. An invention of dairy equipment manufacturers in Stuttgart, it took up less space than American churns and turned out fifteen hundred pounds an hour. The machine was promptly shipped to this country to be tested by the American Butter Institute.

Among other food innovations was a German way of making yeast in almost limitless quantities. The waste sulfite liquor from the beechwood used to manufacture cellulose was treated with an organism known to bacteriologists as candida arborea at temperatures higher than ever used in yeast manufacture before. The finished product served as both animal and human food. Its caloric value is four times that of lean meat, and it contains twice as much protein.

The Germans also had developed new methods of preserving food by plastics and new, advanced refrigeration techniques. Refrigeration and air-conditioning on German U-Boats had become so efficient that the submarines could travel from Germany to the Pacific, operate there for two months, and then return to Germany without having to take on fresh water for the crew. A secret plastics mixture [among its ingredients were polyvinyl acetate, chalk, and talc] was used to coat bread and cheese A loaf fresh from the oven was dipped, dried, redipped, then heated half an hour at 285 degrees. It would be unspoiled and good to eat eight months later.

"As for medical secrets in this collection," one Army-surgeon has remarked, "some of them will save American medicine years of research; some of them are revolutionary – like, for instance, the German technique for treatment after prolonged and usually fatal exposure to cold".

This discovery –revealed to us by Major Alexander's search already mentioned– reversed everything medical science thought about the subject. In every one of the dread experiments the subjects were most successfully revived, both temporarily and permanently, by immediate immersion in hot water. In two cases of complete standstill of heart and cessation of respiration, a hot bath at 122 degrees brought both subjects back to life. Before our war with Japan ended, this method was adopted as the treatment for use by all American Air-Sea Rescue Services, and it is generally accepted by medicine today.

German medical researchers had discovered a way to produce synthetic blood plasma. Called capain, it was made on a commercial scale and equaled natural plasma, in results. Another discovery was periston, a substitute for the blood liquid. An oxidation production of adrenalin [adrenichrome] was produced in quantity Successfully only by the Nazis and was used with good results in combating high blood pressure [of which 750,000 persons die annually in the United States]. Today we have the secret of manufacture and considerable supply.

Likewise of great importance medically were certain researches by Dr. Boris Rojewsky of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Biophysics at Frankfurt. These were on the ionization of air as related to health. Positively ionized air was discovered to have deleterious effects upon human well-being, and to account for the discomfort and depression felt at times when the barometer is falling. In many persons, it was found, its presence brought on asthma, hay fever, and nervous tension. It raised high blood pressure, sometimes to the danger point. It would bring on the symptoms common in mountain sickness-labored and rapid breathing, dizziness, fatigue, sleepiness.

Negatively ionized air, however, did all the opposite. It was exhilarating, creating a feeling of high spirits and well-being. Mental depression was wiped out by it. In pathological cases it steadied breathing, reduced high blood pressure, was a check on allergies and asthma. The importance of its presence wherever human beings live, work, or recuperate from illness may some day make its production one of the major functions of air conditioning.

But of highest significance for the future were the Nazi secrets in aviation and in various types of missiles.

Standard V-2 [280 km range]
Winged A4b [580 km range]
A10/A4b two-stage supersonic-glide missile
[2500 km range]
A10/A9 two-stage hypersonic-glide missile
[5000 km range

"The V2 rocket, which bombed London," an Army Air Force publication reports, "was just a toy compared to what the Germans had up their sleeve".

When the war ended, we now know, they had 138 types of guided missiles in various stages of production or development, using every known kind of remote control and fuse: radio, radar, wire, continuous wave, acoustics, infra-red, light beams, and magnetics, to name some; and for power, all methods of jet propulsion for either subsonic or supersonic speeds. Jet propulsion had even been applied to helicopter flight. The fuel was piped to combustion chambers at the rotor blade tips, where it exploded, whirling the blades around like a lawn sprinkler or pinwheel.

As for rocket propulsion, their A-4 rocket, which was just getting into large scale production when the war ended, was forty-six feet long, weighed over 24,000 pounds, and traveled 230 miles. It rose sixty miles above the earth and had a maximum speed of 3,735 miles an hour – three times that of the earth's rotation at the equator. The secret of its supersonic speed, we know today, lay in its rocket motor which used liquid oxygen and alcohol for fuel. It was either radio controlled or self-guided to its target by gyroscopic means. Since its speed was supersonic, it could not be heard before it struck.

Another German rocket which was coming along was the A-9. This was bigger still –29,000 pounds– and had wings which gave it a flying range of 3,000 miles. It was manufactured at the famous Peenemünde army experiment station and achieved the unbelievable speed of 5,870 miles an hour.

A long range rocket-motored bomber which, the war documents indicate, was never completed merely because of the war's quick ending, would have been capable of flight from Germany to New York in forty minutes. Pilot-guided from a pressurized cabin, it would have flown at an altitude of 154 miles. Launching was to be by catapult at 500 miles an hour, and the ship would rise to its maximum altitude in as short a time as four minutes. There, fuel exhausted, it would glide through the outer atmosphere, bearing down on its target. With one hundred bombers of this type the Germans hoped to destroy any city on earth in a few days operations.

Little wonder, then, that today Army Air Force experts declare publicly that in rocket power and guided missiles the Nazis were ahead of us by at least ten years.

The Germans even had devices ready which would take care of pilots forced to leave supersonic planes in flight. Normally a pilot who stuck his head out at such speeds would have it shorn off. His parachute on opening would burst in space. To prevent these calamitous happenings an ejector seat had been invented which flung the pilot clear instantaneously. His chute was already burst, that is, made of latticed ribbons which checked his fall only alter the down-drag of his weight began to close its holes.

A Nazi variation of the guided air missile was a torpedo for underwater work which went unerringly to its mark, drawn by the propeller sound of the victim ship from as far away as ten miles. This missile swam thirty feet below the water, at forty miles an hour, and left no wake. When directly under its target, it exploded.

All such revelations naturally raise the question: was Germany so far advanced in air, rocket, and missile research that, given a little more time, she might have won the war? Her war secrets, as now disclosed, would seem to indicate that possibility. And the Deputy Commanding General of Army Air Forces Intelligence, Air Technical Service Command, has told the Society of Aeronautical Engineers within the past few months:

"The Germans were preparing rocket surprises for the whole world in general and England in particular which would have, it is believed, changed the course of the war if the invasion had been postponed for so short a time as half a year".

For the release and dissemination of all these one-time secrets the Office of the Publication Board was established by an order of President Truman within ten days after Japan surrendered. The order directed that not only enemy war secrets should be published, but also [with some exceptions] all American secrets, scientific and technical, of all government war boards. [The Office of Scientific Research and Development, the National Research Council, and other such]. And thereby was created what is being termed now the biggest publishing problem a government agency ever had to handle.

For the war secrets, which conventionally used to be counted in scores, will run to three-quarters of a million separate documentary items [two-thirds of them on aeronautics] and will require several years and several hundreds of people to screen and prepare them for wide public use.

Today translators and abstracters of the Office of Technical Services, successor to the OPB, arc processing them at the rate of about a thousand a week. Indexing and cataloguing the part of the collection which will be permanently kept may require more than two millions cards; and at Wright Field the task is so complicated that electric punch-card machines are to be installed. A whole new glossary of German-English terms has had to be compiled – something like forty thousand words on new technical and scientific items.

With so many documents, it has, of course, been impossible because of time and money limitations to reprint or reproduce more than a very few. To tell the public what is available, therefore, the OTS issues a bibliography weekly. This contains the newest war secrets information as released – with titles, prices of copies currently available or to be made up, and an abstract of contents.

The original document, or the microfilm copy, is then generally sent to the Library of Congress, which is now the greatest depository. To make them more easily accessible to the public, the Library sends copies, when enough are available, to about 125 so-called "depository" libraries throughout the United States.

And is the public doing anything with these one-time war secrets? It is – it is eating them up. As many as twenty thousand orders have been filled in a month, and the order rate is now a thousand items a day. Scientists and engineers declare that the information is "cutting years from the time we would devote to problems already scientifically investigated". And American business men...! A run through the Publication Board's letters file shows the following:

The Bendix Company in South Bend, Indiana, writes for a German patent on the record player changer "with records stacked above the turntable". Pillsbury Mills wants to have what is available on German flour and bread production methods. Kendall Manufacturing Company ["Soapine"] wants insect repellent compounds. Pioneer Hi-Bred Corn Company, Iowa, asks about "interrogation of research workers at the agricultural high school at Hohenheim". Pacific Mills requests I. G. Farbenindustrie's water-repellent, crease-resistant finish for spun rayon. The Polaroid Company would like something on "the status of exploitation of photography and optics in Germany". [There are, incidentally, ten to twenty thousand German patents yet to be screened].

The most insatiable customer is Amtorg, the Soviet Union's foreign trade organization. One of its representatives walked into the Publication Board office with the bibliography-in hand and said, "I want copies of everything". The Russians sent one order in May for $5,594.00 worth – two thousand separate war secrets reports. In general, they buy every report issued. Americans, too, think there is extraordinarily good prospecting in the war secrets lode. Company executives practically park on the OTS's front doorstep, wanting to be first to get hold of a particular report on publication. Some information is so valuable that to get it a single day ahead of a competitor, may be worth thousands of dollars. But the OTS takes elaborate precautions to be sure that no report is ever available to anyone before general public release.

After a certain American aircraft company had ordered a particular captured war document, it was queried as to whether the information therein had made it or saved it any money. The cost of the report had been a few dollars. The company answered: "Yea – at least a hundred thousand dollars".

A research head of another business firm took notes for three hours in the OTS offices one day. "Thanks very much," he said, as he stood to go, "the notes from these documents are worth at least half a million dollars to my company".

And after seeing the complete report the German synthetic fiber industry, one American manufacturer remarked:

"This report would be worth twenty million dollars to my company if it could have it exclusively".

Of course you, and anybody else, can now have it, and lots of other once secret information, for a few dollars. All the war secrets, as released, are completely in the public domain.

In fact, the article suggests in deadly seriousness that German Chancellor Adolf Hitler had been right, from his point of view, to prolong the war to the last gasp. According to the deputy commanding general of Army Air Forces Intelligence, Air Technical Service Command  [Lt. Col. Donald Leander Putt] in a speech to the American Society of Aeronautical Engineers:

"The Germans were preparing rocket surprises for the whole world in general and England in particular which would have, it is believed, changed the course of the war if the invasion had been postponed for so short a time as half a year".

Even without its brilliant Jewish minority, the Germans' "V-2 rocket which bombed London was just a toy compared to what the Germans had up their sleeve".

They had 138 types of guided missiles in various stages of production or development, using every kind of remote control device or fuse: radio, radar, wire-guided, continuous wave, acoustics, infrared, light beams and magnetism. And for power the Germans were years ahead in jet propulsion at both subsonic and supersonic speeds - even creating a "jet helicopter" wherein tiny jets spun the helicopter blade tips at blinding speeds.

Just as the war was ending, and President Franklin Roosevelt was ordering both Gens. George Patton and Dwight David Eisenhower to pull back and let "Uncle Joe" [Josef Stalin] have Berlin and Eastern Europe, the Germans had been readying their giant A-4 rocket for production. Forty-six feet in length, it weighed over 24,000 pounds and could travel 230 miles - rising 60 miles over the earth to a blistering top speed of 3,375 miles per hour. Its secret was a rocket motor running on liquid nitrogen and alcohol. It was either radar controlled or self-guided by a gyroscope. Since it flew faster than the speed of sound [by many times], it could not be heard before it struck.

Another rocket in the works was the A-9, still bigger at 29,000 pounds and equipped with wings. It had a range of 3,000 miles. Manufactured at Peenemünde, it arced into the sky at an incredible 5,870 miles per hour.

Fritz Todt first caught Hitler's attention in 1932 by emphasizing the importance of road building for national economic recovery. Following the appointment of Hitler as Reichskanzler on 30 January 1933, Todt became [in July] Inspector General for German Roadways and was involved in the new construction company for the motorways [Reichsautobahnen]. Every aspect of Autobahn construction -its design aesthetic ["to harmonize with the German landscape"], and model role in National Socialist labor relations- was stamped with Todt's personality.

He later became Director of the Head Office for Engineering in the Administration of the Reich of the NSDAP and General Commissioner for the Regulation of the Construction Industry.. As a special privilege, Todt was permitted to have considerable power and was not necessarily immediately answerable to any of the Reich ministries. He was also appointed to the rank of Generalmajor of the Luftwaffe after its official promulgation in March 1935.

In 1938, he founded the Organization Todt [OT], joining together government firms, private companies and the Reich Labor Service, for the construction of the "West Wall", later renamed the "Siegfried Line", for the defence of the Reich territory. With the outbreak of war, Todt's organization provided German troops an exemplary corps of engineers, filling out Germany's expanding imperium with new roads, bridges, aircraft fields, and fortifications.

On 17 March 1940, he was appointed Reich Minister for Armaments and Munitions and oversaw the work of Organisation Todt in the occupied west. After the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, he was appointed to manage the restoration of the infrastructure.

In 1941, he became increasingly distant from the commanders of the Wehrmacht and from Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring, the Commander-in-chief of the Luftwaffe, in particular.

He did remain close to Hitler at this time, yet, after an inspection tour of the Eastern Front, he complained to him that, without better equipment and supplies for the armed forces, it would be better to end the war with the USSR. Inevitably, Hitler rejected such an assessment of the situation and carried on the offensive against the Soviets regardless.

On 8 February 1942, while flying away from the conclusion of a meeting with Hitler at the Wolfsschanze at Rastenburg, his aircraft exploded and crashed. It was even suggested that he was the victim of an assassination plot, but this has never been confirmed.

He was buried in the Invalidenfriedhof, located in the Scharnhorststrasse in Berlin and became the first holder, albeit posthumously, of the German Order.

He was succeeded as Reichsminister by Albert Speer, who had narrowly missed being on the same aircraft.

Speer recounted that the power-hungry but lazy Hermann Göring raced to Hitler's headquarters upon word of Todt's death, hoping to claim the office of Reichsminister for Armaments. Hitler instead presented Göring with the fait accompli of Speer's appointment.

Speer tried to put the German economy on a war footing comparable to that of the Allied nations, but found himself incessantly hindered by party politics and lack of co-operation from the Nazi hierarchy.

Nevertheless, by slowly centralizing almost all industry control and cutting through the dense bureaucracy, he succeeded in multiplying war production four times over the next two and a half years, and it reached its peak in 1944 during the height of the Allied strategic bombing campaign.

Speer wrote Hitler an interesting memorandum describing the war as a contest between two different systems of industrial organization: the German system, based on skilled, high-quality production; and the American system based on unskilled, high-volume production. Unless we change, he warned the Führer, the Americans will bury us.

But most Americans know about German World War II rockets. A few even know that in addition to the car engine the Germans also invented the jet and perfected the superhighway or Autobahn [the three most important inventions binding this vast country].

The Heinkel He 178 was the world's first aircraft to fly under turbojet power, and the first practical jet aircraft. It was a private venture by the German Heinkel company in accordance with director Ernst Heinkel's emphasis on developing technology for high-speed flight. It first flew on 27 August 1939, piloted by Erich Warsitz, the first person to fly an aircraft under liquid-fueled rocket power, the Heinkel He 176, on 20 June 1939 .

 In 1936, a young engineer named Hans von Ohain had taken out a patent on using the exhaust from a gas turbine as a means of propulsion.

He presented his idea to Ernst Heinkel, who agreed to help develop the concept. Von Ohain successfully demonstrated his first engine, the Heinkel HeS 1 in 1937, and plans were quickly made to test a similar engine in an aircraft. The He 178 was designed around von Ohain's third engine design, the HeS 3, which burned Diesel fuel. The result was a small aircraft with a metal fuselage of conventional configuration and construction. The jet intake was in the nose, and the aircraft was fitted with tailwheel undercarriage. The main landing gear was intended to be retractable, but remained fixed in "down" position throughout the flight trials.

The high-mounted wooden wings had the characteristic Günter brothers elliptical trailing edge. Photos showing a "straight wing" [straight-line-taper in the wing planform, for both the leading and trailing edges] were of the second prototype He 178 V2, which never flew under power.

The aircraft made its maiden flight on 27 August 1939, only days before Germany started World War II by invading Poland. The test pilot was Erich Warsitz, who had also flown the world's first rocket powered airplane, the Heinkel He 176, on its maiden flight in June 1939.

Heinkel had developed the turbojet engine and the test bed aircraft, the Heinkel He 178 V1, in great secrecy. They were kept secret even from the German air force and the Reichsluftfahrtministerium. On 1 November 1939, after the German victory in Poland, Heinkel arranged a demonstration of the jet for officials, which Herman Göring, commander in chief of the Luftwaffe, did not attend. Ernst Udet and Erhard Milch, Minister of Aircraft Production and Supply watched the aircraft perform, but were unimpressed. While a technical success, speeds were limited to 598 kilometres per hour [372 mph] even when fitted with more powerful HeS 6 1,300lb thrust engines and combat endurance was only 10 minutes.

Undeterred, Heinkel decided to embark on the development of a twin-engine jet fighter, the He 280 as a private venture using what had been learned from the He 178 prototype.

Ernst Heinkel was disappointed by the lack of official interest in his private-venture jet. In his autobiography, he attributes this to the failure of the leaders of the Reichsluftfahrtministerium to understand the advantages of jet propulsion and what breakthrough the He 178 represented.

In fact, the Reich Air Ministry was already developing its own jets, a fact unknown to Heinkel.
In 1939, BMW and Junkers were working on "official" turbojet engines [bearing RLM-issued '109-0xx' design numbers, used for all gas-turbine propulsion aircraft powerplants] for the German military. These were axial-flow turbojets, which promised much less drag than the centrifugal-flow turbojets like those being developed at Heinkel and by Frank Whittle in England.

In mid September 1939, the German air force ordered aircraft manufacturers to reduce development work and concentrate all efforts on winning what German officials expected to be a short war.

But the development of jet powered single-seaters was ordered to continue, to get such aircraft operational as fighters as soon as possible.

This could have happened had not Willy Messerschmitt cautioned Hitler, in a conversation on 27 June 1943 at Obersalzbeg reported by Rakan Kokothaki, against mass-production of jets on the grounds of fuel consumption. This seems to have marked a turning point for jet aircraft, Hitler deciding that the most promising jet fighter aircraft be re-purposed as a "Blitz Bomber".

Mano Ziegler Zeigler in "Hitler's Jet Planes the Me 262 Story" speculates that the prospect of a damaged but airworthy Me 262 falling into allied hands drove this decision: At the time it was not known that the allies were perhaps only a year behind the technical lead established by Nazi Germany and that the idea of a "secret weapon" falling into enemy hands may have played upon Hitler's mind. Whatever the reason for this pronouncement the effect was to greatly delay the introduction of jets per se.

The result of the decision to change the Me 262 from an already capable single-seat fighter/interceptor into -at best- a rather indifferent two-seat light bomber was such that operating the type as fighters was delayed by a year and when in squadron service in pitifully low numbers. [This decision seems even more perverse when conventional fighter-bombers were already available, jet-powered equivalents could have no major effect on the outcome of the war, and the conversion process actively prevented action against the allied heavy bomber "round-the-clock" campaign that was slowly degrading Germany's war production]. In December 1943, having listened to many and varied objections regarding the "Blitz Bomber", Göring issued an order to the effect that by Spring 1944 "the Luftwaffe [shall have] sufficient operational fighter-bombers'. Ironically in July 1944 both the German and British air forces began flying jet powered fighters operationally.

When used as an air-superiority fighter, the task for which it had been designed, the Luftwaffe's Me 262s performed admirably but this was at a time when Hitler's stricture that no one could so much as mention the aircraft unless it was in the context of its use as a bomber effectively concealed this inconvenient truth. In September 1944 this policy was reversed but by then it was too late, there were far too few Me 262 available to make a difference, and far too few pilots

The British Gloster Meteor, powered by two Rolls-Royce Welland centrifugal-flow turbojets had a maximum speed [in level flight] of 692 km/h [430 mph] and thus only equivalent to the best-performing piston engined Allied fighters being flown in combat at that time. 

the German Messerschmitt Me 262, powered by two Junkers Jumo 004 axial-flow turbojets, had a maximum speed of 870 km/h [540 mph] - 178 km/h [111 mph] faster than the best piston-engined fighters and had superior climb performance, but those bald statements do not reflect the operational issues surrounding each type: the German jet engines had a service life of about 25 hours [in part due to the shortage of suitable heat-resistant steel alloys] while the British centrifugal jet engines could run for 180 hours. While no jet-to-jet air combat took place in July 1944 the first encounter between a German Me 262 and a British Mosquito [of roughly similar performance to the Meteor] ended bloodlessly.

The Gloster Meteor's maiden flight took place at Cranwell, Lincolnshire on 5 March 1943 with Michael Daunt at the controls. The new aircraft was powered by two Halford H.1 turbojets producing 2,300 lb  thrust each. Eight prototypes were built testing different engine types finally the 1,700 lb thrust Rolls-Royce Welland was selected and twenty pre-production jets were built designated Meteor I. The Meteor II never materialized so the Meteor III became the first true production version, the first 15 having Welland engines the rest 2,000 lb  thrust Derwent 1 turbojets in short nacelles.

No. 616 Squadron received the jet fighter first and flew its first combat sorties on 27 July 1944 against V-1 buzz bombs. On 4 August 1944 came the first victory when Flying Officer T.D. Dean sent a V-1 buzz bomb diving out of control by tipping it with his wing after he discovered his guns were jammed.

On 17 July 1945 the Meteor IV took to the air for the first time powered by two 3,500 lb thrust Derwent 5 engines in long nacelles. To add stiffeness to the wings without a major redesign 34 inches [87 cm] was clipped off each wing from the 9th aircraft onwards, thereby increasing the rate of roll but also take-off and landing speeds.

Some 200 Meteor jets were built by war's end. At this stage in the war the RAF used the Meteor to shoot down unmanned V-1 flying bombs, maintain coastal patrols and for training, where its ability to reach speeds in excess of 500 mph in a dive effectively simulated attacks by the ever-dwindling numbers of technically superior but effectively irreplaceable German jets.

Virtually no one knows that in Wright-Patterson Field in Ohio, in the Library of Congress and in the Department of Commerce in Washington, a "mother lode" of 1,500 tons of German patents and research papers were being mined furiously after the war. One gloating Washington bureaucrat called it "the greatest single source of this type of material in the world, the first orderly exploitation of an entire country's brain power".

Fortunately, it was for the benefit of the United States, which, having thwarted Hitler's crusade against the Soviet Union, had to take up the same gauntlet against a communism spread worldwide by the late 1940s.

The genesis of the project to grab German secrets was in 1944, when, amazed by German technology in everything from rockets and jets to Tiger tanks, a Joint Intelligence Objectives committee was set up to confiscate German inventions the instant they were obtained, even before the surrender, for use against Japan.

Even before reaching the German border, fascinating discoveries began to be made, including one with which every American is familiar: audio tape. The 1946 "Harper's article shows the head of the Technical Industrial Intelligence Branch, in quaint excitement:

"...[p]ulling some brown, papery-looking ribbon off a spool. It was a quarter-inch wide, with a dull side and a shiny side. "That's Magnetophone tape," he said. [2]

"It's plastic, metallized on one side with ferrous oxide. In Germany, that supplanted phonograph recordings. A day's radio program can be magnetized on one reel. [Then] you can demagnetize it, wipe it off, and put on a new program at any time. No needle, no noise or record wear. An hour-long reel costs 50 cents".

"A Short History of Recording and Its Effects Upon Music" by Michael Chanan [3] points out that even in the late 1920s, before the "12 darkest years of German history," [4] one Fritz Pfleumer had developed a plastic recording tape. It was launched commercially by BASF [5] in 1934. The idea was based on the film strip, and its original application was for dictation in an office environment. In Britain, a project funded by the great radio genius Guglielmo Marconi was attempting the same thing. [On D-Day, the Americans played audio tapes of combat loudly at various locations to try to throw off the German defenders].

However, the great leap forward came when one A. M. Poniatoff, president of a small California company called Ampex [a trade name still familiar to the older generation], then wearing a U.S. Army uniform, helped seize German-held Radio Luxembourg in late 1944. Instantly grasping the gold mine in profits and quality which the Magnetophone tape represented, Poniatoff had the 3M Company rush the new tape into American production, and it swept the Los Angeles entertainment industry.

Its major breakthrough came in 1947 when Bing Crosby first used it to record his network shows. The crooner not only preferred the Magnetophone sound but invested heavily in Ampex. Later, movie soundtracks went onto audio tape as well, improving mixing and dubbing efficiency as well, and avoiding the infuriating mishap where a successfully shot movie scene had to be retaken due to sound defects. Ampex later went on to introduce the first videotape recorders in 1956 [all now but a memory, sacrificed on the altar of free trade with Japan].

The list goes on and on: synthetic mica, which increased American cold steel production by 1,000 percent; "the secrets for 50,000 dyes, many of [which] are faster and better than ours, colors we were never able to make"; milk, butter and bread preservation without chemicals; and refrigeration and air-conditioning for German U-Boats so efficient that their subs could cruise from the Atlantic to the Pacific, fight there for two months and return to Germany without having to take on fresh water for the crew. In addition, there was the pilot ejector seat, the infrared rifle scope, and even the negative-air ionizer, which many Americans use for the fresh feeling it puts in the air, with claims of reduced blood pressure, allergy and asthma symptoms.

In addition to official government looting of Germany [what GIs always called "liberating"], there was also the personal looting bonanza exemplified by Robert Maxwell, financier extraordinaire, and at one time the most hated man in Britain. The great contribution of this Orthodox Jewish citizen, born Jan Hoch in what was then Czechoslovakia, was to found a scientific publishing empire in Britain, called Pergamon Press, based entirely on German research he had looted with British intelligence connivance. Maxwell came to dominate the British tabloid press and raided his own employees' pension fund to the tune of 90 million pounds. He finally perished mysteriously and nakedly in a plunge from his yacht in 1991 just a week after standing up to the Israeli secret police, the Mossad - who may have set him up in business in the first place. Interestingly, his main co-conspirator in the United States, Robert Rubin, formerly of Goldman Sachs, is now secretary of the treasury [6].

When not gunning down a surrendering German mayor armed only with a white flag [as he boasted in a "Der Spiegel" interview] or bribing British officers to invent his heroic war record [for which war record Montgomery personally pinned a medal on him], Maxwell/Hoch [7] was in the British Zone of Berlin in 1946 with the full backing of British intelligence, coercing the vast research findings of the Springer science publishing house from Springer's widow for pence on the pound.

Ultimately, after Maxwell stripped $94 million from the pension funds of the 5,000 employees of the Mirror Group, his U.S. financiers at Goldman Sachs were stripped of an estimated $250 million to settle their claims - whereupon Maxwell's body was fished from the sea by an astonished Spaniard, to be buried with full honors in Israel and hopefully forgotten. Far from exemplifying that the Germans were nothing without Jewish scientific help, his life suggested that one Jew could become a Billionaire exploiting German ideas.

Which raises the justifiable question of the atom bomb, which European Jews did produce for America and German scientists did not provide in time for Germany.

In his magisterial "Verschwörung und Verrat um Hitler" [Conspiracy and Treason Against Hitler], [8] Gen. Otto Ernst Remer details how anti-Hitler elements in the German scientific community maneuvered their own Werner Carl Heisenberg into the key Uranium-developing program at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute [now succeeded by the Max Planck Institute of Physics]. His clear mission, proudly proclaimed after World War II, [9] was to bureaucratically delay the German A-bomb project until the Allies had won the war. [10]

As just one example, munitions minister Albert Speer pleaded with Heisenberg and his fellow conspirator Carl Friedrich Freiherr von Weizsäcker [brother of a later West German president] to name whatever money or materials they required after they claimed they had been held up by shortages. Von Weizsäcker's reply asking for "40,000 Marks" caused Speer to stare in amazement, and to later confess that he had himself planned to propose 100 million Marks for starters.

Not only did Heisenberg state explicitly to "Der Spiegel", "We never tried to produce any atomic bombs and we are glad not to be responsible for having made any", he also admitted leaking the latest information on German Uranium-splitting research to the half-Jewish Danish scientist Niels Bohr, who promptly informed his racial confreres in the U.S.

Thus, Germany did not lack the bomb because it lacked Jews, but rather because a handful of key scientists hostile to Hitler wormed their way into the German atomic program. Heisenberg had even admitted to a shocked Luftwaffe audience in 1942, after the devastating British 1,000-bomber annihilations of the port cities of Kiel and Lübeck, that Germany could produce a bomb with material "the size of a banana" [gesturing with his hands] to wipe out an entire enemy city, but then he caught himself and said this of course would be economically impossible. [11]

One of Gen. Remer's most interesting assertions is that just as the Americans were racing in the final days to convert German inventions for use against Japan, Hitler was sending a U-Boat packed with secrets to that same nation at Emperor Hirohito's explicit request.

In "Verschwörung und Verrat um Hitler", Remer first notes the criticism that Propaganda minister Josef Göbbels had received for his "stand-fast, the miracle weapons are coming" message after Stalingrad. Ironically, while many of these weapons came too late to save Germany from its fate of occupation, government decapitation and dismemberment, Remer reports that a member of U-234 sent him the following:

"In the spring of 1945 I was ordered to report to serve on U-234. The sub was a specially redesigned former mine layer of the type XB with 1,760 tons, 4,200 horsepower and a 52-man crew. The commander was [a] Capt. Johnn Fehler.

"On 23 March 1945 the boat steamed out of Kiel toward southern Norway unsubmerged. On 15 April 1945 it dove at South Christiansand with an immediate goal of proceeding between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The destination was Japan.

"Our orders stated that we were to bring air force Gen. Ulrich Kessler as a Luftwaffe attaché with his staff and technicians to Tokyo. The [emperor] had asked us to help build up Japan's air defenses with the weapons developed in Germany.

"Also on board to this end were, besides the general, two air force officers, a navy anti-aircraft specialist, an underwater demolitions specialist, a low-frequency specialist from the staff of Prof. Karl Küpfmüller as well as two Messerschmitt engineers [specialists for the construction of Me-262s] [12] and two Japanese frigate captains. One of them was [a] Capt. Hideo Tomonaga, who had collaborated with us in his capacity as a specialist for one-man torpedoes [13] when we were developing our own small combat boats.

"Our cargo consisted of 12 steel cylinders, of the sort used for storing in mines, containing comprehensive microfilm material on the latest developments in German offensive and defensive weaponry, especially in rocket and rocket defense [anti-rocket rockets] warfare, as well as our research findings in the areas of high- and low-frequency technology, and finally a decisive contribution to the development of nuclear energy and atomic warfare.

"After passing through the Straits of Iceland and 28 days submerged at an average depth of 260 feet, a message reached us in the night of the 12 to 13 May [14] during Schnorchel travel, in which Grand Admiral [Karl] Dönitz ordered us to capitulate. At this point in time we were located in the middle of the Atlantic, southeast of the banks of Newfoundland.

"The order to our captain was couched in a very personal tone, telling him to hand the U-Boat over without destroying its valuable cargo. [15] After 12 hours of debate and reflection, Capt. Fehler decided in harmony with Gen. Kessler, and after informing the two Japanese frigate captains that he would be carrying out Dönitz's order and surface to surrender. The two Japanese officers took their own lives before the boat surfaced.

"Eight hours later, U-234 was taken as a prize of war by the American destroyer 'Sutton' and brought to the U.S. Navy base at Portland, Maine.

"The American officers and officials who subsequently interrogated us were evidently horrified over the contents of our U-Boat. They criticized us for supposedly having no idea how valuable our cargo was. At the end of July 1945 the officer in charge of the investigation team declared to me that the microfilm evidence and the testimony of our technicians had proved that in decisive technical developments, we were '100 years' ahead of the United States".

Which raises the nagging question of where all these continual "UFO" sightings come from, which began a few short years after World War II, and the capture of German high tech. The same government which gave us the Warren Commission cover-up, the public silent treatment of the Israeli assault on the USS Liberty, [16] and a blithe nonchalance about the social significance of the Black/White/Asian racial differences proven in the best-selling Harvard study "The Bell Curve", seems anxious to keep the public in the dark about all such "unconfirmed" sightings. [17].

It is at least interesting that it was just two years after the seizure of "50 tons"  of German aerospace and physics papers that the first major UFO story, the 1947 Roswell, New Mexico incident, broke. After all, what has fascinated researchers ever since [particularly government skeptics monitoring Area 51 at Groom Lake, north of Las Vegas] is things the Germans were working on: spacecraft which use new, tough, but lightweight materials, make 180 degree turns at Mach 4 without spilling the drinks and generally defy the laws of gravity, perhaps by the use of gyroscopes within gyroscopes.

It is well known that the German SS sent expeditions to Tibet, reputedly a land of mind-over-matter marvels, in the late 1930s. [18] The purpose was both to delve into evidence of Indo-European origins in the Himalayas and secret techniques used there, possibly including anti-gravity levitation. What ties this together with Europe, ancient America and Egypt is the finding of blond mummies or Nordic remains in or near many sites of architectural miracles.

As anyone who has seen the excellent programs on Egypt on the cable "History Channel", can testify, both the people living in ancient Egypt and the rulers of Macchu Picchu were doing virtually gravity-defying feats in constructing their pyramids and temples.

For such an influential figure, very little is known about Genghis Kahn’s personal life or even his physical appearance. No contemporary portraits or sculpturehim have survived, and what little information historians do have is often contradictory or unreliable.

Most accounts describe him as tall and strong with a flowing mane of hair and a long, bushy beard.

Perhaps the most surprising description comes courtesy of the 14th century Persian chronicler Rashid al-Din, who claimed Genghis had red hair and green eyes. Al-Din’s account is questionable—he never met the Khan in person—but these striking features were not unheard of among the ethnically diverse Mongols.

One can only speculate as to what secrets the Germans may have revived or discovered anew during the Third Reich, and which are now being utilized by the current government in Washington. It is well known from excavations of blond mummies in Egypt and in South America by Thor Heyerdahl as well as the statements of Mexican Emperor Montezuma [welcoming the Spanish "back" as their fabled "white gods"] that some sort of ancient white scientists or advanced physicists were involved with the origins of these cultures. Even the Chinese admit the existence of red-haired, blue-eyed tribes constantly infiltrating into ancient China [of which pictorial evidence is presented in a recent "National Geographic"] The great teacher Confucius himself [roughly 551-479 B.C.], of the noble K'ung family, was said to be a man of unusually tall stature for a Chinese, and Genghiz Khan [A.D. 1167-1227], the Mongol conqueror, had red hair and green eyes.

But the historical blackout continues. The government appears to be willing to hint that "aliens" from outer space are behind all this high tech. God forbid it should turn out that ancient Indo-Europeans were doing these things thousands of years ago, or especially Germans researching without the benefit of the Jews in the Third Reich.


[1] In Anton Zischka's "Und war es ein Wunder" [And It Was a Miracle] we read:

"If the surely not oversensitive Nazis had retired [with pension!] a total of 1,628 professors when they took power, the victims of the [Allied] anti-Nazis numbered no less than 4,289 professors and instructors, who received no pension whatsoever. As the newspaper "Christ und Welt" calculated in 1950, the Nazis dismissed 9.8 percent of their university teaching staff, the Allies 32.1 percent. Almost every third German professor lost his teaching or research post through the will of the victors. In Germany as a whole it was every second professor... In accordance with Control Commission Directive No. 24 of 1 January 1946, a total of 373,762 persons were found inappropriate for any public service or economic activity above that of manual laborer".

-- Quoted in Remer, Otto Ernst, "Verschwörung und Verrat um Hitler" [Conspiracy and Treason against Hitler]. See below [Note 9].

[2] Magnétophone is still the French word for an audiotape player.
[3] London, Verso Publishing, 1995.
[4] The mantra-like phrase every modern German schoolchild learns about the Hitler period.
[5] A German chemical giant, which nowadays has a large plant for adhesives and audiotape in North Carolina.
[6] See Maxwell articles in "The Spotlight" newspaper of 18 November 1991; 16 May 1994; 10 April and 1 May 1995; and 3 February 1997.
[7] And, briefly, Du Maurier, after a popular cigarette.
[8] "Verschwörung und Verrat um Hitler: Urteil des Frontsoldaten" [Judgement by a front-line soldier], Otto Ernst Remer, General, retired, Verlag K. W. Schütz, Preussisch Oldendorf, 1981.
Remer was a highly decorated combat officer, a ramrod straight old-style Prussian. Bearer of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves [personally presented to him by Hitler], he instantly thwarted the 20 July 1944 officers' Putsch against Hitler once he had heard Hitler's voice on the phone stating that he was alive and how to proceed. After the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, he founded the highly popular Socialist German Reich Party (13 percent of the vote), which the Allies banned. He had to flee Germany in the early 1990s and died in Spanish political exile in 1996.
[9] "Der Spiegel", 24 November 1952.
[10] No more unbelievable than people calling themselves "Americans" parading the streets of Washington, D.C. during time of war in 1968, screaming: "Ho! Ho! Ho Chi Minh! Viet Cong are gonna win!" [11] Remer.
[12] The German 500-mph fighter-bomber.
[13] One intact example of such a manned torpedo may be seen at the Mystic Seaport museum in Connecticut.
[14] After the German surrender, by Grand Admiral von Dönitz
[15] Dönitz, who had been chosen as successor by Hitler because of his immaculate war record as well as his genuine National Socialist leanings, apparently felt that whatever his admiration for the fighting Japanese people, it would be better that the Americans get these secrets for use against the Soviets than for their ally [who had not notified Berlin before she attacked Pearl Harbor] to receive them in an obviously losing cause.
[16] U.S. Navy officers seem well aware of this outrage. The author spoke with a Navy captain [and, coincidentally, Mayflower descendant], who waved his hand and said, "Don't get me started".
[17] Which is the same as "unconfirmed sightings" of Vietnam-era American POWs, and the standard operating procedure when the Pentagon, CIA or White House has something to hide: "We will neither confirm nor deny..."
[18] In fact, one expedition was trivialized into a movie, "Seven Years in Tibet", about the real SS man Heinrich Harrer - played by Brad Pitt - and a young Dalai Lama.

Theft of German Scientific Research Fueled Post-War Technology Boom
By Daniel W. Michaels

"To the Victor Belong the Spoils" is an American saying [attributed to Andrew Jackson] and, regrettably, an occasional American practice as it was in the case of "the Great Patent Heist of 1946". It was made official policy in World War II by President Harry Truman's Executive Order 9604, also known as the "License to Steal," which permitted agents of the U.S. government to execute the greatest robbery in world history: the theft of German intellectual [scientific] property. What technology the Americans and Soviets stole has, in fact, fueled some of the greatest scientific advances of the modern era.

Now, almost three-quarters of a century after World War II, as the fear of arrest and punishment for denying the received version of the causes and consequences of World War II as established by the victorious Allies diminishes, more and more Germans are investigating Allied behavior before, during and after the war. Aside from the holocaust, which remains immune from critical studies, almost any aspect of the war, however embarrassing to the victors [e.g., the strategic bombing campaign], may now be studied without fear of retribution.

In this new spirit, Friedrich George has published a study of Allied postwar policy regarding the disposition of German intellectual property, especially the modern and futuristic patents of Nazi Germany. George finds that the Allies, chiefly the Americans and the Soviets, simply confiscated all patents, designs, inventions etc. they could lay their hands upon -military, industrial and commercial- regardless of international law or the Geneva Conference. Once in the United States or Soviet Russia the German inventions were "reinvented" and stamped "Made in the U.S.A." or "XXXX".

When World War II ended, America's elite determined that the United States would not lapse back into its prewar depressed state, but rather would revitalize its economy and have a first-class military and industrial establishment. To this end, Germany’s advanced military hardware; aeronautical and industrial secrets would simply be confiscated and transplanted in America.

Even before the war ended, Vannevar Bush, America's scientific advisor, recommended that the activities of the Combined Intelligence Operations Subcommittee [CIOS], a joint Anglo-American Intelligence-gathering operation, be expanded to include the exploitation of German technical information of an industrial nature as well as of strictly military matters. In August 1945, President Harry Truman, acting under the adage that "might makes right" issued Executive Order 9604 ordering the release and distribution of confiscated German scientific and industrial information [technologies, inventions, methods, processes, equipment etc.] to the U.S. civilian economy. It was literally a license to steal.

President Truman's Executive Order 9604 provided for:

"The release and dissemination of certain scientific and industrial information heretofore or hereafter obtained from the enemy, including all information concerning scientific, industrial and technological processes, inventions, methods, devices, improvements and advances heretofore or hereafter obtained by any department or agency of this government in enemy countries regardless of its origin, or in liberated areas if such information is of enemy origin or has been acquired or appropriated by the enemy".

-- Gimbel, John. "Science, Technology, and Reparations. Exploitation and Plunder in Postwar Germany". Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press 1990.

As the American military began to occupy Germany, they initially concentrated on locating and securing advanced German military hardware used in the war. In the summer of 1944 the Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff created military-civilian teams, called the Joint Intelligence Objectives Committee [JIOC], which was to follow the invading armies and uncover Germany's military, scientific and industrial assets. "Field Intelligence Agencies, Technical" units [FIAT units] scoured the countryside for German economic assets. While the U.S. military had no qualms about confiscating German military hardware, they hesitated and eventually refused to engage in the wholesale seizure of German commercial and industrial assets, considering such action not within their authority. More than a few honorable U.S. Army officers, led by Gen. Lucius D. Clay, interceded with civilian occupation policymakers on behalf of the Germans to stop the looting.

Concerning the legality of the U.S. confiscations of German property, William G. Downey, chief of the Army's International Law Branch in the Judge Advocate General's Office, quoting extensively from "The Hague Convention rules on the seizure of private enemy property", wrote:

"It is a generally recognized principle of the international law of war that enemy private property may not be seized unless it is susceptible of direct military use. An army of occupation can only take possession...of property belonging to the state".

The theft of intellectual property is not new, but the extent and ruthlessness of what the "wannabe" superpowers did in Germany from 1945 to 1948 was unprecedented. The United States and the Soviet Union literally stole the entire extant store of German patents, designs, inventions and trademarks. Germans, who were not forthcoming in informing the U.S. Occupation Forces of the existence and location of such records could be imprisoned, punished and even threatened with death for "insufficient reporting". To ensure that the Allies would have an insurmountable head start in exploiting the patents, the Germans were even forbidden to use or refer to their own inventions after they were confiscated. The German Patent Office was closed by the Allies and not reopened for several years. When it did reopen, the first number assigned was 800,001, indicating that some 800,000 original patents had been looted by the Allies. As a result, in the immediate postwar years, with Germany prostrate and robbed of its intellectual property, America and Russia soon emerged as the two superpowers in a bipolar world.

Konrad Adenauer, the first chancellor of the German Federal Republic, wrote in his Memoirs:

"At the end of 1948 the director of the American office for technical services, Mr. John Green, gave the press a report on his activities, which were concerned with the exploitations of German patents and industrial secrets. What strikes one in this report is the fact that AMTORG [Moscow's foreign trade organization] was the keenest purchaser. During one month alone the Russians bought more than 2,000 Wehrmacht reports on secret German weapons, for which they paid $6,000. According to a statement made by an American expert, the patents formerly belonging to IG Farben have given the American chemical industry a lead of at least 10 years. The damage thus caused to the German economy is huge and cannot be assessed in figures. It is extraordinarily regrettable that the new German inventions cannot be protected either, because Germany is not a member of the Patent Union. Britain has declared that it will respect German inventions regardless of what the peace treaty may say. But America has refused to issue such a declaration. German inventors are therefore not in a position to exploit their own inventions. This puts a considerable brake on German economic development".

Adenauer denied reports in the British zone of occupation press that he had characterized Allied measures regarding German patents as sheer robbery:

"I had said nothing of the kind....I had mentioned the view of leading foreign politicians that the German patents were extremely valuable. My speech was intended to point out that German inventors still did not enjoy international protection of their rights and that this constituted a notable obstacle to German recovery".

Years later, in 1953, the chancellor pressed President Dwight Eisenhower to resolve the question of the use of trademarks owned by German nationals before the war. Some progress had been made in restoring trademarks to their previous German owners, and Adenauer received assurances that no further German assets or trademarks would be confiscated or liquidated and that restitution would be "considered" at some later date. [That date has not yet arrived].

The United States also promised to review the situation concerning German ships, with an eye to possibly returning them to German control.

Although Americans today find it hard to believe that this country was once a laggard nation in science and industrial innovations, it was, until the hostilities broke out in late 1941. America under President Franklin Roosevelt had failed to pull the country out of the doldrums of the depression, and while the economy, after having been put on a wartime basis, was unsurpassed in its volume of production, its products, including wartime hardware, were inferior to those of the German war machine. Mass production -quantity rather than quality- characterized American manufacturing.

Even during the war the United States was not particularly noted for major breakthroughs in pure science or innovative technologies. The National Science Foundation brought this deficit in American capabilities sharply to the attention of the government in a 1946 report indicating, among other factors, that up to that date the United States had been the home of only four Nobel Prize winners in Chemistry as compared to 37 recipients in Europe, eight U.S. winners in Physics to 39 in Europe, and six in Medicine, to 37 in Europe. Most of these prizes were awarded to Germans and Austrians.

While military analysts the world over now recognize the superiority of German World War II hardware, few, however, are aware that German scientists had done much of the basic scientific pioneer work in the development of many postwar industrial technologies and products for civilian use. In consumer goods and medical advances, Germans under National Socialism were enjoying color TV and color photography a decade before the American public could buy its first black-and-white sets. The Nazi government had modernized the road system in Germany in the 1930s with the Autobahn, and Volkswagen had begun to produce the "Beetle" so that all citizens could afford to own an automobile. It was not until the 1950s, under President Eisenhower, that the United States undertook the construction of a modern highway system.

German scientists established a link between smoking and cancer in the 1930s, but fierce resistance of the American tobacco companies prevented the American people from having access to this knowledge until 20 years after its discovery. They studied the effects of positively and negatively ionized air on health conditions, developed performance-enhancing drugs, and introduced other innovative and therapeutic treatments that are common practice today everywhere. During the war Germans had also developed a synthetic blood plasma [capain], a blood liquid substitute [periston], and synthetic penicillin, "Substitute 3065".

The revolutionary birth control pill, whose discovery was announced in the United States in 1951, also had its origins in investtigations conducted in the laboratories of Göttingen University, Germany, in the 1940s. Chemist Carl Dierassi, who emigrated from Vienna to America shortly before the war, worked with pharmacologists Gregori Pincus and John Rock to introduce "Enovid" on the American market, protected by a U.S. patent, in the 1960s.

Germany, like Japan, was and remains one of the "have-not" nations, small in size and wanting in natural resources. The development of synthetic [Ersatz] products of all kinds was essential to German existence, especially in wartime. Necessity being the mother of invention, German chemists undertook to provide substitutes for Mother Nature's shortcomings. Most synthetics served well. Some, like ersatz coffee [Ersatz-Kaffee], fell short of general acceptance.

One of the largest hauls of classified information harvested by the Allies came from laboratories and plants of IG Farben, a syndicate with close American ties that held an almost complete monopoly on chemical production. Chemistry of course was the foundation for the creation of most synthetics. The enormous IG Farben Building in Frankfurt, which housed records of estimable value, was "miraculously" spared during the World War II bombing orgy, proving that better bombing accuracy was possible if the Allies had wished it. The vaults of the Farben Building contained secret industrial information on, among others, liquid and solid fuels, metallurgy, synthetic rubber, textiles, chemicals, plastics, drugs and dyes. Secret formulas were obtained for over 50,000 dyes, many faster and better than those in the democracies.

Several U.S. Army officers stationed in the Farben Building after the war commented that the value of the files and records confiscated would alone have been sufficient to finance the war.

In the digital world, for example, German pre-war and wartime scientists had been at the cutting edge of important developments, from the quartz clock, semiconductors, silicon technology and transistors to the first computer. Among others, German researchers Herbert F. Matere and Heinrich Welker, working with Zeiss, Siemens and the Kaiser Willhelm Institute for Silicate Research, were the first to develop the process for the industrial production of integrated circuits and transistors.

The culmination of these advances in solid-state physics and digital instrumentation in Nazi Germany was the wartime development of a pioneer computer, the Z4. Engineers Konrad Zuse and Helmut Schreyer in Berlin developed these earliest computers. Zuse's laboratory and earlier models of his computer, dating from 1937, were destroyed in bombing raids during the Battle of Berlin, but in the immediate postwar era Zuse was able to rebuild a fully operational Z4 by 1949, several months before the debut of the U.S. Eniac. Zuse is also credited with having developed the first programmable computer language, "Plankalkul". America's Bill Gates met with Zuse in 1995 and now displays Zuse's picture in his office at Microsoft.

Of foremost importance to all industrial nations, and to Germany in particular for the war, was the need for a reliable source of energy to power the factories, heat the homes, and fuel the ships, planes and vehicles of the nations.

Germany possessed coal but not oil. German chemists met the challenge quickly and successfully through the development of both the Fischer-Topische and the hydrogenation methods of converting [liquefying] coal into oil and, from the oil, to make lubricants and gasoline. In the course of the war these plants were gradually being moved underground to protect them from bombing. After the war the Allies confiscated all patents and records on the design and operation of the hydrogenation and Fischer-Topische plants and forbade the Germans from using existing plants or developing new ones, making them dependent on imported oil. For example, 10% of the Marshall Plan had to be used to buy American oil.

Germany is also said to have invented a distillation process for the separation of gasoline from oil by the use of audible frequency vibrations. Self-sufficiency in power generation is essential to the sovereignty and independence of all nations. So important is the power factor that the planned Berlin-Baghdad-Basra railroad is said to have been as decisive for the British declaration of war against Germany in World War I as the development of the Fischer-Topische and hydrogenation processes in Germany was for the British declaration of war in World War II. As long as Britain and France controlled the Near East oil fields, Germany would never be granted free access, nor would the Allies want to see Germany gain oil independence through its newly developed conversion processes.

In the matter of nuclear power, German scientists in Berlin were making feasibility studies of the possible uses of nuclear energy to propel ships and submarines as early as 1941. Moreover, the possibilities of employing nuclear reactors to power land vehicles were also being explored.

To list just a few of the many technological advances of consumer interest, German industry developed synthetic mica, synthetic sapphires, Diesel engines, plastics, rayon-weaving machines, the cold-extrusion process, UV milk pasteurization, fruit juice sterilization without heat, food preservation techniques, magnetic tape, infrared night vision aids, laser guidance and so on. The patents, test models, and prototypes of all of the above were simply taken and exploited by their new proprietors.

By the time the war ended, Germany had 138 types of guided missiles in various stages of development and production as well as every conceivable experimental and operational guidance and triggering systems [radar, radio, wire, continuous radio waves, acoustic, infrared, light beams, and magnetics] for its war effort. The "rocket" that launched the United States into superpower realm was German. The Soviet Union also copied the German weaponry but largely ignored consumer products.

In May 1955 Paris Agreement, the Allies, aware of the improprieties involved in their seizure of German industrial secrets, made the German Federal Government agree to renounce all claims or objections to Allied actions during the occupation:

"The [German] federal government shall in the future raise no objections against the measures which have been, or will be, carried out with regard to German external assets or other property, seized for the purpose of reparation or restitution, or as a result of the state of war, or on the basis of agreements concluded, or to be concluded by the Three Powers with any other Allied countries, neutral countries or former allies of Germany".

It is clear from the above provision that the Allies, chiefly the United States, still maintain the right to monitor German industry by means of the "Echelon" eavesdropping program and other intellignece aganecies. The fruits of this ongoing surveillance are sent, among other destinations, to U.S. and Israeli recipients.

It is of course impossible to determine exactly how much the confiscation, sale, and the industrial exploitation of the German patents enriched the United States and Israel in dollars. Prof. John Gimbel, in his book "Science, Technology, and Reparations: Exploitation and Plunder in Postwar Germany", estimates the "intellectual reparations" taken by the U.S. and the UK alone amounted to about $10 Billion.

In 1952 the publisher Herbert Grabert ventured an estimate of $30 Billion. Converted into 2008 dollars these estimates would amount to hundreds ofBbillions. If the loot taken by the Soviet Union were also taken into account, the sum would likely approach $1 trillion. An infusion of this amount into the U.S. economy over a period of years easily explains U.S. postwar prosperity.

In conclusion, author Friedrich Georg warns that successive countries in history have for a time enjoyed a leading position in world power, only to see the baton pass on to competing nations, America too must guard its vanguard position. In order to ensure its status as the world's superpower today, the United States will have to maintain an innovative scientific, engineering and technological base. China, Georg believes, is currently in the best position to overtake the United States in that the Chinese have talent, the drive, the geography and most importantly, thanks to globalization, the wealth [in U.S. Dollars] to buy whatever they require.


Daniel W. Michaels was for over 40 years a translator of Russian and German for the Department of Defense, the last 20 years of which he was with the Naval Maritime Intelligence Center. He is the author of various scientific reports and is a contributor of book reviews and articles to geographical and historical periodicals. Born in New York City, he now lives in Washington, D.C. area.

"Captured" German and Japanese Information and Know-How

The Goliath tracked mine was employed by the Wehrmacht during World War II. It carried 60 or 100 kilograms [130 or 220 lb] of high explosives, depending on the model, and was intended to be used for multiple purposes, such as destroying tanks, disrupting dense infantry formations, and demolition of buildings and bridges.

In late 1940, after recovering the prototype of a miniature tracked vehicle developed by the French vehicle designer Adolphe Kégresse near the Seine, the Wehrmacht's ordnance office directed the Carl F.W. Borgward automotive company of Bremen, Germany to develop a similar vehicle for the purpose of carrying a minimum of 50 kg of explosives.

The result was the SdKfz. 302 [Sonderkraftfahrzeug, "special-purpose vehicle"], called the Leichter Ladungsträger ["light charge carrier"], or Goliath, which carried 60 kilograms [130 lb] of explosives. The vehicle was steered remotely via a joystick control box. The control box was attached to the Goliath by a triple-strand cable connected to the rear of the vehicle, for transmitting power to the electric driven version. Two of the strands were used to move and steer the Goliath, while the third was used for detonation. The Goliath had 650 metres [2,130 ft] of cable.

Each Goliath was disposable, being intended to be blown up with its target. Early model Goliaths used an electric motor but, as these were costly to make [3000 Reichsmarks] and difficult to repair in a combat environment, later models [known as the SdKfz. 303] used a simpler, more reliable gasoline engine.

Goliaths were used on all fronts where the Wehrmacht fought, beginning in early 1942. They were used principally by specialized Panzer and combat engineer units. Goliaths were used at Anzio in Italy in April 1944, and against the Polish resistance during the Warsaw Uprising 1944. A few Goliaths were also seen on the beaches of Normandy during D-Day, though most were rendered inoperative due to artillery blasts severing their command cables. A small number of Goliaths were also encountered by Allied troops in the Maritime Alps following the landings in southern France in August 1944, with at least one being used successfully against a vehicle of the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion.

Although a total of 7,564 Goliaths were produced, the single-use weapon was not considered a success due to the high unit cost, low speed [just 9.7 km/h], poor ground clearance [just 11.4 centimeters], vulnerable command cables and thin armour which failed to protect the remote bomb from any form of antitank weapons. The Goliath did help lay the foundation for post-war advances in remote-controlled vehicle technologies.

The more desperate the situation became for the Axis Powers, the weirder the schemes that came to light: there was talk, for example, that the Japanese were building mini-bombers which could be stored on U-Boats and thus transported close to the Central American mainland. Re-assembled on board and launched from the boat, these bombers were to destroy in a suicide mission, the gates of the Panama Canal and thus interrupt the shipping of essential war materials and supplies from the factories of the eastern United States to the Pacific theater of war.

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto had personally ordered that the submarines 1-400, the 1-401 and the 1-402 be built - the largest ever built and used in World War ll.

These submarines were 400 hundred feet and 3 inches long and 39 feet and 4 inches wide. In order to keep the draught [depth] as shallow as possible, the hull was constructed as two side by side cylinders. Armament was one 5.5 inch gun, ten 25-mm cannon [anti-aircraft guns] and eight 21 inch torpedo tubes. And on deck the subs carried three Aichi M6A1 'Seiran' fighter/bomber seaplanes [in water tight hangars]. A catapult launched the seaplanes and a crane lifted them back on board. Their cruising range was a remarkable 37,500 miles. And their diving range was at least 325 feet. These subs could do 18 3/4 knots on the surface and 6 1/2 knots submerged. Sometimes they were fitted with dummy funnels to try and disguise them. Most of Japan's submarines were sunk during World War II, but somehow these three super subs survived.

The American and British teams of military and industrial specialists following the combat troops were charged to find out what was actually there and what could, reasonably, be expected to happen. This was, by no means, a safe and pleasant job. Most of the "targets" had, more or less, been subjected to bombing or devastated during the fighting; the Germans were still counter-attacking; there were mines and unexploded ammunition everywhere; and the just "liberated" Germans were not always friendly or co-operating. Some of the Intelligence men lost their lives or were wounded and all were living and working under conditions that were not better than those for the soldiers.

But why the hurry, could this information gathering not have taken place later? One reason why not was the lack of Intelligence concerning the state of atomic bomb development in Germany.

Following the advancing Allied Troops into France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and, later, Japan, teams of military and industrial specialists came right on the heels of the combat units to collect documents and study German and Japanese military and industrial developments that had produced some of the major weapons used by the enemies especially towards the end of the war: the jet engine, the V-1 and V-2 rockets, high-speed aircraft, remotely guided mini-tanks to destroy combat tanks, one- and two-man Kamikaze U-Boats, and many more. Worse, there was talk of the existence of flying saucers, atomic bombs, chemical and biological ammunition, and other miracle weapons which Hitler or the Japanese were going to use during the end-phase of the fighting in order to wrest victory from the Allied Forces.

On 14 February 1945, Hitler spoke to Dr Erwin Giesing, who had treated his shattered eardrums until October 1944 after the failed 20 July plot:

"Germany is in a tough spot, but I’ll get her out of it.  The British and Americans have miscalculated badly.... In no time at all I'm going to start using my Victory weapon [Siegwaffe] and then the war will come to a glorious end.  Some time ago we solved the problem of nuclear fission, and we have developed it so far that we can exploit the energy for armaments purposes [Rüstungszwecke].  They won’t even know what hit them!  Its the weapon of the future.  With it Germany’s future is assured.  It was Providence that allowed me to perceive this final path to victory.

"The West Wall will stand fast and then our Siegwaffe will decide the war in a very short time.... And if the war should go against us, then we must all die bravely.  I shall remain at the head of my forces and die in action.  But Providence has brought me this far unscathed, and I shall continue along this prescribed path undeterred by whatever may befall me".

-- Giesing wrote his account of this conversation with Hitler from memory on 21 June 1945—six weeks before Hiroshima!  The origin of Hitler’s optimism is puzzling.

"We have invisible aircraft, submarines, colossal tanks and cannon, unbelievably powerful rockets, and a bomb with a working that will astonish the whole world. The enemy knows this, and besieges and attempts to destroy us. But we will answer this destruction with a storm and that without unleashing a bacteriological war, for which we are also prepared.... All my words are the purest truth. That you will see. We still have things that need to be finished, and when they are finished, they will turn the tide".

-- Adolf Hitler, 13 March 1945

Firedamp is a gas that occurs in coal mines and is explosive when mixed with air in certain proportions. It consists chiefly of methane [CH4, natural gas or marsh gas[ but always contains small quantities of other gases, such as nitrogen, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen, and sometimes ethane and carbon monoxide".

After the failure of the Ardennes campaign, in March 1945 Hitler decided on a last desperate gamble. On his last appearance at the front, he exhorted his troops to hold out until the miracle weapon should be ready, which would bring about the change in Germany's fortunes. Posterity has been left few traces of the former Flak weapon based on firedamp. 

The Flak shells containing coal dust powder were to be developed into a super bomb.

A special catalyst had been developed by the SS in 1943 and the following year Dr. Mario Zippermayer turned his energies to a "Schwere Luft" [heavy air] bomb. Encouraging results were obtained from a mixture consisting of 60% finely powdered dry brown coal and 40% liquid air.

Zippermayer then conceived the idea that the effect might be improved if the powder was spread out in the form of a cloud before ignition, and trials were run using an impregated paper container. This involved the use of a waxy substance. A metal cylinder was attached to the lower end of the paper container and hit the ground first, dispersing the powder. After 0.25 seconds a small charge in the metal cylinder exploded, igniting the funnel-shaped cloud of coal dust and liquid air.

The ordnance had to be filled immediately prior to the delivery aircraft taking off. Bombs of 50 kgs were dropped on the Starbergersee and photographs taken. SS-Standartenführer Dr Alfred Lemm showed these to Rudolf Brandt, Himmler’s personal adviser. The intensive explosion  created a massive pressure wave and tornado effect over a radius of 4 kms from the impact point, and the explosion was felt at a radius of 12.5 kilometres. When the bomb was dropped on an airfield, destruction was caused as far as 12 kilometres away, although only the tops of trees were destroyed at that distance, but the blast flattened trees on a hillside 5 kilometres away.

A sequential disturbance in climate for a period after the explosion was reported. Radioactive material added to the explosive mixture was possibly to give it even better penetration and distribution. The bomb would have been the equivalent of a tornado but covering a far wider diameter, sucking up in its path everything but the most solid structures and scattering radioactive particles over the wide area devastated by the initial explosion. The survivors of the explosion would be suffocated by the lightning effect at ground level burning up the surrounding air.

These findings appear in the British Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committee Final Report No 142 Information Obtained From Targets of Opportunity in the Sonthofen Area. Although one suspects initially that the radius of the area allegedly affected as described in this report had been worked upon by the Propaganda Ministry, Sir William Stephenson, the head of the British Security Coordination Intelligence mission British Security Coordination, the largest integrated Intelligence network enterprise in history, stated:

"One of our agents brought out for BSC a report, sealed and stamped 'This is of Particular Secrecy' telling of liquid air bombs being developed in Germany of terrific destructive power".

Stevenson noted that they were "as powerful as rockets with atomic warheads".

This bomb is never heard of today
. Furthermore British Intelligence published the report without comment.

The mysterious loss of Luftwaffe and OKW War Diaries for the month or so in question may have been connected with the execution of Luftwaffe General der Aufklärungsflieger Karl-Henning von Barsewisch and several hundred pilots and airfield commanders for refusing to implement orders to use it at the end of March 1945.

Ferenc A. Vajda and Peter G. Dancey Vajrey, "German Aircraft Industry and Production 1933-1945" [Airlife Books, UK 1998] allege that at the end of March 1945 in the Lahn region of the Western Front, General der Flieger von Barsewisch and over 300 airfield commanders and pilots were executed for refusing to obey an unknown order.

The so-called "mutiny"  was actually a voicing of strong disagreement that occurred  in early December 1944 during a meeting of some 300 Jagdflieger Kommodore, Kommandeure and Staffelkapitäne that had been called by Göring, reportedly connected with an Me 262 two-seater bomber aircraft deliberately crashing behind American lines at Lahn on 30 March 1945. The eminent and highly respected German Jagdwaffe historian Dr. Jochen Prien does  not think the meeting rose to the level of a riot.

A few officers were fired from their jobs or resigned, but there was no retaliation against the other 99%. The account of this is well covered in the Adolf Galland memoir and in a number of others.

Approximately 95% of all Luftwaffe documents were destroyed in the final week of the war in accordance with long-standing orders from Reichmarschall Göring. Most of the documents were in wooden crates aboard a 50-car train after being evacuated to Karlsbad/Sudetenland from Potsdam near Berlin in February 1945. A short time after the train departed Karlsbad about 5 May 1945, it came to a halt in a rural area and the order was given to begin the destruction. The crates were dragged off the train, sloshed down with Petrol and set on fire.

On 7 May 1945 in American custody, Hermann Göring told his captors, "I declined to use a weapon which might have destroyed all civilization", the interference being perhaps that the use of the explosive threatened to so destabilize the climate as to bring about the cataclysm, but that Hitler had nevertheless ordered its use against the Allies on the western front regardless.

Since nobody knew what he meant, it was reported quite openly at the time.

"The wonder weapons are the hope. It is laughable and senseless for us to threaten at this moment, without a basis in reality for these threats. The well-known mass destruction bombs are nearly ready. In only a few days, with the utmost meticulous Intelligence, Hitler will probably execute this fearful blow, because he will have full confidence.... It appear, that there are three bombs - and each has an astonishing operation. The construction of each unit is fearfully complex and of a lengthy time of completion".

-- Benito Mussolini, 'Political Testament', 22 April 1945, cited in Edgar Meyer and Thomas Mehner, "Hitler und die Bombe: Welchen Stand erreichte die deutsche Atomforschung und Geheimwaffenentwicklung wirklich?" [Rottenburg: Kopp Verlag, 2002]

The Allies did not know that Hitler, not wanting, or not being able to recognize the revolutionary potential of atomic weapons, did not favor, and, therefore, support financially, the development of these bombs on the level that would have assured success.

Early on Hitler had shown a shrewd grasp of tactical military concepts and was deeply involved in the use of massed armor, innovative weapons, and tank design. As the war progressed, he refused to consider new weapons and innovations his scientists and engineers were developing, tools that might have made a difference to the final outcome. His neglect of, or interference with, German research and development of advanced tech­nology such as jet airplanes, heat-seeking rockets, sound-seeking torpedoes, ground-to-air missiles, and radar all hampered the German war effort. In 1940 Hitler banned weapons programs which could not be completed within a year. This decision by the Führer put back the development of key weapon systems so that by the time they were finally operational  they had minimal impact on the war. Perhaps his greatest failing, from a strategic military standpoint, was his de­cision to halt funding for Germany's atomic weapons program. 

There was also talk later on that German physicists like Werner Heisenberg and Otto Hahn, and their staffs, who had been in the forefront of atomic research prior to the war, were hesitant to deliver the all-destructive power of the atom into the Führer's hands and kept stalling. Furthermore, some of the most brilliant minds had left Germany and Europe for the United States during Hitler's persecution of the Jews and were now working for the Allies. True or false: the West did not know what was really going on and how far the German research had advanced literally until the last days of the conflict when, with the capture of Heisenberg, they finally could breathe easier.

What was known to the Allies was that the German chemists had developed highly toxic and deadly gases and biological cultures, and that there would be a good chance that Hitler would use these poisons at the end of the war. To secure and study these weapons and, possibly, find antidotes, was another reason for the rapid deployment of the Intelligence troops.

Germany was manufacturing thousands of tons of Tabun-B near Breslau from August 1943, and were stockpiling artillery rounds and aircraft bombs filled with nerve gas for a planned offensive in October 1944 according to an OSS report from Switzerland dated November 1944. 

They never used it, or Sarin and Soman, because it is suspected that Hitler, a victim of gas warfare himself, was left scarred by that experience and did not wish to initiate a chemical exchange.

Despite continued urging from Bormann and Fieldmarshal Ferdinand Schörner, Hitler flatly refused to load exploding canisters of Sarin gas into V-2 rockets which would have turned Europe into a graveyard.

Germany's biologists during WWII had also figured out how to make all sorts of bioweapons.

In 1943, a high-ranking Nazi scientist had recommended, "America must be attacked simultaneously with various human and animal epidemic pathogens as well as plant pests".

The scientists also learned how to weaponize a many of human diseases, including typhoid, cholera, and anthrax. The ingenious synthetic medium they invented to keep the diseases dangerous for weeks was considered an "outstanding" achievement by the American scientists who raided Nazi laboratories after the war.

So why did they not they use these "weapons"? Early in the war, Hitler issued an obscure order that said there could be no offensive biological weapons research. Nazi scientists basically ignored that order and did it anyway, but Hitler refused to change his mind when he was informed that he now had WMDs. Theories about why he did that abound.

Thirdly, it was expected that the war against Japan, especially following the Allied invasion of the Japanese homeland, would be a bitterly fought and long-lasting battle costing many casualties on both sides. Where there any weapons in the German arsenal that could be quickly adapted for use against the Japanese?

Finally, the development of German miracle weapons had to be based on advances in research and development by Germany's industry and research facilities from basic to advanced levels and the results of that research had to be made available to American and Allied companies for their exploitation and use, especially during the period of conversion from wartime to peacetime economy.

The Collectors

The teams collecting military and industrial information and documents were made up of small groups of military and/or industrial specialists, working independently. They were recruited from military or Government laboratories and from American and British companies and were experts in their fields. Knowing the state of development in their specialties in their own countries, they were able to judge whether German development was superior, inferior, or just useful. All teams reported to their own field agencies; their reports were generally classified "secret" until after the capitulation of Germany and of Japan respectively. There seems to have been little coordination or cooperation between the individual agencies and, to the dismay of German factory owners and what was left of their technical staffs, many of the targets were visited by several teams and more than once, and, what one team left behind, the others took. The most important agencies working in Germany and their "fields of interest" were the following: [1]

OSS, the Office of Strategic Services - identified targets of strategic and industrial importance and provided this information to other agencies which then sent investigative teams.

EEIS, the Enemy Equipment Intelligence Service - actually located German and Japanese equipment, such as new aircraft, tanks, binoculars, ammunition, metalworking equipment, etc. for evaluation and to instruct Allied personnel in its use. Later, the staff was used to evaluate German industrial equipment in general.

ALSOS Mission - This group, composed of military and counter-intelligence specialists was charged with a specific mission: to determine the state of atomic bomb development in Germany.

FIAT, the Field Intelligence Agency, Technical - was established to investigate German industrial development during 1939 - 1945 primarily in the American Occupation Zone. Headquartered in Frankfurt, it was the "collecting" arm of the Technical Industrial Intelligence Committee [TIIC].

 CIOS, the Combined Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee - was made up of American and British specialists to examine German industrial targets. The reports issued by this group are the CIOS and JIOA (Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency) document series.

TIIB, the Technical Industrial Intelligence Branch [later: TIIC, Technical Industrial Intelligence Committee] - was established as an agency of the Joint Chiefs of Staff but transferred to the Department of Commerce in January 1946. Its task was to look into every segment of the German industrial landscape and obtain any information that might be of interest to American companies. During 1946 TIIB sent over 400 investigators into Germany. Many of these industrial experts traveled at their company's expense, sworn in as temporary Government employees without compensation. TIIB arranged with the Army for their transportation and for their living and working quarters in Germany. In return, the investigators agreed that their findings would be fully reported in writing to TIIB and that these reports would be made public.

To make sure that individual investigators did not use information obtained from German companies for their own or their company's exclusive use, two men from competing companies were teamed up. Furthermore, the reports submitted were reviewed for completeness by TIIB staff and the American military government. Overall, TIIB staff selected from the 3.5 billion pages collected from the files of German industry about 3.5 million which were considered of interest to United States industry. The documents chosen were filmed in Germany, the rest were left there. In addition, TIIB brought more than 300,000 pounds of German equipment and product samples from Germany, in addition to the 200 tons of materials captured by the Army and Navy, which was also turned over to civilian agencies for study and testing after the military had completed its studies [2].

Navy Technical Mission, Europe [Japan] - original a portion of the ALSOS Mission, was assigned to investigate German [and Japanese] advances in synthetic fuels and lubricants of interest to the Navy. U.S. Naval Technical Oil Mission in Europe: Production of Synthetic Fuels by the Hydrogenation of Solid and Liquid Carbonaceous Materials [PB 27701].

TOM [Technical Oil Mission] - A non-military group sponsored by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, was made up of American and British petroleum experts and charged with investigating the industrial production of synthetic fuels and lubricants from coal using the Fischer-Tropsch method. The Bureau and American industry actually built petroleum manufacturing plants according to German specifications after the war, but the glut of petroleum available then made the program uneconomical. In the 1970's, however, faced with a petroleum embargo, the Republic of South Africa developed the SASOL synthetic petroleum plant using the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. Working under different economic constellations, it is still in operation today. U.S. Government Technical Oil Mission. Index. Microfilm. Reel.... [LC call number: Z6972.U6]

The Documents Research Center, A-2, United States Air Forces in Europe - was "organized for the purpose of collecting and processing all captured German air documents. The organization was moved to Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, in 1946 where the project is being continued by the Air Documents Division, Intelligence, T-2. While the Research Center was still in Europe it was estimated that between 1,000 and 1,500 tons of German air documents eventually would be collected. The final screened library, however, and the collection which is now at Wright Field consists of approximately 220 tons. These documents are in the process of being cataloged, indexed, abstracted, translated and analyzed". [3].

The Library of Congress was to have received a complete copy of the filmed material but only about one third of the total output was sent. The archival copy was turned over by the Air Force to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and can be consulted at its Garber Facility in Suitland, MD. The copy retained by the Library of Congress cannot be used in modern reader-printers which tear the microfilm copies into small segments. All books and journals from the same haul were turned over by the Air Force to the Library of Congress where they were examined and new items incorporated into the general collections. Duplicates were made available to other libraries or discarded, if not claimed. The reports are indexed in a multi-volume Desk Catalog of German and Japanese Air-Technical Documents [Z5063.A1U6]. Some of the air documents were also made available to the Publication Board of the Department of Commerce, re-issued and made available to the public as PB documents.

The United States Strategic Bombing Survey - studied the effectiveness of the Allied bombing effort on targets in Germany, as well as German-occupied France, Belgium and the Netherlands.

The Library of Congress Foreign Mission - was sent to gather books and journals published in Germany [and the rest of Europe] and not available for purchase through normal channels once the war had been declared. Up to that point German literature could still be obtained either directly from the sources or by way of neutral countries [Sweden].

The Targets

Any company having in some form contributed to the German war effort [and who had not, no matter how large and small] or having research information or products that would be of interest to Allied manufacturers, was considered a "target". Much information on German industries had already been compiled and made available to the Allied air armies by the United States Intelligence agencies. Further targets were research institutes, universities, military laboratories, testing ranges and supply depots, Government agencies like the Reichsforschungsrat [The National Research Council], even concentration camps [sites of medical research using humans as test objects], the Reichspatentamt [Patent Office], the Reichsluftfahrtministerium [Air Force Ministry], the Wehrmachtwaffenamt [Army Weapons Agency], their subordinate departments, research/test facilities, etc.

It was not always easy to find the targets - many had been destroyed by bombing or during combat, their documents burned, looted, removed for or from safe storage; owners, managers, scientific personnel killed, drafted into the armed forces, dispersed, relocated; roads and rail lines impassible; the population frightened, uncooperative, hostile: "After what you have done to us, why should we give you our family - company- and commercial secrets? They belong to us, we will need them to rebuild..." In other cases people cooperated willingly, often for the chance of getting food, cigarettes.


On the team, searching through technical data at the captured German Völkenrode research center, was the chief of the technical staff at Boeing, George S. Schairer, who had heard about the controversial swept-wing theory of R.T. Jones, but seeing models of swept-wing aircraft and extensive supersonic wind-tunnel data generated by the Germans, the concept was decisively confirmed.

On 10 May 1945, Schairer wrote a seven-page letter to Boeing colleague Bob Withington that included a drawing of the swept wing and, in cramped handwriting, presented the key mathematical formulas.

To avoid delay, Schairer wrote "Censored" on the envelope and mailed it. Upon returning from Germany, Schairer led an effort to overhaul Boeing's design for what became the Boeing B-47 Stratojet by incorporating wings that were swept back 35 degrees, which proved to be crucial in Boeing's efforts to win the design competition to build the B-47.

The B-47 was a long range, six-engine, turbojet-powered strategic bomber designed to fly at high subsonic speed and at high altitude to avoid enemy interceptor aircraft. Its primary mission was to drop nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union.

With its engines carried in nacelles under the swept wing, the B-47 was a major innovation in post-World War II combat jet design, and contributed to the development of modern jet airliners. It entered service with the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command [SAC] in 1951, but never saw combat as a bomber. However, it was a mainstay of SAC's bomber strength during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and remained in use as a bomber until 1965. It was also adapted to a number of other missions, including photographic reconnaissance, electronic intelligence and reconnaissance, remaining in service as a reconnaissance aircraft until 1969 and as a test bed until 1977.

Sometimes several visits and some arm-twisting was needed to get the Germans to deliver documents, information, and sometimes it just took a good dose of Yankee ingenuity.  Theodore von Kármán, a world famous aeronautical scientist, who was a member of one of the teams looking for information on German experimental aircraft, describes his experiences at an aeronautical research facility near Braunschweig that had escaped Allied detection and bombing because it was so well camouflaged that nobody knew it existed. The team had gone through the trashed, chaotic laboratories, looking, but finding very little, when, suddenly, on a desk in a corner someone noticed a scale model of the swept-wing bomber, a type of aircraft that nobody had ever seen before. They reasoned that were there was a model, there must also be documentation, like wind tunnel, testing, and design data. But no matter where they looked and whom they interrogated, the records could not be located.

Finally von Kármán, who had been a student at nearby Göttingen University before the war, resorted to a ruse:

"I had with me a sergeant assigned to Intelligence. Frank Tchitcherine was of Russian origin, and in fact had been related to the first minister of education in the Kerensky government of Russia. As we were walking to our automobile with the director, I said in English, which I knew the director understood: 'Listen, Tchitcherine, we are through here. I think now it is time to notify Russian Intelligence to take over'.

"Russian Intelligence was nowhere in the vicinity. But I knew that the Germans were terrified of the Russians and that this might stir them into action. I was right. The next day the director called in Tchitcherine and took him to a dry well. He looked inside. It was full of documents.

"Among them were the papers describing the sweptback wing and providing considerable wind-tunnel data which showed clearly that the sweptback plane had superior speed properties near the speed of sound. These data were the first of its kind. Schairer quickly wrote to his Boeing associates to stop work on the Mach 1 transonic plane with the straight wing which they had designed, telling them of his find. He microfilmed the data and used them when he got back to Seattle to design the B-47, the first U.S. sweptback bomber.

"In going through the papers, Ted Toller, one of my former assistants who was on a committee involved with these documents, came to me one day and said that he had found a very interesting report. The title, as translated by the English-speaking German sergeant, was 'The Resistance of Undernourished Bodies.' Troller wondered what this title was doing in a collection of aerodynamics material. So he looked up the author and found it was von Kármán. It was a translation of my 1931 paper 'The Drag on Slender Bodies'.

"The documents revealed that the Germans had conducted a variety of interesting research at Braunschweig. For instance, they had run studies of the effect of wind on human beings and shown that the human being can take velocities up to 550 miles an hour. They also had developed an emergency pressure suit fixed up with a cylinder of oxygen like those used in USAF life rafts. If a plane flying at 70,000 feet loses pressure, the pilot can jerk a ribbon and re-pressurize himself. All these items were valuable to the United States". [4]

The Loot 

It is not sure that there was, in the end, an exact accounting of how many documents/pages were taken from Germany, or if that was at all possible. Some documents contained more than 1,000 pages, others, like patent applications, only one.

Von Kármán goes on to say that "some 3,000,000 documents, weighing 1,500 tons were sifted and microfilmed in Europe; eventually they formed the basis for the collections of ASTIA, the Armed Services Technical Information Agency",  now the Defense Technical Information Center [DTIC]. The Annual Report of the Secretary of Commerce for 1946 [5] talks about 3,500,000 pages that TIIB selected. If one adds the documents brought to the United States and processed at Wright Field, and those deposited at the Library of Congress, then the number of pages becomes astronomical.

In the Library in 1957, there were large green boxes, "footlockers" 8 feet long, stored, to the very ceilings, in the hallways and vestibules of the 4th floor of the Adams Building, containing documents to be processed by the Air Information and Air Technology Divisions under contract to the Air Force. One day they were gone - "shipped back to Germany" and soon AID and ATD were abolished also. In addition to corporate papers, there were interviews with plant/laboratory personnel, photographs, blueprints, patents and patent applications [the Secretary of Commerce talks of thousands of applications obtained from the files of the giant I.G.Farben complex alone which had not even been filed with the Reichspatentamt because of staff shortages everywhere] and much more. From these mountains of materials the industrial teams prepared summary reports some up to 1,000 pages thick. To give an idea of the coverage it is interesting to look at just a small selection of the important new discoveries which they contained:

One of the best customers for German technical information were the American aircraft and airline industries. In addition to general studies of the German air transport industry [PB 17920, 19717], there are studies on 'Plastics in the Aircraft Industry' [PB 1104, 4351, 27000, 58373], 'Aircraft Hydraulic and Fuel Systems' [PB 16684], 'Magnetic Brakes for Propellers [PB 464, 4349], 'Helicopters' [PB 6339, 6340, 16712, 17544], 'De-icing of Windshields' [PB462, 23815, 23856, 31251, 40292, 58242]; then there are numerous reports on rocket fuels [PB186, 392, 405, 4284, 23815, etc]. In terms of military aircraft two reports are of interest: The Horton Tail-less Aircraft [PB 260] possibly a forerunner of the stealth bomber, and German High-Speed Airplanes and Design Development [CIOS XXXI-3].

In the area of construction the Germans were forced, because of the devastating success of Allied bombings, to put their most important factories underground. Immense tunnels running for miles under the Harz Mountains in Thuringia were built by slave labor from the nearby Buchenwald concentration camp at a horrendous cost in human lives to house whole synthetic fuel refineries as well as aircraft and rocket assembly lines. Obviously, such underground installations and their ventilation, heating and cooling, sanitation, etc. systems were of great interest to the Bureau of Mines and the mining industries, as well as the Defense Department, which was preparing abandoned mines as "safe places" for high Government officials in case of future wars. [PB 25638, 25639, 27779].

Acetylene is one of the most versatile intermediates for the generation of synthetic rubbers, plastics [vinyl], and industrial alcohols, plus many other compounds. It is also highly explosive so that its generation, transport and use must be subject to very strict controls. German industry, depending greatly on acetylene, devoted much energy and research to making it safe and expanding its use. [PB 188, 189, 377, 485, 517, 969, 1017, 4287, 7745, 7747, 23750, 25560, 28556, 44943, 46966].

Germany has not been blessed with significant oil deposits; to fuel her war machine she depended on imports from the Soviet Union and Rumania. When these sources were lost, she had to rely on synthetic fuel derived from her rich coal reserves. The process, called the Fischer-Tropsch Process, uses water gas, a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide derived from the hydrogenation of coal, coke, or lignite and extra hydrogen over catalysts at elevated pressures and temperature to generate straight-chain hydrocarbons and waxes which can be further processed to yield fuels, lubricants, facts, even some type of margarine. [PB 284, 288, 289, 373, 1279, 1291, 7745, 7917, 12624, 18911, 18926, 23750, 28883, 46390, 49196, 66130, 75817, 75845, 77706, 78242]

Plastics and synthetic fibers have always spawned successful industries in Germany. Here are just a few examples of many reports published in these areas: 'Plastic Plants' [PB 400, 403, 531, 979, 1069, 25642, 37784]; 'Chemical Developments in the Synthetics Industry' [PB 1243]; 'Soda Ash and Caustic Soda' [PB 7746, 7797, 27434, 40122]; 'Dyestuff Intermediates' [PB 82, 60945, 67569, 77672, 78269, 78276].

Solid fuels: Germany always has had enormous supplies of coal in the Ruhr and, after the annexation of portions of Poland in 1939, also control over the Upper Silesia coal deposits. Improving the technologies of mining and processing coal was important for the war effort [PB 1827, 4322, 4323, 4345, 4461, 4462, 20579].

Sulfonamide: In wars past more soldiers died of infections of their wounds than in actual combat. With the beginning of the 20th century, great strides were made in the development of sanitary methods and anti-bacterial agents. German doctors, chemists and pharmacists had always been in the forefront of medical research. The development of sulfonamide was no exception [that it was tested on human guinea pigs in the concentration camps is another chapter]. [PB 237, 248, 918, 77766, 80380 with 10 supplements]

 One of the most dreaded diseases was malaria and research to find effective drugs was really universal. The German effort, except for the test methods, was significant [PB 237, 239, 246, 1101, 1718, 1859, 81613]

Some of the most cruel experiments were performed in the field of aviation medicine by the infamous SS-doctor Sigmund Rascher at Dachau Concentration Camp. Simulating conditions experienced by a pilot shot down over the North Atlantic, he subjected inmates to exposure to cold by immersing them in ice water to find out how long they could survive and possibly have a chance for being rescued [PB250]. Another experiment involved pilots at high, oxygen-poor altitudes - when should they pull the cord to inflate the parachute and how long could they free-fall before losing consciousness? [same report].

Metallurgists in Germany were far ahead of their American counter-parts in the field of magnesium and magnesium alloy production and processing; the reports were much in demand by American companies [PB 204, 18930, 18948, 29663, 23748, 44675, 49828, 94315]

One curiosity is reported in the literature that simply begs to be repeated: Among all these high-technology, war-related products and efforts, there appears a lonely teddy bear and other stuffed toy animals manufactured by the Steiff Company, which was the target investigated by a British specialist on behalf of a British manufacturer.

Evaluating the Loot

The activities of FIAT and the "acquisition" of German industrial know-how are best described in a unique book by John Gimbel: "Science, Technology, and Reparations: Exploitation and Plunder in Postwar Germany". It is "must-reading" for anybody studying or interested in the years immediately following World War II in Europe. It is the only attempt, of reporting the efforts of trying to put a price tag on what was taken. In summary, Gimbel refers to a meeting early in 1947 in Moscow of the Council of Foreign Ministers, established by the victorious nations to deal with problems arising from inter-zonal relations and the question of German reparations.

Molotov, the Soviet Foreign Minister, "argued the case of his government's claim against Germany for 10 billion dollars in reparations, reportedly stating that Great Britain and the United States had already received considerable reparations from Germany in the form of patents and other technical know-how. "Press reports say that these reparations amount to more than ten Billion dollars," Molotov said [6]. [In true Soviet fashion, and true to the old Communist maxim that "what is yours is mine and what is mine is none of your business" Molotov did not mention that the Soviet Union had already taken from her occupation zone literally everything that was not nailed down, and if it had been, they took that and the nails, too. For example, the Russians dismantled vast stretches of the rail system in East Germany, the locomotives, passenger- and freight cars, the rails, the ties upon which the rails rested, and then the gravel upon which the ties had been laid]. "General Marshall", Gimbel continues, "the American Foreign Minister, in response stated: 'We have used United States scientists to obtain information on German science, including patents, all of which information is being published in pamphlets and made available to the rest of the world. As a matter of fact, Amtorg, the Soviet Purchasing Agency in the United States, has been so far the biggest single purchaser of these pamphlets. The pamphlets cost a nominal fee to cover printing and administrative expenses. No ten billion in reparations is involved'. [7].

But once raised, the question of the value of the German industrial information obtained by Britain and the United States would not go away. Early estimates ranged from $10 million to $275 million. It was General Lucius Clay, the American High Commissioner in Germany, who kept on raising the question and prod the War-, Navy-, State-, and Commerce Departments to come up with a "realistic" figure. General Clay was not against the official position of the United States that America should not pay the Germans for the industrial know-how taken; on the other hand he felt strongly that the value of this information should be counted towards the reparations that would be imposed by the victors on the Germans. Years of political maneuvering between the U.S. Government departments involved produced no results.

The Departments of the Army and the Navy did submit data; Commerce declined, saying that the true value could only be assessed five to ten years down the road when it became known what American industry had done with the information; State refused to comply outright saying "that such an evaluation would serve no practical purpose except 'to keep the American conscience clean'... The FIAT material should not be valued for reparation purposes. The discussants had essentially three reasons: First, given the hundreds of tons of documents and materials held by the Commerce Department, the task of sorting and evaluating separate items with the staff that could be assigned to it would be physically impossible. Second, the material was not only for the United States, and it would be doubtful that other countries would agree to charge their reparations accounts similarly. Third, reparations was an integral concern and properly the subject of an international agreement". [8]

John Gimbel tried to make his own evaluation of the know-how taken from Germany. Using statements made in public or in writing by U.S. Government officials and industrialists directly involved in evaluating and/or using the information contained in the German documents, as well as reports from the political and trade press, he arrived at a value of $ 5 Billion for the U.S. take. By doubling this value to account for the British "acquisitions" he arrived at -surprise!- the $10 Billion mentioned by Mr. Molotov.

But this did not conclude the question of the value of the intellectual know-how derived from German industry. In late 1946 and early 1947 various German initiatives were started to evaluate the German losses. Up to this point the Germans had only been repaid for copying costs of the documents, obviously a ridiculously low sum. But the German efforts also failed as most companies, even those hardest hit, refused to co-operate for tax reasons. In other attempts the reported data could not be reduced to common denominators to yield meaningful results.

Only after the new West German Government had agreed to forego any tax investigations that might evolve from the reporting, did industry finally comply. A report, issued by the Notgemeinschaft für Reparationsgeschädigte Industrie [Emergency Union of Industries Damaged by Reparations] in February 1951 "estimated the total value of the patents, trademarks, and other intellectual property ["geistiges Gut"] removed from Germany to be somewhere in the range of 10 to 30 Billion Deutschmarks [DM] not Reichsmark, the currency used in Germany prior to its devaluation of 1949, or between $4.8 and $12 Billion" [9]. What was the actual value? If we consider that the Library of Congress still receives requests for copies of the German materials, more than 50 years after the War, primarily in the areas of dyestuffs, plastics, fuels, and, more recently, for the location of industries, test ranges for guns and ammunition, storage depots of chemical, biological, and explosive weapons [for the purpose of localizing and sanitizing toxic soils] then, maybe, the Commerce Department was right when it insisted that the value should be based on the usefulness and actual use by American industry over an extended period of time?

Other Foreign Documents

Obviously, the main interest in foreign information was concentrated on the German collection: its size, the immediacy of collecting and processing, the language [many American scientists and engineers had studied German in college], the fact that German industry before the war had been a main competitor of many American companies, and that the Germans were renowned for the quality of their research. This also explains why Germany was investigated so thoroughly.

From the very beginning, the situation involving Japanese information was different: not many people could read Japanese and the systematic investigation of Japanese industries did not begin until much later, giving the Japanese industrialists a chance to sort out what they wanted to give and what not. Also, as the mountains of German documents, along with materials from U.S. and British sources started to pile up, the Japanese documents were somewhat neglected. In his Annual Report for 1947 the Secretary of Commerce stated:

"In addition to data from Germany, and documents from American sources, the [Bibliographic and Reference] Division [of the Office of Technical Services] is beginning to receive materials directly from Japan. Some of it consists of up-to-date technological studies prepared by Japanese nationals on subjects of interest to American industry. Many wartime and pre-war Japanese publications have also been received during the past year from the Washington Document Center. This Center is the Washington processing office which was set up to handle materials gathered in Japan by the military forces. Although much material has already been received, a large part of it is now out of date and of little value. We have been assured, however, that valuable documents from this source will reach us during the coming year". [10]

The Secretary continues:

"The Belgian Government has voluntarily contributed scientific reports to the Division. In addition, extremely important material has been received from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hungary, South Africa, Italy, and France.... The excellent relations which OTS through this Division, has had with the British in the exchange of reports is noteworthy. At present the British Intelligence Objective Subcommittee, commonly known as BIOS, maintains a liaison office in Washington. Our work with this office might well be cited as a fine example of international cooperation. The British have generously provided large quantities of their printed reports and with single microfilm copies of any of their manuscript reports which were requested. They also provide a special reference service for this Office and for American business firms. We, on our part, provide a similar service for the British". [11]

 What Happened to the Documents?

It must not be forgotten that the collectors were dealing with mountains of material and that only a very small fraction was processed and filmed. Thus the question has remained ever since "What happened to the rest?" It is still being asked today, especially if a researcher is interested in, let's say, a particular camera made by the Leitz Company and he is looking for the user manual, but over the decades, many documents and single pages were scattered all over the floors, crammed into shelves, stacked from floor to ceiling, falling over, spilling, it was utter chaos. The filming was often equally wild: page after page the documents were pulled through the machines, with quantity rather than quality being the determining factor by untrained machine operators who did the best they could under the circumstances. Quality control was non-existent. The result was that some film rolls contain almost in their entirety, only blurred, useless images. Also, when specialists wrote reports, on the "German Optical Industry", for instance, the supporting documents were, unless the were deemed important enough to be registered individually, discarded; the same happened to translated documents.

Military and Nazi Party documents generally were brought to the United States, sorted, filmed, and eventually returned to German archives. Books and journals were, supposedly, turned over to the Library of Congress, but it is not sure that it actually received all that was designated for the Library. However, just a dozen or so volumes, in the Library's aeronautical collection, have book plates ascribing them to the libraries of the institutes just mentioned. This certainly does not add up to the 12,000 books from the Junkers Aircraft Company Library alone that were supposedly received.

According to Richard Eells, Acting Chief of the Aeronautics Division:

"The Library, by agreement with the Air Material Command, Wright Field, has become the depository for all purely historical and descriptive portions of this captured material. The preliminary winnowing of the shipment from Wright Field yielded 9,114 aeronautical books, periodicals, and ephemera. In addition, more than 18,000 items representing the literature of related fields were turned over to the Library for its general collection. Some of the confiscated libraries belonged to institutions that loomed large in the history of the Luftwaffe: e.g., Junkers, Focke-Wulf, the Deutsche Akademie der Luftfahrtforschung [German Academy for Aeronautical Research], the Deutsche Forschungsinstitut für Segelflug [German Research Institute for Gliding], the Flugfunkforschungsinstitut [Research Institute for Aeronautical Radio], and the Reichsluftfahrtministerium [Air Ministry] itself". [12].

It is interesting to note that according to German newspaper reports [13] published after the war, the American officer in charge of the team collecting the Junkers Library was none other than Charles Lindbergh, who was no stranger to Hitler's Germany. Because of his friendship with Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and General Ernst Udet [he was later accused of having been a Nazi sympathizer] many doors had opened to him in Nazi Germany and he had visited and inspected the aircraft manufactured by Junkers several times. It must also be remembered that the Allies had much respect for the German Luftwaffe and that one of the stipulations of the German capitulation was that she would never again build an air force. Therefore, all books and reports in German libraries that could be used to re-build the Luftwaffe, were to be removed from Germany. Now Dessau, where Junkers was located, was to be in the designated Russian Zone - why would the Americans leave a library of such importance to the Russians? So, what happened to these libraries?

Eells, in the article cited [14] also mentions another important aspect:

"A check of the Deutsche Nationalbibliographie indicates that the Library of Congress has acquired many, if not all, of the commercial aeronautical imprints in Germany during the war years".

One of the strengths of the Library of Congress before and for some decades after the War was its aeronautical collection. Now, if we already had almost all of the books contained in the Junkers and the other German libraries, we would have made the rest either available to other interested American libraries, or, on demand, returned the volumes to German archives [the disappeared footlockers?]. Since the Junkers Aircraft Company, located in the Russian Zone or the German Democratic Republic, did no longer exist after 1945, who would have received the returned material? The Russians?


1. Library of Congress. Science & Technology Division.
2. United States Department of Commerce. Report of the Secretary of Commerce, 34th 1946. Washington, DC : GPO, 1946: xxvi-xxvii
3. Eells, Richard. 'Aeronautical Science. German Documents'. Library of Congress Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions 3 [4] August 194
4. Von Kármán, Theodore. The Wind and Beyond. Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Co. 1967
5. United States Department of Commerce. Report of the Secretary of Commerce, 34th, 1946. Washington, DC: GPO, 1946
6. Gimbel, John. Science, Technology, and Reparations. Exploitation and Plunder in Postwar Germany. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1990
7. Ibid
8. Ibid
9. Ibid
10. United States Department of Commerce. Report of the Secretary of Commerce, 35th, 1947. Washington, DC: GPO, 1947
11. Ibid
12. Eels, Richard. 'Aeronautical Science'. Library of Congress Quarterly Journal of Current Acquisitions 3 [4] Aug. 1947
13a. 'Junkers Bibliothek: Ein verschollenes Objekt der Begierde'. Mitteldeutsche Zeitung, Dessau, 17 June 1995
13b. 'Bernsteinzimmer der Technik soll nach Dessau zurückkehren'. Anhaltische Zerbster Nachrichten 24 March 1995
13c. 'Fundgrube für Junkers Forschung und die Bibliothekssuche in Amerika'. Der Alte Dessauer, 28 April 1995
14. Eells, Richard. Ibid, 1947

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