The Race to Control Nazi Scientist's: Operation Paperclip vs. Operation Osoaviakhim

The Race to Control Nazi Scientist’s: Operation Paperclip vs. Operation Osoaviakhim

The world changed after WWII. No longer was Europe the center of the world; that title had been taken by the United States. With new technologies and weapons being developed during the war, both sides were racing to control as many scientists as possible from Nazi Germany. The United States called theirs Operation Paperclip, while the Soviet Union called theirs Operation Osoaviakhim. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between these two operations and see which one was more successful in controlling Nazi scientists!

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The United States’ Operation Paperclip was a secret program that brought Nazi scientists to the United States after WWII. The aim of this operation was to gain access to their knowledge so that the United States could keep up with, and possibly surpass, the technological advances made by the Soviet Union. Many of these scientists were recruited against their will and some even had war crimes charges against them. However, the United States government saw them as valuable assets and did everything in their power to protect them.


Operation Paperclip began in 1945 and ended in 1959. Some of the high-profile people recruited were Wernher von Braun, Arthur Rudolph, and Hubertus Strughold. The accomplishments of those recruited include helping to develop the space program, ballistic missiles, andjet propulsion. Many of the scientists who worked on these projects later went on to work for NASA.

In contrast, Operation Osoaviakhim was a Soviet program that aimed to kidnap German scientists and bring them back to the USSR. Unlike the US operation, which was mostly secretive, Operation Osoaviakhim was very public. The Soviets wanted the world to know that they were in control of these scientists and their knowledge. Many of the scientists who were taken by the Soviets were treated poorly and some even died in captivity. The ones who did make it back to the USSR were put to work on developing new weapons for the Soviet military.

Operation Osoaviakhim began in 1946 and ended in 1947. Some of the high-profile scientists recruited were Friedrich Asinger, Erich Apel, Brunolf Baade, Ferdinand Brandner, Helmut Gröttrup, Siegfried Günter, Fritz Karl Preikschat, Hans Wocke, and Hugo Schmeisser. The accomplishments of those recruited include developing the RDS-37, a thermonuclear bomb, and working on the MiG-15, a jet fighter aircraft.

So which operation was more successful? That’s hard to say. Operation Paperclip certainly brought in more high-profile scientists and achieved more tangible results. However, Operation Osoaviakhim was able to achieve its goals in a shorter time frame and at less cost. In the end, both operations were successful in their own ways.

What do you think? Was Operation Paperclip or Operation Osoaviakhim more successful? Let us know in the comments! Thanks for reading!

Thank you for reading The Race to Control Nazi Scientist’s: Operation Paperclip vs. Operation Osoaviakhim. Be sure to check out our other blog posts subject such as – The Montauk Project: The U.S. Government’s Top-Secret Program Conducting Experiments on Humans 

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