Price of Defeat, The: The History of British Operations to Transfer Personnel, Technology, and Equipment from Germany to Britain after World War II, Charles River Editors
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Price of Defeat, The: The History of British Operations to Transfer Personnel, Technology, and Equipment from Germany to Britain after World War II

Author: Charles River Editors

Narrator: Jim Johnston

Unabridged: 2 hr 3 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway Voices

Published: 08/17/2019

Genre: History - Military - World War Ii

Synopsis

After the last shots of World War II were fired and the process of rebuilding Germany and Europe began, the Western Allies and the Soviet Union each tried to obtain the services of the Third Reich's leading scientists, especially those involved in rocketry, missile technology, and aerospace research. Naturally, this was a delicate affair due to the fact many of the German scientists were not only active Nazis but had helped the Nazi war machine terrorize the world. There is an enormous amount of documentation about the American efforts, particularly Operation Paperclip and its ultimate outcomes, yet the parallel programs involving the transfer of personnel, intellectual property (IP), and equipment to the UK have attracted limited academic study and are almost forgotten by the general public. A pioneering article by John Farquharson in 1997 assessed the extent and nature of British transfers, but research into the military and civilian units that carried out the transfers had to wait until the partial declassification of official files in 2006. This was followed by the publication of sensationalist and generalized allegations of unethical practices in the mass media, which prompted personal memoirs in book form from Michael Howard (2010) and in the popular press.  

The first full length, academic book by Sean Longden (2009), based on extensive use of official archives and the personal memoirs of many more veterans, showed how British policy evolved amidst a rapidly changing geopolitical context.  The most recent work by Charlie Hall (2019) is the most academic treatment of the topic so far and focuses more deeply on that geopolitical context, especially the emerging Cold War, and it also made use of many more archival sources. Hall also emphasized the importance of what he terms “exploitation” of equipment, IP, and personnel, and the work demonstrated how the emphasis gradually shifted towards the latter.  

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