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Postwar peregrinations of Willy Messerschmitt, Kurt Tank et al.

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  • Mercurius
    Cantabrigiensis
    • Sep 2007
    • 1374

    Postwar peregrinations of Willy Messerschmitt, Kurt Tank et al.

    Having experienced my own 'wandering years', I am curious to know if there are there any English-language books on what one might describe as the post-war wanderjahrs of Willy Messerschmitt, Kurt Tank, and their associates in places such as Argentina, Egypt, India, and Spain. I have often wondered why they chose this course. In some cases, moves from one country to another were the result of project cancellations, but there must have been political pressures and other factors (as the OTRAG experience in the late 1970s and early 1980s demonstrated). To the best of my knowledge the 1960s Mossad campaign to persuade 'foreign experts' to leave Egypt remains largely undocumented, but it is unlikely to be forgotten by those it targeted. A threatening letter with a Cairo postmark can be an effective way of persuading the recipient to plan an immediate change of employer.
    Mercurius Cantabrigiensis
  • J Boyle
    With malice towards none
    • Oct 2004
    • 9727

    #2
    I'd be interested in reading more on the topic.
    However, at least those designers seem to have escaped jail, unlike Ferdinand Porsche who designed the Tiger tanks (and of course the Volkswagen).

    Most Porsche histories mention his imprisonment, but neglect to mention he was a party member as well as the SS, so that may explain why he was in jail.

    And to add to your list of post-war work by German aircraft designers, I would suggest Brunolf Baade, designer (apparently with ex-Junkers staff) of the I'll-fated East German (I Don't know if that qualifies him as a "foreign expert") Baade 152 jetliner of the late '50s.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 25th March 2019, 06:22.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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    • topspeed
      Get on uppah !
      • Jan 2009
      • 2650

      #3
      Baade 152; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cURB_AEoR4
      If it looks good, it will fly good !
      -Bill Lear & Marcel Dassault


      http://max3fan.blogspot.com/

      Comment

      • ericmunk
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Apr 2009
        • 1721

        #4
        Reimar Horten's post-war work in Argentina is well published in several books, including Nurflgel.

        Comment

        • Seafuryfan
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jan 2000
          • 2463

          #5
          Originally posted by topspeed View Post
          Very interesting period promo film, although the lack of gear up footage is perhaps an indication of things to come.

          Comment

          • Pulsar-xp
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Mar 2012
            • 161

            #6
            If you see the career of some rocket engineers of the early Saturn programme, nobody cared too much about their political history before 1943.

            Comment

            • Pulsar-xp
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Mar 2012
              • 161

              #7
              Of course before 1945.

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              • TonyT
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Oct 2006
                • 8991

                #8
                Didn't Kurt Tank want them to race the Dora that's in the US post war

                Comment

                • Pulsar-xp
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Mar 2012
                  • 161

                  #9
                  I think the 335 would have been much more interesting....

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                  • J Boyle
                    With malice towards none
                    • Oct 2004
                    • 9727

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Pulsar-xp View Post
                    If you see the career of some rocket engineers of the early Saturn programme, nobody cared too much about their political history before 1943.
                    But unlike aeroplane designers who could peddle their talent to a host of regimes, rocket scientists had only two options...
                    either live in a gray apartment block in Russia,
                    or live the 50's-style good life in America (albeit Alabama!) with a house, huge chrome laden two-tone? cars and all the other benefits of a western lifestyle.

                    I know a few German designers/engineers who joined major aircraft builders in the UK and US (and I would suppose France), but you don't hear a lot about them.
                    Last edited by J Boyle; 27th March 2019, 15:26.
                    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                    Comment

                    • Pulsar-xp
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Mar 2012
                      • 161

                      #11
                      Donˋt understand me wrong, the rocket guys didnˋt make a mistake! It is only a fact, that even if you have been a real Nazi, your profession and your knowledge could secure your personal standard and keep you away from prison in some countrys. Even if you were responsible for the death of many civilian people.
                      Last edited by Pulsar-xp; 27th March 2019, 13:50.

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                      • J Boyle
                        With malice towards none
                        • Oct 2004
                        • 9727

                        #12
                        "...deaths of many civilian people."

                        Best not to go there.
                        They were just airplane and rocket designers whose country...right or wrong...was at war. They designed the things, and did not have any day in how they were used...or by who.
                        If the Axis had won, designers like Barnes Wallis and R.J. Mitchell would have been tagged as criminals, not lauded for their efforts with films about them and schools named after them.
                        Last edited by J Boyle; 27th March 2019, 15:38.
                        There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                        Comment

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