Alsos by Samuel Abraham Goudsmit; David C Cassidy

By Samuel Abraham Goudsmit; David C Cassidy

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Sample text

As it turned out, during the most important period of operations, we had only a skeleton staff. It was the task of the scientists to obtain and analyze all pertinent information having to do with German science. From such information they had to deduce just what places, institutions, buildings, and people in enemy territory were important for giving us the information we wanted. It then became the task of Colonel Pash and his men to see that we got to these people and these places before anyone else got there.

I am interested, rather, in why German science failed where the Americans and the British succeeded, and I think the facts demonstrate pretty conclusively that science under fascism was not, and in all probability could never be, the equal of science in a tried to tell democracy. Too many of us still assume that totalitarianism gets things done where democracy only fumbles along, and that certainly in those branches of science contributing directly to the war effort the Nazis were able to cut all corners and proceed with ruthless and matchless efficiency.

Advance planning was of little use, because there were always unexpected situations. For example, when Allan Bates with two of our counter-intelligence agents entered the small town of Urach in Southern Germany, to investigate an evacuated metallurgical laboratory, they found the town in an uproar. Liberated drunken displaced persons had started a riot which was reaching a dangerous pitch. Bates immediately organized and armed (from a store of confiscated weapons in the town hall) a 20 company of French WE PREPARE TO prisoners of war, set up INVESTIGATE a temporary civil govern- ment, quelled the riot, acted as Mayor pro tern, all ilestablished a system of food distribution of our legally but necessary for the protection — two agents, himself, and the German scientists to be investigated.

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