Home | Books | Operation Damocles: Israel’s Secret War Against Hitler’s Scientists, 1951-1967

Operation Damocles: Israel’s Secret War Against Hitler’s Scientists, 1951-1967

By Roger Howard

The forgotten cloak-and-dagger history of the former Nazi scientists recruited by Egypt to develop long-range missiles capable of striking Israel.

From 1951 to 1967, Egypt pursued a secret programme to build military rockets that could threaten Israel. Because such an ambitious project required Western expertise, the Egyptian leader President Nasser hired West German scientists, many of them veterans of the Nazi rocket programmes at Peenemünde and elsewhere.

These covert plans soon came to the attention of Israel’s legendary secret service, Mossad, and caused deep alarm in Tel Aviv. Would Israel fall under the shadow of long-range missiles held by a ruler who was sworn to destroy the Jewish state? Could the missiles be fitted with warheads filled with radiological, chemical, or even nuclear materials? Israel responded by using threats, intimidation, and brutal assassination squads to deter the German scientists from working on Nasser’s behalf.

This book tells the gripping and dramatic story of the mysterious arms dealers, Mossad assassins, scientific genii, and leading political figures who all played their role in Operation Damocles.

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