Military history

The Race for Hitler's X-Planes: Britain's 1945 Mission to Capture Secret Luftwaffe Technology

The Race for Hitler's X-Planes: Britain's 1945 Mission to Capture Secret Luftwaffe Technology

During World War II, Hitler's engineers had pioneered an incredible array of futuristic secret weapons, from the Me 262, the first operational jet fighter, to the deadly V2 intercontinental ballistic missile. With the Third Reich shattered and lying in ruins, in the summer of 1945, the Allies launched a frantic race to grab what they saw as the justifiable spoils of war. The Americans and Russians in particular were anxious to secure not only the aircraft and the research and production facilities, but also the key German scientists and engineers. This Nazi technology would define the balance of power in the phony peace of the Cold War era, launching an arms race that shaped the modern world for decades to come. Using previously unpublished secret Air Ministry reports, and offering comprehensive photographs of the aircraft, research, and manufacturing facilities, this book tells the untold story of the British mission to Germany.

Introduction: The Spoils of War

Chapter 1: A Very British Affair

Chapter 2: The Reich in Ruins

Chapter 3: Wings of Change

Chapter 4: Entering the Jet Age

Chapter 5: Pistons and Props

Chapter 6: Dispersal of Production

Chapter 7: A Vision of Hell

Chapter 8: Hitler’s Smart Bombs

Chapter 9: Ingenuity and Desperation

Chapter 10: Oberammergau

Chapter 11: Captured Aircraft

Chapter 12: Secrets by the Thousands

Chapter 13: Epilogue

Appendix 1: Itinerary of the Fedden Mission to Germany, 1945

Appendix 2: Captured Jet and Rocket Aircraft Removed by the Allies

Glossary