Format Hardcover
Publication Date 05/01/13
ISBN 9781605984384
Trim Size / Pages 9.3 x 6.3 in / 368

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Operation Damocles

Israel's Secret War Against Hitler's Scientists, 1951-1967

Roger Howard

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

From 1951 to 1967 Egypt pursued a secret program to build military rockets that could have conceivably posed a threat to neighboring 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 program 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.Exactly half a century later, this book tells the gripping story of the mysterious arms dealers, Mossad assassins, scientific genii, and leading figures who all played their part in Operation Damocles.

Roger Howard is a British journalist and historian specializing in the Middle East. He is the author of the academic titles The Oil Hunters: Exploration and Espionage in the Middle East, 1880-1939 and Iran in Crisis? Roger’s articles have appeared in the Guardian, the London Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent, the Wall Street Journal, The Spectator, the New Statesman, the International Herald Tribune and many other newspapers and journals. He has a specialized knowledge of Middle Eastern defense issues, having written extensively on Iran’s nuclear program for RUSI and Chatham House.

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Endorsements & Reviews

“A fascinating story.” The Associated press
“A brilliant analysis that is cogent and clear. There is no better study available. A must read.” Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban and Jihad
“Unpretentious and enjoyable.” The Times Literary Supplement