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Operation Damocles

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 1951-1967 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 Peenemunde and elsewhere. These covert plans soon came to the attention of Israel’s legendary secret service, Mossad, and caused deep alarm in Tel Aviv.Exactly half a century later, this book tells the gripping story of the mysterious arms dealers, Mossad assassins, scientific genii, and leading figures, such as President Nasser, Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion, and its future premier Yitzhak Shamir, who all played their part.

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.