Marvel Cinematic Universe

Operation Paperclip

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"How did you get here?"
"It was Operation Paperclip. After World War II S.H.I.E.L.D. recruited German scientists with strategic value."
Captain America, Arnim Zola, and Black Widow[src]

Operation Paperclip was a joint Office of Strategic Services (OSS)/Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR) program in which over 1,500 German scientists, technicians, and engineers from Nazi Germany and other foreign countries were brought to the United States of America for employment in the aftermath of World War II.


"The US Government has recruited many German scientists."
"They'll send rockets into space."
Werner Reinhardt and Peggy Carter[src]

On May 19, 1945 the United States of America begin Operation Overcast, later renamed Operation Paperclip, an effort to recruit former Nazi scientists to work for the United States. One of the most prominent was former HYDRA scientist Arnim Zola. After joining S.H.I.E.L.D., Zola began to rebuild HYDRA inside S.H.I.E.L.D.[1] Another recruited scientist, Wernher von Braun, who built the V-2 rockets for the Nazis, now developed rockets that could fly into space.[2] When Peggy Carter came to the Rat prison to interrogate HYDRA general Werner Reinhardt, he expressed his wish to be recruited by the US Government, as many scientists were already recruited. However, because of his numerous war crimes, Peggy sentenced him to life imprisonment.[3]

Known Recruits


  1. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  2. Wernher von Braun's role in World War II is briefly described by Maya Hansen in Iron Man 3.
  3. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.08: The Things We Bury

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