By mid-1944, the Allies’ fight to track down and stop the Nazi atomic program had met with failure and disappointment. And so the Manhattan Project took a new tack by recruiting and developing atomic spies — including a backup catcher for the Boston Red Sox named Moe Berg.
Although little known today, Berg was one of the most famous athletes of his day, and a certified genius. He could charm sports writers and fans alike with his tales of palling around with Babe Ruth and other celebrities, but he also held degrees from Princeton, Columbia, and the Sorbonne and spoke a dozen languages. When World War II broke out, Berg volunteered to work on behalf of the Office of Strategic Services as a spy.
Over time, however, Berg’s focus would shift from espionage toward assassination. Soon, he would travel abroad to target the most feared scientist in the world and the sharpest mind in the Nazi Uranium Club: German physicist Werner Heisenberg.
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