The Bastard Brigade - Showdown in the Alps | 6

American History Tellers

By Wondery

The Bastard Brigade - Showdown in the Alps | 6

Wednesday, 21 August

The Alsos mission had a hard-charging leader in Boris Pash and an eccentric band of recruits. But if the so-called Bastard Brigade was going to track down the Nazi atomic bomb, they would also need scientific expertise. For that, they turned to the Dutch-American physicist Samuel Goudsmit. 

Goudsmit wasn’t the brigade’s first choice—far from it. He was considered weak and timid, and even Goudsmit himself worried he lacked the courage for the mission. But the scientist had been friends with Werner Heisenberg as a young man in Europe, and he felt personally betrayed by Heisenberg’s work for the Nazis. And as a Jew who’d lost his parents to the concentration camps, Goudsmit was determined to fight back against Hitler.

But Goudsmit would eventually prove himself, and his brilliant detective work would lead the mission to a cave in Germany hewn into the side of a cliff — Heisenberg’s secret lair and the heart of the Nazi bomb project. 


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