Thought this was cool enough to share here
But did anyone notice how it goes very quickly from "HEY! We can communicate!" to "HEY! We can blow up and kill people!"?
Side note: Anybody know what Sputnik has do with any of this?
Sputnik scared the US. Keep in mind that the entirely justifiable red scare was going on at that time.
Remember, the communists had murdered between 5 and 10 million Ukrainians between 1932 and 1933, and a lot more afterwards. The US (and most of the world) was terrified of the widespread mass murder of communists.
The US had actually handed over prisoners of war to the Soviets at the end of WWII. They were never seen again. They were shipped off to gulags, and the allies knew what would happen to them when they turned them over.
The technological advance of Sputnik in that scenario was utterly terrifying. Imagine a completely insane, homicidal juggernaut gaining an important technological advantage over you that you couldn't overcome --- that was the Sputnik scare.
However, the allies had captured most of the German scientists at the end of WWII, and brought them over to the West under Operation Paperclip.
We have not even begun to scratch the surface...