In Captain America: The First Avenger just after Steve is turned into a super soldier, Dr. Erskine is shot by a Nazi infiltrator.

But Schmidt tells Dr. Zola that if they can stop the super soldier operation they are sure to win the war.

So why didn't the infiltrator shoot Erskine before Steve was turned into a super soldier?

  • Ok, I now understand you mean "why did he not do it on that day before the experiment ran" .... downvote withdrawn.
    – iandotkelly
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 16:44
  • @iandotkelly I don't think anyone knew the formula. If somebody knew, then why didn't they made an army after Erskine's death. Thanks for understanding.
    – iamgroot
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 16:48
  • @AsifIqubal: only Erskine knew about the formula. They tried to replicate the formula later but to no success. One attempt was the project that resulted in the transformation of Bruce Banner into the Hulk.
    – Taladris
    Commented Dec 13, 2018 at 7:57

3 Answers 3


The infiltrator did not have the access to kill Erskine until such time as the serum was ready to be demonstrated.

It's clear that the infiltrator (Heinz Kruger) as Fred Clemson had not visited the project before since he is introduced to Col. Philips who does not know him.

Then we also know that acquisition of the serum (and perhaps also denying it to the Allies) is the intention from the script.

               JOHANN SCHMIDT
 His serum is the Allies’ only
 defense against the power we now
 possess. If we take it away, our
 victory is assured.

So, as soon as the infiltrator sees that the serum succeeds he not only steals the last vial AND kills Erskine to deny it to apparently limit future development.

  spies...THE REMAINING TUBE OF UNUSED SERUM. He flicks open a
  lighter, revealing A BUTTON. 

  Kruger pushes the button.


   The booth EXPLODES, shooting FIRE AND GLASS into the lab.
    Phillips shoves Brandt out of the way. Peggy pulls a pistol.
    ERSKINE sees KRUGER making for the SERUM. He bolts to get to
   it first.

 KRUGER draws a PISTOL and SHOOTS the old man down.

Arguably, Kruger could just have killed Erksine as soon as he saw him but also obtaining the serum would have been an incredible bonus.


Because Zola doubted that Dr. Erskin will succeed.

Here is the conversation between Schmidt and Dr. Zola:

Zola: I just don't see why you need concern yourself.

Zola: I can't imagine he will succeed. Again.

In case he succeeds in making a serum, they also need to get the serum to snatch the only defense of allies in order to ensure their victory.

That conversation goes as follows:

Red Skull: His serum is the Allies' only defense against this power we now possess. If we take it away from them, then our victory is assured.

So, when the infiltrator saw Dr. Erskine experiment successful, he took the serum and shot him to ensure that they cannot work again on this experiment.


Technically, they did stop the super-soldier program. The original plan was to develop a squad/platoon/battalion of enhanced soldiers. Steve Rogers was a prototype, an example of what the program could accomplish. "If we can turn this puny specimen into a powerhouse, imagine what we can do with soldiers who are already well-trained and fit!"

Now, the Nazis know that this is possible. And the program is limited to one man.

After all, what can one man do...?

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