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Mauch was born in the Bad Cannstatt section of Stuttgart and studied mechanical, electrical and electronic engineering

at universities in Stuttgart and Berlin. He received hisDiplom at the Berlin Institute of Technology in 1929 near the top of his class. One of his professors was Georg Schlesinger, who had greatly advanced the art of prosthetics during the Great War. Mauch began working on his PhD, but when another student published the same work at another university, he left school in 1930 and took a position at the E. Zwietusch company, where he worked on pneumatic tube designs. Here he worked on the development of an automated switching system that read labels on the capsules as they moved through the tubes. [2] In 1935 he took a job at the Ministry of Aviation.[3] In 1938 the Ministry re-organized its various internal departments, and in April Mauch took over the Special Development Division, which worked on JATO-type applications. When he heard rumours of a new engine being developed by Hans von Ohain, he visited the Heinkel plant and grilled the engineers for hours. In August he met Helmut Schelp, who was working on jet engines in the Ministry's technical division (the T-Amt). Mauch hired Schelp into the development division to take over management of the development program. [4] Mauch began organizing a major jet engine development program, but was concerned that such work might interfere with the traditional split between engine and airframe companies. In particular, he noted that both Heinkel and Junkers, who had started a similar program, lacked engineering talent n the engine field, and were working in primitive conditions. [5]The two approached the traditional engine companies and found a mixed reception until considerable funding was offered. These companies were concerned about the lead the UK industry had built up, and were committed to improving existing designs before striking out on new efforts.[6] Mauch initially suggested that Heinkel give up his team to Daimler-Benz, but instead settled for Heinkel's suggestion that they buy Hirth and move the work there. A similar solution was found for Junkers, who merged with the (formerly unrelated) Junkers Motoren. However, this moved led to the team leader, Max Adolph Müller, being displaced, and a considerable group left to join the new team at Hirth. [7] Mauch left the Ministry in 1939 to form a consulting company. During the war the company worked on a variety of projects, among them various testing and other devices for automobile and aviation engines. He was also contracted by the Ministry to take over final development of the V-1 flying bomb. During this time he also became involved with Ulrich Henschke, a radiologist who worked on prosthesis devices at the Aeromedical Institute in Munich. They worked on a mass-production artificial leg that could be quickly adapted to an individually fitted socket, as well as various ways to stabilize the knee for above-knee leg replacements.[3] During this period Mauch met Tatjana Schmitt of Vienna, and they married in 1948