The V-2 Rocket (A 4) How Effective was it?

The V-2 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 2, “Retribution Weapon 2”), technical name Aggregat 4 (A4), was the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a “vengeance weapon“, assigned to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to cross the boundary of space with the vertical launch of MW 18014 on 20 June 1944.

Research into military use of long range rockets began when the studies of graduate student Wernher von Braun attracted the attention of the German Army. A series of prototypes culminated in the A-4, which went to war as the V-2. Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched by the German Wehrmacht against Allied targets during the war, first London and later Antwerp and Liège. According to a 2011 BBC documentary, the attacks from V2s resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, and a further 12,000 forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners died as a result of their forced participation in the production of the weapons.

As Germany collapsed, teams from the Allied forces—the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union—raced to capture key German manufacturing sites and technology. Wernher von Braun and over 100 key V-2 personnel surrendered to the Americans. Eventually, many of the original V-2 team ended up working at the Redstone Arsenal. The US also captured enough V-2 hardware to build approximately 80 of the missiles. The Soviets gained possession of the V-2 manufacturing facilities after the war, re-established V-2 production, and moved it to the Soviet Union.

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8 comments

  1. ᛋᛉᚺ|ᛟᚾ · April 29

    In the morning he of European blood hurled stones upon his enemies, at noon he fired aggregate metals out of hollowed vessels and in the evening silvered javelins pierced the firmament and screeched as they flew and destroyed with ferocious might. The European doctrine of immortality is to clock the minute hand forward not backwards. Germans have always been ahead by the hour hand. Non-Europeans straggling hours behind.

    On the note of the A-2 it was a very expensive stepping stone not unlike the early Jet program, limited not due to a lack of intelligence but rather limitation of resources on a continent newly transitioned from 19th century warfare. Advancements in metallurgy and avionic electronics would better serve Rocketry which simply did not exist or was simply unobtainable at the time.

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    • vikinglifeblog · April 29

      “In the morning he of European blood hurled stones upon his enemies, at noon he fired aggregate metals out of hollowed vessels and in the evening silvered javelins pierced the firmament and screeched as they flew and destroyed with ferocious might. The European doctrine of immortality is to clock the minute hand forward not backwards. Germans have always been ahead by the hour hand. Non-Europeans straggling hours behind.”

      Is that a quote, or your own? Anyway, it good.

      Like a upside down pyramid, the more new technology, the more technology is needed. They had to solve this task with lack of surden resources and resources in general, while their enemies we’re bombing them.
      I have read a book about the Tiger I tank. As I remember it, it took them about 9 mounths from the drawing board to the battlefields. That’s just one of many examples of how awesome they were and why so many people still are fascinated by them regardless of political views to this day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • ᛋᛉᚺ|ᛟᚾ · April 30

        It is my own expression albeit highly inspired the the riddle: “What crawls in the morning, stands on two legs at noon and walks on three legs in the evening?” The answer being “man”.

        Most people are fascinated by these things despite political climates i.e. dot 44 Camo, The King Tiger, The Horton 229, the Sturmgewehr-44. I know my father was one of those people 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • vikinglifeblog · April 30

      Can I quote it, in your name?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ᛋᛉᚺ|ᛟᚾ · April 29

    Oh I should note while Europe and the Colonies were transitioned from 19th century warfare Poland still had a 19th century pre-Industrial military force so not everyone was yet accustomed to fighting in the 20th century as of the period.

    Liked by 1 person

    • vikinglifeblog · April 29

      Very true. Countries like Sweden and Denmark actually helped Germany with things like ball bearings, machinery and weapons.

      Liked by 1 person

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