The Russian V-2 Rocket

James Kinnear gives a detailed account of the development of the German V2 Rocket and the Allies race to secure the technology for themselves

One of the relatively untold stories of World War Two is the Allied race to capture German rocket technology at the end of the war - technology that would ultimately be used by both the United States and the Soviet Union to boost their respective indigenous rocket programmes.

From a Cold War perspective, the use of German rocket developments in the latter stages of World War Two, particularly the later Aggregat-4 (A-4), better known as the V-2, was the swansong of the relatively short wartime service of a potent military technology, but only the beginning of a second lease of life ‘under new management’. Soviet and American post-war developments of the mobile strategic weapon launch site principle developed in wartime Germany for launching the V-2 rocket would become evident in the years of the Cold War.

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