The V-2 rocket, or A4 rocket, was a German ballistic missile used in World War II. The V-2 was the first successful military use of long range rockets in warfare.
After World War I the Germans were prohibited from building new weapons for their arsenal. In order to work around the Treaty of Versailles, the German military began to look at rockets as potential weapons of war. In the 1920s rocket societies formed in Germany to build and understand rockets; one was the Society for Space Travel. These clubs had many bright minds on how to make a rocket go farther while carrying a heavy load. Walter Dornberger, an army officer, agreed that rockets should be used as weapons and allowed the army to fund their own rocket program. Throughout the 1930s the German rocket team, headed by Werner Von Braun, built bigger and better rockets for the German military dubbed the A-series. The final rocket in the A-series was the A4 which could go father then pervious rockets. The first A4 flew in 1942 and shortly after the rocket began to enter production for the military. The A4, however, suffered many setbacks that delayed production; the research/production facility at Peenemunde was bombed by the RAF and the A4 still had minor problems to be worked out. Production went to the underground facility of Mittelwerk near the German town of Nordhausen. The Mittelwerk employed hundreds of prisoners to build the A4 rockets. Nazi Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, renamed the A4 the Vergeltungswaffe-2, or the V-2 for short.
The Germans began to use the V-2 rockets in September 1944 against British cities like London. The V-2 would have to be aimed at large cities because the guidance system was not good enough to target smaller objectives. Because the V-2 launch pads were easily destroyed from the air, the Germans instead used mobile launchers to launch V-2 rockets. A well trained crew could set up the rocket, launch it and depart in 2 hours. As the Allies pushed deeper into occupied territory the Germans began to target other cities with V-2 rockets like Antwerp, Belgium. Even though civilian causalities were high the V-2 was too little too late and did not help the Nazi's win the war. After the war, the Soviets and Americans took rockets and scientists to help them in their own rocket programs. Many of these German scientists, like Von Braun, would help spearhead the Soviet and American space programs. The V-2 rocket helped armies understand the importance that rockets and missiles would play in future wars.
Type: Ballistic Missile
Length: 14.05 m (46.09 ft)
Diameter: 1.68 m (5.51 ft)
Mass: 28, 373 lbs
Lift Off Thrust: 55,000 lbs
Payload: 2150 lbs warhead
Range: 330 km (205 miles)
In Game AppearanceEdit
- The mission Escape the V-2 Rocket Plant in Medal of Honor takes place in the Mittelwerk. The mission has the player destroy the facility and steal documents on the V-2.
- Slave laborers who worked on the V-2 would often try to sabotage the rockets. This could be making weak parts, faulty wiring or even peeing inside the fragile components.
- The Germans tried to build large concrete facilities to launch the rockets. One of the most well known is La Coupole in France.