V-2: A Combat History of the First Ballistic Missile

Overview

In August 1944, Londoners thought the war might be over by Christmas. But on September 8, 1944, in the London suburb of Chiswick, a thunderous double-boom was heard followed by a huge plume of black smoke rising high into the air. Several minutes later another explosion rocked the earth near Epping. There had been no warnings, no drone of aircraft above, just sudden devastation. "Operation Penguin," the V-2 offensive, had begun. The A-4 rocket, better known as the V-2, Vergeltungswaffen Zwei, or "Vengeance Weapon...

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Overview

In August 1944, Londoners thought the war might be over by Christmas. But on September 8, 1944, in the London suburb of Chiswick, a thunderous double-boom was heard followed by a huge plume of black smoke rising high into the air. Several minutes later another explosion rocked the earth near Epping. There had been no warnings, no drone of aircraft above, just sudden devastation. "Operation Penguin," the V-2 offensive, had begun. The A-4 rocket, better known as the V-2, Vergeltungswaffen Zwei, or "Vengeance Weapon 2," was the first ballistic missile to be used in combat. Soaring over 50 miles high at supersonic speeds, the V-2 would strike its target within 5 minutes of launching. Once in the air its deadly warhead was unstoppable. The ancestor of all Cold War and modern day ballistic missiles, as well as the rockets used for space exploration, the V-2 could not win the war for Germany—it was too expensive, too complicated, too inaccurate, and its warhead was too small—but its unprecedented invulnerability and influence on Allied planning made the V-2 and the advancements it represented the ultimate war prize, and British, American, and Soviet forces scrambled to seize German rocket technology along with its scientists and engineers. In V-2: A Combat History of the First Ballistic Missile, T. D. Dungan relies on an unparalleled collection of original documents, unpublished photographs, and accounts from those who were there to provide a complete description of the V-2 program, the missile's use in combat, and the race to capture its secrets.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The best account of the V-2 campaign that has yet been published.”—Michael J. Neufeld, National Air & Space Museum, in Military History
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594160127
  • Publisher: Westholme Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Series: Weapons in History Ser.
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 713,725
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

T. D. Dungan is a leading authority on the V-2 rocket and founding member of the International V-2 Rocket Research Group. He assisted with the restoration of the USAAF Museum's V-2 and was a contributor to "Nordhausen: V-2 Rocket Factory," an episode in the History Channel's "Modern Marvels" series.

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