Military Review

How the Germans developed missiles after the Lake Seliger war

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How the Germans developed missiles after the Lake Seliger war

In accordance with the requirements of the allies to comply with the decisions of the Crimean Conference on the demilitarization of Germany, in April 1946 the Council of Ministers of the USSR adopted a resolution on the transfer of all work on military equipment from Germany to the Soviet Union (How the Nazi FAU missile program became the base of the Soviet rocket and space program), in pursuance of which, in October 1946, about 7 thousand specialists (in addition to their families) in rocket technology, nuclear physics, aircraft construction, aviation engines, optical instrumentation were exported to the Soviet Union.


About 150 specialists in rocket technology and up to 500 members of their families were deported to Kaliningrad (Podlipki) near Moscow, where NII-88 was located, which was implementing the Soviet rocket program.

Branch number 1 on Gorodomlya Island and its tasks


By order of the Minister of Armaments No. 258 of August 31, 1946, this research institute was transferred to the balance of the building of the former Sanitary-Technical Institute, on the basis of which Branch No. 1 of the Research Institute-88 was formed, where German specialists were supposed to work.

At the end of 1946, the first group began work in this branch. The rest of the specialists and the former deputy of Werner von Braun - Grettrup were transferred there in January - May 1948.

The branch was located on Gorodomlya Island 1,5x1 km in size on Lake Seliger near the town of Ostashkov in the Kalinin Region. In the buildings of the branch, several laboratories were equipped and a test stand for testing V-2 rocket engines, as well as the necessary measuring instruments, was installed, which was taken out by parts from Germany.


Branch number 1 on Gorodomlya Island

The following tasks were assigned to the German specialists:

- to assist in the reconstruction of technical documentation and reproduction of the V-2 rocket;

- to develop projects of new rocketry products, using their experience and knowledge in this area;

- to design and manufacture simulating installations and various measuring equipment for individual tasks of the NII-88.


V-2 rocket combustion chamber

Petr Maloletov, former director of plant No. 88, was appointed director of the branch, and Yuri Pobedonostsev as chief engineer. The German side was led by Grettrup. As the chief designer, in pursuance of the institute's assignments, he drew up plans for the work of the branches of the branch and coordinated their activities. In his absence, the work was supervised by Dr. Wolf, the former head of the ballistics department at Krupp.

The group included prominent German scientists in thermodynamics, radar, aerodynamics, gyro theory, automatic control and steering gear. Branch No. 1 enjoyed the same rights as other departments of the institute, it had the sectors of ballistics, aerodynamics, engines, control systems, missile testing and a design bureau.

Rockets developed by German specialists


For reasons of secrecy, the Germans were not allowed to the results of the work and experiments of Soviet specialists. Both were forbidden to communicate with each other. The Germans constantly complained that they were cut off from work at the institute and the main processes taking place in the missile industry.

An exception was made only once - for the participation of a limited circle of people in October 1947 in the successful launches of V-2 missiles at the Kapustin Yar range. Based on the results of the launches in December 1947, Stalin signed a decree on awarding German specialists who distinguished themselves in the launch of V-2 missiles in the amount of a three-month salary. And he ordered to pay specialists bonuses for the successful solution of the tasks assigned to them in the amount of 20% of the wages fund.

In 1946 and the beginning of 1947, the management of NII-88 drew up a thematic work plan of the branch, which included consultations on the release of a set of documentation for the V-2 in Russian, drawing up diagrams of research laboratories for ballistic and anti-aircraft missiles, studying the issues of forcing the V-2 engine, developing a project engine with a thrust of 100 tons.


Helmut Grettrup before discussing project tasks

At the suggestion of Grettrup, they were given the opportunity to test their creative powers and develop a project for a new ballistic missile with a range of 600 km. The rocket project was assigned the G-1 (R-10) index. The chief designer of the rocket was Grettrup.

By the middle of 1947, the preliminary design of the G-1 was developed. And in September it was considered at the Scientific and Technical Council of NII-88. Grettrup reported that a missile with a range of 600 km should be a stepping stone for the subsequent development of long-range missiles. The missile was also developed for the same range by Soviet specialists with the maximum use of the V-2 reserve. Grettrup suggested developing both projects in parallel and independently of each other. And bring both to the manufacture of prototypes and test launches.

The main features of the G-1 project were the preservation of the dimensions of the V-2 with a significant increase in the volume for fuel, a simplified on-board system and maximum transfer of control functions to ground radio systems, increased accuracy, separation of the warhead on the descending branch of the trajectory. High accuracy was provided by a new radio control system, the speed was adjusted by radio on a straight line of the trajectory.

Due to the new design of the rocket, its mass decreased from 3,17 tons to 1,87 tons, and the mass of the warhead increased from 0,74 tons to 0,95 tons. Despite all the advantages of the project, the NTS decided on a comprehensive "bench" check constructive solutions, which in the conditions on the island of Gorodomlya was practically impossible to implement.

At the same time, from the end of 1947, Korolev in Podlipki was already in full swing designing the R-2 rocket with a range of 600 km.

The draft design of the G-1 was revised and refined, the range reached 810 km and the accuracy increased dramatically. In December 1948, NTS NII-88 again discussed the G-1 project. But the decision on the project was never made.

In the same period, the Grettrup group was working on the idea of ​​creating a G-2 (R-12) rocket with a range of 2500 km and a warhead weight of at least 1 ton. The propulsion system for such a rocket was proposed to be made in the form of a block of three G-1 engines. And thus to obtain a total thrust of more than 100 tons. Several variants of the rocket with one- and two-stage configuration and with a different number of engines were considered.

In this project, it was proposed to control the rocket by changing the thrust of the engines located along the periphery of the rocket tail. This idea was first implemented on the Soviet "lunar" rocket N-1, more than 20 years later.

German aerodynamicist Dr. Werner Albring proposed his project for the G-3 long-range missile. The first stage of the rocket was to be the G-1 rocket, the second stage was a cruise missile. This missile could deliver a 3000 kg warhead to a range of up to 2900 km. In 1953, Albring's ideas were used in the development of the Soviet experimental cruise missile "EKR".

In April 1949, on the instructions of the Minister of Armaments Ustinov, the development of a carrier of a nuclear charge weighing 3000 kg with a range of over 3000 km began. The same task was given to Korolev. German specialists have developed a draft ballistic missile G-4 (R-14) with a detachable warhead, which could compete with the King's R-3. Another project of the G-5 (R-15) nuclear charge carrier, in terms of its characteristics, was comparable to the promising Korolev R-7 rocket.

The Germans did not have the opportunity to consult with Soviet specialists. Since these works were strictly classified. And our designers did not even have the right to discuss these issues with the Germans. Isolation led to a lag in the work of German specialists from the level of Soviet developments.

By inertia, work on the G-4 continued throughout the 1950 year. But Grettrup lost interest in her, since it was impossible to implement the project without additional research and testing.

To load the team, a list of secondary, scattered tasks was formulated, which, for one reason or another, was inappropriate to perform on the main territory of NII-88. The G-5 project was the last brainchild of Grettrup, but he, however, like some others, was never implemented. The thing is that by that time a decision was already brewing at the top to abandon German personnel.

Decision to return to Germany


By the winter of 1950, Grettrup was asked to begin research with rocket propellants. He refused. And the team of German specialists began to fall apart. fuel specialists led by Hoch were transferred to Podlipki.

In October 1950, all secret work at the branch was terminated. At the government level, it was decided to send German specialists to the GDR. During 1951, the heads of the technical departments of Branch No. 1 were notified that German specialists were no longer allowed to work on military projects. Some of the departments were entrusted with theoretical work, the development of test vibration stands, a trajectory simulator and other products required by NII-88.

For some time on the island of Gorodomlya, before being sent to the GDR, there was a group of German specialists in aircraft engines (about 20 people), who were well aware of the novelties of Soviet aircraft. And so that they would not get bored, they were entrusted with the development of outboard boat motors.

The results of the activities of German specialists


Ustinov, in Beria's memorandum on October 15, 1951, "On the use of German specialists" reported:

At the beginning of October 1951, the number of German specialists working in Branch No. 1 was 166 people and 289 members of their families. During their stay at NII-88, German specialists carried out the following work:

“1947.

Participation in the assembly and restoration of technical documentation of the V-2 rocket, carrying out theoretical and theoretical work on aerodynamics and ballistics, consulting Soviet specialists on missiles developed in Germany, participation in bench tests of missile assemblies and assemblies and the assembly of 10 V-2 missiles, participation and substantial assistance in conducting flight tests of the V-2 ”.



Specialists of the Helmut Grettrup group after the first tests of the rocket

“1948.

A preliminary design of the R-10 missile with a range of 800 km, with a payload of 250 kg and an advanced design of the R-12 missile with a range of 2500 km, with a payload of 1 ton have been developed, a number of new structural elements have been proposed.

“1949.

A preliminary design of the R-14 missile with a range of 3000 km, with a payload of 3 tons with replacement of gas rudders with a swinging combustion chamber and an advanced design of a cruise missile R-15 with a range of 3000 km, with a payload of 3 tons and radio control, has been developed, however, due to a number of unresolved problematic issues continuation of these works turned out to be inexpedient. "

“1950.

An autonomous control system with radio correction for V-2 control has been designed, samples of devices of this system have been manufactured, and a technical design for an alpha-stabilizer has been developed. "

“1951.

NII-88 single-plane simulators have been manufactured and commissioned, various radio engineering, aerodynamic and electrical equipment has been designed and manufactured. "

“Conclusion.

German specialists provided significant assistance in the restoration and reconstruction of German structures, their theoretical, design and experimental work were used in the design of domestic samples.

Due to the long separation from the modern achievements of science and technology, the work of German specialists is becoming less effective and at present they do not provide substantial assistance. "

Exodus of German specialists from Gorodomlya island


In accordance with the decision taken, the return of German specialists to Germany took place in several stages.

In December 1951, the first stage was sent, in June 1952 - the second, and in November 1953 the last echelon left for the GDR. This group was accompanied by Grettrup and a large number of Zeiss employees from Kiev, Krasnogorsk and Leningrad. And specialists from Junkers and BMW from Kuibyshev.

The Branch No. 1, abandoned by the Germans, was turned into a branch of the Gyroscopic Institute, where the production of precision gyroscopic devices was organized based on the latest principles.

After the "exodus of the Germans" in 1953-1954, four independent rocket design bureaus were created in different cities. Much later, in August 1956, the Korolev Design Bureau was created.

Experts on rocketry, assessing the activities of German specialists in the Soviet Union, note that the group led by Grettrup, in many ways ahead of their colleagues who worked in the United States under the leadership of Wernher von Braun, in their draft missile designs proposed technical solutions that became the basis for all future missile developers - detachable warheads, supporting tanks, intermediate bottoms, hot pressurization of fuel tanks, flat nozzle heads of engines, thrust vector control using engines and a number of other solutions.

Subsequent development of rocket engines, control systems and missile design around the world was largely based on the V-2 and using the ideas of the Grettrup group. For example, the Korolev rocket R-2 had a detachable warhead, pressurized tanks and the engine was a forced version of the P-1 engine, the prototype of which was the V-2.

The fate of the Germans who returned to the GDR developed differently.

A small part of them left for West Germany. They, of course, became interested in the Western special services. And they gave information about their work on Gorodomlya Island.

Grettrup also moved there. He was offered a leadership job in the United States with Wernher von Braun. He refused. During the interrogations of the American special services, they were interested in Soviet developments. He turned out to be a decent person, he spoke only about his work on the island. He refused to cooperate with the Americans and to work on the missile program. After which he ceased to be of interest to the special services.

German specialists then warmly recalled their life on Gorodomlya Island, where they and their families were provided at that time with fairly decent conditions for living and working.

And these conditions deserve separate consideration.
Author:
Photos used:
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  1. Lech from Android.
    Lech from Android. 10 March 2021 05: 21
    +2
    Specialists of the Helmut Grettrup group after the first tests of the rocket

    Quilted jackets ... smile
    At least a little, these Germans compensated our country for the damage inflicted by Hitler's Germany.
    1. Civil
      Civil 10 March 2021 09: 33
      0
      The Germans were absolutely correct until the moment when our engineers, based on their developments, stepped forward. And then there was no point, they could not give anything new.
  2. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 10 March 2021 05: 36
    +5
    Isolation led to a lag in the work of German specialists from the level of Soviet developments ... ... The point is that by that time a decision was already brewing at the top to abandon German personnel.
    So the contribution of the Germans to the development of Soviet rocketry should not be exaggerated, although of course it is clearly higher than the "contribution" of Schmeisser to the creation of the AK.

    detachable heads, support tanks, intermediate bottoms, hot pressurization of fuel tanks, flat nozzle heads of engines, thrust vector control with engines and a number of other solutions.
    Quite general formulations, but if they accelerated development, then that's not bad either.
    1. apro
      apro 10 March 2021 06: 11
      +2
      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      So the contribution of the Germans to the development of Soviet rocketry should not be exaggerated.

      And you shouldn't underestimate. But the German engineering school was at that time higher than the Soviet one, and there was a lot to learn and gain experience.
      1. The comment was deleted.
    2. figwam
      figwam 10 March 2021 08: 26
      +6
      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      although of course it is clearly higher than Schmeisser's "contribution" to the creation of the AK.

      Schmeiser did not invest anything in AK.
      1. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 10 March 2021 09: 46
        0
        Quote: figvam
        Schmeiser did not invest anything in AK.

        That's it.
      2. vladcub
        vladcub 10 March 2021 13: 37
        -3
        What was he doing in the USSR then, playing poker? At that time, every ruble was on the account, and Herr Schmeisser lived like in a sanatorium and played poker.
        Even now, this will not work for everyone.
      3. mr.ZinGer
        mr.ZinGer 10 March 2021 19: 27
        0
        You are on business, not about a schmeiser ...
      4. Intruder
        Intruder 11 March 2021 19: 06
        0
        Schmeiser did not invest anything in AK.
        maybe more precisely - AK, grabbed everything out of Schmeisser's ideas !? wink
        1. mat-vey
          mat-vey 11 March 2021 19: 40
          +2
          Quote: Intruder
          maybe more precisely - AK, grabbed everything out of Schmeisser's ideas !?

          And what are the "ideas"?
        2. figwam
          figwam 11 March 2021 19: 47
          +1
          Quote: Intruder
          maybe more precisely - AK, grabbed everything out of Schmeisser's ideas !?

          There is nothing from Schmeiser there.
    3. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine 10 March 2021 09: 33
      +3
      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      Quite general formulations, but if they accelerated development, then that's not bad either.

      One of the German scientists received the title of Hero of Social Labor, sorry I don’t remember the last name, there was a program on Finnish TV with German scientists who worked in the USSR.
      This means that the contribution to the development of astronautics was still not bad.
      1. Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
        Paragraph Epitafievich Y. 10 March 2021 10: 46
        +8
        Quote: tihonmarine
        One of the German scientists received the title of Hero of Social Labor

        Nikolaus Riehl was from a different department. He was an atomic scientist.
    4. vladcub
      vladcub 10 March 2021 13: 27
      +1
      However, Schmeisser remained most of all in the Soviet Union. It is unlikely that he played poker
      1. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 10 March 2021 13: 35
        +1
        Quote: vladcub
        However, Schmeisser remained the most in the Soviet Union.

        He was a specialist in stamping EMNIP, probably working off a debt in this area.
        1. mat-vey
          mat-vey 10 March 2021 16: 09
          +2
          Quote: Vladimir_2U
          He was a punching specialist

          If he were a stamping specialist, then Haenel would not have sent specialists from Merz Werke to adjust the StG stamping.
          1. Vladimir_2U
            Vladimir_2U 10 March 2021 16: 16
            0
            Quote: mat-vey
            If he had been a stamping specialist, then Haenel would not have sent specialists from Merz Werke to adjust the StG stamping.

            Well, it means Memory Changes to Me, but in the USSR Schmeisser was not as a weapon designer, but as a gunsmith technologist.
            1. mat-vey
              mat-vey 10 March 2021 16: 20
              +3
              Quote: Vladimir_2U
              Well, it means Memory Changes to Me, but in the USSR Schmeisser was not as a weapon designer, but as a gunsmith technologist.

              He was the head of the commission for the selection of personnel in Germany (those who were sent to the USSR). Well, and then, for the first time, he tried to be the head of a group of German specialists ... then it turned out that he was more of an administrator than a designer (and his salary was severely cut), and the Germans did not really contact him, they got along well with the locals ...
              1. Vladimir_2U
                Vladimir_2U 10 March 2021 16: 31
                +1
                Quote: mat-vey
                that he is more of an administrator than a designer

                Which makes him even more distant from the AK ...
                1. mat-vey
                  mat-vey 10 March 2021 16: 36
                  +1
                  Quote: Vladimir_2U
                  Which makes him even more distant from the AK ...

                  The only thing that "connects" him with the AK is that the Germans were the first to decide to launch the weapon under the "intermediate" cartridge into mass production ... Although everything is not so simple here - the barrel that convinced the leadership of the USSR to start specific work in this direction was from the company Walther - MKb-42 (W), competitor to Schmeisser MKb-42 (H).
                  1. Vladimir_2U
                    Vladimir_2U 11 March 2021 03: 27
                    0
                    Quote: mat-vey
                    The only thing that "connects" him with the AK is that the Germans were the first to decide to launch weapons under an "intermediate" cartridge into mass production

                    I agree, of course Fedorov's priority in the intermediate proposal is undeniable, but also the priority of the Germans in mass production is undeniable.
      2. Intruder
        Intruder 11 March 2021 19: 10
        0
        It is unlikely that he played poker
        exactly, with senior sergeant Mikhail Timofeevich, and next to him lay the premium TT tanker, silently looking into the stomach of the German gunsmith !? laughing
  3. tihonmarine
    tihonmarine 10 March 2021 06: 58
    +1
    The rocket project was assigned the G-1 (R-10) index. The chief designer of the rocket was Grettrup.

    Interestingly, it was not Grettrup himself who responded to the Soviet proposal, but his wife. They said, “I decide everything here, not my husband!” When everything was ready to leave for the USSR, she said “How will I go there, I have a cow at home, what will I feed my children with?” General Serov, in charge of the project, ordered to attach a wagon with her cow and a supply of hay to the train. To his question “Who will milk the cow?” she replied that she would milk herself.
    1. Richard
      Richard 10 March 2021 10: 39
      0
      This is our cow, and we ourselves will milk it (c). Classic! smile
      1. Richard
        Richard 10 March 2021 10: 48
        +1
        Irmgardt Grettrup
    2. vladcub
      vladcub 10 March 2021 13: 46
      +1
      This was in the first part. I'm interested in another thing, what made Frau Grettrup establish contact with Serov's group?
      They didn’t need food, and in the US they wouldn’t have to chew dry crust either. Probably some ideological motives
  4. Aviator_
    Aviator_ 10 March 2021 08: 20
    +2
    The draft design of the G-1 was revised and refined, the range reached 810 km and the accuracy increased dramatically.

    Well, probably, all the same, the calculated range and accuracy, and not real.
  5. iouris
    iouris 10 March 2021 12: 37
    0
    High-quality work of authorship. Thank.
    The capture of Washington will make it possible to intensify.
  6. Niko
    Niko 10 March 2021 12: 54
    +1
    Thank you. Good article, interesting material, nicely presented.
  7. sevtrash
    sevtrash 10 March 2021 19: 51
    0
    It seems that the full potential of the work of the German group was not revealed. The fact that they were leaders in the creation of rocketry is undoubted, but then their capabilities were limited. Was it worth it? The Americans still gave the opportunity to von Braun to lead, albeit not immediately, he still promoted the lunar project. If Grettrut's group were given more freedom and interaction with other specialists - could the space program be even more successful? Most likely it would be so. But - the scientific and technical base of the United States as a whole was more powerful, so they would still be the first on the moon.
    1. Intruder
      Intruder 11 March 2021 19: 13
      0
      If Grettrut's group were given more freedom and interaction with other specialists - could the space program be even more successful?
      Already by 1965 on the Moon, the USSR flag on a flagpole, with a Soviet rover and two cosmonauts, and by 1989 - apple trees under a dome on Mars, would have bloomed !?
  8. Kostadinov
    Kostadinov 18 March 2021 17: 26
    0
    Quote: sevtrash
    If Grettrut's group were given more freedom and interaction with other specialists - could the space program be even more successful?

    Gretrup worked with Von Braun's control systems and did not develop anything new in engines, since he did not beat a specialist in this. Von Braun and his group in the USA made the new engines.