Military Review

FAU missiles - "weapon of retaliation"


Germany’s capitulation in 1918 and the Versailles peace treaty that followed became the starting point for creating a new species. weapons. According to the agreement, Germany was limited in the production and development of weapons, and the German army was forbidden to be in service Tanks, airplanes, submarines and even airships. But there was not a word about the nascent rocket technology in the agreement.

FAU missiles - "weapon of retaliation"
Fow-2 on the launch pad. The provisioning machines are visible.

In 1920, many German engineers worked on the development of rocket engines. But only in 1931, the designers Riedel and Nebel managed to create a full-fledged liquid-fuel jet engine. In 1932, this engine was repeatedly tested on experienced rockets and showed encouraging results.
In the same year, star Werner von Braun, who received a bachelor’s degree from the Berlin Institute of Technology, began to rise. A talented student attracted the attention of engineer Nebel, and the 19-year-old baron simultaneously with his studies becomes an apprentice in the rocket design bureau.
In 1934, Brown defended a dissertation entitled "Constructive, Theoretical, and Experimental Contribution to the Problem of a Liquid Missile." Behind the foggy doctoral formulation was the theoretical foundations of the advantages of liquid rocket engines over bomber missiles aviation and artillery. After receiving his Ph.D. diploma, von Braun attracted the attention of the military, and the diploma was strictly classified.

In 1934, a test laboratory West was set up near Berlin, which was located at the Kummersdorf test site. It was the “cradle” of the German missiles — tests of jet engines were conducted there, dozens of prototypes of rockets were launched. Total secrecy reigned at the test site - few knew what the Brown research team was doing. In 1939, in the north of Germany, not far from the city of Peenemünde, a rocket center was founded - factory workshops and the largest wind tunnel in Europe.

In 1941, under the leadership of Brown, a new 13-ton Rocket A-4 with a liquid-fuel engine was designed.

Consequences of the use of V-2. Antwerp.

In July, an experimental batch of A-1942 ballistic missiles was made, 4, which was immediately sent for testing.

Note: V-2 (Vergeltungswaffe-2, Retaliation-2) - single-stage ballistic missile. Length - 14 meters, weight 13 tons, of which 800 kg accounted for the warhead with an explosive. The liquid jet engine worked on both liquid oxygen (about 5 tons) and 75 percent ethanol (approximately 3,5 tons). Fuel consumption was 125 liters of mixture per second. The maximum speed is of the order of 6000 km / h, the height of the ballistic trajectory is one hundred kilometers, the radius of action is up to 320 kilometers. The launch of the rocket was carried out from the launch pad vertically. After the engine was turned off, the control system was turned on, the gyros gave commands to the rudders, following the instructions of the program mechanism and the speed measuring device.

By October 1942 of the year, dozens of А-4 launches were carried out, but only a third of them were able to reach the goal. The constant accidents at the start and in the air convinced the Fuhrer of the inexpediency to continue funding the Peenemünde Rocket Research Center. After all, the budget of Werner von Braun's design bureau for the year was equal to the cost of producing armored vehicles in 1940.
The situation in Africa and on the Eastern Front was no longer in favor of the Wehrmacht, and Hitler could not afford to finance a long-term and expensive project. Air Force Commander Reichsmarshal Goring took advantage of this by proposing to Hitler a draft of the Fi-103 projectile aircraft, which was developed by the designer Fizeler.

Cruise missile V-1.

Note: V-1 (Vergeltungswaffe-1, Retaliation-1) is a guided cruise missile. V-1 mass - 2200 kg, 7,5 is long meters, the maximum speed 600 km / h, flight range to 370 km, flight height 150-200 meters. The warhead contained 700 kg of explosive. The launch was carried out with the help of an 45-meter catapult (later experiments were conducted on launch from an airplane). After the launch, the rocket control system was turned on, which consisted of a gyroscope, a magnetic compass and an autopilot. When the missile was above the target, the automation turned off the engine and the rocket was planning to land. Engine V-1 - pulsing air-jet - worked on ordinary gasoline.

During the night of August 18, 1943 from the airbases in the UK took off about a thousand of the “flying fortresses” of the Allies. Their goal was factories in Germany. 600 bombers raided the Peenemünde Rocket Center. German air defense could not cope with the armada of the Anglo-American aircraft - tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs hit the shop for the production of V-2. The German research center was practically destroyed, and it took more than half a year to restore it.

In the fall of 1943, Hitler, worried about the alarming situation on the Eastern Front, as well as the possible landing of allies in Europe, recalled the “miracle weapon”.
Werner von Braun was called up for command. He demonstrated a film with A-4 launches and photographs of the damage caused by a ballistic missile warhead. The Missile Baron also presented a plan to the Führer, according to which, with proper funding, hundreds of Fow 2s could be released within six months.
Von Braun convinced the Fuhrer. "Thank you! Why I still did not believe in the success of your work? I was simply not well informed, ”said Hitler, having read the report. Restoration of the center in Peenemünde began at double the pace. The Fuhrer's similar attention to rocket projects can be explained from a financial point of view: the V-1 cruise missile in mass production cost 50000 rechsmark, and the Fau-2 rocket - up to 120000 Reichsmark (seven times cheaper than the Tigr-I tank, which cost about 800000 Reichsmark).

13 On June 1944, fifteen V-1 cruise missiles were launched - their target was London. The launches continued daily, and in two weeks the number of dead from the “weapon of retaliation” reached 2400 people.
Of the 30000 shells made around 9500 were launched into England, and only 2500 of them flew to the capital of Great Britain. 3800 was shot down by fighter and air defense artillery, and 2700 V-1 fell to the English Channel. German cruise missiles destroyed 20000 houses, around 18000 people were injured and 6400 killed.

September 8 on the orders of Hitler were launched launches of the V-2 ballistic missile in London. The first of them fell into a residential quarter, forming a crater ten meters deep in the middle of the street. This explosion caused a stir among residents of the capital of England - during the flight, the V-1 produced a characteristic sound of a pulsing jet engine (the British called it a “buzzing bomb”). But on this day there was neither an air-raid signal, nor a characteristic “buzz”. It became clear that the Germans used some kind of new weapon.
Of the 12000 V-2 produced by the Germans, more than a thousand were released in England and about 500 to Antwerp-occupied Allied troops. The total death toll from the use of the “brainchild of von Braun” was about 3000 people.
Last Fow 2 fell on London 27 March 1945 of the year.

"Miracle weapons", despite the revolutionary concept and design, suffered shortcomings: low accuracy of entry forced the use of missiles for area targets, and low reliability of engines and automation often led to accidents even at the start. Destroying the infrastructure of the enemy with the help of V-1 and V-2 was unrealistic, so you can surely call this weapon “propaganda” - to intimidate the civilian population.

At the beginning of April 1945, the order was issued to evacuate the design office of Werner von Braun from Peenemünde to southern Germany, to Bavaria - the Soviet troops were very close. The engineers are located in Oberjoch, a ski resort located in the mountains. Germany's missile elite awaited the end of the war.
As Dr. Konrad Danenberg recalled: “We had several secret meetings with von Braun and his colleagues to discuss the question: what will we do at the end of the war. We were considering whether we should surrender to the Russians. We had information that the Russians were interested in rocket technology. But we heard about the Russians so much bad. We all understood that the V-2 rocket was a huge contribution to high technology, and we hoped that this would help us stay alive ... "
During these meetings, it was decided to surrender to the Americans, since it was naive to count on the warm welcome of the British after the shelling of London with German missiles.
The Missile Baron understood that the unique knowledge of his engineering team could provide an honorable reception after the war, and 30 on April 1945 of the year, after reporting the death of Hitler, von Braun surrendered to American intelligence agents.

This is interesting: American intelligence agencies closely followed the work of von Braun. In 1944, the Paperclip plan was developed (“paper clip” in English). The name comes from the stainless clips that held the paper files of German rocket engineers, which were stored in the American intelligence file. The aim of Operation Peaperklip was people and documentation related to the German missile development.

This is not a myth!
Operation Elster

On the night of 29 on November 1944 of the year, a German U-1230 submarine surfaced in the Gulf of Man, not far from Boston, from which a small inflatable boat departed, carrying two saboteurs equipped with weapons, false documents, money and jewels, as well as various radio equipment.
From this point on, the operation Elster (Forty), planned by the German Interior Minister Heinrich Himmler, entered into an active phase. The aim of the operation was to install a radio beacon on the tallest building in New York, the Empire State Building, which was planned to be used in the future for targeting German ballistic missiles.

Back in 1941, Werner von Braun developed a project for an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of about 4500 km. However, it was not until the beginning of 1944 that von Braun told the Führer about this project. Hitler was delighted - he demanded to immediately begin to create a prototype. After this order, German engineers at the Peenemünde center conducted round-the-clock work on the design and assembly of an experimental rocket. The A-9 / A-10 two-stage ballistic missile America was ready at the end of December 1944. It was equipped with liquid-jet engines, the weight reached 90 tons, and the length was thirty meters. An experimental launch of the rocket took place on 8 on January 1945 of the year; after seven seconds of flying, the A-9 / A-10 exploded in mid-air. Despite the failure, the “missile baron” continued to work on the “America” project.
The Elster mission ended in failure - the FBI spotted a radio broadcast from the U-1230 submarine, and a raid began on the coast of the Gulf of Man. The spies were divided and separately reached New York, where they were arrested by the FBI in early December. German agents were tried by the US military tribunal and sentenced to death, but after the war, US President Truman overturned the sentence.

After the loss of Himmler’s agents, the “America” plan was on the verge of collapse, because it was still necessary to find a solution for the most accurate guidance of a hundred-ton mass missile, which should hit the target after a flight of five thousand kilometers. Goering decided to go as simple as possible - he ordered Otto Skorzeny to create a detachment of suicide pilots. The final launch of experimental A-9 / A-10 took place in January 1945. It is believed that this was the first manned flight; There is no documentary evidence of this, but according to this version, Rudolf Schroeder took the place in the rocket cabin. True, the attempt ended in failure - ten seconds after takeoff, the rocket caught fire and the pilot died. According to the same version, the data on the manned flight incident are still classified as “secret”.
Further experiments "rocket baron" interrupted the evacuation to the south of Germany.

America adopts experience

In November 1945, the International Military Tribunal began in Nuremberg. The victor countries judged war criminals and SS members. But in the dock there was neither Verner von Braun, nor his rocket team, although they were members of the SS party.
The Americans secretly removed the "missile baron" to the United States.
And in March, 1946 of the year at the test site in New Mexico, the Americans begin tests of the V-2 missiles removed from the Mittelwerk. Launched Werner von Braun launches. Only half of the launched “Retaliation Missiles” managed to take off, but this did not stop the Americans - they signed a hundred contracts with former German rocket engineers. The calculation of the US administration was simple - relations with the USSR quickly deteriorated, and a carrier for a nuclear bomb was required, and a ballistic missile was ideal.
In 1950, a group of “missiles from Peenemünde” moved to a missile test site in Alabama, where work began on the Redstone missile. The rocket almost completely copied the A-4 design, but due to the changes made, the starting mass increased to 26 tons. With the tests, it was possible to reach the range in 400 km.
In 1955, the SSM-A-5 “Redstone” operational-tactical liquid-propellant missile equipped with a nuclear warhead was deployed at US bases in Western Europe.
In 1956, Werner von Braun heads the American Jupiter ballistic missile program.
1 February 1958 year, a year after the Soviet "Sputnik", was launched the American "Explorer-1". He was delivered to orbit by a von Braun rocket “Jupiter-S”.
In 1960, the Rocket Baron becomes a member of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A year later, under his leadership, designed Saturn missiles, as well as the Apollo spacecraft.
16 July 1969 launched the Saturn-5 rocket and delivered the Apollo-76 spacecraft to the lunar orbit through 11 flight hours in space.
20 July 1969, astronaut Neil Armstrong, stepped onto the surface of the moon.
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  1. Nayhas
    Nayhas 21 March 2013 08: 32
    Werner von Braun deserved a fair trial, for membership in the SS, for the use of labor of prisoners of concentration camps, for the numerous victims of the civilian population, but in spite of this, one cannot but admit, he is the father of world cosmonautics. Such a damn irony ...
    1. fzr1000
      fzr1000 21 March 2013 09: 38
      One of the fathers.
    2. heavytank
      heavytank 21 March 2013 23: 11
      if he was the creator of the world's first rocket technology all sins are excusable but did not know the harm from the same missiles he did not see real destruction
      1. Andrey77
        Andrey77 22 March 2013 20: 35
        For a scientist, the main thing is to invent. Sakharov, inventing the first "hydrogen gas", could also think - is the race with the USA worth the candle ...
    3. Andrey77
      Andrey77 22 March 2013 20: 31
      All scientific and technological progress of mankind was moving by the military. The military from different sides of the barricades. Von Braun was a fascist, and Korolev a communist. This is not reflected in science.
  2. Aiviar
    Aiviar 21 March 2013 10: 23
    I don’t remember in what movie Brown’s subordinates told him from the back: a man who had been aiming at stars all his life ... only for half his life ended up in Lonodon.
  3. avt
    avt 21 March 2013 10: 56
    So figure out who fought! And if we take into account that they did the first uranium enrichment plant. In general, everything was not easy, until the beginning of 1945 they still controlled their army and industry. By the way Chertok recalled how, after the war, his friend looked at the A-4 engine and told him that this was from the realm of fantasy.
  4. redwolf_13
    redwolf_13 21 March 2013 12: 44
    On the coast of France, up to 10 launching tables with lead sheathed bunkers were destroyed by a raid of Americans. At first, they did not attach importance to this. Subsequently, when they became interested, it became known that the Germans were preparing more than 20 warheads consisting of a mixture of uranium and quartzite sand. The defeat zone with the use of at least 5-8 missiles would lead to complete radioactive contamination of London completely. But they did not have time.
    By the way, the Germans wanted to use their missiles in the shelling of Leningrad. Well, as always, the partisans and the NKGB detachments thwarted these plans.
    1. Drosselmeyer
      Drosselmeyer 21 March 2013 13: 02
      Well, not everything is so simple. The effect of radiation on a mass gathering of people began to be studied by the Americans only after Hiroshima and the surrender of Japan. The United States sent special teams to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which then drew up reports on the effects of radiation. Prior to that, the radiation factor was known "in general" and the main damaging factor was the consequences of a huge explosion directly.
      Even in the 50s, the radiation impact of a nuclear explosion was in the background, especially the radiation contamination of the area without the explosion itself, the so-called. "dirty bomb".
    2. Aryan
      Aryan 21 March 2013 14: 35
      our URA any URAN will win soldier
    3. avt
      avt 21 March 2013 18: 24
      Quote: redwolf_13
      On the coast of France, up to 10 launching tables with lead sheathed bunkers were destroyed by a raid of Americans.

      You know, at first I was skeptical about the success of the Germans in the atomic program. I had a chance to talk with people but somehow I didn’t believe it. After Sudoplatov’s memoirs, he revised his views a little and somehow got stronger in the idea that if they didn’t even have a uranium bomb, then they were not even a step away — a centimeter from it.
  5. Aryan
    Aryan 21 March 2013 14: 30
    Werner von Braun's nightmare:
    fau2 returns to base after completing a combat mission ... soldier
  6. Aryan
    Aryan 21 March 2013 14: 45
    campaign for fau4
  7. Bosk
    Bosk 21 March 2013 14: 53
    600 bombers raided the rocket center in Peenemuende. The German air defense could not cope with the armada of Anglo-American aviation - tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs hit the V-2 production workshops. If I don’t worry, then a very detailed diagram of the base was provided to the British by the soldiers of the Kraev Army, but courageous English bombers didn’t bother and bombed the squares and bombed barracks with prisoners during the bombing ...
  8. Bosk
    Bosk 21 March 2013 15: 02
    By the way, the very same soldiers of the Kraev Army, whether in the 43rd year or in the 44th year, found an unexploded Fau, dismantled it and sent it to England, it seems that Julian Semenov wrote about this, only there Stirlitz turned the whole thing about it. ...
  9. Volkhov
    Volkhov 21 March 2013 18: 09
    Last Fow 2 fell on London 27 March 1945 of the year.

    According to the maps, the front line at that time was further 300 km from London, that is, some modification of the V-2 planning was used, with a longer range or with a sea launch.
  10. pinecone
    pinecone 21 March 2013 21: 44
    Quote: redwolf_13
    By the way, the Germans wanted to use their missiles in the shelling of Leningrad. Well, as always, the partisans and the NKGB detachments frustrated these plans

  11. Mohomax
    Mohomax April 10 2013 12: 30
    The Americans fell into space with the help of a captured German genius, and the Soviet Union itself came to this. Glory to those geniuses who thought about space and not about war, regardless of location relative to the barricades
  12. rubin6286
    rubin6286 6 November 2013 18: 14
    For some reason, they mostly talk about the FAU-2 missile. You have some interesting control system. The British, trying to decipher the German naval cipher, came up with an analogue of a computer, but the Germans also came up with a software current distributor, the prototype of future digital computers and computers, managed to take into account the Earth’s rotation at launch, created a gyrohorizon and gyroverticent, which ensured that the direction to the target was kept in flight. This software current distribution together with a step finder was later used by our experts in various kinds of automation systems, and gyroscopes in control systems on later Soviet missiles.