The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemünde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era

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Harvard University Press, 1996 - History - 367 pages
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Launched by the Third Reich in late 1944, the first ballistic missile, the V-2, fell on London, Paris, and Antwerp after covering nearly two hundred miles in five minutes. The design and construction of this daring and deadly advance in weaponry took place at the German rocket development center at Peenemünde, a remote island off the Baltic Coast. Now, Michael J. Neufeld gives the first comprehensive and accurate account of the story behind one of the greatest engineering feats of World War II. At a time when rockets were minor battlefield weapons, Germany ushered in a new form of warfare that would bequeath a long legacy of terror to the Cold War era and a tactical legacy that remains essential today. Both democracy's and communism's ballistic missile and space programs, as well as the SCUD and Patriot missiles of the Gulf War, began in the service of the Nazi State.

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User Review  - jztemple - LibraryThing

A rather serious book that focuses more on the politics and organizational challenges than on the technology and day to day operations. He also discusses the forced labor workers who worked not only ... Read full review

THE ROCKET AND THE REICH: PeenemĊnde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A dry history of the Nazi rocket program, concentrating on the development of liquid fuels for missiles. Neufeld, curator of WW II history at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, traces ... Read full review

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About the author (1996)

Michael J. Neufeld is chair of the Space History Division of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Born and raised in Canada, he received his doctorate in history from The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. His second book, "The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemunde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era," won the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics History Manuscript Award and the Society for the History of Technology Dexter Prize. He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland.

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