Today Germany celebrates the day of the German unity. The German Democratic Republic and the Federal Republic of Germany became one single country twelve years ago. This day is celebrated for another date too. 60 years ago, on October 3, 1942 there was the first successful launch of A4 missile, which was more commonly known as V-2. This missile was called Hitler’s missile during WWII.
V2 was another creation of the main Nazi missile designer – Wernher von Braun. A lot of researchers think that the successful test of the missile was one of the major stages on the way to the space exploration. Maybe, it is true, if you do not recall the fact that over 4300 V2 missiles were launched on London and other European cities since September of 1994.
The works on V2 missile started at the end of the 1930s. However, the tests started only in the summer of 1942. At first, it was not successful, but October 3 was marked with the first successful launch of V2 missile. Yet, it turned out later that the success was not a final one. Two more years were spent on the completion of the missile before Nazis started using it in their army purposes.
By the way, the English knew that the Germans were working on the new weapon. The Polish partisans sent the V2 design and the plan of the Peenemunde base, where the missile was tested, to London in July of 1943. A week later the base was attacked with about 600 English bombers. The base was completely destroyed, but the Germans managed to set up the production of missiles at an underground factory in the mountains. Thirty thousand concentration camp prisoners that worked at that factory were all killed by Nazis at the end of the war.
Wernher von Braun also developed A9/A10 missile by 1943. The missile was then called V3. The range ability of the missile was immense: it could easily reach the US eastern coast from Europe. However, V3 project was delayed for a certain period of time, when the Nazi Germans experienced failures on the Eastern front. Von Braun did not forget about his creation, though. He offered Hitler to use V3 for striking New York. The works on V3 project were resumed in November of 1944 under the code name “Project America.”
When the war was over, there were rumors that Nazis were about to strike New York. It was also rumored that there was a group of commandos deployed on the eastern coast of the United States. The group allegedly had to set up radio beacons. The group was destroyed by the American coast guard. It is hard to say, whether it was true or not. At any rate, there is no official evidence or documents to prove that. Yet, there are no rejections
According to the official data, V3 missile was successfully launched only three times. The series production of it was never started. Nazis lost the war, and Russians and Americans got hold of all of their developments.
American soldiers found Von Braun on May 10, 1945 on one of ski resorts in the Alps. He was then sent to the USA, where Hitler’s scientist became the leader in designing missiles.
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov