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Previous chapter: The A-3 rocket
Above: The A-4 rocket on its launching platform
During World War II, the Nazi regime in Germany funded an unprecedented effort to build rocket weapons. Capitalizing on the experience accumulated by German rocket enthusiasts since the second half of the 1920s, a group of engineers at a secret center in Peenemünde developed a ballistic missile of incomparable size and range. Officially dubbed Vergeltungswaffe-2, or "vengeance weapon-2," the cigar-shaped rocket could reach targets some 300 kilometers away. (169)
A-4 technical overview:
Test launches of the A-4 started in 1942 and from September 5, 1944, the missile was used by the German Army to attack England and a number of allied targets in Europe. The last German A-4 rocket was launched from Peenemunde on February 19, 1945.
After the war, the British military with the help of German specialists launched three A-4 rocket from Germany. A significant number of A-4 rockets were launched in the United States.
Next chapter: Search for the A-4 rocket technology in Poland
Writing and photography: Anatoly Zak; Last update: June 23, 2011
Page editor: Alain Chabot; Last edit: October 12, 2008
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The A-4 (V-2) rocket is being erected into vertical position for launch.
The A-4 rocket. Copyright © 2001 Anatoly Zak
The combustion chamber of the A-4 rocket. Click to enlarge Copyright © 2005 Anatoly Zak
The combustion chamber of the A-4 rocket with the remnants of the turbopump recovered at the Dora underground plant. Click to enlarge Copyright © 2007 Anatoly Zak
Scale model showing main components of the A-4 mobile complex deployed on a city street. Copyright © 2011 Anatoly Zak