PMA P0321 German V-2 Long-Range Guided Ballistic Missile with Meillerwagen Launch Trailer and Brennstand - Peenemunde Test Facility, Checkerboard Pattern [Test Scheme] (1:72 Scale)
"Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That's not my department."
- A quote attributed to Wehrner von Braun, head of the German rocketry program
The V-2 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 2, "Retribution Weapon 2"), technical name Aggregat 4 (A4), was the world's first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a "vengeance weapon", assigned to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to cross the boundary of space with the vertical launch of MW 18014 on June 20th, 1944.
Research into military use of long range rockets began when the studies of graduate student Wernher von Braun attracted the attention of the German Army. A series of prototypes culminated in the A-4, which went to war as the V-2. Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched by the German Wehrmacht against Allied targets, first London and later Antwerp and Liege. According to a 2011 BBC documentary, the attacks from V2s resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, and a further 12,000 forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners died as a result of their forced participation in the production of the weapons.
As Germany collapsed, teams from the Allied forces - the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union - raced to capture key German manufacturing sites and technology. Wernher von Braun and over 100 key V-2 personnel surrendered to the Americans. Eventually, many of the original V-2 team ended up working at the Redstone Arsenal. The US also captured enough V-2 hardware to build approximately 80 of the missiles. The Soviets gained possession of the V-2 manufacturing facilities after the war, re-established V-2 production, and moved it to the Soviet Union.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a German V-2 long-range guided ballistic missile with Meillerwagen launch trailer. Comes in a checkerboard pattern indicative of the missile's testing phase at the Peenemunde test facility.
Note: Prime mover not included.
Now in stock!
Release Date: October 2017
Historical Account: "Operation Backfire" - Operation Backfire was a military scientific operation during and after the Second World War, which was performed mainly by British staff. It was part of the Allies' scramble to acquire German technology. With the consent of U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the operation was orchestrated by Major Robert Staver from the Rocket Section of the Research and Development branch of the Ordnance Office that was tasked in directing the effort to find and interrogate the German rocket specialists who had built the V-2. Since April 30 he had been in the Nordhausen area searching the smaller laboratories for V-2 technicians. Also Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) Junior Commander Joan Bernard played a role in this operation.
For this operation, three or possibly four V-2 rockets were launched during October 1945 from a launch pad north-east of Arensch near Cuxhaven in Germany, in order to demonstrate the weapon to Allied personnel.
The Americans had already taken away most of the V2 rocket technology from the German underground Mittelwerk factory at the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp near Nordhausen. Before the Soviets took control of that area, the British were given the opportunity to gather material. They were able to assemble parts sufficient to build eight V2 rockets. Some parts were still missing and there was a search throughout Germany. Some 400 railway cars and 70 Lancaster flights were used to bring the quarter-of-a-million parts and 60 specialized vehicles to Cuxhaven, the most elusive parts being batteries to operate the guidance gyros. The US supplied some tail assemblies from those that they had taken. Many of the rockets and the hydrogen peroxide fuel used in the operation were provided by T-Force, a secretive British Army unit that had, in spring and summer 1945, searched for German military technology and scientists.
The handling and launch procedures were unknown, so German personnel were ordered to perform these, which for the most part they did willingly. The launches were filmed and because the personnel wore their original uniforms and the rockets were painted in near to their original livery, this footage (often used for documentaries) has been mistaken for footage of wartime German launches.
At the site of the former launchpad there is a trough and some remnants of shelters.
During and after the launches, the British attempted to recruit German personnel, even those transferred from US custody and due to be returned, to assist with their own missile program.