the author of this website:
A Combat History of the
T. D. Dungan
In August 1944, Londoners thought the war might be over by Christmas. But
on September 8, 1944, in the London suburb of Chiswick, a thunderous double-boom
was heard followed by a huge plume of black smoke rising high into the
air. Moments later another explosion rocked the earth near Epping. There
had been no warnings, no drone of aircraft above, just sudden devastation.
Operation Penguin, the V-2 offensive, had begun.
The A-4 rocket, better known as the V-2, Vergeltungswaffen Zwei, or Vengeance
Weapon 2, was the first ballistic missile to be used in combat. Soaring
over 50 miles high at supersonic speeds, the V-2 would strike its target
within 5 minutes of launching. Once in the air its deadly warhead was unstoppable.
The ancestor of all Cold War and modern day ballistic missiles, as well
as the rockets used for space exploration, the V-2 could not win the war
for Germany—it was too expensive, too complicated, too inaccurate, and
its warhead was too small—but its unprecedented invulnerability and influence
on Allied planning made the V-2 and the advancements it represented the
ultimate war prize, and British, American, and Soviet forces scrambled
to seize German rocket technology along with its scientists and engineers.
In V-2: A Combat History of the First Ballistic Missile, the author
relies on an unparalleled collection of original documents, unpublished
photographs, and accounts from those who were there to provide a complete
description of the V-2 program, the missile's use in combat, and the race
to capture its secrets.