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

Price: $27.95
ISBN 13: 1588344673

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Product Description


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. It was a stunning achievement, one that heralded a new age of ballistic missiles and space launch vehicles. 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, as well as the means to go into space. Both the US and USSR's rocket programs had their origins in the Nazi state.

Author Information

Michael J. Neufeld
Michael J. Neufeld is a Museum Curator in the Space History Division of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. From 2007 to 2011 he served as Division Chair. Born and raised in Canada, he has four history degrees, including a PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 1984. Dr. Neufeld has written three books, The Skilled Metalworkers of Nuremberg (1989), The Rocket and the Reich (1995), and Von Braun (2007). He has edited three others, Planet Dora by Yves Béon (1997), The Bombing of Auschwitz (2000, with Michael Berenbaum) and Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (2010, with Alex Spencer).

Review Quotes

A well-written, comprehensively researched analysis of Nazi Germany's missile program and its antecedents.
—Library Journal
Promises to be a classic account of the devil's bargain that coincidentally accelerated the possibility of manned space flight by a full generation.
One cannot study science and technology in the Third Reich without raising dangerous, difficult and important general questions about the relationship between knowledge and power, the moral responsibility of scientists and engineers, and the relationship between modernity and brutality...[Neufeld] has written the first complete history in English of the story of the German liquid-fuelled rocket programme...and does not shy away from these issues.
Absorbing...This is a hard-hitting book, but is also a fair and scholarly one that does equal justice to all aspects of the German rocket program--technical, political, moral, and human. It bids fair to become the standard work on this subject for many years to come.
—New York Times Book Review
The German V-2 rockets that hit London in 1944 arrived silently, having covered 200 miles in five minutes. The Rocket and the the astonishing story of their development and how the Allies tried to kill the development teams and destroy the factories. It is a dispassionate account, but one that builds excitement and tension in the reader.
—New Scientist

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