“Should Britain fail, then the the entire world would sink into the abyss of a new dark age made more sinister …by the lights of perverted science.” ~ Winston Churchill
Germany was clearly the most advanced nation on Earth in several fields of science during World War II. Rocketry was significant among those.
Hitler was enamored of the idea a wonder weapon could win the war for him. So he pushed several areas of research and development that struck his fancy. Especially as the war turned against him, he invested more heavily in ideas, in sciences, that he thought could bring him victory. Werner von Braun was the scientist put in charge of the A4 program (later called V2). He was able to take advantage of a large wartime weapons budget and expand on the work of American scientist Robert Goddard to develop the first ballistic missile.
Some estimates put the cost of this program at $3 billion. Compare that to $1.9 Billion for the American Manhattan Project. This is just one very good example of how misguided much Nazi research was. They produced a weapon that could barely hit a city sized target, and carried only a conventional explosive warhead. No doubt the human cost and tragedy was great. But the over 6000 V2 missiles built killed approximately 6000 people. Few were military. Had German research focused more on radar, electronics, guidance systems, even a nuclear warhead for their rocket things could have been far worse.
Post War, the Americans and Soviets scavenged German technology and scientists as fast as they could. The V2 would fly for both countries and be the basis of their space programs. The movie The Right Stuff made light of the situation perfectly; when an American [German] scientist is questioned if the Soviets gained an early lead in their space program because of their German scientists he replies “nein, our Germans are better than their Germans.” Indeed. Werner von Braun was one of the key scientists for NASA through the Apollo program.
The kit is by Pegasus. Its part of their “EZ Snapz” line and is aimed at young modelers. No surprise, it is an amazingly simple kit. But then, the V2 is a simple machine. There really aren’t any other choices in 1/48th anyway. Unfortunately, the launch platform is bogus. I wish a proper launch pad or vehicle were available, but as far as I know it is not. The “decals” are by Cutting Edge. Actually, there’s only four decals/stencils on the whole kit. So perhaps I should say the painting guide was by Cutting Edge…
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