The V2 Rocket, 1942-1945.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
German A4 long range bombardment misile, dubbed the Vengeance Weapon or V2 by the Nazi propaganda machine. The V2 was developed at the German Rocket Test Centre at Peenemunde by a team led by Wernher von Braun (1912-1977), and first succesfully tested in 1942. Over 3000 of the misiles were fired at targets in Britain and the Low Countries in 1944-1945. The V2 was propelled by a rocket engine which used alcohol and liquid oxygen as fuel. It carried about 2000 lb (900 kg) of high explosive and had a preset guidance system with no in-flight corrections. After the war von Braun was taken to the United States where his expertise in rocketry was used to develop ballistic misiles as well as being vital to the space programme.