Originally posted by Paul Dirac II
This science forum gets used for cutting-edge topics, but I'll go against the grain this time by putting up as a topic something that is 70 years old.
Last year Paul Allen did the kind of thing I would do if I had a billion dollars lying around collecting dust. He purchased a WW II German V-2 rocket. They ain't making any more of 'em!
The 1940s-e ...[text shortened]... (As Mort Sahl used to say in a WVB accent, "I aim for the stars, but sometimes I hit London." )
The German war effort would have been better off without the V-2 rocket.
The V-2 rocket programme was an extravagant waste of Germany's resources.
V-2 rockets also were produced by slave labour with a high rate of mortality.
"...those of us (on the Allied side) who were seriously engaged in war were
very grateful to Wernher von Braun. We knew that each V-2 rocket cost as
much (my note: I think it was more) to produce as a high-performance fighter
airplane. We knew that German forces on the fighting fronts were in desperate
need of airplanes and that the V-2 rockets were doing us no military damage.
From our point of view, the V-2 program was almost as good as if Hitler
had adopted a policy of universal disarmament."
--Freeman Dyson (a physicist who was a RAF analyst during the war)
As a historian, I would like to point out that the worst problem for the Luftwaffe
was not a shortage of aircraft but a shortage of the fuel required to operate
its aircraft and to train enough pilots to operate them. Toward the end of
the war, the Luftwaffe's pilots tended to consist of a few highly experienced
veterans (who were among the best in the world) and many new pilots who
had been given little flying time (on account of fuel shortages) in training.