Report - - Kummersdorf Germany 2012 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Kummersdorf Germany 2012


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December 1930, Kummersdorf selected for missile development. The German Army Ordnance Office, after reviewing work of Goddard and others, decide to establish a rocket program and to equip the artillery proving ground at Kummersdorf to develop military missiles. The German Army issues the first budget for rocket development - 5,000 Reichsmarks!

July 1931, The German Army Ordnance Office formalise its rocket develoment program by placing Captain-Doctor Walter Dornberger in charge of Research Station West at Kummersdorf.

August 1932, Rudolf Nebel contacts the German Army and proposes the use of liquid fuel rockets as war missiles. He arranged for Army representatives to
observe a demonstration launch at Kummersdorf. Walter Riedel and Wernher Von Braun prepare the rocket. The new-design engine was developed by Walter Riedel and Arthur Rudolph at the Heylandt Company. The rocket reached an altitude of 20 to 70 m before veering horizontally into a forest. The Army is seemingly unimpressed. However a month later they hire Von Braun, who drops out of sight.

October 1932, Wernher von Braun joins the German Army Ordnance Office rocket program at Kummersdorf.

December 1932, Rocket test stand explosion at Kummersdorf. No one was injured and more stringent safety precautions were taken in the future.

July 1934, Liquid rocket explosion kills three. Dr Kurt Wahmke and two technicians were testing a 90% H2O2/Alcohol combination at Kummersdorf when the chamber exploded, killing them. These were the first and only deaths of technicians in the history of German rocket development.

During 1936, A 300 kgf engine was installed in a Junkers 'Junior' aircraft fuselage at Kummersdorf. This was the first rocket engine installation in an aircraft. But the problem to be solved was how to ensure continuous operation of the engine during aircraft manoeuvres. The rocket team finally built a big carousel, capable of testing the engine installation at up to 5 G's.

March 1939. Hitler visits Kummersdorf-West. This was the first time he became acquainted with liquid rocket engine technology. 300 kgf and 1000 kgf engines were fired in his presence. A colour-coded cutaway model of the A3 rocket was presented and its systems explained. Hitler was quiet throughout the exhibits and asked no questions. Afterwards, while taking lunch at the mess hall, he asked only about the development schedule (clucking when told), the range of the missile, and the impact on the schedule if synthetic 'Eisenbled' was substituted for light metal alloys in the rocket frame. Hitler spoke of deceased rocket pioneer Max Valier - he had known him in Munich, but dismissed him as a dreamer. Dornberger countered by comparing the state of rocket development to the early days of the zeppelin, when Lillienthal made the first primitive experiments. Hitler in turn dismissed airships as dangerous, filled with explosive gas . The Fuehrer finally departed with handshakes and few words. His summary of the day: 'Es war doch gewaltig' (it was impressive, nevertheless). The rocket team were dismayed - it was the first time a visitor had exhibited no reaction to the power the rocket engines when fired for their benefit. But on the plus side, Von Brauchtisch said he was astounded at the progress made by the team in only a few years. Dornberger believed Hitler was enthralled with artillery and tanks, and was unimpressed with rocket technology. He thought Hitler didn't understand the possibilities and didn't believe the time had come yet for development of the rocket as a weapon.

September 1939 . Goering tours Kummersdorf-West, unlike Hitler he was enthusiastic about the potential of rocket technology.

('borrowed' from numerous sources)












Despite it's history, the site was tiny.

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