Cautionary Tales with Tim HarfordCautionary Tales with Tim Harford

Into the Black Lair: V2 Rocket (Part 2)

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In the 1920s, Germany’s Society for Spaceship Travel boasted some of the sharpest scientific minds – like the incandescently brilliant young Wernher von Braun. But it had very little money, and progress was slow.

Then, in 1932, the army made a proposal: it would fund more serious research if the enthusiasts at the Society would develop a rocket weapon.

Despite a string of failures to launch, von Braun was able to convince key powerbrokers in Nazi Germany that they couldn’t afford to ignore rocket technology. How did he do it? And what happened when the murderous Heinrich Himmler made a play for the rocket program?

For a full list of sources for this episode, visit timharford.com.


Do you have a question for Tim? Send it to tales@pushkin.fm and we'll do our best to answer it in a Q&A episode.

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