First Edition of Walter Dornberger's V-2; inscribed by Him
Item Number: 119833
New York: The Viking Press, 1954.
First edition of this biography of the leader of Nazi Germany’s V-2 rocket program and other projects at the Peenemünde Army Research Centre. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Joe Kennedy with kind regards The curfew Walter Dornberger Boston, Nov. 26, 1958.” Near fine in a very good dust jacket, name to the title page. Jacket design by Robert Hallock. Translated by James Cleugh and Geoffrey Halliday. Introduction by Willy Ley. Uncommon signed and inscribed.
Major-General Dr. Walter Robert Dornberger was a German Army artillery officer whose career spanned World War I and World War II. He was a leader of Nazi Germany's V-2 rocket program and other projects at the Peenemünde Army Research Centre. The author recounts the technical history of development with good technical detail on the problems encountered, the solutions that were tried, and their final resolution. The accomplishments of the technical staff, including von Braun, Gessner and Thiel, are detailed. He describes his meetings with prominent Nazis, including Hitler, Himmler, Goering, and Kammler, including sketches of their character and mannerisms. Toward the end of the war, a number of power struggles occurred that detracted from the deployment. While the V-2 could have changed the course of the war, it's deployment came too late. Following the war, he was detained for a number of years and then, along with some other German rocket scientists, Dornberger was released and brought to the United States under the auspices of Operation Paperclip and worked for the United States Air Force for three years, developing guided missiles. From 1950 to 1965, he worked for the Bell Aircraft Corporation, where he worked on several projects, rising to the post of Vice-President. He played a major role in the creation of the North American X-15 aircraft and was a key consultant for the Boeing X-20 Dyna-Soar project. He also had a role on the creation of ideas and projects, which, in the end, led to the creation of the Space Shuttle. Dornberger also developed Bell's ASM-A-2, the world's first guided nuclear air-to-surface missile developed for the Strategic Air Command.