“Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down? That’s not my department.”
– A quote attributed to Wehrner von Braun, head of the German rocketry program
According to our distributor, PMA’s eagerly awaited pair of V-2 Long-Range Guided Ballistic Missiles are on the launch pad and expected to hurtle down on the diecast community in a matter of days.
For those of you unfamiliar with their newest piece of diecast, the V-2 (German: Vergeltungswaffe 2, “Retribution Weapon 2”), technical name Aggregat 4 (A4), was the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. The missile with a liquid-propellant rocket engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a “vengeance weapon”, assigned to attack Allied cities as retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket also became the first artificial object to travel into outer space by crossing the Karman line with the vertical launch of MW 18014 on June 20th, 1944.
Research into military use of long range rockets began when the studies of graduate student Wernher von Braun attracted the attention of the German Army. A series of prototypes culminated in the A-4, which went to war as the V-2. Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched by the German Wehrmacht against Allied targets, first London and later Antwerp and Liege. According to a 2011 BBC documentary, the attacks from V2s resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, and a further 12,000 forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners died as a result of their forced participation in the production of the weapons.
As Germany collapsed, teams from the Allied forces — the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union — raced to capture key German manufacturing sites and technology. Wernher von Braun and over 100 key V-2 personnel surrendered to the Americans. Eventually, many of the original V-2 team ended up working at the Redstone Arsenal. The US also captured enough V-2 hardware to build approximately 80 of the missiles. The Soviets gained possession of the V-2 manufacturing facilities after the war, re-established V-2 production, and moved it to the Soviet Union.
PMA is releasing two versions of the V-2: one in a black and white test scheme (P0321) and the other in a dark green operational scheme (P0322). Both come with a Meillerwagen launch trailer and Brennstand (firing stand). Please note that the Meillerwagen and Brennstand are composed of diecast metal while the V-2 is made of plastic.