Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

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StefanSiverud
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Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

Post by StefanSiverud » 10 Sep 2020 21:56

Hi!

I'm looking for information/data on Peenemünde test launches of the A4 (V2) rocket. Specifically, information about the payload/other explosives on test launches, as well as any other launch data that may have survived.

In particular, I'm looking for information on the A4 serial number 4089 (V89), an A4 equipped with the Wasserfall guidance system. It broke up over Småland, Sweden (Bäckebo socken), scattering metal over a vast area, and a crater supposedly from the tip is still visible today. I'd especially like to know what, if any, explosives were on board.

The crater measures about 5–6 metres in diameter and is 1,5 meters deep on average (it's on a slope) in pretty hard-packed, stone-rich ground. Far smaller than what you'd expect from a full V2 payload, but pretty large if it was a dummy load. The official investigation said "... the damage at the impact site is barely equals that of a 500-kg bomb loaded with ordinary explosives", while acknowledging it was probably a reduced load and suggesting the warhead would be loaded with 1000 kg's of a new, more powerful explosive, to warrant the expense of each rocket. In reality, the warhead weighed nearly 1000 kg's and was loaded with Amatol, an exceptionally ordinary explosive.

Anyway, aside from any information on this particular A4, I'm especially curious to find out if the crater was caused by an explosive payload, other explosives onboard (not the fuel) or just the kinetic energy of a dummy warhead.

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Grzesio
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Re: Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

Post by Grzesio » 11 Sep 2020 09:27

According to Dornberger's memoires, test A 4s launched from Peenemuende were equipped with inert warheads (filled with sand) and huge craters at impact points (according to Dornberger even as big as 10 m deep and 30 m in diameter) were produced by kinetic energy of the missile (I'd say, plus eventual explosion of remaining propellants).

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Re: Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

Post by StefanSiverud » 11 Sep 2020 22:27

Thank you!

Is this his book V2, der Schuss ins Weltall or the one titled Peenemünde: Die Geschichte der V-Waffen? Do you (or anyone else) know if they are same book? I've been looking for a copy of either in English but I've found the price a bit prohibitive so far, compared to the German version.

If anyone has any ideas on surviving documents in an archive, I'd love to know more.

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Re: Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

Post by Grzesio » 11 Sep 2020 22:38

Yes, both editions are the same book.

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Re: Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

Post by StefanSiverud » 12 Sep 2020 00:43

Thanks again!

I got lucky and found an online library resource with the book and I've been looking through it for a couple of hours. I've yet to find the passage where Dornberger says all Peenemünde test rockets were launched with inert warheads filled with sand. Would you happen to remember where he said it (chapter or page)?

The passage I've found reads: "The sheer momentum of a rocket weighing over 4.5 tons and traveling at 1500 miles per hour caused a crater 30 to 40 yards wide and 10 to 15 yards deep even without an explosive charge."

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Re: Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

Post by StefanSiverud » 02 Oct 2020 22:15

To answer my own question in case someone else is asking the same question, the passage is on page 213:

"The warheads of the rockets had not contained high explosive. To produce operational flying conditions we had filled the warheads with sand. The live detonator had also been replaced by a dummy."

It should be noted that the passage isn't specifically saying ALL test launches were using sand-filled warheads. I've found another source that has proven hard to verify the veracity of, supposedly written by/for someone who was at Peenemünde called Willi Walther, saying:

"Der schwerste Brocken war die Nutzlastspitze, die ca. 1000 kg wog. Bei den Versuchsschüssen bestand die Nutzlast nicht aus Sprengstoff, wie bei den scharfen Schüssen, sondern aus einer Füllung aus Beton gleichen Gewichtes. Beim Einschlag riß diese Masse einen Krater in den Boden, der je nach Bodenart bis zu 10 m Durchmesser und 5 m Tiefe erreichen konnte."

In this testimony, the payload was concrete (not sand) and the crater was (up to) 10 metres wide and 5 metres deep if the nose cone impacted on its own.

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Re: Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

Post by otis68 » 01 Feb 2021 14:23

Good afternoon. I'm from Russia and so I'm sorry for my English. I read the book Dornberger V. FAU-2. Almost all launches at the initial stage were in the direction of the sea. The load included a mass-sized mock-up of the warhead. There was a lot of equipment for recording telemetry. One of the variants of the "warhead" contained a container with paint. After the destruction, a colored spot floated on the surface. This spot was used to determine the range of the flight. Dornberg does not describe the consequences of a warhead explosion in the book. There are descriptions, but they are vague. So the version about the kinetic impact has a place to be . There is an archive downloaded from the boarding school called "Operation BACKFIRE" there you can find a lot of interesting things

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the Rocketman
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Re: Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

Post by the Rocketman » 28 Jul 2021 13:49

Hi,

The warhead was in total +-1000kg but this was the hull +-250 kg and the explosive load of +-750kg.
This 1000kg explosives is mentionded in many publications but it is not correct.
All test launches from Peenemunde were along the Baltic-coast to wards LEBA (now Poland) and covered by Radar .

For the material of Operation BackFire and more please see the following link

https://www.v2rocket.com/
https://www.v2rocket.com/start/chapters/backfire.html
You will find the free download links at the end of the article on Backfire.

Hope this helps with your research

Bert

otis68
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Re: Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

Post by otis68 » 02 Aug 2021 11:12

Good afternoon. I apologize for my English. I'm from Russia. I write on this forum through a translator. According to the description from the book about fau2, there were several test launches with different guidance systems. (Siemens and AEG). The Wasserfall system was not mentioned. But there is a mention that other projects were also carried out on the territory of Peenemunde. Perhaps this is your start-up. But knowing the approximate characteristics of an anti-aircraft missile and the characteristics of a ballistic missile, you can be sure that such a launch would not be possible. And in conditions of a shortage of funds and materials, this would be very wasteful.

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Re: Peenemünde A4 (V2) test launch information (4089/V89)

Post by otis68 » 23 Aug 2021 22:33

https://spasecraftrocket.org/z1944_06_13.html
Good afternoon. I apologize for my English. I am from Russia and I write on this forum through an interpreter. Here is the description of the test run 4089. Was wrong in my comment above. The link at the beginning is just a description of the 4089 launch

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