Cautionary Tales – The V2 Trilogy

28th July, 2023

We’re releasing an epic three-part series about the V2 rocket – a terrifying and also bafflingly expensive weapon. How did Nazi Germany ever decide to build such a thing, and what does it teach us about grandiose projects today? Also – what does the shameful underbelly of the V2 programme tell us about complicity in the most dreadful crimes?

The full series is available to Pushkin+ subscribers. I’ve been working on it for more than a year, and I’m very proud of the results. If you’re not a paying subscriber (and I understand, it’s not for everyone) then you might still enjoy today’s impassioned discussion with our in-house WWII expert, founding producer Ryan Dilley, featuring contributions from Tom Lehrer.

A full episode will be on the main ad-supported feed next week, never fear.

[Apple] [Spotify] [Stitcher]

Further reading

Essential sources for this series:

Murray Barber V2: The A4 Rocket from Peenemunde to Redstone

Norman Longmate Hitler’s Rockets

Jean Michel Dora

Michael Neufeld The Rocket and the Reich

Michael Neufeld Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War

Michael Neufeld also kindly agreed to be interviewed as background for the series.

Other sources include:

RV Jones Most Secret War

Steven Zaloga V1 Flying Bomb 1942-52

Steven Zaloga V2 Ballistic Missile 1942-52

Freeman Dyson Disturbing the Universe

Walter Dornberger V2

Daniel Lang “A Romantic UrgeThe New Yorker 21 April 1950

Bent Flyvbjerg and Dan Gardner How Big Things Get Done

Diane Tedeschi interview with Michael Neufeld Smithsonian Magazine 1 Jan 2008

Michael Neufeld “Wernher von Braun, the SS and Concentration Camp Labor: Questions of Moral, Political and Criminal Responsibility.” German Studies Review. 25:57–78. 2002

Adam Tooze Wages of Destruction

Dean Reuter The Hdden Nazi

Brian Crim Our Germans

Annie Jacobsen Operation Paperclip: The Secret Intelligence Program That Brought Nazi Scientists to America

Steve Ossad “The Liberation of Nordhausen Concentration Camp

Amy Shira Teitel “The Nazi Smoke and Mirrors Escape That Launched American Into The Space AgeMotherboard, 15 September 2012

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