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Gorodomlya Island: German Rocket Scientists in Russia

248 pages6 hours


On 22 October 1946, the Red Army deported renowned German aerodynamicist Werner Albring and a group of other leading rocket scientists with their families to the small remote Gorodomlya Island in Lake Seliger, 200 miles northwest of Moscow. They were held captive there for many years, not knowing if they would ever be allowed to return home, and without any means of reaching the distant shore undetected.

Under the leadership of Helmut Gröttrup, one of Wernher von Braun’s closest associates in Peenemünde, the German rocket collective was forced to participate in designing and developing Soviet long-range ballistic missiles, which eventually led to the launching of the first Sputnik in 1957.

Werner Albring’s memoir is a compelling personal account of the Germans’ captivity and a fascinating document of a historical chapter that is still relatively unknown to a wider English-speaking readership.

The supplement of this volume contains heretofore top secret information from Russian archives researched by a Russian author. These findings shed new light on the German rocket scientists’ contribution to the early Soviet long-range missile technology, which apparently was greater than the Russians have ever acknowledged.

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