Arthur Rudolph

.5962 ())loi'Yin Ct..
Su joee, catU. 9.5120

"'· («>8) 997-1.57.5

Apr. 6,7.5

Dear Mitc:b ,

.

nc

in ruponee to your letter of *rch 31. 76, 1 want to tha.Dlc: you firat for et ti

know of the audden duth of Y'anderaee. 1 haft writta1 to B !!. n.&nk J'Otl for the &ddreas.

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ntion Backfire: 1n JUlY 4.5 Bdtiahen ani•_. at the US ltltertc«atiOn Cup at
Rt:
GIL ah..hrtl&
e
lrChen, B&vada and aeucted about 7.5 ol'us I wu ..,nr. thea, so ••
Debua. We were not told llhere we wow.4 be JOilll or what we wouJ.d. be doU.,. liN Mete to.Ld
only to be ready to take off next .,rniac. 'lbe B
t
h Bsc:ort Officer with the naae of
Newu.n a te Ger.n. We wre loaded on trucltl and off ft went in "'orthei'J.y direction.
lbe food wu wry rood and in the afterno<qn atrocke 3 o'clOck there """ te:e with ai.&.k ancl eatea. O"t'erniJbt we a..a.ept on the ll'OI.IM. All of us
brought o·ur •ttrcu:ea alona:.
At our r
t. w stopped at Wibeoha�en llhere Out' faailies had 'bren eaftCU� to,
fro• 'Ole Jtuasiu oecupati011 ZO.ne1 before tJ-• aussia.zas arri•ed• 'Ibis f' -c-•ation wu done
at our requett tlbi.1e we wre at the uaterro1at1on Cu:p i n Garaiac'·-1 , tCT�Illrdleo u a
sort of a eoodition to be fiJ.fiA.!e<\ for ccalnt to the us. l!le US
y did a •rnllous
job ia e.,acuaticw .or-e tbaa
f&JiiJ.iu fro. 'D!;urlqia � in a fe, clays , befor
the area wa.s liYe.b up. by the US to the I:UIShiW. Sc.e •boxt dbtau�e bcf('lr� CWIJ\awa,
we were separated. ia12 l'roupa, 'Die croup I be.t�ed. to ea.t to ea.,
e n ralde. "'6e
croup Debua belonced. to, t;aae .-..& M:&rby, 't,ut strict..ly separated froa the firat aroup.
'n\e first 1roup <"'-ere I, Hebburl• .LJ.dd.enberl', Friedric:h e tc betonreO to) -.. add.re•sed by Ke-n and w were to d to uaeab.u:, ct>eek-out aod fin 16 captured V2. First we
d ecdn ed and, tberefore disJ not 1et any beCUintlb. He held out for uveru days. 'tben
a General LOckhart talked to ua in BrcU.eh. tfe flnA..Lll' aggued that � WOU.Ld do tbe
requeated worlr., if we .ere guaraDtt'ed frtedcm •nc.l a s:eol8endati(')Jl for etapJ.oyaent.
ao it happeDed. 1 haYC enc.t.osed copies or
"Sact!ire P&flet:� . Aft<t we beCAlM
aqu&inted wltb our British Superd.sors/Bap!oyers, we learnt"�, thll.t the 1roup Debus
beJ.ODI'ed to• wou.Ld han been asked to do ttt. e liOtk if we deCliPecl. We kept so• sort of
c�cati001 witb the Debus 1roup thru �tlllft. prisoners of wu, tmich practicaJ.ly ran
ttte ca.., •• "Yerau.chs� Alteowl.de""• t.eber. waa a Geraan Major or Colonel.
To.-rds the elld of our stay bt AlteawaJ.<W, we MD."\Sed to •et with tbe Debus 1roup in
e
f
u
n
chedcect out ,
uaetlb.1ed
senral of thea. We flre;i ODe aucce.ssfuHy. lbe Britltcb were
u e1
sui.a fied aDd theught they bad .Learned enoup to do it by theateJ.YU. I re.ellber. aa
we wre ahipped off ia. trueD to the nearest airfield ':'!l be f.tO'WII to naw.ria, u w
drove by, a aroup o£ Britiah So.1clieu ue cte4 a V2 ca. a �iuerwasen beyonrS tbc
nrtica..L ao that w opected that
t wouA.d
over, and it topp.&-ed OYer. That wa.s
J.the departuupicture froa CUXbaven Of intere
was, that the Bdti.lh had the aoat
up-to-date clr
• 1 di4 not eYen ha•e: in production, i.e. the very .latest chance:a.
Liadnberg, Rudo.�.pb, Friedrich were the key •en. *' knew the production of the Vol ,
auo Ua WakDeaaes aDd aood points • I t i
I r�r u.shig aJ¥t Pa.l•oro io the
first 1roup. bshig ill disa.s•ellbJ.Y and re-uae.bly. P&J.&oro in drawinas and so on.
Mitc:b, u yo.a: can see fr� Ute above, Heiabur1 ,.,.suf, ete. were the 01\t'..ti that
ade Operation Backfire a s u
s. Debua clid not even llppeal' on the aceoe. Kle are.t

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had

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atdns .

tQap J.e

h nk

cces

acco.plisbenta bel&n ia USA and 1 adatre ht.. "Rl"'f auch. He is
1 nry .,ch � like to b&'ft a copy of your eu.ay.

Dtawiztl•

..,

friend. Yet, Mitch,

� one

Mltdl, u TUtataDCI
lt doU not depict Jtatete:nflugputz Be:r.a..in• but
at the tteyA&D4t .,rts ln Ber.&.ia-Brit& "ere �der wrte:d and. died, u 1 to.Ld yo
u ia
., letter of Match 28,76. It wou.1d be rea!�. if you can 1e:t ae 2 copiee.

Kitch• re vaJ.ier, You rea...ly ·� to be huna up. 11tty? In thoae days nobody, but
DObody had fo�1 trainlnc: i n roeketry. So the ona wbo did do so.ethlftC, •lte,
�pert.:at, vere real pionun and I thi.J:lk l'lt.liu-.. fore.ost a.oGil thea, .tnce lile
1fQI the fin.t one in Gen.any to experiaent with udal hard•re. Othen foJ..J.owe4.
Oberth 's boob were wry ac:ientlflc vi th a pod he.l for prac:tic:a.i. poeaibiliu.-.
W.l.iec·• a boot was .ore down to earth. He concentrated on harthlll re experillentatlon
and •• m:tt atuck b crey theory, but he traew tbe theory. tn those eauy days fou
r
t
i
d
Ar
aDd. we were c.l;.J"'to reach 1600 Mter per eecc;.mS , tlblle "' � we had to re&ch 2000
and .,re. That •• oae of the reuona Wy Valier c:haqed fr011 loJ.i& to .Liquida.
O'pab, Mitch, in those da)'l enrythins in
eket
waa a atep lato the untmwn.
SUre there-.. theory, but it had to be proft4t bf expert.e.na. Ya.J.ier
wry
detendned, he lmew EXActly .t�at be -.. doiac, he bcw the Ll.ait.atioM anCI ..,_t
had to be done. It certainly was not putterlnc around in the titc:hen wlth pota a.nd
pana. tn thir'lklft8 bact ,., years , we did on a ••.1.1 acale(u.aited bt Money) what we
did .1ater on a craod acaJ.e. OUr test aet up wa prlaitive, 10 was the one at the
Raketenf.1u1Jplats:. 'l1ley could not even •aaure the thrust. Va.J.iel' did. it with a
kitchen acu.e and it worked
Dr. eeyl&adt llade hla .od:abopa nail&ble

::e! :; !: Sa���,:� :!!:o!: .!: :! :O�:�f:f��:Ue::i��atiu
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ry

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buutifuur.

fol' h&rdwre eon.atructlon and .odiflcatioa; •cain, w did on a ...-ery •••.11 aeale,
nat ia done today on a cranLSioae aeale(and atiU. ta.tinc and learn!� How I aet
VJ.Her, I to.Ld you in.,. pre¥iOUS J.etter. He waa dreaaed in a street auit. He wu
nOt Yet'}' ta.J.ka.the. 1 introduced .,ae.1f to hi•• ne wu not auf-aerrinc, but hic:h.ly
idc.a..Liatic, .a.ets aay aa utrono.wer tllbo wa��ted to buiLd tbe aeana to Wit the atara.
P.1.-ae read apia.., .a.etter of March 28,761 espeeia ty paae 2.Mitcb, aobody lwS anr
c:ontributioasare ao creat.
tr&iainc in l'Octet propU.slon, therefore

va.tierf•

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!in

Re Roc:t.et car at Berlin - P lu( .1&tz (T
lhof AhfieJ.d)
'ltle u loalon of the roehteaa ne that tiled V.J.lu, raised the quntloa o f deaip
defi eneieC. �e barlll,. -... exp.1od"• 'Jbe ll:ltc.h�eau indicato,. wow.d .:rft wi.&Ahy
and down. n.en were probuss 11'1 the illjectioa ayateaa. So I atartelll to u-deliiD
the enaine and we bui...t It, tested it onr and Oftte It burnt wry, wry a.ooth.�.y.
me lcitcheMea£e indicator stood atiu, pa explo.l" apitea. But DE. Heyundt, the
apon1or of \Iadet h� lOSt enthusia
...Howewr, llben Hey.a.ancl t a&de a trip to the USA,
r
f

a
t
ch
lhof AWieid auceufu.uy. *ea Dr. tleyl&.lld.t ru.abe4 ttc:.e fr• USA, be fired Pietsch.
Later the Hey!andt worts cJ.oaed , becauae of the creat depreaalon. I becuw: UnNP.I.Oyed.
By chance Pietlc:h aDd I •et at the un p.1oyeent of flee.• We &Cl'eed to bu.iid a Rocte tAcarerat(.ore tha• aD encine;no fJ.i&htatabilization;a boilerpJ.ate teat.odel nOt""''n'i'e ntfld
t >. NliD task of Phtac:ht (lad a apoator. Ma..ln t&lk of R.SOlpb1 cSeaip. 'lb&t
wat ia Sua��er 1932. td.thin 8 weeU 1 COiill
l) etecl ttl:e deai&a w th ail detai.LI ete.,ready
i
for •nufacture.Jtown:r, we had mt foUftd a &PQMor.Pit&aJ.ly Pietec:b pt a co•tra.ct boa
the Ordnance hpJ. we started ..nuhctudns in aull vorkahop•, but nry IOOD Jietl,..h
had uaed the Ot'dn&ace 110ney for hiaself and nothinc was Uft to coatiDU«e So 1 lOaned
lloDt:y frc. ay fiaaeee('411ho becaae •Y wife of today). -.t heltR<I a: littU fartbu but
w.a aot e:aoup to finla1l. So I preaacd Pietsch to replaee tbe
. He did not ,but
Mde &£1 kincLa of l'ltuc.sc:s .�t we1lt on fol' about a year. 'Jbea 1 ukecl bia we both co
to the Ordnance Dept. and if he
not 10 I wouJ.d 10 &101M. By that tlae it waa

up

p
c;l

:::�;:� � = � :::�.: : :: ::a:.::����::u:r:.�ifi�a=
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J'Or""Ti'iih

.oaey

wou.ld

�-'·:�4

aJ.IIOa t blpocsible to set in touch with hia. So 1 went to the Otd.Dept,. 10t .oney
flnlah tbe work and de-=matrated the rocket succeufully to the Otd.Dept.lD AUCe 'P

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-3So you aee, Mitch, that AlfODI Piddl did not awipe the dedp (roa M1 but awiped
the .,ney to bul.Ld(cc.pute) ay dealp, I( he had DOt .SODe tltiat, wt: eou.a.d ba...e de­
... r 1932t i.e. 2 yeau ear.�.hr thaD J flna..o..1.y..,...
_,.trated. tile rocket ia .&.ate su
able to in xu.a l�r 1934, llbich tM.&Dt 1bat w IKIDtXDXI _,u.14 ba..e b«"A fu ahead
of U'p'body eue ifl d�traU.. a fuacti� rocket. 2 years uter .,. �•tration
wu at.t.... l bpressiw: but _. not u o•u111M:la.l.. u it wow.d haft been a yef.ft erllu.
aiue 'f'On Braun aDd �W:r l.iedel had joint the Or4,Dept. and bad Wktcr nry fuonble
wrkioc condltioaa pushed the atue of the art. kca�e of IIJ' de-o•tratioa 1 bee.• ae:-ber of the Ord. Dept. a.nd tbe .oa Braun teaa.

Back to �Uer1 LUt nipt 1 happened to rod the enc.l.osed Newspaper Cllppin on UFO'e.
It
ae of ., eny daya in roc:ket wort, When everybody (�t everybody) ••
aa aceptica.i te .rockets •• it U today re UPO'a. Tbe par on the •ieht Btothera (bicycle
Nehanlea) who flew the fint useful airpJ.&oe,(nther than prohaaora ) ia very •icni•
ficant1'A.Ller u.Dderatood tbe thea pre.,..i.lirt� theory, but enn if � had not• hie u.uful
appllc:.atlon of ro e
iD uperiaenta puta hill iD the su.e e.I.UI u the Mrieht &rottlera.

realnde<l

et ta

6-doS"....-=$:
]- ]!l4<A,.f.;.. R>f""rs
/lkkrp lj,Pr;�.'/

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