A captured V-2 is paraded through Paris.
Image: Keystone-France\Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
The world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile was built by Nazi Germany under the foreboding name Vergeltungswaffe 2 (Retribution Weapon 2).
With a design spearheaded by Wernher von Braun, the V-2 was not prepared and deployed in force until late in World War II, when Hitler was desperate for a new super weapon to boost fading morale. The 45-foot-tall rockets were designed to reach speeds of over 3,500 miles per hour and hit preset targets up to 200 miles away with the help of gyroscopes, accelerometers and stabilizing fins. Read more…