Febrero de , Barcelona. Ella le mira como si le conociera y, en un instante, desaparece de su vista. Agosto de , Londres. The year is Raybould Marsh and other members of British Intelligence have gathered to watch a damaged reel of film in a darkened room. It appears to show German troops walking through walls, bursting into flames and hurling tanks into the air from afar. If the British are to believe their eyes, a twisted Nazi scientist has been endowing German troops with unnatural, unstoppable powers.
And Raybould will be forced to resort to dark methods to hold the impending invasion at bay. But dealing with the occult exacts a price. And that price must be paid in blood. Here is just a small selection from the many great reviews the Milkweed series has received…. One of the characters introduced in the first novel is a precognitive, and in this volume — which revolves around her long plots — we are shown that the power to see the future is the most corrupting power of them all. As with the earlier volume, I tore through this one in a day and a half. Darkly fascinating… A thoroughly satisfying conclusion to an imaginative tour de force.
International Editions | Zeno Agency Ltd. - Part 13
His narrative flows seamlessly, and his plot is fantastically convincing. The Warcage: two hundred worlds harnessed to an articial sun in a feat of unprecedented stellar engineering. Built to travel through space as a monument to peace between alien species, now its voracious rulers have turned it into a nightmarish wasteland, capturing new planets for slaves and resources, then discarding the old. Now, when a verdant agri-world is pulled out of its orbit, the captain of a smuggler ship must journey into the Warcage to rescue his crew.
Here are just some of the great reviews his novels have received…. The brio and joy of this storytelling is contagious. Back this up with a cracking overall arc makes this perhaps the best book set in this world for me. The first book of the trilogy is also a convincing portrayal of political machinations and the plight of individuals caught up in events beyond their comprehension. The human characters are mostly likeable and the inhuman ones send a shiver down the spine, especially the ones with machine parts and the parasites.
There is a pleasing familiarity to much of it for those well-read in the genre and even for those who only do their Science Fiction on film and television. The writing is crisp and clear throughout and it all leads beautifully to a glorious conclusion… I highly recommend the series. Michael Cobley has added a fine piece of work to a grand tradition and I think old E. The legend returns…. It is seven years since a stake was driven through the heart of the infamous Count Dracula.
Seven years which have not eradicated the terrible memories for Jonathan and Mina Harker, who now have a young son. To lay their memories to rest they return to Transylvania, and can find no trace of the horrific events. Tejendra Singh, il fisico che ha scoperto il modo di mettere in comunicazione le varie Terre del multiverso, viene rapito sotto gli occhi del figlio, il giovane Everett Singh. Ma partire per dove? There is not one you. There are many yous.
There is not one world. There are many worlds. Ours is one among billions of parallel earths. Suddenly, this teenager has become the owner of the most valuable object in the multiverse — the Infundibulum — the map of all the parallel earths, and there are dark forces in the Ten Known Worlds who will stop at nothing to get it. To keep the Infundibulum safe, Everett must trick his way through the Heisenberg Gate that his dad helped build and go on the run in a parallel Earth. Friends like Captain Anastasia Sixsmyth, her adopted daughter, Sen, and the crew of the airship Everness.
The game is afoot! Everett finds a map linking the worlds, which various sinister organisations desire — and the thrilling chase is on. As Sen Sixsmyth would say, this book was utterly bonaroo. Add nonstop action, eccentric characters, and expert universe building, and this first volume of the Everness series is a winner. The kind of airship-dueling, guns-blazing fantasy that makes me wish I could pop through to the next reality over, join the Airish, and take to the skies. James P. Que feriez-vous si vous pouviez remonter le temps?
The deadly Dr. Ignacio Narbondo would murder to possess it and scientist and explorer Professor Langdon St. Ives would do anything to use it. For the doctor it means mastery of the world and for the professor it means saving his beloved wife from death. A daring race against time begins…. Titan have published all of the novels in the Langdon St. Ives series so far. Una tecnologia elettronica capace di mettere in contatto gli stati psichici di due diversi sistemi nervosi: da questa invenzione emerge una nuova disciplina, la Formazione neuro-condivisa.
His name is Charles Render. Her name is Eileen Shallot, a resident in psychiatry. The series has also been published in other territories. A worldwide diaspora has left a quarter of a million people at the foot of a space station. Cultures collide in real life and virtual reality. As it was, Medmenham had been briefed to watch for the manufac- ture of rockets powered by conventional explosives, possibly cordite, and they soon found it: The general appearance of the factory, which is situated in a clear- ing in the forest, suggests that it may be employed in the manufac- ture of explosives.
This was not a wild guess; the reasoning was logical, but from it flowed the wrong conclusions. A large cloud of white smoke or steam can be seen drifting in a north-westerly direction from the area. On photograph , an object about twenty- five feet long can be seen projecting in a north-westerly direction from the seaward end of the building.
When photograph was taken four seconds later this object had disappeared, and a small puff of white smoke or steam was issuing from the seaward end of the building. Examination of the records of Peenemiinde gives a clue to what was happening: on April 22, the day of photography, the twenty- first production model of the A4 long-range rocket was on the test rig at Test Stand VII the elliptical earthwork. At twenty-five minutes past three, soon after the Mosquito had passed over, the commandant, Colonel Zanssen, standing on top of the Telemetry block of the Development Works, telephoned the All Clear through to Dr.
Those were dramatic days at Peenemiinde. It was the last rocket for which Zanssen gave the firing order: four days later the SS ordered his removal to Berlin. Kenny, conscious of the misery suffered by any low-ranking officer summoned before a panel of experts, was relieved to find many of his contemporaries from Cambridge, includ- ing Professor Garner and Sir Edward Bullard.
Kenny, accordingly, was soon in his element, and he forged with Mr. By that night Sandys had concluded that Peenemiinde was probably an experimental station; further that: The circular and elliptical constructions are probably for the test- ing of explosives and projectiles. Yet a third report from an Allied agent, also in May, seemed further to confirm this notion: six batteries of guns with rocket-propelled shells of seventy- five miles range were being installed on the Channel coast. Sandys put the final touches to his report. On May 17 it was circulated to the War Cabinet: It would appear that the Germans have for some time past been trying to develop a heavy rocket capable of bombarding an area from very long range.
This work has probably been proceeding side by side with the development of jet-propelled aircraft and airborne rocket torpedoes. The experimental establishments and factories which appear most likely to be connected with the development and production of this weapon in Germany and German-occupied territory, together with any suspicious works in the coastal region of North-west France, should be subjected to bombing attack. It was now suggested that the rocket might be a ton multi-stage monster employing an unspecified new fuel.
The warhead might weigh as much as 10 tons. The range was calculated to be between and miles. Herbert Morrison, extrapolated this to produce the shattering estimate that one German rocket could kill people; further, if one such rocket were to fall on London each hour, about , people could be killed every month. Lord Cherwell, to whom a copy of the Sandys report was dispatched, disbelieved these calculations. He sent for Dr. Jones and asked for his opinion about the rocket reports; Jones had not been sent a copy of the first report, but in his capacity as scientific adviser to the SIS he had continued to receive all the raw material - the actual reports and intercepts from Intelligence sources.
The Professor was not deterred: it was apparently enough for him that Mr. For the time being the Watten file was closed. Probably the most important had been captured as recently as April 20, , a senior officer of the German Air Force Experimental Unit Ob. He described how his CO, Colonel Rowehl, had been recently summoned to Berchtesgaden, where Hitler had discussed with him the weapons proposed for use against Britain this summer.
Both rocket projectiles and jet-propelled aircraft had been mentioned. All these rumours were substantially founded on fact. An early draff of the interrogation was rushed to William Cook, assistant to Dr. Crow, the British rocket expert. In a way, this was the fault of one man, Dr. Crow, the power- ful Controller of Projectile Development at the Ministry of Supply, and director of all official rocket research in the United Kingdom. After initial difficulties handling the fuel and expelling the liquid oxygen into the combustion chambers, a five-second burn had been successfully carried out on August 15, Only the weight of the nitro- gen bottles used to pressurise the fuel tanks impeded development.
In October Lubbock was confident enough to invite Crow: Crow grudgingly congratulated them, but was unenthusiastic. On May 7 a distinguished group of British scientists was invited to witness a burn using this new fuel system. The rocket motor was put through a perfect twenty-three-second test, the howl of the exhaust echoing over the Sussex countryside and the trees around trembling in the blast. I congratulate you! When he returned to London he made no attempt to bring those developments to Mr.
He was anxious to create an impression of smooth efficiency and intense activity. After a good lunch he was driven to Block Four, the drawing office and administrative centre of Peenemiinde- East. The breathtaking spectacle of this vast secret Army station, to which even the most senior National Socialists had heard only the most vague allusions, the thrilling fi lm of the launching of October 3, , the ear-splitting roar of the twenty-five ton thrust rocket motors on the test rigs - who could fail to succumb to the magic of their spell?
The Gauleiter was stunned by its size, far bigger than it had seemed in the film. Dornberger allowed him to stay only for fifteen minutes there, but promised him that next morning an A4 would be launched for him. Wasserfall was an expendable foot-long surface-to-air anti-aircraft missile, liquid-fuelled like its A4 predecessor, but using nitric acid as oxidant. The weather was perfect. The Peenemiinde Hook basked in a heat wave, and the blue sky was less than one-tenth obscured by the low thin cloud.
These perfect firing conditions were hardly marred by the gentle spring breeze from the south-west, stirring the dazzling white clouds of frosty oxygen vapour and condensation around the rocket standing vertically on its simple firing trestle. The A4 functioned well. Two A4S were fired in cloudy, humid weather. So brilliant was the success of this first rocket that all present could overlook what happened to the second: rather over five and a half hours later the second A4 was launched upwards towards the high ceiling of thin cirrus clouds, and crashed shortly afterwards within sight of everybody.
Later on that day the Air Force catapulted two flying bombs from the north-eastern corner of Peenemiinde airfield; the weapon was highly temperamental, of course, and nobody apart from Field-Mar- shal Milch was overdisappointed when both bombs crashed at once on launching. The verdict at the end of the day was that both weapons should be developed side by side. The next occasion on which Speer was to fly to Peenemiinde was to be more tragic. Dornberger was forthwith promoted to Major-General, and three days after the Peenemiinde demonstration Speer made his first public reference to what lay in store for the British people when he promised a wildly enthusiastic Ruhr audience that: Even if the German mills of retribution may often seem to grind too slowly, they do grind very fine.
Future A4 contracts were to be allocated under the special priority defence contract code DE12, and under the preferential contract code SS Possibly codebreaking was now alerting Whitehall to the dates of rocket tests, because the RAF had again chosen a day and time shortly before the Germans launched an A4 rocket. Flight Lieutenant Kenny reported: It can be noted that the general level of activity on the whole site is high. This is shown by constructional activity at the central cir- cular emplacement [Test Stand XI] and by the movements of large numbers of vehicles on roads and railways.
Large amounts of material and stores had accumulated in the stock yards. He remarked how much things had changed since April 22, and added: A number of road vehicles and railway trucks can be seen inside and outside the ellipse on both sorties. The middle vehicle appears to carry a cyhndrical object thirty-eight feet by eight feet which projects over the next truck to the east.
Solar Impulse 2 aircraft prepares to land in Spain after non-stop Atlantic flight
The second sortie, of May 14, showed two trucks on the most north- erly of the lines leading into the tall building standing just outside the ellipse. The truck farther from the building carried a similar cylindrical object, and apparently of the same dimensions. That was hardly surprising. He now stated that the rocket had been fired from the Black Forest towards Lake Constance, about sixty miles.
Other prisoners had been asked to estimate the colour of the ex- haust flame of the German rockets; when the interrogators returned to Captain Cleff, that canny gentleman regretted that he could not help them there: he was colour blind. During June Sandys had initiated a comprehensive air survey of the various localities referred to by agents and prisoners of war. On June 4 he was given sweeping powers to deal direct with the various Intel- ligence agencies and to recommend counter-measures.
All authority in the secret-weapon inquiry was thus placed in his hands. His recommendations were clear: he wished the PRU to cover all enemy-occupied territory within miles of London. In addition, he recommended that Peenemiinde and the I. Farben works at Leuna and Ludwigshafen be attacked. He concluded that there was little doubt that the long-range rocket did exist, and might already be in limited production an accurate surmise, as we have seen. Although it did not specifically refer to secret weapons, Lord Cher- well, to whose attention the photographs were brought by Jones late on June 3, agreed on the urgency of destroying the site.
He minuted the Prime Minister: There are photographs which show that the Germans are erecting very large structures similar to gun emplacements in the Calais region. Whether or not we take seriously the story about new weapons for bombarding London, would it not be a good thing to bomb these emplacements before the concrete roofs over them are finished?
It is an illuminating comment on the widening riff in the investiga- tion that when Jones thought he had discovered something on these photographs, he took them neither to Sandys, the officially appointed special investigator, nor to his immediate Air Ministry superior, Air Vice-Marshal Inglis, but to Lord Cherwell, whom he had held in respect ever since he had been a research student at Oxford. Again Cherwell did not send Sandys his minute, although the Minister had a paramount responsibility for co-ordinating counter- measures. On June 11 he wrote to Mr.
Churchill: I have not been able to persuade myself that this story need be taken quite as seriously as this report suggests. The prisoner of war who seems to have started this scare made at least one statement which is wildly wrong. My impression reading his interrogation was that this was just the sort of stuff one would have expected from the late lamented Grindell Mathews. Hence I should not favour directing any considerable effort to cope with what seems to me to be on our present information a remote contingency.
To handle ton projectiles and shift them from the main railway to the launching rails, and to insulate all this gear from the terrific blast, were no mean problems either. The old scheme of unmanned radio-directed aeroplanes - jet-propelled or otherwise - would seem more feasible, and even this was less efficient than conventional bombing.
Lord Cherwell concluded: Jones, who you may remember is in charge of scientific Air In- telligence, has been following these questions closely, and I do not think there is any great risk of our being caught napping. There seems little doubt that he would have preferred the appoint- ment of Dr. Jones to direct the inquiry in place of Mr. There were two objections militating against the appointment of Jones, or of any scientist of intermediate rank: it would be argued that - not being of Ministerial rank - he would not have commanded sufficient authority to recommend counter-measures; and a Minister had been chosen to head the inquiry largely because the War Office and the Air Ministry had been unable to agree whether a rocket was more akin to an artillery shell or an aircraft, and hence whether it was the province of Military or Air Intelligence.
Early in June, Dr. On June 3 Jones called on Lord Cherwell to bring his attention to this factory. The Professor passed the information one step farther along this unorthodox chain of Intelligence to the Chief of the Air Staff, rec- ommending an immediate attack on the factory. Churchill visited Medmenham on June 14, was shown the Friedrichshafen photographs, and learned that the factory had not yet been attacked. The Friedrichshafen raid, on June 22, was the first unconscious blow at the German secret- weapons programme.
The Zeppelin factory, which had been intended to assemble A4 rockets every month, was severely damaged and production plans for rockets there were abandoned. Some were from Bletchley, others from SIS agents. On June 16 the Central Interpretation Unit issued a report on air photographs taken of Peenemiinde four days previously. As the CIU had previously reported, the foreshore to the east of the ellipse was being extended and levelled; it was plain to Kenny that this was no ordinary land reclamation project, as the ground was being painted and a heavy fence built to enclose the compound.
This thick vertical column aroused little suspicion at the time; yet it was the final proof that the Peenemiinde rocket was no ton mon- ster, launched only from enormous rail-served projectors. Alternatively he could alert Mr. Sandys to the rocket on the photograph. Lord Cherwell advised him that the latter would be the more proper course.
This was probably the last service rendered by the Professor to the Sandys inquiry before July On the same day, therefore, Dr. He had the note delivered the same day; Mr. The appearance presented by this object on the photographs is not incompatible with its being a cylinder tapered at one end and provided with three radial fins at the other.
His earlier request that Bletchley particularly monitor Enigma signals from the German Air Force Experimental Signals Regiment had yielded results: the regiment had recently sent a detachment to Riigen island, just to the north of Peenemunde; an out-station of this detachment was located on the island of Bornholm. He pointed out that one of the latest types of Wurtzburg radar sets had been sent to Peenemunde on behalf of the regiment, according to the latest Intelligence reports. In mid- June there was further Enigma evidence to suggest the lo- cations of two radio stations on Bornholm island.
Experiments were being carried out alternately there, the weather being the deciding factor. Peenemunde thus seemed to be established as the seat of German rocket development. For a long time there was no reply to this appeal. Peenemiinde, of course, presented a most difficult target; the shortest night was now at hand. Moreover, Bomber Command would have to attack from an almost suicidally low level, and crews were badly in need of a respite from harrowing losses sustained during the Battle of the Ruhr.
The Air Staff tried to summarise these points tactfully in a single letter to Mr. Sandys, which was not dispatched until 26th June: it seemed that Peenemiinde could effectively be put out of action only by a very heavy attack aimed particularly at the well-dispersed indus- trial buildings and their associated living quarters.
Owing to the short hours of darkness during the summer, such an attack would not be practicable until about the beginning of August. Soon after noon the Mosquito of Flight Sergeant E. Peek landed at Leuchars airfield with a set of brilliantly clear photographs covering the whole of the Peenemiinde experimental site, and especially the Test Stand VII launching area. The photographs showed what were beyond reasonable doubt rockets, close to the firing point, their white bodies outrageously clear in every detail. As the conference broke up Mr. Churchill called Dr. Jones to one side and asked him whether Sandys had made contact with him yet.
Jones, surprised, replied that he had not. He warned: In spite of all efforts to prevent them, the Germans may without be- ing detected succeed in emplacing a number of projectors in Northern France, and in launching a rocket attack upon London. Bombing might not prevent the rocket attack. He therefore pro- posed that the Ministries of Health and War Transport should review evacuation plans, and consider the possibility of concentrating a large number of Morrison shelters in London.
Sandys at Shell Mex House and was taken aback to see that the Sandys report boldly spoke of a mass between 60 and tons. Jones was staggered. Sandys invited him to talk by telephone with Dr. After a brief debate on the density of steel, Dr. Jones replaced the telephone receiver and hurried in confusion back to his own office, where his secretary had just finished stencilling his own report. For- tunately, it had not yet been duplicated and circulated. Sandys circulated his report to the members of the Defence Committee Operations ; and at their meeting on the following night he drew particular attention to the latest photographs of Peenemiinde, which to his mind showed quite clearly rockets lying on the ground close to what he took to be their discharging apparatus.
There was no doubt that a rocket attack on London would have very serious consequences, as the Ministry of Home Security now estimated that up to 4, people would be killed or injured by the explosion in London of each such rocket. Hitler, he warned, was pressing for the rockets to be used at the earliest possible moment, whatever technical problems might still be met.
The best counter-measure was to destroy Peenemiinde. The Air Staff had advised against launching any attack until August, but during the morning evidence had arrived in Mr. On June 26 Dr. On 18th June, Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring was in- formed at a conference that of the fifty flying bombs so far launched at Peenemiinde, thirty-five had functioned beyond reproach; of the other fifteen, ten had failed for reasons subsequently established and rectified.
With rather less than 40 gallons of low-octane fuel, the great- est distance achieved had so far been 44 miles; the highest speed had been miles per hour. A provisional programme for mass production had also been formulated, envisaging the expansion of flying-bomb output by fifty times over the period from August to June Goring agreed. A large supply of manpower would The June programme envisaged the following monthly outputs of Fi. Goring compromised and ordered that construc- tion was to start immediately on ninety-six of the small sites, and on four of the large sites.
He announced that he was thinking in terms of a possible 50, flying bombs per month. On this optimistic note, the ten-minute conference was closed. A shot from the concrete ramp catapult crashed at once, owing to insufficient launching velocity. The other three shots also crashed, but for unknown reasons. These early failures did nothing to discourage the German Air Force; there was an enthusiastic demand for an investigation into the possibility of transporting flying bombs across the Atlantic by U-boat to attack American cities.
Within six weeks, however, new setbacks had depressed even the most hardened optimists, and test firings were completely halted while scientists carried out post-mortems. He requested to be shown current progress on the A4 rocket project. At a quarter past nine next morning, under a ten- tenths mantle of very low cloud, the thirty-eighth A4 prototype was launched at Test Stand VII.
The rocket lifted smoothly off its pedestal, and for 30 feet slid smoothly upwards into the windless air. Then Dornberger saw with dismay that the chequered body was beginning to revolve, imperceptibly at first, and gathering speed. The missile keeled uncertainly over and headed across the peninsula at a very low altitude, belching flames and tumbling crazily. Three parked aircraft were destroyed by the blast as 8 tons of liquid oxygen and alcohol ignited with a roar. A crater feet across was blown out of the runway.
Within 55 minutes a sweating team of Peenemiinde engineers had rushed another A4 rocket - No. The shot was exemplary: the A4S motor had been programmed to cut out at a velocity of 4, feet per second, but the Brennschluss - cut-off - came as the rocket reached 4, feet per second; this represented an error of less than a quarter of one per cent. Shortly after, the tracking stations reported that the missile had come down miles along the Baltic coast. He promised to put in a word with the Fiihrer if it seemed appropriate. For many of the invited experts this was their first glimpse of the underground Cabinet War Room installation behind Whitehall, the most complex operational command centre in Europe.
A long narrow passage, barred by a green door with an observation slit, gave access to the large square Cabinet War Room, which was dominated by a U- shaped table covered with a tight-fitting blue baize cloth. Jones found that he had been given a chair in the well of the table normally occupied by the Chiefs of Staff and directly facing the Prime Minister. To Mr. To his right sat General Ismay, the Chiefs of Staff, Morrison and the various invitees; Duncan Sandys and the members of his Ministerial inquiry were there in force. None who was present is ever likely to forget the details of the debate that followed Mr.
Only Herbert Morrison and Lord Cherwell voiced their doubts, the latter rather more forcefully than the former. It seemed to Morrison surprising that Peenemiinde had not been more effectively camouflaged. Lord Cherwell was not satisfied with this explanation. Assuming the role, as he disingenuously explained, of avocatus diaboli, he thought it would assist the committee if somebody put the arguments for the other side. It certainly seemed curious to him that the German rockets should have been painted white and left lying about so that the Allies could hardly fail to observe them.
He suggested that the whole story bore all the marks of an elaborate cover plan designed to conceal some other, more sinister, development. At the same time he reiterated the warning that the Allies should not neglect to search for other de- vices, especially for signs of radio developments which might seem to indicate enemy preparations to attack with pilotless aircraft. He invited Jones to com- ment on whether the threats were bluff - as Cherwell suggested - or not. Jones well remembers Mr.
Jones, may we hear the truth! This did not seem to fit the deception hypothesis. To what end would the Germans mount such a deception anyway? Its only likely outcome would be to call down a heavy attack on one of the two most important German experimental establishments. In fact, he considered the evidence stronger than that on the beams in The message had added that thirty catapults had been constructed already, but the opening of the offensive originally planned for July 1 had had to be postponed to the end of the month and might have to be postponed still further.
Although he had not been able to introduce it at this meeting for security reasons, one of Dr. It was enough: the addresses were clearly listed in order of importance, and Peenemiinde came second only to Rechlin. At the end of Dr. That was a weighty point against you!
It was obvious that Sandys had carried the day. The Committee decided: That the most searching and rigorous examination of the area in Northern France within a radius of miles of London should be organised and maintained, no step being neglected to make this as efficient and as thorough as possible; That the attack on the experimental station at Peenemiinde should take the form of the heaviest possible night attack by Bomber Com- mand on the first occasion when conditions were suitable, and that in the meanwhile undue aerial reconnaissance of the place should be avoided, and attacks by Mosquitoes should be ruled out; and That as far as possible plans should be prepared for immediate air attack on rocket-firing points in Northern France, as soon as these were located.
The bombing of a major bunker site at Wissant should be delayed, on the other hand, to enable the Allies to watch its development. On the other hand, one final conclusion marked a first victory for the Prof, too: Sandys was directed to examine the state of development of pilotless, jet-propelled aircraft in Germany. The telegram itself was from an agent in Switzerland: The Germans are announcing a devastating and decisive air at- tack on Great Britain for the month of August.
Liquid-air bombs of terrific destructive power would be used. Also other undefined methods hitherto unexploited. Gas is not specified. Attack will be novel in method and irresistible in intensity, and the effect is prom- ised as a major rebuff, probably decisive Axis victory. According to this report, the Germans had developed a missile with a theoretical range of miles, weight 40 tons, length 65 feet. These latter two cities were known to be centres of Ger- man secret-weapon production. The weapon was to be operational by September 1, All of them had put this near August or September.
All these reports were passed on by Mr. He confirmed that instructions had been issued to radar operators in South-eastern England to maintain a continuous watch for rocket firings from the Continent. The situation was sufficiently grave to warrant plans for the partial evacuation of London involving , people in priority classes - mothers and children - at the rate of 10, a day; in addi- tion, 30, Morrison shelters - crushproof steel tables - were moved unobtrusively into London. The plans laid for the attack on Peene- miinde at a Bomber Command planning conference on July 8 were closely examined by the Chiefs of Staff at a meeting with Morrison, Cherwell and the Prime Minister at No.
Sandys made preparations to jam enemy radar stations in the event of the Germans using radio control for the rocket or for plotting its fall. Arrangements were complete for censorship of any reference to rocket incidents, and evacuation planning had been extended to Portsmouth and Southampton as well.
Two reports featured rockets being launched from aircraft, with an initial weight of 10 tons and a final weight of 2 tons, and with a range of miles. Sandys it was sufficient that so many of the reports agreed for him to accept that these threats did exist. When there was room for dispute he could fall back upon photographic reconnaissance, which could provide incontestable proof of secret-weapon activity. We have seen very many similar works grow up in these regions in the course of the last three years, and it is not surprising, when they may be expecting invasion, to see fresh ones undertaken by the enemy.
No doubt before sacrificing one hundred and fifty highly trained men, the Chiefs of Staff will assure themselves that the evidence connecting these particular sites with the putative LRR [Long-Range Rocket] is consonant. Photographic reconnaissance of Peenemunde was reduced to a minimum in order not to alert the Germans. During July there had been only two sorties, and the photographs were eagerly examined.
Now even the smokeless chimneys of the power station no longer deceived the CIU. Flight Lieutenant Kenny detected a slight heat-haze above the southern two chimneys, and accepted that the station was now active. The Germans were expecting air attack. A Mosquito sortie over Peenemunde on July 26 brought back excellent photographs of all the eastern edge of the peninsula. Pho- tographic interpreters found a row of six smoke generators emplaced to the north of the ellipse, with whitish blast marks showing that they had been tested since the previous sortie, and there was proof of the arrival within the last four days of a considerable number of new anti-aircraft guns.
The long nights were returning, and Peenemunde was once more within range; but not until the middle of August could a full moon seal the fate of the rocket establishment. About the A4 long-range rocket his report was unflattering in the extreme; he was very impressed by the performance of the Me. Again, an inspection of the anti-aircraft guided missile Wasserfall, which was designed to carry a pound warhead to 50, feet at ranges of up to 28 miles, moved him to append a detailed paper arguing that the whole long-range rocket programme should be scrapped in its favour although it had not even left the ground by that date.
In opposition to A4 was the Fi. A monthly output of 3, flying bombs was planned, entailing the production of tons of hydrogen peroxide, 2, tons of low-octane fuels and 4, tons of high explosive. Early in July, Speer summoned Degenkolb to a new parley in Berlin; both now recognised that the A4S production difficulties could not be easily overcome. For this, Peenemiinde was at fault: as Speer later pointed out, his Ministry had originally been promised production blueprints for the autumn of Von Braun and Dornberger were already there, having been flown across from Peenemiinde by Dr.
Steinhoff in his Heinkel Meissner is to have the diploma issued. Hitler desires to sign it himself, and I am to make the presentation. Dornberger later recalled expressing strong opposition to the Wat- ten bunker principle, preferring inconspicuous motorised launching sites for his rocket troops; but when Speer confirmed to Hitler that the Watten shelter was essentially similar to the U-boat pens, Hitler would hear no more, demanding that two or even three such bunkers should be built for launching rockets.
He considers this is a decisive weapon of war, one which is calculated to relieve the pressure on the Reich and which can be achieved with relatively small means. Labour and materials must be fully provided. Speer decided to recall the planned Fiihrer decree for the Panzer programme, and to convert it into a decree for A4 production. The manpower required for the rocket factories would be drawn off the strength of the general armed forces equipment industry. For security reasons Hitler ordered Speer to employ only native Germans on rocket production, and it would be preferable if auxil- iary labour forces were recruited from areas which had suffered Al- lied saturation bombing.
That will result in an invasion of our equipment production. This is all our standard equipment. There was no question but that aircraft production would have to give way before the A4 programme; aircraft production was not yet covered by the DE rating. Speer knew that it could not be long before Allied bombers visited Peenemiinde. Two days later, at a conference between Speer and both Degenkolb and Dornberger, and attended by the rocket production specialists, the necessary ARP construction measures for Peenemiinde were debated.
By early summer the production of rocket components was well dispersed; the majority of the subcontracts had already been issued by Peenemiinde-East. Hundreds of small firms throughout Germany found themselves producing strange compo- nents and electronic arrays, blessed with the highest priority in the whole complex of German munitions production.
The War Diary of just one Munitions Command, at Freiburg in Southern Germany, reflects the dispersal of manufacture involved, but also the upheaval it was causing in every sector of war production. In the Freiburg area alone 1, skilled workers were committed to A4 contracts by the end of July Where the Air Force was developing its own rocket missiles, its brushes with the A4 project left a very bitter taste: the firm of Ardelt in Bre- slau had been under contract to the Air Force to deliver fuselages for Rheintochter, an experimental series of surface-to-air missiles.
The fate of the Wasserfall anti-aircraft rocket was another case in point. Walter Thiel. The motor was developing a thrust of 8 tons over second runs. At the July 22 conference Milch had agreed to raise the unit to 1, men; encouraged by this the Was- serfall team provisionally scheduled two firings before the end of , twenty-five more before June The schedule was never kept. Hitler signed the decree ordering top priority for long-range offensive rockets. The German Air Force could only watch helplessly as Professor von Braun commandeered the Wasserfall engineers entrusted to his command, and injected them into his own A4 project.
Within nine days over 40, dead lay among the ruins and the city had been evacuated of over 1,, civilians. Now, if ever Germany had needed a weapon of revenge, the time had surely come for it to be pressed into service. At noon Hitler raged at his Air Force experts for their incompe- tence: owing to the first use of Window by the RAF, the losses had been unusually low.
There was no immediate prospect of inflicting such crippling losses on Bomber Command that they would be discouraged from making further attacks. You have got to counter-attack! Anything else is rubbish! The aide suggested that fifty bombers should attack British airfields; Hitler jeered that when the Air Force was finding it difficult to locate even London by night, it was rather pointless to send aircraft to attack individual airfields.
The assembly fell silent. Hitler held the floor: You can only smash terror with counter-terror! But if they wipe out my Ruhr cit- ies. The British are very touchy: a few bombs with our new explosives have given them hysterics. The only thing that will have any effect is a systematic attack on their villages and towns. It was in this unstable frame of mind that he received his Reichs- minister for Munitions that afternoon; Speer had brought with him the decree on the A4 rocket, granting him sweeping powers.
Hitler signed it greedily: The successful prosecution of the war against England requires peak A4 missile output to be attained as soon as possible [the decree read]. Full support must be given to all measures designed to secure an immediate increase in A4 production. The German factories producing the A4 missile - as well as those delivering components to them - are to be supplied with specialist German manpower, raw materials, machinery and power forthwith, the said supplies to be on the largest scale. The Reichsminister for Armaments and Munitions is authorised to draw upon the capacity of all military units of the Reich and of the remaining war economy, after previous discussion with me.
The Reichsminister for Armaments and Munitions will determine the [scale of the] A4 programme. Signed Adolf Hitler A Henschel Tiger tank production expert, Alben Sawatzki, was delegated to supervise the mass-production arrangements. Major-General Dornberger was anything but co-operative, and without further ceremony dispatched them from the premises, with the exception of Sawatzki, who was permitted to analyse the mass production pilot works.
Pasewaldt explained that the meeting had been called to give all sections of the flying-bomb project a last chance to debate whether all the prerequisites had been satisfied for commencing mass produc- tion in August. Peenemiinde-West was invited to state how far development had proceeded. Among the twenty- eight shots which fulfilled the demands we made was the long-range shot which has probably come to the attention of all departments, reaching miles on gallons of fuel. A velocity of miles per hour was reached by another shot. The altitude of the test shot had been 4, feet; greater altitudes had not been attempted.
Goring had been hoping that Speer would supply skilled workers from Army firms. These hopes had now been dashed: We have got to look after ourselves. We can only transfer skilled German labour from our own factories. Now more than ever it will he impossible for the A4 committee to approach us, the Air Force factories, demanding that we who cannot even fulfil vital produc- tion for the Fi. On that bright note the conference ended.
Field-Marshal Milch also viewed with concern any attempt to restrict aircraft production, and particularly to weaken the defen- sive arm. On August 3, he succeeded in getting Speer to attend a joint conference at the Reich Air Ministry, attended by eighty-five leading Air Force officers. For an hour Speer listened in silence as Herrmann answered ques- tions on the needs of German fighter units; General Adolf Galland offered Herrmann of his own single-seater day-fighting aircraft for use over the Reich.
Milch fervently agreed with this transfer. In Hamburg, he believed that he had seen the writing on the wall. I have said it before, and I say it again: the measures which are be- ing adopted now have been adopted too late. The man at the front must dig a hole in the ground for himself and lie in it until the bombers have gone.
What the home front is suffering now. The discussion turned to the flying bomb, Fi. The manpower crisis was causing par- ticularly bad odour between the flying-bomb and rocket-component firms. We ourselves are not responsible for this. The meeting made a profound impression on him. It was the first decisive blow in the Luftwaffe war against von Braun. It was on the marking of this island that the success of the attack hinged. Special reports on the effect of this air raid have been submitted to the Reichsminister of Munitions and Armaments. The attack had been planned weeks before. Originally, Harris had favoured attacking just the two large workshop buildings; Mr.
Zero hour would be fifteen minutes after midnight; the Pathfinder Force would execute a diversionary attack on Berlin one and a quarter hours earlier after following a northerly route past Peenemiinde. The day before, Group Captain John Searby had been called to Pathfinder headquarters for a special briefing; he was told he was to act as Master Bomber. He and his two Deputy Master Bombers learned that the attack was to be in three waves.
All three aiming points were in line with the tiny Ruden island, three miles north of Peenemiinde; timed runs from this island would safeguard the accuracy of the attacks. The whole attack was to last for forty- five minutes. Finally, the Aiming- Point Shifters would move the marking to the third aiming point, the Peenemiinde Development Works. The German radio monitoring service reported that the air was thick with test transmis- sions from British bombers. Four hundred and thirty-three Stirlings, Halifaxes and Lancast- ers were detailed to bomb Peenemiinde targets marked by sixty-five Pathfinder aircraft.
Eight Mosquitoes were to carry out an anti-morale attack on Berlin, each dropping marker flares and a minimal bom- bload, after switching on their radio equipment to lay a false scent across Germany. At Wyton, the crews of 83 Squadron were being briefed by their strikingly youthful commanding officer, Group Captain Searby; the approach over the North Sea was to be made at very low level; the bombers would creep in under the German radar.
Reaching Den- mark, the whole armada would climb fast to 7, feet, from which altitude most aircraft would attack their targets; this altitude seemed uninvitingly low. The first sightings of approaching bombers by coast-guard units off the Danish coast reached Major Herrmann; from his operations room at Bonn-Hangelar he debated by phone with Colonel-General Hubert Weise in Berlin and concluded that Berlin would be the target.
By the time that the Messerschmitts and Dorniers had reached the predicted height of the enemy aircraft, the Mosquitoes had long passed; all that the disappointed Germans found up there were the drifting swathes of metal foil. Fighter squadrons throughout the Reich were scrambled - over aircraft, the biggest effort ever, were in the air. At one-minute intervals the thirteen Me. The Mosquitoes were already approaching Berlin. With radar echoes approaching the capital, and hundreds of bombers massing over the North Sea, Berlin seemed threatened with a Hamburg- style catastrophe.
At four minutes to eleven the first Mosquito was over Berlin, glared at by hundreds of searchlights. Four million Berliners were galloping into their shel- ters. The sky filled with flares and bombs began to detonate across the city. General Kammhuber, trying to direct the battle from his operations bunker at Arnhem, found the lines severed.
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The Fourth Fighter Divi- sion commanded by General Junck from an operations room at Metz, in Northern France, stepped in to take command of an air battle that was eventually to be fought in Northern Germany. At p. The evening was gay with laughter and a hundred voices. Hitler himself had just emerged from a late War Conference with Field-Marshal Keitel and Jodi, and was relaxing with the Prince of Hesse in one of his interminable con- versation tea-parties, doomed to drag on into the early hours.
In Berlin, Dr. Then I can go back and work hard and without interruption in the office, so that I can have everything finished for the Professor by morning. This evening nobody else seems to be in Block Four - absolute silence all around me. Outside, a milky white landscape lit by the light of the full moon. At that moment the air-raid sirens sound.
This is the first time I have been caught in the Works: only men are permitted to live in the Works area. My room-mate is still there, wildly packing her bags; I laugh in her face, only pick up a book and drape a bathing-wrap round my shoulders in case it gets too cold. We make our way out.
By Block Thirty a number of men from the West Works [German Air Force] are standing around, looking up at the clear sky and cracking jokes; they laugh at her suitcases! The bunker in front of Block Four is almost empty, a few people are clustered outside it.
Most of them are going back to bed, as nothing seems to be happening. I find a seat on the bench and start to read my book. An hour has already passed since the sirens sounded. To Group Captain John Searby the Peenemiinde peninsula seemed lifeless and drab as his Lancaster bomber swept across it, the four Rolls-Royce engines cutting a swathe of shattering echoes across the apparently deserted factory area and experimental station.
The full moon was rising dead ahead. No guns were firing, but along the shores and airfield perimeter smoke generators were belching clouds of acid fumes, breaking up the clear outlines of the enormous factory buildings and obscuring the edges of the lakes. Fie switched on his transmitter.
This was to bedevil the opening stage; it was to cost the lives of several hundred foreign labourers in their camp, just two miles to the south of the most southerly aiming point. Although the timing of this opening wave was beyond reproach, the erratic red spot fires compromised any possibility of a swiff initial success. The attack undoubtedly opened on the right aiming point, accurately marked by a single yellow target indicator dropped by the first Visual Marker, Wing Commander John White of Pathfinder Squadron.
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By fifteen minutes after midnight, zero hour for the attack, Searby had seen three Backers-up reinforce the markers round the aiming point, their green target indicators cascading very accurately over the yellow marker concentration. At he ordered the Main Force to commence bombing on the green concentration. Over two-thirds of the attacking aircraft succeeded in bombing the correct aiming point.
The remainder were led astray by the false marking. Peenemiinde was apparently not going to be the massacre for which they had been briefed. Nine Backers-up had to drop green target indicators regularly on this new aiming point; they naturally preferred the larger concentration of reds, while the one solitary correct one was ignored. It was now that the presence of a Master Bomber saved the attack from progressively overshooting: Group Captain Searby broadcast a warning that the Backers-up had overshot.
Then he twice broadcast a categorical instruction to the Main Force bombers to ignore the green markers to the south and bomb only those to the north. In this second eight-minute wave Lancasters, the most powerful aircraft of Bomber Command, had attacked. Over Berlin there was chaos: the day-fighters were making daring attacks on every twin-ruddered aircraft in sight. Field-Marshal Milch was shocked to see fighters blinking recognition signals without pause, which the guns simply ignored.
A night-fighter specialist telephoned in distraction to Milch to do something before the night-fighter force was shot out of the sky by the Berlin flak. Meanwhile, Berlin kept on firing. For two hours the noise of gunfire from eighty- nine heavy AA batteries comforted the troubled Berliners. When Herrmann himself, piloting an FW. The rest of his Geschwader soon followed him. Most were already suspecting that the whole Berlin affair was a giant hoax; Bomber Command was not going to attack the most heavily defended city in the world in full moonlight.
The ground controller, still out of contact with General Kammhuber in Holland, ordered the crews to stay over Berlin. When Muller saw the activity in the north he headed for the area and was amazed to see the Pathfinder flares being released over an apparently empty coastal area. He called up Heuberg, the Munster station, and asked them to summon reinforcements, especially from the nearby Danish fighter bases. They searched in vain for bombers at their normal attacking altitudes.
The more experienced crews realised that the attack was being flown at low level. Two other pilots from this squadron, Barte and Schellwat, were credited with two bombers each, and their commanding officer, Major Ehle, shot down three. In the meantime the fighters which had taken off from Copenhagen found the withdrawing bombers crossing their path: the Me.
Group Captain Searby now prepared for the third wave of the attack. His Lancaster bomber was still orbiting to port, sweeping out to sea from the fiercely burning research station, and then running across it again from the north. Each time he could see more fires breaking out, and vast stretches of the tinder-dry forest were in flames. In practice, the plan went awry. At a. It was not until twelve minutes to one that a green flare load was correctly placed by a Backer- up in the heart of the Development Works. In the few minutes that remained several aircraft did bomb this single indicator, rather than the concentration two miles farther on.
These few bombloads caused serious damage to the important laboratories and administration offices. But he grimly held out until his last orbit. So ended the Battle of Peenemiinde. The first wave of bombers had suffered six losses, representing 2. Only thirty of these had subsequently broken away towards Peenemiinde; even then, the ground controllers were still ordering the fighters all over Northern Germany, to Rostock, Swine- miinde, and Stettin. A pillar of smoke was drifting up from the runway; over of the fighters from Berlin, lacking clear orders from Kammhuber, had decided to land at Bran- denburg and were piling one after the other into a heap of crashed aircraft on the runway.
Red signal flares were being continuously fired to warn off other fighters. Muller landed nevertheless, his aircraft taxi- ing crazily round the heap of twisted aircraft. Here Muller met his chief, Major Hajo Herrmann himself, his face as black as thunder; both agreed that if the German fighters had de- layed their take-off for an hour, Bomber Command could have lost over aircraft at Peenemiinde.
In Holland, General Kammhuber was still trying to re-establish contact with the rest of Germany. It seemed particularly regrettable to him that communications should have broken down on the one night when Bomber Command stood to lose so much. After the war he was informed by British officers that two Germans employed at his operations room were British agents; they may have been briefed to sabotage the defence on that night, if no other.
This, however, must remain pure speculation. This did not necessarily make a failure of the raid: quite the reverse. Things are still exploding everywhere - time bombs. Rafters are falling in, gables collapsing. I nearly ran into a large pool of blood; there is a torn- off, uni- formed leg lying in it. We can still try the staircase.
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The Professor grips my hand and we move carefully in. The build- ing is a mass of crackling flames. Groping along the wall, we reach the second floor. I run up and down the stairs several times, laden with secret papers, until I can keep going no longer. The Professor and some men stay up there throwing all the furniture and things out of the window. I stand by down below, throwing the papers into a safe lying in the open on its back. The heat is tremendous. A sentry comes and stands stolidly in front of the safe, rifle at the ready.
Slowly the dawn breaks. I return to the air-raid shelter. The secret papers are safely under lock and key. All through the night the telephone calls went out from Wolgast, the only exchange still in contact with the rest of Germany. Hitler, who through the preceding weeks had not retired much later than two each morning, on this occasion stayed up until a quarter past three. The bombing was exceptionally accurate: bombing pho- tographs were analysed.
In the North Manufacturing Area [the Development Works] some twenty-seven buildings of medium size have been completely destroyed; at least four buildings are seen still burning. The Interpretation Report summarised: The accommodation for personnel has suffered very severely, and if fully occupied at the time of the raid the casualties may have been heavy; slight damage has been caused to some of the large buildings in the South Factory Area [the pilot factory].
At Goldap, at the headquarters of the German Air Force operations staff, the news that Peenemiinde was burning from end to end arrived soon after 6 a. His secretary pushed open his door and saw him lying on the floor, dead, a revolver in his hand. Long live the Fiihrer! Goring sneered at him that he always stood rigidly to attention in front of the Fiihrer like a petrified subaltern, with his thumbs pressed to his trouser seams.
After Schweinfurt and Peenemiinde the wretched Hans Jeschonnek had opted out of the unbalanced life at German Air Force headquar- ters. The flight over the wrecked research establishment told its own story. The Peenemiinde-West Air Force station had not been hit at all, and work there was proceeding normally.
Dornberger reported on the damage suffered by the rocket station; after a brief conference the Reichsminister flew on to Schweinfurt.