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Summary: A survey of German developments in rocket propulsion up to 1945.
Description: (Reel 1) The film opens with a brief summary (taken almost entirely from the film RAKETENFLUG, GWY 1512) of (mainly German) aircraft development from very early experiments (Lilienthal, Jatho, Wright Brothers, Ellehammer, Bleriot, Voisin, Grade and Etrich - still photographs only of many of these), through World War I (shots include a Fokker DVII and DRI, and a Gotha bomber), the inter-war period (Junkers W33, G 38ce, Ju 52, Dornier Wal, DC2, FW 200 etc) and on to World War II. Film of early experiments in the 1920s with solid fuel rockets is then shown, including the skater with rockets strapped to his back, rocket aircraft (Opel, Volkhart etc), rocket boats, rocket cars (Valier, Opel, Sander, Volkhart). (Reel 2) The work of Tiling in "postal" and other rockets is covered (some shots of public demonstrations), as are the early liquid fuelled rockets of Goddard and Winkler (still photographs used for much of this reel). (Reel 3) Further work of Oberth, Valier, Heylandt is dealt with (again stills for some of the reel). (Reels 4-6) Walter assisted take-off rockets on He 111, He 116, He 112, BV 138 and Me 321 are covered at some length (footage from GWY 1430, 1426, 1427, 1439, 1432, 1381 respectively). (Reel 7-8) Brief details and trial firings of the Hs 293 and Hs 294 missiles are then shown (footage from GWY 1435, 1439, 1448) and the Me 163 rocket aircraft is shown (ground crew work and in flight) (from GWY 1317 and 1319). The film goes on to cover the development of BMW rocket motors (film from GWY 1469). Trials of the A4 rocket (the "V2") are shown, with some shots of two spectacular failures at the launch site, and then some footage from Operation Backfire - the British trials on the A4 at the end of the war (AMY 687). (Reel 9) Other missiles are shown: X4 (from GWY 1454, 1453, 1469), Hs 298 (GWY 1454), Enzian (GWY 1461). (Reel 10) The survey continues with Hs 117 (tests on the motor are from GWY 1469), Wasserfall, Rheintochter (from GWY 1503(?)). (Reel 11) The film then shows the PC 1000RS guided bomb (from GWY 1489), the Kurt bouncing bomb (GWY 1496), Rheinbote, and finally take-off rockets for a DFS 230 glider (GWY 1364,1365). The film closes with a glimpse of the future using fantasy sequences and an excerpt from Lang's FRAU IM MOND (taken from RAKETENFLUG, GWY 1512).
Production Details: Royal Air Force (Production sponsor)
Air Technical Intelligence (Production company)
Personalities, Units and Organisations:
Physical Characteristics: Colour format: B&W
Sound format: Sound
Soundtrack language: English
Title language: English
Technical Details: Number of items/reels/tapes: 11
Footage: 9255 ft; Running time: 103 mins
Notes: Source material: the origin of the footage on Rheinbote, Wasserfall, part of Enzian and of Hs 117 is not known. The A4 footage is held in more complete form under GWY 1193 as a colour negative but its picture quality is unacceptably poor.