Supersonic Nazi Vengeance: V2 Rocket from Cautionary Tales

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Episode notes

We're bringing you an episode of a podcast we think you'll love: Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford. At the height of World War Two, British intelligence began receiving reports that the enemy was developing a rocket weapon. The idea seemed fantastical — resources in Nazi Germany were scarce and a rocket-building program defied economic logic.

But one intelligence chief took the reports of a rocket weapon seriously and he managed to convince Winston Churchill to heed the threat too. The British Prime Minister gave the order to bomb Germany’s rocket factory to rubble, and 600 bomber planes embarked on a full-scale attempt to obliterate it.

From the air, the damage appeared devastating. The British thought they had succeeded in crushing the rocket-building program. But they were wrong.

For a full list of sources for this episode, see the show notes at timharford.com. Follow Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford wherever you get your podcasts.