Books: How Not to Make a Weapon

V-2 (281 pp.)—General Walter Dorn-berger—Translated by James Cleugh and Geoffrey Halllday—Viking ($5).

In the early 1930s, a group of young Germans led by Wernher von Braun were playing with rockets on the outskirts of Berlin. Their object: to fly to the moon.

Their enthusiasm was great, but their funds were low, and their rockets behaved as might be expected of basement-built contraptions. In 1932, the German army gathered up rockets and experimenters and bore them away to secret laboratories Twelve years later, the great V-2 rockets slanted down on London at 3,600 m.p.h.

The...

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