DEFENSE: Shots from the Hip

In all its proud history, the U.S. Army has suffered no more galling defeats than it did on the nation's peacetime rocket ranges after World War II. With a group of ex-Nazi rocketmen as its nucleus (Wernher von Braun, Kurt Debus), the Army bled its budget to set up in the missile business—and, in fact, saved the nation's face by launching the first U.S. satellite after Sputnik. But the Defense Department ruled that long-range rocketing was properly the role for the Air Force, and the Army's Redstone Arsenal was turned over to the National Aeronautics and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!