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...

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