Walter Robert Dornberger

Photo from
 "Father" of Germany Rocketry

Born:September 6, 1895, Gießen, Germany
Died:June, 27, 1980, Baden-Wurttemburg, West Germany


•  General Major in the Luftwaffe in World War II - Wikipedia

•  "He was a German Army artillery officer whose career spanned World Wars I and II. He was a leader of Germany's V-2 rocket program and other projects at the Peenemünde Army Research Center." - Wikipedia

•  "Walter R. Dornberger head of Wehrmacht rocket development; recruited von Braun and led development and deployment of V-2. Post-war worked in US, notably for Bell on the BOMI rocket bomber. He was Wernher von Braun's military superior during the German rocket development program of World War II. He oversaw the effort at Peenemuende to build the V-2, fostering internal communication and successfully advocating the program to officials in the German army. He also assembled the team of highly talented engineers under von Braun's direction and provided the funding and staff organization necessary to complete the technology project. After World War II Dornberger came to the United States and assisted the Department of Defense with the development of ballistic missiles. He also worked for the Bell Aircraft Co. for several years, helping to develop hardware for Project BOMI, a rocket-powered spaceplane." - Encyclopedia Astronautica

•  After World War II "In mid-August 1945, after taking part in Operation Backfire, Dornberger was escorted from Cuxhaven to London for interrogation by the British War Crimes Investigation Unit in connection with the use of slave labor in the production of V-2 rockets; he was subsequently transferred and detained for two years at Bridgend in South Wales. Along with other Nazi rocket scientists, Dornberger was released and brought to the United States under the auspices of Operation Paperclip, and worked for the United States Air Force for three years developing guided missiles. From 1950 to 1965 he worked for the Bell Aircraft Corporation, and was a key consultant for the X-20 Dyna-Soar project. Dornberger also developed Bell's Rascal, a nuclear air-to-surface guided missile used by the Strategic Air Command. Following retirement, Dornberger returned to Germany, where he died in 1980 in Baden-Württemberg." - Wikipedia

•  "The German military was searching for a weapon which would not violate the Versailles Treaty of World War I, and at the same time defend Germany. Artillery captain Walter Dornberger was assigned to investigate the feasibility of using rockets. Dornberger went to see the VfR and, being impressed with their enthusiasm, gave them $400 to build a rocket. Wernher von Braun worked through the spring and summer of 1932, only to have the rocket fail when tested in front of the military. However, Dornberger was impressed with von Braun and hired him to lead the military's rocket artillery unit. By 1934 von Braun and Dornberger had a team of 80 engineers building rockets in Kummersdorf, about 60 miles south of Berlin." -

•  "The Germans had tactical nukes in 1943-44. They were working on a larger bomb. Dornberger disclosed to hidden microphones whilst interned after the war at CSDIC Camp 11 in Wales that Hitler intended more for the V-2 than just 2 tons of high explosives." - Unexplained mysteries

•  "Generalleutnant Dornberger stated as below to Generalleutnant Heim that Hitler had publicly apologized for his failure to appreciate the full worth of the 'V 2' weapon:
     Dornberger: The following incident was interesting: When I saw the Führer the last time, which was in May 1943 [sic. in fact July 9, 1944], after I'd shown him a film about us, he was quite taken aback. Formerly the Führer had always turned the V-2 business down 100%. He said: "If only I' d believed in it!" If it really comes to anything, Europe is too small for the war", and all kind of things like that. Then he said: "There are two people in my life whose pardon I must ask. One is Generalfeldmarschall v Brauchitsch, who said at the end of each report he made to me: 'My Führer, think of Peenemünde!', and the other is you, general, for not having believed in you."
     Heim: It's incredible that he admitted it.
     Dornberger: he admitted it in front of Keitel and the others.
     Heim: I believe that really is the only thing he ever admitted in his life." - Documents of Real History

•  Spangengurg says of Dornberger's book titled "V-2" (© 1954, Viking Press): "Good technical information on the V-2, but embarrassingly self-serving." - Spangengurg

Related Links:

• - List of Dornberger related articles, © Mary Bellis

•  Documents of Real History - This is part of a report from British officials including information collected about Dornberger after the war. The detention center had listening devices and some of this is from transcriptions and translations of things they heard him say as he chatted with other Germans. There is also a note that Dornberger had an active imagination and these statements might not be true.

•  Encyclopedia Astronautica - Extensive Dornberger Chronology through World War II.

• - Photo submited by Hans Knospler, May 31, 2007.

•  Google Images - Photos resulting from a Google Images search of "Walter Robert Dornberger"

•  Harry Turledove Wiki - Article about his affiliation with the Nazi Party and their policies.

•  Spangengurg - Wernher Von Braun: Rocket Visionary by Ray Spangengurg, Diane Kit Moser © 2008 pp. 39+, 151. Story telling about the early motivations and actions of the German Rocket Team.

•  Special Camp 11 - Profile of Dornberger as a prisoner

•  Unexplained mysteries - Speculation as to how far the Germans had gone with their study of nuclear material. Blog thread started by tazjet, Oct. 3, 2010.

•  Wikipedia - Bio

•  Woodard - Names of the "Original 118 Team" at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. List found here at Page under "Pioneers, Schemers and Dreamers" submitted by Grady Woodard. List shows names after Ft. Bliss with their reference work location and building number, from Redstone-Army Missile Command Roster - June 1966, MSFC 1960-1967 Charts, Organization Roster - June 1967

"Group of 104 German rocket scientists in 1946, including Wernher von Braun,[1] Ludwig Roth and Arthur Rudolph, at Fort Bliss, Texas. The group had been subdivided into two sections: a smaller one at White Sands Proving Grounds for test launches and the larger at Fort Bliss for research.[2] Many had worked to develop the V-2 Rocket at Peenemünde Germany and came to the U.S. after World War II, subsequently working on various rockets including the Explorer 1 Space rocket and the Saturn (rocket) at NASA." Image and caption from Wikipedia.

"This is the key to identifying the Von Braun Team and his fellow German Rocket Experts before moving from Fort Bliss, Texas, to Huntsville, Alabama." Key from