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Rheinbote



rheinbot.jpg
Rheinbote
German surface-to-surface missile. Director Klein and Doctor Vuellers at Rheinmetall in Leba had developed this unguided bombardment weapon. It was a four-stage powder rocket of minimum weight but a range of 120 km.

The big problem was guidance. Fins were used to stabilise all four stages, which were nestled one in the other. The burnout of the previous stage was used to automatically ignite the next. The rocket was 11 m long, and demonstrated a 160 km range when equipped with a 40 kg warhead, 20 kg of which was explosive. The entire missile weighted 1650 kg, including 580 kg of powder solid propellant. The Meilerwagen developed for the V-2 was used to transport the weapon, and one launcher was capable of one shot per hour. Aiming was accomplished by pointing the Meilerwagen in the direction of the target and elevating the launch rail to the estimated angle corresponding to the range to target. Since the small warhead made a crater only 1.2 m in diameter, with no fragmentation effects, the inaccurate rocket was totally useless as a weapon. Expending 2 tonnes of iron and 580 kg of powder for such a small deliverable amount of ordnance was totally cost ineffective, in Dornberger's opinion. Nevertheless, Hitler and Kammler ordered the worthless rocket into service. Test batteries were set up at Heidekraut, but it was impossible to estimate the weapon's accuracy, since it proved impossible to find the small craters created by the warhead's impact in the vast dispersion area.

Standard warhead: 40 kg (88 lb). Maximum range: 160 km (90 mi). Boost Propulsion: Solid rocket.

Status: Cancelled 1945.
Gross mass: 1,650 kg (3,630 lb).
Payload: 40 kg (88 lb).
Height: 11.00 m (36.00 ft).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
  • missile Guided self-propelled military weapon (as opposed to rocket, an unguided self-propelled weapon). More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
Bibliography
  • Dornberger, Walter, Peenemuende, Moewig, Berlin 1985..

Rheinbote Chronology


1944 November 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Rheinbote.
  • Rheinbote tested. - . Nation: Germany. Apogee: 80 km (49 mi). Range: 160 km (90 mi). Summary: Test batteries were set up at Heidekraut, but it was impossible to estimate the weapon's accuracy, since it proved impossible to find the small craters created by the warhead's impact in the vast dispersion area..

1945 January 15 - . Launch Vehicle: Rheinbote.
  • Rheinbote in service. - . Nation: Germany. Summary: A battery is set up in Holland, and 200 rockets are fired on Antwerp harbour..

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