Born: 1891. Died: 1942-01-01.
Speer meets with Von Braun and Dornberger. A 1:100 model of the planned bunker construction-launch facility for the rocket to be built by Organisation Todt on the British channel was exhibited. Speer reveals that Hitler could not decide about the rocket as a weapon. He did not believe the rocket team's plans could be made to work. But Speer did authorise them to proceed with construction on his own authority - he hoped Hitler could be brought around eventually. But he emphasised that Dornberger would have to use his personal connections to get industry moving on the project. But Dornberger was thwarted when the Army put Degenkolb in charge of organising production of the missile. Degenkolb was a sworn enemy of Dornberger's, and had been implicated in the 'suicide' of General Becker in early 1940. Degenkolb set up a Nazi-supported bureaucracy in parallel to that of Dornberger's, requiring the approval of the Army weapons bureau on any decisions. Degenkolb had the sponsorship of Todt and Saur, who in turn followed the party line - 'like the Fuehrer, we are not yet won over to the concept of a long range missile'.
In order to productionise the A4 design, Degenkolb began authorising many detailed changes. He didn't understand that every change had to be proven in test first, and only incremental steps could be taken. Stahlknecht had planned to produce 300 A4 missiles per month by January 1944, and 600 per month by July 1944. Degenkolb unrealistically decreed that 300 per month be achieved by October 1943, and 900 per month by December 1943.
Ten days after the raid on Peenemuende, the British bomb the V-2 production/launch bunker under construction at Watten. Seven further bunkers (four in Pas-de-Calais, three at Cherbourg) continued to be built. Soon thereafter, V-2 production plants at Wiener Neustadt and Friedrichshafen are also bombed. Clearly the Allies had detected and targeted the infrastructure of the V-2 production program. In response to the raids, the decision was made that Organisation Todt would build an underground V-2 factory at a chalk mine in Witzen. The bunker at Watten would be used only as a liquid oxygen production plant. Hitler had mandated a 7 m thick protective roof there, which cannot be penetrated by Allied bombs. It was decided that the roof would be jacked up, the sides filled with concrete, and construction work would continue underground despite the perpetual bombing.