The Offense: Missiles and War Games

  • David Hafemeister


The first German V2 flight of October 2, 1942, was the first of 3700 more V2 flights. TheV2carried 750 kg a distance of 300 km, similar to today’s Russian Scud B. The accuracy of the V2 was poor, only 35% landed within 2 km of their targets. At this rate, the accuracy of ICBMs would be 60 km over a range of 10,000 km. As ICBMs improved, the nuclear arms race shifted from production of slow, recallable bombers to that of fast, nonrecallable, MIRVed (multiple, independently targetable reentry vehicles) ICBMs. The increased accuracy of ICBMs led to decreased weapon yields, dropping from multi megatons to about one-half a megaton (Mton). To enhance attacks on leadership the United States also developed earth-penetrating warheads.


Military Spending Ballistic Missile Reentry Vehicle Cruise Missile Nuclear Weapon State 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Hafemeister
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysicsCalifornia Polytechnic State UniversitySan Luis ObispoUSA

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