Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched by the German Wehrmacht against Allied targets.
‘During the existence of the Soviet Union its most unambiguous interaction with foreign rocketry occurred in 1945 / 1946 when Soviet government teams collected vast stores of German matériel for eventual return to the USSR. As a result of this engagement, in 1946 the Soviet state initiated development of long range missiles …’
Asif A, Siddiqi. jstore.org
‘In 1946, the UK and Australia established the Anglo-Australian Joint Project to test rockets, atomic bombs and other weaponry. Australia had the large areas of virtually uninhabited land needed to test such devices, and in return was given access to the technology the project developed.
The initial impetus for the program came from the UK’s desire to develop a long-range rocket similar to Germany’s V2, the world’s first ballistic missile.’
‘British defence planners knew that their small island would not survive a future atomic blitz and, therefore, needed `active’ deterrent weapons. The problem was that the US after 1946 moved to protect its atomic monopoly and denied Britain research, raw materials, and test facilities. Australia was, therefore, an invaluable partner in the British deterrent weapons programme, in all its aspects from research to testing, as long as the US refused co-operation. The quest for atomic weapons lies at the heart of many of Canberra’s initiatives after 1945.’
‘With the fall of Germany in 1945, many unused V-2 rockets and components were captured by the Allies. Many German rocket scientists came to the United States. Others went to the Soviet Union. The German scientists included Wernher von Braun.
What this all means in plain English is that although Germany had the most powerful weapon in Europe it lost the war. So, unsurprisingly, the Russians wanted one in their arsenal as well, as did the Americans and the British.
You could imagine the diplomatic complications of having all these (Allied?) nations plundering German V2 manufacturing and testing records at the same time. Particularly as Russia wasn’t speaking about their missile development with either America or Britain and America wasn’t speaking about their missile development with either Russia, Britain or Australia.
‘To support the Anglo-Australian Joint Project, the Australian Government in 1947 initiated the Long Range Weapons Establishment (LRWE) in an old munitions factory at Salisbury in just north of Adelaide.’
Given the above, would it be reasonable to assume that in 1948 both Russia and America would have been interested in how we were going down there in Salisbury?
Would it also be reasonable to suspect that the Americans may have dealt harshly with a Russian found seeking the same information they were?
reference: ACS Heritage Project : chapter 7 store.org