JF Ptak Science Books Post #124 (with additions 25 October 2011)
That devlish working-for-the-Nazis scamp Eugen Sanger (dead before he was fifty, 1905-1964), a rocket designer and engineer (and developer of ramjet tech) for the NSDAP, went to work for the French Air Ministry following the end of World War Two after doing his all and thankfully falling short for the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM, or "Reich Aviation Ministry"). He worked without rancor there until he was nearly kidnapped1 by Joe Stalin—for the purpose I suppose of continuing work on what may have been his greatest effort, unfulfilled during the war years—the Amerika Bomber. The Soviets evidently thought that this might come in handy in the late 1940's.
The Sänger Amerika Bomber (or Orbital Bomber, Antipodal Bomber or Atmosphere Skipper, and also known as the Silbervogel) was designed for supersonic, stratospheric flight, and had much more bang for the buck than the V2 (10,000 feet/second exhaust velocity, as compared to the later V-2 rocket's 2000 meters/second, 6560 feet/second) and since it was stratospheric had a far greater range, coming in at better than 14,000 miles. The 22,000-pound weapon carried one large 8000-pound free-falling bomb.
Sanger’s idea in the early 1940’s was to get this bomb to around Times Square. And since the Amerika Bomber was a relatively inexpensive weapon compared to the damage it could cause, there was room for producing a lot of them.
Seeing Manhattan in the cross hairs like this is quite sobering, and it is an image that is rarely made.
1. Maybe, maybe not. Stalin did at least send his representatives--including his own son--to tr and convince Sanger to work for the USSR. THis attempt failed. It has been said that the NKVD was sent to kidnap him, and failed.