Ever since a few months before the death of American rocket pioneer Dr. Robert H. Goddard, on 10 August 1945, it has been widely claimed he was the true source of the development of the infamous V-2 rocket of World War II – the world's first large-scale liquid-propellant rocket. It is thus alleged the German developers of the V-2 had “stolen” ideas from Goddard to create the V-2 that was also the forerunner of the world's first space launch vehicles. The question of the validity of this claim thus becomes far more significant than first appears and is the subject of this article. But we must first briefly examine other popular conceptions, or rather, misconceptions, about Goddard in our own Space Age. This helps establish a “bigger picture” that identifies some of the problems in overall misinterpretations of Goddard that also applies to his supposed role in the development of the V-2.11Rocket Man – Robert H. Goddard and the Birth of the Space Age by David A. Clary (Hyperion: New York, 2003) was the first major biography to identify and dispel what Clary labels “myths” and “lore” about Goddard, one example of which is the alleged German V-2/Goddard connection. The question on this connection has also been partly examined by Michael J. Neufeld, in his Von Braun – Dreamer of Space Engineer of War (Alfred A. Knopf: New York, 2007), et. al., but the present paper, and now published as an article, is the first dedicated study on the question.
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