German rocket pioneer, Gerhard Zucker, attempting to develop postal rockets in the 1930s. Location is Wadden Sea off Cuxhaven, on April 9, 1933, where Zucker follows Nazi Stormtroopers carrying the mail rocket across wet sands. The rocket is set up on a launch stand. Zucker and an assistant ignite the 8 side rockets and the mail rocket takes off. It noses up and loops over backwards, falling to the sand. Stormtroopers lift up the damaged device. Next, is seen a later, more modern, rocket trial ending in failure. Two German engineers display a model similar to the pulse-jet-powered "buzz bomb" (V-1) employed by the Nazis in World War 2. A brief glimpse of similar American machine on sand flat, as narrator states German acknowledgement of knowledge gleaned from Dr. Robert Goddard's work. A German V-1 flying bomb (aka Doodle Bug) being launched in 1944, during World War 2. View of British houses of Parliament, London, England; an air raid shelter sign in City of Westminster. Londoners waiting out a raid in the shelter. Scenes of fire and destruction during German bombing of London, as narrator speaks about the more advanced German V-2 ballistic missiles employed later in the war. Londoners trudging through debris amongst bombed out buildings. Change of scene to U.S. infantry and armor advancing deep into Germany. Narrator refers to them overrunning rocket bases and other vital war-making facilities, near the end of the war. Glimpse of large number of German prisoners of war. Documents of military surrender being signed by Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, in Berlin, May 8, 1945. Closeup of Keitel. Scenes of American forces operating in Pacific theater. Aerial view of atomic bomb explosion. Japanese surrender ceremony on September 2, 1945, aboard the battleship USS Missouri. U.S. servicemen returning home and greeting loved ones. View of Pentagon building. U.S. troops boarding a ship in San Francisco, bound for war again, this time in Korea (1950).
At the end of World War 2, in a military-scientific endeavor called Operation Backfire, German rocket troops, under British control, built and test-fired three V-2 missiles at the former German naval station in Altenwalde, a district of Cuxhaven in Lower Saxony near the North Sea.. A V-2 rocket is seen igniting on its launch pad, rising into the air, and entering the stratosphere at a speed of 5 thousand kilometers per hour. Views of the rocket in flight. Finally, as the experiment ends, the V-2 shuts down and falls to the earth. (This footage is rare as it contains extra scenes not found in the official Operation Backfire Report film summary. It is also formatted for post-war German audiences.)
Varied passenger activities aboard the German ocean liner St. Louis. Arrival of St. Louis in Cuxhaven, Germany. Passengers stand on the deck of the ship. Various ships seen at the Hamburg harbor.
Nazi soldiers at attention with guns drawn in Berlin during World War 2. U.S. soldiers on watch from damaged Berlin building. Man watching Berlin wall with binoculars while sitting in car. Pan American passenger airplane in flight after the war. Pan American passenger reading Time and other magazines. Aerial view of Berlin early 1960s. Pan American plane landing at Tempelhof Airport. Pan American passengers descending to tarmac under sign that reads, "Today Pan American has completed 93153 Transatlantic Crossings" Brandenburg Gate early 1960s. Drive through Brandenburg Gate in the 1920s. Drive through Berlin in the 1920s. Tourist bus flying American flag departs in Berlin 1920s. Berlin University 1920s. Early Nazis driving in Berlin streets. Hitler saluting parade. Hitler addressing Germans. Berlin in ruins Spring 1945 as tanks pass in front of Brandenburg Gate. Old starving woman walks on streets of Berlin amist ruins in 1945. Ruins of Berlin include Reichstag Building during 1945 battle. Women and children emerging from underground Berlin bunker in 1945, to a scene of devastation and rubble in the city. Ground view of the ruined Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche or Gedächtniskirche). Interior of ruined Reichstag Building. Potsdam Conference 1945, Map of WWII Europe. Berlin map, including official Berlin map with signatures showing Zones of Occupation. Germany allied control authority gathering including American, British, and Soviet representatives. French, American, Soviet flags in Germany. Rebuilding of Berlin mostly by women clearing rubble, using shovels, wheelbarrows and cleaning old bricks for reuse. Over crowded train in Germany post-WWII filled with civilian refugees abandoning the cities and heading to the countryside of Germany to resettle.
Following his death in 1933, Reinhold Tiling's work on rocketry was carried forward by his brother, Richard, who successfully worked on perfecting projectile missiles,and especially on improving the explosion safety of propellants, during 1934. A photograph of several rockets is shown, followed by a series of animated design sketches. Slate refers to Swirl nozzle provided with rotating projectile in describing one sketch. Another is described as Richard Tiling's design of Projectile missiles to shoot down aircraft. Richard Tiling and assistants are shown standing over many rocket projectiles in preparation for a demonstration before the Navy and the Army Ordnance Department in Meppen on April 17, 1934 (in which they were shot distances reaching 12 thousand meters). View of a 10 centimeter rocket on its launching stand. Richard Tiling and assistants placing a missile on a stand. Views of 10 and 15 centimeter missiles at a demonstration in Cuxhaven in Summer, 1934. The missiles are shown on the ground. Launching stand for direct and indirect fire with special "Dickkopf" missile. Catapult launch frame for 10 and 15 centimeter projectiles in April, 1934. Photograph of a 10 cm projectile being fired.
Slate refers to efforts to overcome problems with compressed powder rockets. A large crowd is gathered to watch a demonstration of a Zucker mail rocket. Gerhard Zucker walks ahead and left of Several uniformed Brown Shirts, AKA Nazi Stormtrooper (Sturmabteilung) as they carry a large rocket down some stairs at a beach. Uniformed Hitler youth (Hitlerjugend) are also seen in the crowd of spectators. A cinematographer sets up his camera on structure near the water. Next, the rocket is seen set upon its inclined launching stand as Zucker makes ready the four rockets on each side of the large mail carrier. Closeup of Zucker doing this as another person deposits mail through a door atop the rocket body. Scene shifts to the Wadden Sea off Cuxhaven,on April 9, 1933, where Zucker follows Nazi Stormtroopers carrying the mail rocket across wet sands. Spectators stand shoulder-to-shoulder atop a hill in the background.Zucker standing alone next to the rocket. He and an assistant ignite the 8 side rockets and the mail rocket takes off. But, instead of heading straight, it noses up and loops over backwards, falling to the sand. Stormtroopers lift up the damaged device. Later, Zucker is seen designing a launch with concentric guide rings. He made several attempts in 1934 and 1935, to convince British Royal Mail officials of the viability of rocket mail. He is seen in the last attempt on the Isle of Wight, in January, 1935, standing by his rocket, surrounded by English spectators. His launch stand with concentric rings is clearly seen. He places mail in the rocket body and drops it down through the rings on the launch stand, ignites it and it appears to take off smoothly.(It actually failed.) Views of Belgian Karl Roberti and his postal rocket. An American rocket carrying a line out to a boat needing rescue offshore.