At the close of the War, it was clear to the Allies that German scientists had conducted a great deal of detailed scientific work in the field of liquid fuel rockets. In Germany in 1945 were large amounts of chemical and engineering plant, and a number of skilled scientists and technicians. It was decided that following the capture of these personnel and their laboratories, useful technical data could be generated on site in Germany, using already established facilities, saving the cost and time of having to build similar operations in Britain and America.

The idea was to extend or complete existing projects with technical personnel before the teams and thus the expertise, became broken up, or removed to the care of the Russians.

In Britain, the Ministry of Supply ("MoS") was the organising Government department, and under the auspices of the MoS rocket scientists from various facilities were gathered at Trauen.

The "Sanger Raketentechnisches Forschunginstitut" Trauen was a testing facility which had been built by the Germans on the edge of the Luneburg Heide. It was remote and with a significant area, enabled large liquid rocket test stands to be built, and individual test buildings dispersed for safety. It was well equipped with rocket test stands, laboratories and an on-site liquid oxygen manufacturing plant.

A total of 82 captured rocket scientists and chemists were brought, from Walter Werke, Peenemunde and Trauen itself. They had been originally assembled at Cuxhaven where the Allies had run "Operation Backfire", assembling and firing V2 rockets. They arrived at Trauen at the start of 1946, and continued a programme of experiments, until (officially at least) all active work ceased on 16th June 1946.

Name Origin
Dr Jurgen Diedrichsen Walterwerke, Kiel
Willi Kretschmer Walterwerke, Kiel
Dr Johannes Schmidt Walterwerke, Kiel
Hermann Treutler Walterwerke, Kiel
Dr Botho Demant Peenemunde
Norbert Luft Peenemunde
Walter Riedel Peenemunde
Dr Zimmermann Peenemunde
Hans Ziebland Trauen
Herr Zohrer Trauen

The British were interested in developing their liquid oxygen rocket knowledge, looking at Nitric Acid systems, and the stability of peroxide fuels, catalyst chemistry, and peroxide ignition and its use for cooling.

It was in this latter area that Dr Schmidt supervised the building of a test HWK 109-509 unit modified for T-Stoff cooling:-
(  * see Murray, R.C. RAE TechNote Ch.986  )

"The cooling jacket of a 163 motor has been galvanised inside and the dump valve modified so as to drain the jacket completely after operations."

The tests were quite successful, with the T-Stoff warmed to 40-50oC and the temperature of the inner wall of the combustion chamber never exceeding 440oC. The fouling of the jacket, always observed with C-Stoff cooling, was absent.

In addition to the lack of fouling, the T-Stoff cooling would also mean that cheaper propellants such as pyrocatechol and furfural alcohol could be used in place of the more expensive hydrazine - even paraffin - without the risk of damage to a poorly cooled combustion chamber.

That this work was done is interesting enough, but it is also interesting to see that in the Ch.986 report, Murray notes that some of the pieces of test equipment are being brought back from Trauen to the RAE. He does not specify the T-Stoff cooling rig, but the HWK 109-509.A-2 ("Wkr.Nr.4160") has obviously been modified to route the T-Stoff down to the combustion chamber. The cooling jacket of the combustion chamber on this motor has been heavily modified, as has the fuel dump valve.

I feel confident in suggesting that the motor in the East Fortune Museum is an identifiable motor which was used by German scientists (albeit under the supervision of the Ministry of Supply). Considering the lack of documentation for many captured items, a very interesting conclusion.

Web Master Shamus Reddin   [SR Logo]
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