. His mother, Baroness Emmy von Quistorp, gave him his first telescope. When he was thirteen he launched a toy car with some firework. The car flew through a busy street and catched fire. The young von Braun was taken to the police station and his father had to take him home. As a means of furthering his desire to build large and capable rockets, in 1932 he went to work for the German army to develop ballistic missiles. While engaged in this work, von Braun received a Ph.D. in physics on 27-07-1934.
Chancellor Adolf Hitler (bottom center) and Wernher von Braun (front row in the middle above) pose in the spring of 1934 in front of the officers’ mess of the experimental shooting range Kummersdorf. Between 1932 and 1937, Von Braun was employed by the German Ordnance Department. He joined the NSDAP in 1937 and the SS in 1940, he was a Sturmbannführer . Von Braun worked together with Major General of the Raketentruppe, Walter Dornberger and the later Bundes President Heinrich Lübke. The brainchild of von Braun’s rocket team , inclusive his brother Magnus, operating at a secret laboratory at Peenemünde on the Baltic coast, the V–2 rocket was the immediate antecedent of those used in space exploration programs in the United States and the Soviet Union. A liquid propellant missile extending some 46 feet in length and weighing 27,000 pounds, the V-2 flew at speeds in excess of 3,500 miles per hour and delivered a 2,200-pound warhead to a target 500 miles away. First flown in October 1942, it was employed against targets in Europe beginning in September 1944. Magnus von Braun arrived at Peenemünde in July 1943 at the request of Wernher. In March 1944 he was arrested with fellow rocket specialists, Klaus Riedel , who was killed in a car accident two days after his thirty-seventh birthday, on 04-08-1944. There is a memorial and small museum dedicated to him in Bernstadt and in 1970 a crater on the moon was named after him. Helmut Gröttrup , he died age 65, on 05-07-1981 and Hannes Lüersen, but they were later released. English soldier, Jim Earnshaw , who had taken part in the D-Day landings in Normandy, was in his early 20s and a signals operator with Combined Operations when he was chosen as the radio man with the army unit given the task of dashing to von Braun’s headquarters at Peenemunde. But before the team had started on their mission, they were assembled below decks on the landing ship taking them across the Channel and sworn to secrecy for 50 years. Before the team set out across Europe, they were told they were answerable only to British Prime Minister Sir. Winston Churchill, waiting in his bunker in London for word of their success. When Mr Earnshaw and the team arrived at Peenemunde the gates were closed and the German soldier on guard had to let them in, explaining that since the war was still officially on, they had to consider themselves his prisoners. In late summer 1944 he transferred to the Mittelwerk where he engineered V-2 rocket gyroscopes, servomotors, and turbo pumps.
Death and burial ground of Braun, Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von.