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This autobiography of a ""Special War Department Employee"" has its background in rocketry -- even in his youth in Germany toy rockets were his favorites. With a degree in electrical engineering and work in that field, he was relieved of active duty to go from the Russian front to the top secret development center at Peenemunde on the Baltic. Here, with no ""super engineers"" but with hard workers who faced many failures stubbornly, with von Braun as leader, progress on the ballistic missiles and V-1, V-2, was made in spite of bombings, desperate need of material, and the constant job of rebuilding after bomb destruction. Raids led them to mobile launchings and to moving mass production inland; Huzel advanced to von Braun's technical assistant; with defeat predictable, the product moved to the Harz Mountains and material on rocket developmental efforts was hidden in an abandoned mine. Surrendering to the Allies, the group of specialists were offered British or American relocation; Huzel went first to England, then accepted an American contract in 1946, and worked with others of his classifications at White Sands. Now an American citizen, he had a part in the work on Redstone #1, the first U.S. -built rocket ever launched, and at Canaveral found a duplication of the Peenemunde scene. A record of pioneering in a new field -- now a new industry and big business, has a personal accent that gives it a distinctive touch. Men and boys interested in rocket powered flight should go for this.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1962
Publisher: Prentice-Hall