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Dr Walter Thiel, a German rocket scientist, was born on the 2nd of March, 1910, in Breslau in Lower Silesia, which is now a city of Poland called Wroclaw in Polish. He died in Karlshagen on the 18th of August 1943. Walter Dornberger hired by him for German research at Kummersdorf in November of 1932. He transferred to Dornberger's new rocket section in 1936.[1] Thiel transferred from Kummersdorf to the Peenemünde Army Research Center in the summer of 1940, where he became deputy director of the research Organization under Wernher von Braun. He had experience working as a chemical engineer at the Heyland Works at Brietz near Berlin.[2] Thiel also designed the motor for the Wasserfall anti-aircraft missile. Walter Thiel was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1976.[3] The crater Thiel on the Moon is named after him.

Aggregate series Development

Based on the film cooling ('veil cooling') solution identified by colleague Moritz Pöhlmann at Peenemünde, Thiel designed rings of tiny perforations in the cumbustion chamber walls to inject fuel at the throat to cooling by evaporation preventing nozzle erosion in the V-2 rocket engine. [4][5]

By September 15, 1941, Thiel officially declared the basic eighteen-pot design of the A-4 motor finished. He had begun investigating nitric acid and diesel oil to be used as the fuel for the 30-ton-thrust A-8 rocket in the Spring of 1941.

Thiel reported progress on the initial A-9/A-10 rocket motor with six combustion chambers and one common exhaust nozzle in a secret command document on December 18, 1941.

In August 1943, Dr. Thiel reported that the A-4 design could not be mass produced and recommended that the project be cancelled. He resigned intending to lecture in thermodynamics at a technical college.[6] Thiel died days later in a bombing raid on Peenemünde. Martin Schilling replaced Thiel.


  1. The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemünde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile, 1995. published by The Free Press, New York. pages 56, 80, 84, 142, 157
  2. Walter Dornberger author of V2--Der Schuss ins Weltall, 1952. published by Bechtle Verlag, Esslingan. pages 27, 50, 53 -- US translation: V-2. Viking Press: New York, 1954
  3. International Space Hall of Fame :: New Mexico Museum of Space History :: Inductee Profile at
  4. Ernst Klee & Otto Merk, The Birth of the Missile:The Secrets of Peenemünde, 1963. English translation 1965 published by Gerhard Stalling Verlag, Hamburg. page 117
  5. Basil Collier, The Battle of the V-Weapons, 1944-1945. published 1964 by The Emfield Press Yorkshire. pages 24, 91