The Story Of Rockets

Tipu Sultan's Army Against British Forces using rockets
Anglo-Mysore War & the use of rockets (Courtesy: Wikimedia)
The first major of instance of iron-cased rockets being deployed in war has been documented in the Anglo-Mysore War by Hyder Ali and his son Tipu Sultan, the 18th century ruler of Mysore. Even though rockets used then were primitive and inaccurate, they did lethal damage and were successful in instilling fear among the soldiers of East India Company. This was first time British were exposed to the rocket technology. After the British won the war, they took the rockets back with them to research further and developed Congreve Rockets which they used in the Napoleonic Wars and War of 1812.
The next major phase of development worth mentioning in modern rocket technology happened in Germany. Wernher Von Braun, while pursuing his doctorate at Berlin Technical University was granted funds to experiment on liquid fuel propellant rockets by the Nazi party which had come to power. Nazi party was at the time looking to invest in any new technology that could be weaponised in the anticipation of the impending war. By the end of 1934, Von Braun was able to successfully test couple of small liquid propellant rockets. The year 1941 saw the German scientists possessing all the four key technologies namely large liquid-fuel rocket engines, supersonic aerodynamics, gyroscopic guidance and rudders in jet control essential to the success of rockets. After the conclusion of development work in 1943, Hitler ordered the V-2 rockets to be deployed in the year 1944 against the allied nations. Cities like London and Antwerp bear the brunt of the damage from the V-2 rockets. It is estimated that roughly 3000 people died and more than 6000 people got injured from the V-2 rockets in London alone coupled with huge property destruction. 
An Assembled German V2 Rocket(Courtesy: wikimedia )
An Assembled German V2 Rocket(Courtesy: Wikimedia )

The V-2 rockets faced plenty of problems like low accuracy, payload issues, dearth of fuel, huge cost of production, etc. After the war ended, there was a race between USA and Russia to capture the remaining rockets as well as the scientists and technical staff involved in the development of the rockets. Some prominent scientist involved in the project surrendered to the allied nations and later went on to continue their work in their new adopted countries. So phenomenal was the quality of work done on the development of V-2 rockets that the research played a pivotal role in all the future rocket development that were being conducted in multiple countries.
The world never looked back after that. In the following decades, Long distance rockets(ICBMs) were developed which were capable of hitting the target anywhere on the planet with deadly precision. On the constructive side, advance space age technologies like satellite communication, space exploration, satellite navigation, etc. was all made possible because of modern rockets (SLVs). The world changed for the better and rockets played their part in making it possible.

Author: Abhishek