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The first recorded use of rockets as a weapon was in China in 1232, when the townsfolk of Kai-Feng-Fun used 'fire arrows' to fight off besieging Mongol hordes. Much later in Britain, Sir William Congreave developed a rocket that could travel at distance of 9,000ft and they were used against the United States in the war of 1812. It was towards the end of the 19th century that theorists and practical inventors began to make significant strides forward. Four people were particularly significant in making the transition from small rockets to projectiles which had the potential for space travel - Konstantin Tsiolkovky in Russia, Robert Goddard in the US, and Herman Oberth and Wernwer von Braun in Germany.
At the beginning of the war, most military minds were thinking more in terms of a projectile that could carry high explosives or pierce armour plating. These were primarily 2in and 3in rockets. A 3in rocketconsisted of a 4ft long steel tube filled with cordite and fitted with four fins. The rocket could reach speeds of 1520ft per second at 1000ft and 1740ft per second at 3000ft. The first prototype of theseunrotated projectiles or UPs was fired on 25 October 1941 and full production began in late 1942. Experiments continued as to the best fuel. These fragments represent the remains of one of those tests undertaken at Ynyslas.

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