Max Kramer

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Dr. Max Kramer (8 September 1903, Cologne, Germany - June 1986, Pacific Palisades, California) was a German scientist who worked for the Ruhrstahl AG steel and armaments corporation. He was responsible for the construction of the Fritz X and the Ruhrstahl X-4 missile (1943-1945), among others.

Personal Background

Max Otto Kramer was born on 8 September 1903 in Cologne, Germany, earned a degree in electronic engineering at the Technical College of Munich in 1926 and received his doctorate in aeronautics from the Technical College of Aachen in 1931. Already by the late 1930s he was an authority on aerodynamics, working at the German Institute of Aeronautics in Berlin, and holding patents for important innovations related to aircraft, such as landing flaps. His specialty was in the modeling of complex airflows, especially those related to laminar-flow dynamics.

Early Research in Germany

Dr. Kramer had a wide range of interests and his work encompassed automobiles, gliders, propeller noise, acoustic missile and wake tracking, and underwater coatings. However, he is best known for the development of the Ruhrstahl X-1 "Fritz-X" glide bomb, a radio-controlled bomb whose descent could be adjusted. This bomb was deployed a number of times in late 1943 and early 1944, achieving several successes before Allied air superiority and electronic countermeasures rendered it ineffective. Notable amongst its successes were the sinking of the Italian battleship Roma and the...
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