From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sub-orbital_spaceflight comes:
The very first ballistic missile to reach space was the German V-2 early in 1942 (date uncertain) which reached an altitude of 189 km.
Have you read Neufeld's "Von Braun: Dreamer of Space, Engineer of War" book? That's probably as close as I'll ever get to a primary reference. Anyway, he lists (pg. 136) a flight to 56 miles on 3 October, 1942. On page 181 he describes a Summer 1944 flight to 109 miles.
Because they were Nazis, George.I do not know why the achievements by VonBraun and other members of his team keep getting underplayed over time.
Because they were Nazis, George.
People remain conflicted, for good reason, over the achievements versus culpability of his team. There are many, particularly the 20,000 who died at Mittelwerk, who would see no reason to give Wernher and his team the benefit of the doubt, about anything. His achievements get downplayed over time because, the further we get from the cold war, people are less willing to excuse the expedience that allowed his engineering team a pass on having been part of a larger, pretty hideous, prior team.
That said, do I think the Bumper-Wac with the first rocket in space? No. I think that's bogus too.