The Last V2 Rocket

The German frontlines were obviously crumbling, but the last V2 rocket was nevertheless launched at Antwerp as late as 27 March 1945. A final German rocket had hit London just a few hours earlier. The following day, the last V1 flying bomb struck Antwerp. It was the end of the Nazis’ so-called “miracle weapons”.

The new weapons had never had the impact the Germans hoped they would have. Many missed their aim. Yet owing to the great number of launches, the rockets nevertheless wrought substantial destruction in the two main target locations, London and Antwerp. Over half of the altogether 3,200 rockets fired fell in Antwerp. More than 3,500 persons died in that city through V weapons alone.

Work in the rocket factories likewise ceased at the end of March. In an underground armaments factory near Nordhausen, Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp inmates had had to perform forced labour in the serial production of the V2.

(Karsten Uhl)

References: Heinz Dieter Hölsken, Die V-Waffen: Entstehung – Propaganda – Kriegseinsatz, Stuttgart 1984.

Michael J. Neufeld, The Rocket and the Reich: Peenemunde and the Coming of the Ballistic Missile Era, Cambridge, Mass. 2000.