Just as the British were getting the hang of shooting down the V-1, the V-2 rocket entered production in the Third Reich.
Massive blockhouses were built throughout Germany and France for the V-2s to be launched directly at Britain. However, as with the V-1 rockets, these sites were targeted by the Allies’ and were nearly all destroyed. The only operational bases by the start of the war were Nordhausen and mobile launchers.
Did you know? The V-2s were made mainly by slave labour. 20,000 prisoners died constructing them at Nordhausen alone.
Despite the Allies best efforts, the Germans had the means to launch 100 missiles a day from their mobile launchers. The targets included London, Paris, Antwerp, Lille, Norwich and Liege. Due to their immense speed, they were virtually impenetrable against air defences.
Therefore, the only way to stop the V-2s was to cease production. This resulted in a determined push towards the German Reich to intercept the launchers.
2,500 people were killed and 6,000 were wounded by the V-2 ballistic missile. If Germany weren’t so close to complete capitulation, they could have been an extremely useful weapon. Just imagine a fully defended Germany launching 1000’s of V-2s a day at Britain.
Did you know? The V-2 was so advanced that it was taken away and studied by both US and Soviet research programs. V-2 mechanisms were used in the rockets used in the early days of the space race.
Take a rare look inside a Nazi V2 rocket facility!