Sunday, October 7, 2012

Trials at Peenemunde

If you have been following my blog, you may remember back on March 23, 2012 that my hub and I visited a secluded kind of military weapon production plant in Germany not far from the Poland border. I wasn't able to learn much about the place, since there were no brochures or books in English. Guess they were not expecting English speakers to that remote location. A true example of "hidden Europe."

According to Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries of the Hidden Europe Magazine,

"Seventy years ago today, on 3 October 1942, a much more fearful weapon was trialled at Peenemünde. It was the V-2, the world's first ballistic missile. That early autumn morning on the shores of the Baltic marked humanity's first step towards the frontiers of space. On that Saturday, the science of rocketry took a big step forward as the pioneering V-2 sped skyward. The rocket quickly went into production - not at Peenemünde but on the southern fringes of the Harz Mountains in central Germany - and by 1944 the German authorities were firing the rocket at enemy targets in London and elsewhere.
Strange things happen in the forgotten territories where land and sea meet. Not least at Peenemünde. Many of the original team who worked on the V-2 at Peenemünde were quietly shipped to the United States after the end of the Second World War. Under Operation Paperclip, key personnel in the Nazi ballistic missile programme were secretly relocated. Some, like Wernher von Braun, went on to illustrious careers in the NASA space programme. The world quietly overlooked their previous engagement in promoting the interests of Nazi Germany.
Peenemünde remains an odd sort of place, lonely and mournful. It has a tragic beauty that masks an intriguing history - truly a part of hidden Europe.
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries
(editors, hidden europe magazine)"

(editors, hidden europe magazine)Tria

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