By Dr. David Myhra
Luftwaffe Aviation History

Luftwaffe Aviation History

By Dr. David Myhra

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Peenemunde: The German Experimental Rocket Center-Introduction

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This is the story and details of Peenemünde, the German military rocket developement and test site during World War II. It was one of the most modern technological facilities in the world in the years between 1936 and 1945. The first launch of a missile into space took place here in October 1942. In the nearby air force testing area, rocket engineers tested numerous flight objects equipped with revolutionary technology. From the start this research was directed toward one goal only: achieving military superiority through advanced technology. Slave laborers, concentration camp inmates and prisoners of war provided the work that enabled the construction of the test sites and the later serial production of the rockets, which the Nazi propaganda referred to as "Vergeltungswaffe 2" (or "Vengeance Weapon 2"), in so short a period of time. Both the inhumane labor conditions and the attacks on Belgian, British and French cities using the supposed "wonder weapon" claimed thousands of lives.

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