In April 1936, the Heereswaffenamt (Army Ordnance Board)
and the RLM (Air Ministry), jointly purchased. The Northern
peninsula of the Baltic island of Peenemünde, providing
some 450 km of launching range along the waters of the Southern
Baltic coast. There were also a small off-lying islands
of Runden and Greifswalder Oie which could be used in the
The Peenemünde establishment, eventually the largest
of its kind in the world, was to become a clearing house
for all German rocket work, and was divided into two sections.
The East section, designated Heeresversuchsanstalt Peenemünde
(HVP), consisted of testbeds and manufacturing facilities
for the army and was commanded by Leo Zanssen, Walter
Dornberger being the head of the weapon test section 11
von Braun the technical director.
The West section consisted of the Luftwaffe airfield
and facilities for testing aircraft missiles, ATO units
and a rocket aircraft, and was known as Erprobungsstelle
Karlshagen, commanded by Henckelman.