Wehrmacht History 1935 to 1945

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Peenemünde

Missile Testing Centre




Peenemünde missile testing centre

History

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 work.

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 and Wernher 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.

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