The V-2 rocket was one of the perceived “Wonder Weapons” or “Wunderwaffe” that it was hoped would get Germany back into World War II. Developed as a brainchild of Wernher von Braun (who would later go on to work for the Americans), it was given the nomenclature Vergeltungswaffe 2 or retaliation weapon in response to the destruction that Allied air forces had brought to German cities in their relentless air campaign. London would be the main target for the V-2 – the first missiles that could reach the stratosphere. On the whole, these 14m high rockets would be launched using mobile equipment in an effort to avoid being targeted by the bombers of the RAF and USAF, however static sites were built and it is possible to visit one thanks to the RAF the Germans were fortunately never able to complete – La Coupole.
Located in the Pas-de-Calais départment of northern France, about 5 kilometres from Saint-Omer, La Couple was intended to be an installation from which V-2 rockets could be launched almost incessantly towards London and the South East of England. Partially destroyed by the British at the end of World War II, it lay derelict until 1997 when it opened to the public as a museum.
Related Internet Links
- Britain At War Team Produce WWI Commemorative Edition - February 2, 2014
- National Trust to Exhibit Stanley Spencer’s ‘Heaven in a Hell of War’ at Somerset House - October 12, 2013
- The National Trust Secures £7.75 Million Grant From The Heritage Lottery Fund To Preserve Historic Knole And Its Treasures - July 30, 2013