The V-2 was the world’s first long-range ballistic missile. It was developed by Germany during the Second World War as a “vengeance, or reprisal, weapon” (Vergeltungswaffe) and used against the Allies in retaliation for their raids on German cities. It is also credited with being the first object produced by humans to enter outer space.
Conceived as a war-winning weapon, the V-2 was not ready for operational use until September 1944. Carrying a warhead of 760 kilograms, and capable of hitting the target at three times the speed of sound, the weapon had a devastating effect. In all, 1,403 were fired at Britain and 1,214 fell on Antwerp alone.
The Memorial’s V-2 is mounted on a Meillerwagen launching trailer, which enabled the rockets to be launched from mobile units. The trailer is one of only three such examples currently in existence.