V2 strikes

V2 strikes

World War II

V2 strikes
A V-2 launched from Test Stand VII in summer 1943 ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1944 Sep 7 - 1945 Mar 27

V2 strikes

England, UK

After Hitler's 29 August 1944 declaration to begin V-2 attacks as soon as possible, the offensive began on 7 September 1944 when two were launched at Paris (which the Allies had liberated less than two weeks earlier), but both crashed soon after launch. On 8 September a single rocket was launched at Paris, which caused modest damage near Porte d'Italie., 467 Two more launches by the 485th followed, including one from The Hague against London on the same day at 6:43 pm. – the first landed at Staveley Road, Chiswick, killing 63-year-old Mrs.

The British government initially attempted to conceal the cause of the explosions by blaming them on defective gas mains. The public therefore began referring to the V-2s as "flying gas pipes". The Germans themselves finally announced the V-2 on 8 November 1944 and only then, on 10 November 1944, did Winston Churchill inform Parliament, and the world, that England had been under rocket attack "for the last few weeks". Because of their inaccuracy, these V-2s did not hit their target cities. Shortly after that only London and Antwerp remained as designated targets as ordered by Adolf Hitler himself, Antwerp being targeted in the period of 12 to 20 October, after which time the unit moved to The Hague.

The final two rockets exploded on 27 March 1945. One of these was the last V-2 to kill a British civilian and the final civilian casualty of the war on British soil: Ivy Millichamp, aged 34, killed in her home in Kynaston Road, Orpington in Kent.

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