The V2 rockets, from the German Vergeltungswaffen-2, which in Spanish means ‘weapon of revenge‘, and which are also known as V-2 or A-4 missiles, they were a type of ballistic missiles created by Germany during World War II. Developed from 1936 by a scientific team led by Wernher von Braun, this type of rocket was launched for the first time on October 3, 1942. Two years later, on September 6, 1944, it was launched against the city of Paris and two days later fell on Britain the first of the more than 1,100 that exploded in its territory, the last, on March 27, 1945.
Now one of them has been unearthed
in a field in the south-east of England by a group of archaeologists led by the brothers Colin and Sean Welch, who have been concentrating exclusively on the study of the archeology of war conflicts, and, in particular, on the offensive weapons ‘V’ (which include these rockets as well as dozens of V1 flying bombs) that fell on British soil between 1944 and 1945. Only the V2s caused the UK death of about 9,000 people.
The latter to be discovered fell in the town of Platt, in Kent, after being shot from the hague (Netherlands) around 12.25 am on February 14, 1945. According to the archaeologists, five minutes later it exploded in this area, after having deviated from its initial target, which was London.
V2 Platt September 2021: 1.3 metres down, establishing second infill crater shape which compared to first scrape (300mm) will provide crater slope inclination. Great machine from @planthireHE and first class help from Pearson TQ Royal Engineers training team #Archaeologypic.twitter.com/QsJySRcOsH
— Crater Locators (@CraterLocators) September 20, 2021
In a statement, the experts detailed that the missile “reached five times the speed of sound in the first minute of launch, after which its engine shut down automatically ‘and immediately after’ the missile entered space, up to about 55 miles high (almost 90 kilometers), before fall in the field at Platt at 3.5 times the speed of sound, without causing injury »but opening the crater that Research Resource Archeology, the company of the Welch brothers, excavated with the help of HE Services and Pearson TQ.
«This has been a very important project for us because in archaeological terms the site was pristine (unadulterated, without previous studies, without domestic garbage in the crater) which gave us a real chance to understand what’s going on when a four ton V2 rocket impacts on the ground, “explained Colin Welch, adding that although the V2s were more sophisticated, they were quiet and could not be shot down due to their high speed,” the V1s were much cheaper to manufacture and tended to explode at ground level , rather than after entering the ground which made them more effective weapons.
The life of this powerful weapon did not end with the end of the war as it is the forerunner of modern space rockets and long-range missiles, the technology of which was developed from them by the Soviet Union and the United States.