Blood and Iron - 2020
Located in a remote area on the island of Usedom, Peenemünde once was home to one of the largest weapon research and production sites in Nazi Germany. Established in 1936, and almost entirely built by forced laborers, the compound became known for its advances in rocket science and precision anti-aircraft weapons.
Up to 12,000 workers and 2,000 scientists were involved in the venture that was funded by the state and the industry, namely by AEG, Siemens and IG Farben.
The most notorious weapons built at Peenemünde were the flying bomb Fi 103 (picture 7) and the A4 rocket (picture 9). They were called „Vergeltungswaffen“ V1 and V2 respectively. Praised by the Nazi propaganda as "Wunderwaffen“ they should turn the tide of the already lost war in favor of Nazi Germany. That goal, however, was – luckily – not achieved. Less than 4,000 A4 rockets were produced until the end of the war. Most of them were launched against targets in Britain, were they wreaked havoc for about a year.
On May 4, 1945, the Soviet Army liberated Peenemünde. By then, many scientists had already left and surrendered themselves to the US Army, which in turn brought them to America, where they helped build what later became known as the NASA.