A Nazi piece of work: Head from Hitler's deadly V2 rocket found buried in field
Eighty years after the start of World War II, fragments of one of Hitler’s “Wonder Weapon”, the V-2, have been unearthed in south-eastern Poland.
The “Wunderwaffe”, as it was called in German, was the name assigned by the propaganda ministry in Nazi Germany during World War II to an array of revolutionary super-weapons (many of which remained prototypes or were only used in small numbers).
These weapons included the V-2, short for the Vergeltungswaffen 2, which translates as Retribution Weapon 2, the world’s first long-range guided ballistic missile. From 1944, the Wehrmacht launched over 5500 of them, killing over 7000 people in various countries.
Now fragments of a V-2 missile have been found in Podkarpacie, Poland’s most south-eastern region.
The discovery was made on Sunday near the village of Niwiska by a group of history fans from the groups Relic Hunter Polska and the Perkun Historical Association in Trześnia.
According to its finders, the V-2 was launched from the “Blizna” training ground, roughly 30 km away, where the new missile was being tested.
The first was launched on 5 November 1943. During the testing, many of the missiles exploded in mid-air or fell to the ground soon after launching.
Of the first 57 launched, just the first four reached their target in Poland’s Mazowsze region, further north.
“It was a project of the highest secrecy, so the Germans carefully collected the remains of unsuccessful attempts,” said Jacek Dzik of Relic Hunter Polska, quoted on the group’s Facebook page.
However, after hearing local people say that the earth is hiding some kind of debris, the group came to Niwiska with people from the Perkun Historical Association.
After a day’s work using heavy equipment, the team managed to find and remove the warhead from the boggy ground, along with smaller fragments of the rocket. They had been buried 4 metres underneath it.
According to Dzik, it was a test rocket, rather than one used in combat. Given how long it has been buried under the ground, its condition is very good, he added.