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Last V2 rocket returns to The Hague for an exhibit

Launch captured by photographer

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - A V2 rocket, a dreaded German airborne weapon during World War II, has returned to The Hague where it is now on display. The rocket is the only one left in the Netherlands of 1,300 that were launched from around the city.

The German rocket, the length of a bus, is being loaned by the Army Museum in Grave for an exhibition of photos taken during the Second World War by resistance photographer Wim Berssenbrugge (1918-2007). Berssenbrugge was the only known civilian to photograph a V2 being launched from Dutch territory.

The German occupation army launched numerous rockets from Dutch territory, aiming them primarily at London, where they inflicted much damage. The Germans also launched about 4,000 rockets at Antwerp, many from Germany, after it was liberated by the Allies, hoping to prevent the Allies from using the port as a much shorter supply line. Most rockets did not reach their intended destination, partially due to sabotage by labour conscripts and prisoners.

The Germans used parks on the outskirts of the The Hague to strike at their targets, prompting the Allies to keep bombing it. Hundreds of civilians in The Hague lost their lives as a result.

The 14-metre-long rocket was maneuvered with great difficulty into The Hague Historic museum.