Werk Süd (South Works) Peenemünde: Highlighting the Fertigungshalle Eins or F1 V2 missile factory
The F1 missile factory: its vast size reflected its ambition
By August 1943 the F1 V2 missile factory at Peenemünde was central to Nazi armaments plans as one of the three sites each expected to produce 300 V2 missiles per month, being one-third of a grand total expected to reach 900 missiles monthly by early 1944. The RAF’s Operation Hydra raid, in the night and early morning of 17/18 August 1943, involving over 600 British bombers, actually caused only slight damage to F1; although sadly it killed 16 slave workers domiciled in the ground floor ‘basement’. However, the raid did sufficient damage to the research complex as a whole and planners were forced to move all production of the V2 missile to a secure bomb-proof site under the Heartz mountains at Nordhausen in central Germany.
The picture gallery also shows the area once enclosed by the almost equally giant Repair and Maintenance workshops, just 120 meters to the north of the missile factory. The ghost of the V2 rocket can be seen in the plethora of decaying relics that still litter the ground in many of these locations. Please note: some of the areas illustrated here are not open to the public and there is a threat from unexploded ordinance. See our information page for details of expert guided tours (in English and German) of these areas.
RAF reconnaissance photo showing the Werk Süd region with the F1 pre-production hall and to the north the IW repair and maintenance hall, centre right, and road rail links to Prüfstand XI (Test Stand 11, circular rampart centre left) heading directly left from F1. P-XI was conceived to provide engine test facilities for the nearby pre-production hall. Scroll down to see GPS map, the marker index is set to the centre of P-XI, click map and switch to satellite view and you will see that only a small section of the circular rampart remains visible. You can easily zoom out to cover the coast area where F1 and the equally large Repair & Maintenance Workshops are located. The area immediately surrounding P-XI is now contained within a commercial farming operation with sheep appearing to be the staple - or was anyway, at the time of our first visit to the vicinity in 2010 and our last in 2017 - none of the sheep seemed to recognise us though so they may have changed. (for access to restricted areas click here)