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.
Photo showing Werk Süd with IW on the left and F1 on the right taken on 19th August 1943. The photo shows only light damage to the main halls, although F1 was actually hit at least 11 times, and hits to the separate single storey workshops to the right of the IW hall. The long storage (oil and paint?) shed above IW and the woodworking shop at the top of the picture appear undamaged. Anti-aircraft platforms (at least 3) can be seen on the roof of IW but that seem to be empty of guns. F1 shows two AAA platforms (there was at least 3 at this stage and maybe more) and they may have guns installed. General W. Dornberger mentions defensive AA artillery fire from the from the roof of F1 in his 1952 book V2 (1954 in English).