A rare surviving example of one of Hitler’s infamous V-weapons, captured by the Corps of Royal Engineers at the end of World War Two, is to be restored, re-assembled and displayed at the Royal Engineers Museum Library and Archive at Brompton.
© Royal Engineers Museum, Library and Archive
The V-2 Rocket, which is reportedly in a relic but stable state with some of its inner workings intact, has been acquired by the museum after 40 years at the nearby Royal School of Military Engineering at Chattenden, which has now been closed.
Currently with Borley Brothers engineers in Cambridge, where a restoration will attempt to strengthen the rocket and return it to its original condition, it is hoped it will be installed at the museum before the end of the year.
V-2s were the last roll of the dice for Hitler’s ambitious V rocket weapons programme and more than 1,000 of them reached targets in Britain killing thousands.
An object of terror, it was the world's first ballistic missile and arrived unheard and unseen to deliver almost a ton of explosive at a speed of 3,500 feet per second.
In the great scheme of the war the V-2 proved to be strategically insignificant but apart from its destructive capability the rocket technology it used paved the way for space travel – as well as the development of Cold War missile weaponry.
“We are very excited to have acquired this fascinating and enormous object for our collection,” said a Royal Engineers Museum spokesperson, who confirmed that a “revised Cold War and V-2 Rocket display will open at REMLA before Christmas”.
The rocket is said to have been recovered by the Royal Engineers from Nienburg or Leese in Germany where retreating German troops from rocket firing sites in Belgium and Holland returned and dumped their equipment.
Once displayed it will join a select band of V-2 Rockets exhibited at UK Museums including Imperial War Museum London and The Science Museum London. The RAF Museum also has a V2 in its collection.