German V-2 on right and V-1 on lower left, Imperial War Museum
The V-2 was the world's first long-range
guided ballistic missile. The missile with liquid-propellant rocket
engine was developed during the Second World War in Germany as a
"vengeance weapon", designed to attack Allied cities as retaliation
for the Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 rocket was also
the first man-made object to cross the boundary of space.
Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched by the
German Wehrmacht against Allied targets during the war, firstly London
and later Antwerp and Liège. According to a 2011 BBC documentary, the
attacks resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and
military personnel, while 12,000 forced laborers and concentration
camp prisoners were killed producing the weapons.
Photo 122, London, May 2015