Last V2 rocket lands
The V1 had an effective range of just 130 miles. The V2 could travel almost 100 miles more. Before they were finally stopped, more than 500 had hit the capital, killing 2,700 people. In all the Nazis launched more than 3,000 of the missiles, half of them directed at Antwerp with its vital docks, and 1,400 at England, all bar the 40 or so aimed at Norwich and Ipswich directed at London .
The last V2 attack came on March 27, 1945. Mrs Ivy Millichamp was killed at her home in Orpington , where in what seems like a tragic irony the last of the deadly rockets hit the most suburban of addresses, Elm Grove, killing the 34-year-old woman.
When the V2 threat was ended by the advance of ground troops, the Germans were developing warheads to carry nerve gases, and potentially biological weapons. They had also successfully trialed sea-launched versions from platforms towed behind submarines. Had the war not been brought to a conclusion in May 1945 it is highly likely that the Nazis would have used these new weapons of even greater mass destruction.
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From Christina McKerrow (nee Watt) on 17th April 2009
I was nearly ten in September 1944. My father was a sub-divisional Inspector in the Metropolitan Police; he was stationed at West Ham, and we lived in the police house next door to the station at 66 West Ham Lane (no longer there I believe). The house had two bedrooms: one faced onto West Ham Lane and the second faced down the street behind us. At the bottom of that street there was a railway line as far as I remember. One day my aunt, who had been staying with us, took me with her to the country. That night a V2 landed in the street behind our little house. The blast flattened streets to the left and right of our home. The only damage we sustained was broken windows in what was my bedroom, a broken biscuit barrel in the pantry, and the death of the gold fish in the pond in the back garden. V1s were very frightening when their engines cut out (as one did one night right overhead), but the V2s were worse. If you can tell me what date that V2 dropped in West Ham I would be interested in knowing about it. I am presently writing a piece of creative non-fiction on what happened to evacuees when they were sent off to HAVENS?
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