(Image: Spielvogel. Abandoned V-1 launch site in Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate)
They may look like any other peaceful woodland ruins of days gone by. But these seemingly-anonymous concrete foundations reflect a vengeance unleashed on Britain and Belgium by Nazi Germany during World War Two. For it was from here that countless V-1 flying bombs were launched into England, with the goal of striking fear into the hearts of the civilian population.
Just after 4 am on June 13, 1944, residents in northeast London reported a strange droning sound that eerily cut out before the craft that it belonged to fell to earth. Six residents were killed in the borough of Hackney, and the ‘doodlebug’ menace had begun. In the days that followed, dozens of V-1s, or ‘buzz bombs’, as they were also dubbed, reigned down on London, killing and wounding hundreds.