Operation Backfire was a military scientific operation during and after World War II, which was performed mainly by British staff. World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including It was part of the Allies' scramble to acquire as much German technology as they could.
For this operation, four V-2 rockets were launched during October 1945 from a launch pad at north-east of Arensch near Cuxhaven in Germany, in order to demonstrate the weapon to Allied personnel. See also Vergeltungswaffe The V-2 rocket ( Vergeltungswaffe 2 was the first Ballistic missile and first man-made object to achieve Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar Arensch is a local part of Cuxhaven, a town in Lower Saxony, Germany. Cuxhaven is a large independent town and seat of the Cuxhaven district, in Lower Saxony, Germany. Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe.
|detailed map of the launch site|
|main assembly hall|
|Operation log 1|
|Operation log 2|
|German organisation for the Operation Backfire|
The Americans had already removed most of the V2 rocket technology from the German underground Mittelwerk facility at the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp near Nordhausen. Central Works (German Mittelwerk) was the underground WWII rocket and aircraft factory in Germany that was operated by the government Central Works Ltd. See also Nazi concentration camps Mittelbau-Dora (also Dora and Nordhausen-Dora) was a Nazi Germany labour camp that provided Nordhausen is a City at the southern edge of the Harz mountains in the state of Thuringia, Germany. Before the Soviets took occupation of that area, the British were given the opportunity to gather material themselves. They were able to assemble parts sufficient to build eight V2 rockets. Some parts were, however, still missing and there was a large-scale search throughout Germany. Some 400 railway cars and 70 Lancaster flights were used to bring the quarter-of-a-million parts and 60 specialized vehicles to Cuxhaven, the most elusive part being batteries to operate the guidance gyros. "Lanc" redirects here Distinguish from Lank (adjective and from Amon Lanc (a place in Tolkien's fiction The US supplied some tail assemblies from those that they had taken.
The handling and launch procedures were unknown, so German personnel were ordered to perform these, which, for the most part, they did willingly. The launches were filmed and, because the personnel wore their original uniforms and the rockets were painted in near to their original livery, this footage, often used for documentaries, has been mistaken for actual footage of wartime German launches.
At the site of the former launchpad there is a trough and some remnants of shelters.
During and after the launches, the British attempted to recruit German personnel, even those transferred from US custody and due to be returned, to assist with their own missile programme.
Three rockets were launched, as follows:
|Date||Time||Maximum height||Length of flight||Remarks|
|October 2, 1945||14h41||69. Events 1187 - Siege of Jerusalem: Saladin captures Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar 4 km||249. The kilometre ( American spelling: kilometer) symbol km is a unit of Length in the Metric system, equal to one thousand 4 km|
|October 4, 1945||14h16||17. Events 610 - Heraclius arrives by ship from Africa at Constantinople, overthrows Byzantine Emperor Phocas Year 1945 ( MCMXLV) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar 4 km||24 km||Engine failure shortly after launch|
|October 15, 1945||15h06||64 km||233 km||Some sources incidate launch took place on October 14, 1945|
|October 17, 1945||80 km||Final Flight|