The end of the Peenemünde team
The Peenemünde research centre was evacuated and blown up in February 1945 before the Soviet advance.
Wernher von Braun and several dozen engineers from Peenemünde gave themselves up to the U.S. Army
In Dora, the deportees' living conditions deteriorated sharply during the winter. Nevertheless, the production of rockets continued until the end of March 1945. The camp was evacuated in early April. Thousands of prisoners lost their lives during the evacuation.On 2 May, 1945, Von Braun, accompanied by several dozen engineers, surrendered to the Americans, who had discovered the Dora underground factory on 11 April. The French and Russians were also looking for defectors in order to transfer the technology developed in Peenemünde. Hundreds of engineers from the teams working for Nazi Germany would participate in military and civilian missile programmes during the Cold War in the USA, USSR and France.
An innovative device, the V2 had no real influence on the course of the war. Contrary to Eisenhower's judgment, it did not arrive "too late" to reverse the course of the Second World War, but rather "too soon": the association of the rocket and the atomic bomb would constitute the foundation of military history worldwide in the second half of the twentieth century.
The V2 has a unique characteristic in the history of weaponry: its manufacturing killed more people than its military use...