Peenemünde Information Centre for History and Technology
On April 19, 2010, René made a trip to Peenemünde. The museum there is dedicated to the history of the Peenemünde Army Research Centre and the Luftwaffe test site, especially the rockets and missiles developed there between 1936 and 1945. The main purpose of the exhibition in the power station is to be a memorial site.
In WWII, the area was highly involved in the production of the V2 rocket, until the production's relocation to Nordhausen. The village's docks were used for the ships which recovered V2 wreckage from launches over the Baltic Sea. Flight testing the V1 was performed by the Luftwaffe at Peenemünde-West.
Peenemünde-West was also used for testing experimental aircraft such as the Heinkel He 176 (flown at Peenemünde on June 20, 1939) and the Messerschmitt Me 163 rocket-powered fighter. The entire island was captured by the Allies on May 5, 1945. The post-war port was a Soviet naval base until turned over to the armed forces of East Germany in 1952.
Power station Peenemunde under construction
Me163 prototype at Peenemunde-West in 1941
Von Braun with officers at the laboratory
Rechlin-Lärz is a former military airfield with a long history. Construction of the first airfield at Rechlin started in 1916. The airfield was officially opened on 29 August 1918. After the end of World War I, the airfield was closed again and many of its installations dismantled.
During the 1920s, the airfield was reopened as a civilian airbase, but it was soon used as a testing ground for the secret German air force experiments. In 1935, the Rechlin airfield became the official testing ground of the newly formed Luftwaffe.
The airfield was expanded by constructing two more airfields: one just east of the main site (Roggentin) and one just south of the main site (Lärz), which became the modern 21st century airfield site. After several Allied bombing runs on the Rechlin and Roggentin airfields in 1944, testing of late-war planes was shifted just southwards to Lärz.
On April 10, 1945, a final bomber attack by the US Army Air Forces almost completely destroyed the airfields. What was left was blown up by the German garrison before Soviet troops arrived at Rechlin on May 2.
In 1946, the Soviet Air Force established a permanent presence at the airbase. Military usage of the airfields continued until 1993, when the last Russian air force units were moved home. The Rechlin airfield was reopened for civilian use in 1994.
Messerschmitt Me 210
Dornier Do 335 "Pfeil"
Mig 27s at Rechlin-Lärz
Russians leaving Rechlin-Lärz in 1993
From Lelystad to Peenemünde
When this trip was made, Peenemünde airport was open from 15 May until 15 October, 10:00 to 18:00 local time. Other times required prior permission. The airport has a 2400m concrete runway (13/31). The traffic circuit is at 800' west of the runway (right-hand runway 13). A bicycle could be rented at the airport. The distance from the airport to the technical museum is 2 kilometer.
René at Lelystad
Peenemünde airport office
Near the Technical museum
Model of Peenemünde
René with a V2 rocket
From Peenemünde to Rechlin-Lärz
Over the Peenemünde area after take-off
René at Peenemünde airport
Final runway 07 Rechlin-Lärz airport
René at Rechlin-Lärz airport
From Rechlin-Lärz to Uelzen
Rechlin-Lärz airport reporting office
Departing from Rechlin-Lärz airport
René at Uelzen airport
Uelzen airport building
From Uelzen to Lelystad
About to take-off runway 08 Uelzen
Back at Lelystad airport