Peenemünde Airfield
Peenemünde Airfield is an airfield along the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 north of Peenemünde
The Peenemünde Army Research Center was founded in 1937 as one of five military proving grounds under the Army Weapons Office ....

, Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. Today round trips in light aircraft take place from Peenemünde Airfield. Bus tours are also available, on which one can visit the former shelters of the NVA and the remnants of the of the V-1 flying bomb facilities. Because of its long runway the airfield Peenemünde is also a location for flight schools.


On April 2, 1936, the Reich Air Ministry
Reich Air Ministry
thumb|300px|The Ministry of Aviation, December 1938The Ministry of Aviation was a government department during the period of Nazi Germany...

 paid 750,000 German Reichsmark
German reichsmark
The Reichsmark was the currency in Germany from 1924 until June 20, 1948. The Reichsmark was subdivided into 100 Reichspfennig.-History:...

s to the town of Wolgast
Wolgast is a town in the district of Vorpommern-Greifswald, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. It is situated on the bank of the river Peenestrom, vis-a-vis the island of Usedom that can be accessed by road and railway via a bascule bridge...

 for the whole Northern peninsula of Usedom. The airfield began service on 1 April 1938, and on the same date, the Air Ministry officially separated Peenemünde-West from the joint command that included the adjacent Army Research Center Peenemünde
The Peenemünde Army Research Center was founded in 1937 as one of five military proving grounds under the Army Weapons Office ....


As Werk West, the Luftwaffe
History of the Luftwaffe during World War II
The German Luftwaffe was one of the strongest, most doctrinally advanced, and most battle-experienced air forces in the world when World War II started in Europe in September 1939. Officially unveiled in 1935, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles, its purpose was to support Adolf Hitler's...

 Test Site was used for testing experimental aircraft (Erprobungsflugzeug) such as the Heinkel He 176 (flown at Peenemünde on June 20, 1939) and the Messerschmitt Me 163
Messerschmitt Me 163
The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet, designed by Alexander Lippisch, was a German rocket-powered fighter aircraft. It is the only rocket-powered fighter aircraft ever to have been operational. Its design was revolutionary, and the Me 163 was capable of performance unrivaled at the time. Messerschmitt...

 rocket-powered fighter (code name
Code name
A code name or cryptonym is a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word. Code names are often used for military purposes, or in espionage...

d 'Peenemünde 30' by British intelligence - the '30' referring to the object's measured wingspan in feet). At the northeast edge of the concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

 airfield was a launch ramp for testing the V-1 flying bomb
V-1 flying bomb
The V-1 flying bomb, also known as the Buzz Bomb or Doodlebug, was an early pulse-jet-powered predecessor of the cruise missile....

 and, on which in 1943, RAF officer Constance Babington Smith
Constance Babington Smith
Constance Babington Smith MBE Legion of Merit FRSL was a journalist and writer.Babington Smith was the daughter of the senior Civil Servant Henry Babington Smith. She was educated at home at Chinthurst, England and in France, before moving to London in adult life...

, working at RAF Medmenham
RAF Medmenham
RAF Medmenham was a Royal Air Force station based at Danesfield House near Medmenham, in Buckinghamshire, England.Activities there specialized in photographic intelligence, and it was once the home of the RAF Intelligence Branch...

, detected a small winged aircraft ('Peenemünde 20') while viewing an Allied reconnaissance photograph
V-1 and V-2 Intelligence
Intelligence on the V-1 and V-2 weapons developed by the Germans for attacks on the United Kingdom during the Second World War was important to countering them...

. The airfield was also used for take-off of Heinkel He 111
Heinkel He 111
The Heinkel He 111 was a German aircraft designed by Siegfried and Walter Günter in the early 1930s in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Often described as a "Wolf in sheep's clothing", it masqueraded as a transport aircraft, but its purpose was to provide the Luftwaffe with a fast medium...

 for initial air-launch testing of V-1s. V-1 launch crew training was at the nearby resort of Zempin
Zempin is a German municipality and the smallest seaside resort on Usedom island. It lies between Zinnowitz and Koserow on the narrowest part of the island, between the Baltic Sea and the Achterwasser, a bay of the Oder Lagoon....

, and after the August 1943 Operation Hydra bombing
Bombing of Peenemünde in World War II
Operation Hydra was a Royal Air Force attack on the Peenemünde Army Research Center on the night of 17/18 August 1943. It began the Operation Crossbow strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany's V-weapon programme...

 of the area, V-1 flight testing was moved to Brüsterort. Peenemünde West also developed WWII night-navigation and radar systems
Battle of the beams
The Battle of the Beams was a period early in the Second World War when bombers of the German Air Force used a number of increasingly accurate systems of radio navigation for night bombing. British "scientific intelligence" at the Air Ministry fought back with a variety of increasingly effective...

 (Dr. Johannes Plendl
Johannes Plendl
Johannes "Hans" Plendl , German radar pioneer, was the scientist whose radio navigation techniques made possible the early German bombing successes in World War II.-Biography:...

). After the 2nd Belorussian Front
2nd Belorussian Front
The 2nd Belorussian Front was a military formation of Army group size of the Soviet Army during the Second World War...

 under General Konstantin Rokossovsky
Konstantin Rokossovsky
Konstantin Rokossovskiy was a Polish-origin Soviet career officer who was a Marshal of the Soviet Union, as well as Marshal of Poland and Polish Defence Minister, who was famously known for his service in the Eastern Front, where he received high esteem for his outstanding military skill...

 captured the Swinemünde
Świnoujście is a city and seaport on the Baltic Sea and Szczecin Lagoon, located in the extreme north-west of Poland. It is situated mainly on the islands of Uznam and Wolin, but also occupies smaller islands, of which the largest is Karsibór island, once part of Usedom, now separated by a Piast...

 port and Usedom
Usedom is a Baltic Sea island on the border between Germany and Poland. It is situated north of the Szczecin Lagoon estuary of the River Oder in Pomerania...

 island on May 5, 1945, the airfield became part of the Soviet Zone of Occupation
Allied Occupation Zones in Germany
The Allied powers who defeated Nazi Germany in World War II divided the country west of the Oder-Neisse line into four occupation zones for administrative purposes during 1945–49. In the closing weeks of fighting in Europe, US forces had pushed beyond the previously agreed boundaries for the...



In 1956, the airfield received a new 2,465 metre-long concrete runway, which is oriented in a northwesterly direction and allows the operation of modern military jet planes. A further landmark is the collection of radio beacons at the northwest end, which were built on artificial islands in the sea. In 1961, the airfield was transferred to the National People's Army
National People's Army
The National People’s Army were the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic .The NVA was established in 1956 and disestablished in 1990. There were frequent reports of East German advisors with Communist African countries during the Cold War...

 (NVA), which used it until 1989. After 1989, the airfield was used among other things as parking area of former military vehicles of the NVA. From Summer 2010, a high-performance jet trainer
Jet trainer
A Jet trainer is typically a turbofan or turbojet powered training aircraft, intended either for general aviation flying training or for more advanced jet aircraft. Jet trainers are typically divided into civilian and military, and custom designs versus versions of existing aircraft...

An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air, or, in general, the atmosphere of a planet. An aircraft counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using the dynamic lift of an airfoil, or in a few cases the downward thrust from jet engines.Although...

 Aero L-39
Aero L-39
The Aero L-39 Albatros is a high-performance jet trainer aircraft developed in Czechoslovakia to meet requirements for a "C-39" during the 1960s to replace the L-29 Delfín...

 Albatros of the former National People's Army
National People's Army
The National People’s Army were the armed forces of the German Democratic Republic .The NVA was established in 1956 and disestablished in 1990. There were frequent reports of East German advisors with Communist African countries during the Cold War...

(NVA) is back on Peenemünde Airfield.
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