Visit to Peenemünde

Expedition 2: Test stand VII
September 8, 2002

The test stand VII (Prüfstand VII) served for testing the A4 rockets.
On October 3rd, 1942 the first successful launch of a rocket into space took place from here.

At the junction where the street to the air field branches off the street between Karlshagen and Peenemünde, there is opposite to the uncovered foundations of the former main guard a small parking place, from which a narrow way goes eastwards to the beach. A barrier locks the access to the former Werk Ost for motor vehicles, but for the interested wanderer the way to test stand VII is not locked at all. However, a sign points out the danger by ammunition and duds. On foot, or better by bicycle, you can reach the test stand over the old concrete or asphalt ways, and as long you keep staying on the ways, the danger by ammunition might be quite low.

This way leads directly to test stand VII - about 2 km walk

Model of test stand VII

The test stand consists of a ring mound, about 100 x 150 m in size, from the center of which the rockets were launched.
The mound survived the times almost completely. Inside the mound, which is overgrown with grass, ferns and pines today, is the exhaust trench. This was a water-cooled concrete trench, over which the rocket engines were fired in static tests. Although everything was blown up after the war, the exhaust trench is still very well recognizable today.

Memorial stone at the launch site of the A4 rockets

Remains of the exhaust trench, today it is filled with water and has become a biotope

An A4 fuel tank ?  An allied dud ?  NVA legacy ?  Civilisation garbage ?

The mound is still in good shape

Outside of the mound there was the giant assembly hall, of which only a large hill auf concrete and bricks remains today. The rockets were moved from the assembly hall to the launch place on a sliding platform. The trench of the sliding platform is still in good shape and filled with water today.

Remains of the assembly hall

Trench of the sliding platform

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Text and photos: Copyright by F. Leuband
Updated  2003/12/27