502. Unguided missiles

502. Unguided missiles

25-03-1945 - 26-03-1945

Huttenwal-Haarstraat, Rijssen , The Netherlands
Keywords for this historic location
Bombing Destruction Liberation Victory and defeat
Liberation Route Europe

502. Unguided missiles

From 1944, the German war industry has sufficiently evolved to fit jet engines to bombs. This new weapon bombards London and later Antwerp. The mobile V1 and V2 rocket launchers are extensively deployed around Almelo, Nijverdal and Rijssen. Sabotage causes considerable unintended extra suffering in the area.

In the winter of 1944-1945, everyone living in the area between Almelo, Nijverdal, Deventer and Zutphen was familiar with the sound of sputtering rockets. They were flying bombs, equipped with jet engines, popularly known as the V1 and V2. The Germans had called this new weapon ‘Vergeltungswaffe 1' in retaliation for the invasion of Normandy and all the losses that arose thereafter.

German engineers developed the weapon under considerable pressure from Hitler. They were built by using countless slave labourers, first in Peenemunde on the German north coast and later in abandoned mines in northern France. Under inhumane conditions, slave labourers saw the opportunity to sabotage the production of these unmanned jet aircraft. No wonder that during their launch or flight, a lot often went wrong.

And on the night of 25th-26th of March 1945, just days before liberation, unfortunately things go terribly wrong above Rijssen. A V1 fired from Almelo crashes down on the Huttenwal in the centre of the Rijssen in the middle of the night, perhaps due to sabotage. As a result, nine people are killed.

To make matters worse, as the flames are being extinguished, a British plane nosedives towards the conflagration and drops its high explosive bombs. Another 14 people are killed, including five fire fighters. There are many wounded. The sadness and dismay is great.

Tourist information

Huttenwal-Haarstraat, Rijssen - GPS code N 52 18.464, E 6 31.067

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502. Unguided missiles

In the winter of 1944-1945, everyone living in the area between Almelo, Nijverdal, Deventer and Zutphen was familiar with the sound of sputtering rockets....

Huttenwal-Haarstraat, Rijssen , The Netherlands

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