Rocket experiments in the area of Cuxhaven

Between 1933 and 1964 numerous rocket experiments were carried out in the area of Cuxhaven, Germany.

1930s and 1940s

  • In April 1933 Gerhard Zucker launched a mail rocket, which was to fly from Duhnen to the island of Neuwerk, but which fell to Earth after flying a few meters.
  • During World War II some test flights of Fi-103 (V1) rockets were flown from the military camp of Altenwalde. In 1945, Kurt Debus was ordered to install a launch pad for testing A4-rockets in the area of Cuxhaven, as a replacement for Stand VII in Peenemünde; however, the project could not be completed due to the military situation towards the end of the war. Nevertheless, in October 1945, these works supplied a basis for "Operation Backfire", a demonstration of three A4-rocket launches to military representatives of the Allied Occupation Forces. One launch pad and two concrete shelters were built for "Operation Backfire", near the road between Arensch and Sahlenburg, where some remnants still exist today.