Lager Dora, nr Salza, Germany V-2 Site

German campaigns and battles 1919-1945.

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101stDoc
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Lager Dora, nr Salza, Germany V-2 Site

Post by 101stDoc » Wed Jun 30, 2004 5:07 pm

I'm not exactly sure if this' the right forum thread to put this under, but here goes.

On April 11th, 1945, this site was captured by the US 3rd AD with little to no fighting. It was a V2 assembly point, supposedly guarded by SS (tho I think this may be incorrect).

What unit was responsible as of it's loss for it's defense? What other units served there since it's inception?

Doc

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Post by Panzer Mooyman » Sun Jul 04, 2004 7:33 pm

Wasn't the whole project under command of SS Sonderstabes Kammler?

I've read a mention of the SS-Sonderstab Kammler-Mittelbau somewhere. That was directly under control of General Kammler. In charge of Sicherheit and Abwehr at camp Dora was SS Sturmbannführer Otto Förschner.

Hope this helps in a way.

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Post by 101stDoc » Sun Jul 04, 2004 8:44 pm

Hrm. That could be, but I'm not sure. Most of the labor there was via slave labor, and supposedly SS ran the joint, but with WW2 you never know. A lot of stuff is usually chalked up to the SS, so it's always wise, IMO, to err on caution...

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Post by sniper1shot » Wed Aug 04, 2004 6:40 pm

There was a TV show on this a few months back on the CDN History channel on just this subject. There were prisoners and Jews used to assemble the V2. 1000's died due the starvation, exposure etc. If I am not mistaken (though I usually am) the camp was named Dora.
They dove in the caves, now underwater, and it is exactly as the caves were left.....The assembly lines etc were run by the SS.
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Post by Geoff Walden » Wed Aug 11, 2004 6:32 am

The assembly site was called the "Mittelwerk" or "Mittelbau" - this is sometimes said to refer to its general location in the "middle" of Germany, and sometimes said to refer to the fact that the V2s were assembled in the middle part of this tunnel system. It was a tunnel system in an old gypsum mine in the Kohnstein hill near Nordhausen, on the southern border of the Harz Mountains. Two parallel tunnels were dug through the mountain, linked by a ladder-like series of lateral chambers (that is, it looks a lot like a curved ladder in plans). The site was first planned for strategic petroleum reserve storage, but was appropriated by the SS for construction of V2 and V1 rockets (and other projects), after Peenemunde was bombed.

The adjacent concentration camp, to house slave laborers from Buchenwald, was called "Dora" (sometimes also called "Mittelbau"). At first, the slaver laborers were housed right in the tunnels - exposed to constant noise, dust, and cold humid air, with only the most primitive of living facilities. Later the camp was built.

The Soviets blew up the tunnel entrances after the war (after the US, British, and Soviets removed most of the V2 assemblies), and the tunnels were buried. One of the main tunnels was reopened by the Dora Memorial Site as a museum in 1995. Guided tours are given to the public in this part of the tunnel and one of the side chambers.

When they explored the reopened tunnels, including some flooded parts, they found an amazing array of V1 and V2 parts that had been left by the Soviets (the floors in the sections just beyond the public part are still littered with V1 parts today). Most of these are still there, although some V2 engine assemblies have been removed and sent to various museums.

Geoff Walden

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