At the tail end of World War 2, Hitler unleashed a terrifying new weapon on London and other cities: the V2 rocket. This was the world’s first modern ballistic missile, and the first manmade object to reach the edge of space. Hundreds struck the capital, destroying whole blocks and killing many.
Four years ago, we started a project to map these strikes. The response has been truly tremendous. Readers have supplied many new locations and, most importantly, shared eye-witness accounts. All have been added to the map, which now contains hundreds of personal memories. We even had two long-lost relatives rediscover each other in the comments section.
Google Maps turns out to be an excellent way of documenting this period in the capital’s history. Not only can we pin memories to specific locations, but the satellite view readily shows how many of the strike locations still bear visible craters or mismatched housing.
The map has just been updated to include the past year’s worth of reader memories. We’ve also added the locations of every strike in the former borough of West Ham, using an official war map kindly provided by reader Andy Halford. The project is still a work in progress, however, and we still have something like 100 locations to track down. If you have any information or memories you wish to share, either add them as comments to the original article, or email firstname.lastname@example.org