At the end of World War, end '44 and during '45, the city of Antwerp and the surrounding towns and villages came under relentless German attack with V1 flying bombs and V2 missiles. This is an often overlooked piece of World war history. More V1's and V2's fell in and near Antwerp than fell on London. Hitler wanted to disable the port of Antwerp and Allied supply routes, but due to the inprecise nature of these weapons, the entire region was bombarded.This caused widespread death and destruction.
For the people here it was sheer terror. I remember my grandparents telling me how they ran for cover when they heard the engine of the V1's cut out, meaning they started their descent, and how the V2 killed silently, without warning.
This is an excellent website about it :
V2ROCKET.COM - Antwerp - City of Sudden Death
On this website i found a period map showing the V1 and V2 impact points in the region. Since it was nice weather today, i decided to go and have a look. near my home i came across a first interesting relic in the park of a nearby revalidation home. This place was listed as a V2 impact point on the period map. After some looking i found the combustion chamber and nozzle of a V2, converted into a flower pot. The piece was painted white and red, and re-inforced with concrete to fulfill it's new peacefull duty. Nevertheless you can clearly see nozzle, and half of the combustion chamber, and a number of pipes and vents. These were used used to cool the chamber and nozzele during engine operation. Pictures below. The piece is turned upside down compared to it's original position.
The groundskeeper was working in the park, trimming the lawn, so i went to ask him about the V2 bit. he told that 'yeah.. it's some piece of crap from the war and i have more bits of it in my shed' . Thus, i followed him to a somewhat dilapitated shed in the corner of the park. There he pulled out the next piece from under a pile of rubbish. I am not sure what exact bit of the V2 this is, but it looks to have had a bit of a ding upon landing. It is conical in shape and i so hope it's the nose cone, but i know that's where the charge was located, so that would be a chance in a lifetime. It is made in some aluminium alloy with white and brown corrosion in and out, but with plenty of original grey paint. I asked if i could keep it, and to my surprise this fellow said yes .. So here it is for you to see.. my V2 piece! I would love to hear your opinions about this.
I am going back on of these days to talk to the manager of the place to see if i can also secure the combustion chamber/nozzle.. it would look great as a flower pot in my garden