V1 launch site Vacquerie le Boucq

At this location 6 km southeast of Hesdin in northern France, the Germans, in 1943, built a base for the launch of their v1 rockets against England. The base was very simple and consisted of a ramp with a protective wall and various buildings for storing and preparing the rockets.

There were many bases such as this in northern France. The base received the rockets from the production plants and they were prepared and fired at the base.

The V1 rocket could not be controlled, so the ramp had to be pointing directly at the target. The ramp in Vacquerie le Boucq pointed towards London, 230 km away.

The distance from the ramp to the target was of great importance, since the V1 first struck the ground when it ran out of fuel or a special device turned off for the addition. The system was simple, but not very accurate.

The simple and light construction and the small size of the base itself, was a deliberate choice by the Germans. The base was quick and cheap to build. The storage bunker was curved at one end and was called  a “ski resort” by the Allies. All these "ski" sites were heavily bombed and the Germans therefore used mobile launch vehicles instead. The launch site at Vacquerie le Boucq was never put into use, but was retained just to attract the Allied bombers.

The threat of V1 rockets ended in late 1944 when the entire area was conquered by Canadian and British troops.

Back in the fields of Vacquerie le Boucq, is the protective wall and part of some of the buildings.