The Division z.V. was formed per 1 October 1944 to control the missions of the V 2 rockets, succeeding in command the LXV. AK z.b.V., which lost responsability for those operations per 12 September 1944. The designation “z.V.” in contrast to “z.b.V.” (often and commonly used to denote a staff/unit for special purpose) is a unique appendix for a unit ! It means “zur Vergeltung” [for restribution / retaliation] and is derived from the naming of the rockets as so-called “Vergeltungswaffen” (V-Waffen).
The organisational structures and the command levels to run and to improve the rocket program during the year 1944 can be characterized as a matter of confusion sometimes and a struggle about competences and abilities in general within the triangle of Heer, Luftwaffe and SS. After the 20th July plot the control more and more shifted to the SS and Himmler. Dr. Ing. Kammler was given command over all V 2 units on 31 August 1944, immediately after this branch was subordinated directly to Himmler by Hitler. On 6 September 1944 he was appointed as deputy of the A 4 program ["Bevollmächtigter des Reichsführers-SS für das A 4-Programm"] and responsible leader for the operations of all the so-called “Fernraketen” (V 2 at first, and V 1 consequently later, too). Following the very first shots of the A 4 (= V 2) on 7 September 1944 - attack towards Paris, started near Malmedy and later the day the first attack on London, started from the northern outskirts of Den Haag by 2./Art.Abt. 485 (mot.), the tendency was to have one headquarter for those V 2 operations. The creation of a new divisional structure in order to merge and combine all V 2 units and activities was one of the next measures taken. Later in November 44 the special units [Sonderverbände] "Hochdruckpumpe" (V 3) and "Rheinbote" (on 13.11.) have been incorporated to the division, as well as the Flak rocket "Enzian", through an approval by Hitler on 28 November 44. In the end of January 1945 the division was restructured and redesignated Armeekorps z.V.

Commanders

SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant der Waffen-SS Dr. Ing. Hans Kammler (01 Oct 1944 – 27 Jan 1945)

Area of operations

Western Front (Belgium , Netherlands , Germany) (Oct 1944 – Jan 1945)

Holders of high awards

Holders of the German Cross in Gold (6)
- Hohmann, Ludwig, 30.12.1944, Oberst, Einsatzstab 2/Div. z.V. Reichsführer SS
- Kammler, Dr.-Ing. Hans, 28.11.1944, SS-Gruppenführer und Generalleutnant d. W-SS, Kdr. Div. z.V.
- Müller, Jürgen, 22.12.1944, Hauptmann, Versuchsbatterie 444
- Neusch, Hans-Klaus, 22.12.1944, Hauptmann, 2./Art.Abt. 485 (mot)
- Ploetz von, Bernd, 30.12.1944, Major, Gruppenleiter Reichsführer SS Sonderbev. 2 (Div. z.V.)
- Salomon, Götz, 22.12.1944, Hauptmann, 1./Art.Abt. 485 (mot)

Order of battle

V 2 (rocket facilities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Eifel, and Westerwald) :
- Gruppe Nord (Gefechtsstand in Kleve):
- Heeres-Artillerie-Abteilung 485 (mot)
- Heeres-Lehr- und Versuchsbatterie 444
- SS-Werfer-Batterie 500 (SS-Hstuf. Johannes Miesel)
Gruppe Süd (Gefechtsstand in Euskirchen) :
- Heeres-Artillerie-Abteilung 836 (mot) (later upgraded to Artillerie-Regiment z.b.V. 901)
?: Heeres-Artillerie-Abteilung 953 (mot)
“Hochdruckpumpe“ (V 3) and “Rheinbote“
- Flakrakete “Enzian“

A V2 rocket being launched from near The Hague
v2-launch-hague
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Hochdruckpumpe V-3, probably on the island of Wolin
v3-hochdruckpumpe
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)

Sources used

BA-MA RH 24-30
Kriegstagebuch OKW
Andreas Schulz, Günter Wegman & Dieter Zinke - Deutschlands Generale und Admirale, Teil V: Die Generale der Waffen-SS und der Polizei 1933-1945, Band 2 (Biblio-Verlag Bissendorf 2005)
Georg Tessin - Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1939-1945
Steven J Zaloga - German V-weapon sites 1943-1945
Steven J Zaloga - V-2 Ballistic Missile 1942-52

Reference material on this unit

After the Battle, No 114 - The V3 and V4

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