February 17, 2018




German scientists evacuated the Peenemünde Army Research Center.  The first train departed from Peenemunde on February 17, 1945 with 525 people en route to Thuringia, Germany, (including Bleicherode, Sangerhausen (district), and Bad Sachsa) By mid-March the evacuation was complete.
The evacuation was called due to increased Allied bombing of the center.  During Operation Crossbow, the British aerial attacks on Peenemunde, began on the night of August 17-18, 1943,  followed a year later by bombing runs on July 18,  August 4, and August 25. They were carried out by the U.S. Eighth Air Force.  Operation Crossbow was possible only due to the work of the Polish underground.  In early 1943, two Polish inmates of Camp Trassenheide located adjacent to Peenemunde,  obtained maps, sketches and reports that they stole and smuggled to Polish Home Army Intelligence, and from there were sent to British intelligence. The Polish underground had provided two such reports which identified the "rocket assembly hall", "experimental pit", and "launching tower". The Allies gave the Polish men advance warning of the attack, but they could not leave due to tight SS security.

German submarine U-425 was depth charged and sunk by the British sloop HMS Lark and the corvette HMS Alnwick Castle near Murmansk. The U-boat had taken part in eight wolf packs throughout 1944.

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