Shotesham – Shotesham Rocket

Located near to the village of Shotesham, near to All Saints Church, is this sign which gives some history about why there’s a hole here.

The depression, which is a little hard to make out here now because of the trees, was caused by a German V2 missile which caused damage to 43 buildings in the village. It was fired on 6 October 1944, the only such attack in the UK that day, and fortunately no-one was hurt during the explosion. As the sign notes, it’s not entirely clear what the Germans were trying to hit, but it’s thought that it might have been the Radar Station at Upper Stoke. So, it wasn’t a marvellously accurate attack, as that’s a few miles away.

The rocket was fired from Rijsterbos in the Netherlands and it travelled at around 3,000 miles per hour and descended from a height of fifty miles. The rockets caused significant damage to the area where they landed, with craters being around twenty metres in width and eight metres in depth. If this would have been developed and used earlier in the war, its impact could have been terrifying as they were nearly impossible for the British military to be able to stop once they were fired.