Bos - The Hague Forest
The Haagse Bos, a forested park inside the city of Den Haag (The Hague),
is one of the oldest forests in the Netherlands. In the forest there is
a Dutch palace built in 1640, so this gives you an idea of the history
related to the area.
Haagse Bos was used frequently by the rocket troops during the V-2 operations
in the city. Its dense cover, good road network and easy access to the
various firing points throughout the city, made it a very desirable location
to the Germans.
So large was the area that between Christmas 1944 and January 31, 1945,
several times more than one hundred A-4/V-2 rockets were reportedly staged
here, near the road Leidsestraatweg. Rocket preparations and some field
work was done in the Haagse Bos, also a few launching sites were here.
During the cold winter months, many Den Haag residents needed to gather
firewood from the park, but the area was restricted and off-limits to civilians.
Still, many children managed to get into the area and bring pieces of wood
back to their families.
The area was subject to Allied bombing attacks. On March 3, 1945, fifty-six
Mitchell bombers flew to Den Haag intending to target Duindigt and the
western portion of the Haagse Bos, where many V-2s were stored. Because
of a navigation mistake, the first bombs were dropped to the southeast
of the Haagse Bos instead of northwest, a deviation of 2,500 meters. Homes
in the Bezuidenhout quarter suffered heavy damage with 486 civilians killed.
From launch sites in the Haagse Bos, some of the last V-2 attacks took
place in late March 1945.