Towards the end of World War II, in September 1944, the German Wehrmacht commenced launching V2 rockets (mostly) against London and Antwerp. Known in German as Vergeteltungswaffe 2 (‘Retribution’ or ‘Vengeance’ Weapon 2), the supersonic missile was intended as a retaliation for the Allied bombings against German cities, but Hitler hoped also, forelornly, that it – and other new weapons – would turn the tide of the war in the Nazis’ favour.
Travelling at more than 5,500 km/h at the peak of its trajectory (and at more than 2,500 km/h on impact) there was no way to intercept and destroy a V2 rocket once launched. Its supersonic speed meant also that there was no warning of an impending impact, no air raid warnings that an attack was expected. The warhead contained close to 1000 kg of high explosives. Wikipedia:
A scientific reconstruction carried out in 2010 demonstrated that the V-2 creates a crater 20 metres (66 feet) wide and 8 metres (26 feet) deep, ejecting approximately 3,000 tons of material into the air.
From September 1944 to March 1945, 1,358 V2s hit London, resulting in 2,754 deaths and 6,523 injured.
Having a range of 320 km (200 miles), and the coasts of Northern France and Belgium already in Allied hands, the majority of V2 launching sites were along the North Sea coast of The Netherlands. In December 1944 Dutch resistance reported that rockets had been transported to the Haagse Bos, a wooded recreational area which borders the centre of The Hague (Den Haag).
At 01:28 on 24th March 1945, a V2 rocket was launched from the Haagse Bos, aimed at Poplar. Emergency Services reported that at 01:31 it hit Ovex Wharf off Stewart Street on the Isle of Dogs, destroying what was left of the already bomb-damaged wharf (the times are not precise; the rocket took about 5 minutes to travel from The Hague to the Island).
I have not found any reports of casualties caused by the V2 strike. Probably there were none due to it being the early hours on an industrial site. Other areas of East London were less fortunate. Three days later, on the 27th, a rocket launched by the battalion responsible for the Ovex Wharf V2 (Battalion 3./485) hit Hughes Mansions in Vallance Road, killing 134 people.
This was the last V2 to fall on London. In the following days, V2 battalions in the Haagse Bos retreated to Germany to avoid the approaching Allied forces.
As for Ovex Wharf, it was taken over by ship-repairing and engineering firm, Rye Arc Welding Company, who constructed a range of new buildings on the derelict site. They left in 1973 and now housing occupies the site.
I went on a walk through the Haagse Bos and close-by Wassenaar not that long ago. At the time I had no real idea of its WWII history (it was not only a V2 launching site, it was an integral part of the ‘Atlantic Wall’) until I started encountering concrete bunkers and other remains. It’s a pretty and peaceful place; hard to imagine a missile being launched from these woods and then exploding on the Island five minutes later.