Peenemónde was a special weapons research establishment set up in 1936 on the German island of Usedom in the Baltic Sea. Research and development on both the V1 flying bomb and the V2 rocket took place at Peenemónde.
British intelligence had known of the existence of Peenemónde since November 1939, but it was only in early 1943, when various sources indicated that rocket research was taking place there, that a decision was taken to attack the facility. On the night of 17 August 1943, 596 bombers were directed against Peenemónde. 560 bombers ultimately made it to the target and, despite a vigorous response by German night fighters, inflicted heavy damage. The facility was able to continue operating on a much reduced scale but much of its work was moved elsewhere. It has been estimated that the raid delayed the deployment of the V2 rocket by up to six months. American aircraft subsequently bombed Peenemónde on another three occasions.