As the facilities at Peenemunde were being constructed, the war was already taking men and material away from the project. Initially, it was attempted to make the V-2 project a high-priority project, guaranteeing the supplies and manpower required, but since Hitler was still not convinced that rockets were the answer to the war, he vetoed those attempts.
Feldmarschall Walter von Brauchitsch authorized the formation of a battalion of troops called Versuchskommando Nord (VKN or in English, Experimental Command North). Approximately 1,000 men were assembled into this new unit who had a background or education in physics or technical trades. They were employed immediately in the construction process.
After construction was complete, and when the V-2 was finally completed, the VKN was tasked with creating a training program for the field crews that would be using this weapon. When Hitler finally gave the green light to make the V-2 project high priority, a subunit called Versuchs Batterie 444 was created that was to develop firing procedures, giving field training and evaluating the A-4 (final production version of V-2) as a weapon system.
The buildings pictured here were built to house the unmarried military personnel making up part of this command.
After the war, the complex was used for the East German National People's Army, and subsequently the Bundeswehr until 1990.
When we first arrived at this location, we were faced with large, metal obstacles, and barbed wire. Immediately we became concerned that entry might be difficult. After a moment of careful observation, however, a point of entry presented itself.
As we were exploring the nearest buildings I caught the sound of very close movement. I slowly moved around the closest clump of trees and found myself staring at a deer. The building was shaped in such a way that the deer was now trapped. I motioned to my partner to move with me toward the building, giving the deer an easy out without panic and even more noise.
While I would have enjoyed exploring the property even longer than we did, we became concerned by the sounds of nearby partying and gunfire. That being said, I don't know that any period of time would have been sufficient.