*** war and social upheaval: World War II European air campaign secret weapons V-1 V1 buzz bombs

German Cruise and Balistic Missles: Vergeltungswaffe Weapons

Figure 1.--This little London boy with his pup in November 1944 sits besides his damaged home. Hitler tried to win the War in 1940 with the Blit, essentially destroying British houses. The simple calculation is that utilizing scare military resources to destroy houses does not win wars. Hitler learned nothing when th Blitz failed. He attemped the samr tactic in 1944 again with no benefit to the German war effort.

The NAZI V weapons are sometimes referred to as rockets. Rockets were effectively used in the World War II, but the German V-weapons were not rockets. The V-1 was a unmanned jet bomb or primitive cruise missle. The V-2 was a much more complex weapon system, a balistic missle. They were both innovative eapons developed fter years of expensive experimentation and using critical materials. The V-2 in particular was a technological marvel. However impressive the research and enginering involved, with only a conventional war head they were not military weapons. This is because they could not be aimed with any precission. They did inspire public fear as intended, but inaccuracy made them militarily ineffective. Also, the ever-increasing Allied strength in Europe following the June 1944 D-Day invasion ance made the V-weapon mission practically hopeless from the beginning. Germany could not perfect the weapon fast enough or produce enough of them to avoid defeat. They could hit cities, but not any specific targets in cities. And even city trgeting was not very precise as the Germans had no way of knowing just where these weapons hit. Hitler had learned nothing from the Battle of Britain. Using valuable military assetts to destroy homes was not going to win the War.

V-1 - Buzz Bombs

The V-1 was essentially a primitive cruise missle, but without a sophisticated targetting mechanism. It could have, however, if given a greater priority have had a significant impact on the War. As it was, the V-1s did considerable damage, but almost entirely to civilians. The Germans begining June 13 used the V-1 to target London and other British cities after the D-Day landings. V stood foer "vengence", retribution for the Allied bombing of Germany. The Germans launched about 13,000 buzz bombs accross the Channel at England. Only about 2,500 of these hit the intended targets, primarily London. The V-1 could not be accurately targeted. They were lucky to hit a city, but even this was difficult because the Luftwaffe at this stage of the wae could not even manage air recognisance over Britain. The British were able to deal with the V-1 offensive in a number of ways. In accurate news reports mislead the Germans in how to target the weapns. Anti-aircraft guns were rushed to the Channel coast. The RAF intensified fighter patrols.

V-2 - Balistic Missles

The V1 could be shot down, but there was no defense against the V-2 balistic missiles which soon followed. The V-weapons had been supported by Hitler because of their potential as terror weapons which could strike at British cities. Unlike the V-1 bizz bombs there was no sound associated with V-1. It was faster han the speed of sound. All the people of London experincd were a sudden explosion. It was also a very expensive weapon. Several monbers could b built for the cost of a singe V-2. Because of their lack of accuracy, however, they had no real value as a military weapon. The German scientists had developed plans for larger missiles that could hit New York and other East Coast American cities. A Dutch reader tells us, "I have seen and heard the V-2 weapons in 1944/45 when I was a boy of 16 in the Netherlands. Many of them were launched from occupied Holland and Belgium to target England. They were extremely fast, sometimes like a lightning bolt and they made a loud, whistling sound. Quite a few did not function right and exploded in the air or came down in the fields or on houses and buildings often with disastrous results. We started seeing them at the end of 1944 and in the beginning of 1945. Several came down in our neighborhood. Most of them were launched near The Hague in the Netherlands and Antwerp, Belgium."


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Created: 2:18 AM 8/18/2017
Last updated: 2:18 AM 8/18/2017