The V-1 Flying Bomb Was the First of Adolf Hitler’s ‘Retaliatory Weapons’


V-1 (Fieseler Fi 103)
Engine: Argus As 109-014 pulse-jet engine
Size: 27 ft 4 inches
Wingspan: 17 ft 7 inches
Fuselage diameter: 2 ft 9 inches
Weight: 4,740 kilos
Armament: 1,870-pound Amatol high-explosive warhead
Launchers: Floor launched from a Walter WR 2.3 ramp (with six to eight modular sections totaling between 118 and 158 ft lengthy) or air-dropped in pairs from a Heinkel He 111H-22 bomber
Steerage: Askania autopilot with gyro inertial platform and magnetic compass
Operational vary: 160 miles

By 1942 Adolf Hitler was eager to wreak vengeance on Britain, each for the humiliation it had handed him in 1940 and for its ongoing bombing marketing campaign towards Germany. That June the Luftwaffe started growth of an affordable, disposable guided flying bomb with a welded sheet metal fuselage and plywood wings. The Fieseler Fi 103 (often known as the V-1, because it was the primary of Germany’s proposed Vergeltungswaffen, or “retaliatory weapons”) achieved its first powered launch that Christmas Eve, although not till June 13, 1944—per week after Allied forces landed in Normandy, France—had been the primary V-1s launched at London.

Germany hurled greater than 10,000 V-1s at Britain and a few 2,500 at Belgium earlier than its final launch website was overrun on March 29, 1945. The “buzz bombs” (so nicknamed for his or her distinctive engine stutter) killed an estimated 11,000 folks in each nations. Fortunately, Allied anti-aircraft and air-to-air defenses knocked down 1000’s of “divers” (as British Royal Air Drive fighter pilots known as them). By fastidiously slipping a wing tip beneath that of a V-1 after which “turtling” it, a pilot may disrupt the flying bomb’s gyros and ship it spiraling uncontrolled, although scores of crewmen paid for such daring with their lives.

The one warning of an imminent V-1 strike was when a cutoff sequence killed the thrill bomb’s noisy engine, sending it right into a silent 10- to 12-second dive. But the V-1 by no means sparked the extent of terror Hitler hoped would strain the Allies to sue for peace. After the battle the USA, France and the Soviet Union every reverse-engineered the V-1, which is considered a crude progenitor of the modern-day cruise missile. MH

This text was printed within the March 2022 problem of Navy Historical past. For extra tales, subscribe and go to us on Fb.

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