The V-1.

by Daniel Russ on August 26, 2011


The V-1 or Vergeltungswaffe, “revenge weapon” was a World War II cruise missile, the first of its kind, built by Germany and used primarily against the British. Also called the Buzz Bomb and the Doodlebug, the V-1 was powered by a pulse jet engine, and launched off of a rail. Later in the war when Pennemunde, the research facility where they were developed and manufactured was destroyed and Germany lost launch sites V-1s were then launched from aircraft. Those had  sophisticated gyroscopic stabilizers, tracking equipment and carried a weighted pendulum system in the fore and aft to maintain attitude in flight.
A small propeller on the nose of the weapon turned while the V-1 was in flight and counted down to a preset point where the engine shut itself down and the rudder went into neutral. This made the V-1 turn into a steep dive, and an oddly silent one.


While the technology of the V-1 was well advanced of the technology that Britain the Soviet Union or the US had at the time, it was still subject to mechanical and other technical problems. 10,000 were fired at London, and 2,491 reached the city. Others were either lost due to technical problems, fighters, AAA, or barrage balloons. British fighters made short work of the V-1s, many pilots had incredibly good shoot down records. Although a few V-1s that were shot down also destroyed the pursuing fighter because the one-ton warhead of Amatol had an incredible yield. Mosquitoes, Mustangs, Tempests and Spitfires and of course British radar also helped suppress successful V-1 attacks.
V-1s destroyed 1,127,000 structures, mostly homes and caused 23,000 casualties, virtually all of them were non combattants. All V-1s were fired between 1944 and 1945.



Related Posts:

  • Stay Tunes For Similar Posts

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Louis September 5, 2017 at 9:57 am

During the war for a time there was a mobile launch site near my Grandpartents home. They could hear the V-1 being launched. And then they would stop to see if they could hear the distinctive Plop-plop-plop-plo noise, until it faded in the distance. Sometimes it stopped, and then they knew that there would be an explosion nearby, as the V-1 would dive to the ground too early.
Recce plains would look for a series of bombcraters in a straight line, getting closer together the nearer they were to the launch site, and would then direct fighter bombers to destroy the site.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: