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Did the Germans use the V1 and V2 missile system on the Eastern Front in WW2?

Discussion in 'Wonder Weapons' started by Brian Ghilliotti, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Brian Ghilliotti

    Brian Ghilliotti New Member

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    We have heard the legendary use these missile systems on the Western Front, which in my opinion were counter-productive, just stiffening the resolve of the British, American, and "western" allies to speed up the war.

    But we hear very little about deployment of these missile systems against the Russians, which makes me wonder if they were deployed on the Eastern Front at all. If not, why were they not used against the Russians?

    Brian Ghilliotti
     
  2. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    What would one use them against on the Eastern Front?
     
  3. A-58

    A-58 Cool Dude Patron  

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    I've never read or heard of any use of those weapons on the Eastern Front. Neither were tactical weapons, so lwd's statement illustrates the point.
     
  4. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    They weren't very good strategic weapons either. The V1's had a hard time hitting London. By the time they were in play what targets existed for them on the eastern front? There wasn't much industry left and most of the cities had been fought over at least twice. Almost no hope of hitting anything as small as a rail head and higher HQ's were small enough and mobile enough that they wouldn't make good targets. In the West V2's averaged what 5 or was it 15 casualties each and that's firing at cities that were still inhabited.
     
  5. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    AFAIK, their only tactical use was against the Ludendorff Bridge, and the closest the came was 500-800 yards to the bridge.
     
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  6. Frank Ruiz

    Frank Ruiz New Member

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    No, they didn't use any tactical weapons on Eastern Front. At least I've never heard of that.
     
  7. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    In one sense you are correct. The V weapons did not force the British to surrender. By 1944 Hitler's best hope for winning the war was to find some miracle weapon that would force the British to surrender before the cross channel assault. Hitler thought that, as a democracy, Britain was more susceptible to terror weapons than the USSR.

    The story of the V weapons was not that they were a simple waste of resources.

    #1 The resolve of individual Britons was far less certain in 1944 against the V weapons than in 1940. In 1940 there was no alternative to resistance. German conquest and domination looked a very possible future. In 1944 it looked as if there was a future beyind the war. The V weapon attacks June-September cost 20% of industrial production in SE England.

    #2 While the V2 was an expensive way to throw a ton of explosive 300 miles and could not be stopped, the V1 was a cheap launch system that cost a fortune in counter measures. Durign summer 1944 some 50,000 troops and hundreds of artillery pieces were dedicated to stopping V1s. The V1 was a very effective wasy of waging attritional economic warfare.

    #3 The Germans only managed to launch a fraction of the planned weapons against Britain, Had they really hit London with a ton of HE a minute the results might have been very different.
     
  8. harolds

    harolds Member

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    A point of clarification, if you would Sheldrake. What were those 50,000 troops doing? I realize that some were serving the AA guns but I can't see where it took 50,000 men to work a few hundred AA guns. That's the equivalent of three divisions. True, the V1 forced the British to keep men in those AAA battalions rather than being redeployed as infantry, but 50,000?
     
  9. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member Patron  

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    I don't know when you consider support troops needed to keep it in action. According to Wiki the standard 3.7 inch AA gun took a 7 man crew, but of course that doesn't include communications, quartermaster/logistics, battery command staff, battalion, brigade etc. I think the ratio of 'trigger pullers'/support in WWII was 1 to 3 or 4.
     
  10. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The US until was still allocating AA guns to continental defense in 43. A fair number of those got shipped over to Britain once it really sunk in that the US didn't really need much in the way of AA guns. Likewise they didn't have a whole lot of use for Meteors since they didn't want to use them over German occupied territory. So how much of the anti V1 effort was really just repurposing things that would have been there and/or were developed anyway? The threat of German air raids and or recon craft was enough to keep a fair amount of AA and fighters in B retain anyway..
     
  11. harolds

    harolds Member

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    We didn't need AAA so much, but we did need infantry replacements! So the V1 at least kept some military men pinned down in England for certain. It also kept a few typhoon squadrons busy, but I'm curious what those 50,000 men were doing. Since Sheldrake is quite a few time zones away, we'll probably have to wait until tomorrow.

    The idea of one V1 hitting London every minute could never have been realized. Their guidance system was pretty much the same as a torpedo. Even the ones that weren't intercepted or "spoofed" to land where they'd do the least damage, had a high degree of error on their own.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018

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