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The Vergeltungswaffe V-Weapons

Discussion in 'Wonder Weapons' started by Kai-Petri, Dec 21, 2002.

  1. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The allied became aware of the German VI Flying Bomb project in August, 1943.

    On 22nd August an object had crashed in a turnip field on the island of Bornholm in the Baltic, roughly half-way between Germany and Sweden. It was a small pilotless aircraft bearing the number V83, and it was promptly photographed by the Danish Naval Officer-in-Charge on Bornholm, Lieutenant Commander Hasager Christiansen. He also made a sketch, and noted that the warhead was a dummy made of concrete.

    At first, we were not sure what he had found. From his sketch it was about 4 metres long, and it might have been a rather larger version of the HS 293 glider bomb that KG100 was now using against our warships in the Mediterranean. Indeed, it turned out that this particular bomb had been released from a Heinkel III, but it was in fact a research model (the 'V' probably stood for 'Versuchs' i.e. research) of the flying bomb about which we were going to hear so much in the next few months.

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWv1.htm
     
  2. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    The man who saved London; the story of Michel Hollard, D.S.O., Croix de Guerre.

    AUTHOR: Martelli, George.

    PUBLISHED: Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1961

    NOTES: First published in 1960 under title: Agent extraordinary.

    ------------

    I just managed to find the book a while ago from a second hand bookstore. Quite a fascinating story! He went to Switzerland and back some 84 times to deliver info to the British until he was caught. One reason he could stay ouf of Gestapo´s way was that the British did not finance his operations at all. They worked for the cause under cover. But even if they did not blow places up the organisation Agir he created was truly an important system for information for the western allied. Without the info on the V1 system early enough, who knows what would have happened...

    Get the book if you can!

    ----------

    As well a huge looking site in French!

    http://www.michel-hollard.com/

    Maybe Friedrich or someone else who speaks French can translate some interesting parts for us?
     
  3. Onthefield

    Onthefield Member

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    Germany was causing all this destruction in Britain and Western Europe, you'd think the Allies would have looked into it quicker and take action instead of having everyone hide in the subways. I don't know that much about the bombing but it seems not much was done against the launching of these bombs. :confused:
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    And here's a little more : -

    Between August, 1943 and September, 1944 the Allied Air Forces dropped 117,256 tons of bombs on specific 'Crossbow' ( V-Weapon ) targets, losing in the process 253 aircraft and 2,924 aircrew. One of these was Sqn. Ldr. Ian Bazalgette [​IMG] of 635 (PFF) Squadron, awarded the VC posthumously following an attack on V1 storage at Trossy-St-Maximin on 4/8/44.

    A recent book about this very subject is Steve Darlow's 'Sledgehammers For Tintacks - Bomber Command Combats The V1 Menace 1943- 1944' ( Grub Street, London, 2002 ).
     
  6. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    On one book on V2 weapons and the 'Crossbow' sites´ bombing , it was mentioned that after the early bombings the Germans left these and made the smaller and cheaper sites for V1 launching. Yet these 'Crossbow' sites were bombed quite often and the Germans would have laughed at this as "all the bombs would otherwise have been dropped to Germany but now were totally wasted to unusable launching sites"??

    Do you Martin or anyone else know of this any more? The smaller sites were harder to bomb of course but the bigger sites were totally kept out of busines by bombing them constantly, but is there knowledge whether or not the Germans had given up the bigger "Crossbow" sites permanently?? Could the allied bombing be directed to better and more worthy locations?

    :confused:
     
  7. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Without going in to too much detail, Kai, this is basically what happened. It was a 'running battle' between the bombers and the V-Weapon planners.


    After the Peenemunde raid, testing and production of V2s was moved deeper into Germany, beyond effective range of Bomber Command at that time.

    The V1s were originally to be launched from permanent 'Ski sites' in Northern France. These were quickly spotted by PR aircraft and were very heavily bombed. V2s were originally to be launched from gigantic bunkers near St Omer ( Eperlecques and La Coupole ). Again, these were saturated with heavy bombs ( including 'Tallboys' ) and were never used for their intended purpose. The same goes for the V3 bunker in the same area.

    Eventually, both V1s and V2s were efficiently launched from mobile batteries which could set up, launch, and dismantle before effective retaliatory action could be taken.

    The whole campaign is therefore one long delaying tactic. If the Germans had proceeded with their work unhindered, Southern England could have been bombarded with V weapons just as the massive build-up for D-Day was in progress.

    Don't forget the context of the time and the benefit of hindsight ! Most of the time, the Allies had very little idea of what they were actually bombing ; trying to do their best with reports from agents and the Resistance, plus photo-reconnaissance. It was only known that 'they' were 'up to something' ..... :eek:
     
  8. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    How come no V's were fired on the Normandy beach-head? :confused:
     
  9. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Because Hitler believed that the V weapons would terrify the British, crush their morale and force them to make peace... :rolleyes:
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Friedrich is quite right - the V1s were never intended for tactical use and were very inaccurate, needing a quite large target area ( ie : Greater London, which many of them missed.... ;) )

    The first one in any case didn't fall on London until June 13th.

    However, I do believe that V2s were targeted on the bridge at Remagen in March 1945.....
     
  11. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    Possibly the first remark by Hitler on secret weapons: Speech in Danzig September 19th 1939

    "England, with lies and hypocrisy, already has begun to fight against women and children. They found a weapon which they think is invincible: namely, sea power. And because they cannot be attacked with this weapon they think they are justified in making war with it against women and children - not only of enemies but also of neutrals if necessary.

    Let them make no mistake here, however. The moment could come very suddenly in which we could use a weapon with which we cannot be attacked. I hope then they do not suddenly begin to think of humaneness and of the impossibility of waging war against women and children. We Germans do not like that. It is not in our nature. In this campaign I gave an order to spare human beings. When columns cross a market-place it can occur that someone else becomes the victim of attack.


    http://www.hitler.org/speeches/09-13-39.html
     
  12. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Here's an interesting tidbit on the V-1 and Allied countermeasures. At one point early in the V-1 campaign there was a proposal to use approxmately 300 miles of abandoned railroad track around the London area to create a giant magnetic field powerful enough to disrupt the autopilot and compass equipment of a V-1. It was calculated that a 30MW powerplant would be required for this purpose and, for a short time this plan was actually considered for implementation.
    With the Allies learning more about the V-1, its guidance system and, vulnerabilities this plan was (in hindsight thankfully) discarded.
     
  13. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    A substantial number of V-1's were fired at Antwerp and it associated Port.

    And to make the V1 launch more mobile, some were launched from He111's from low level over the channel. very low speeds, araound 150mph or less made it hard for mossie NF to engage so the RAF had to dig out Beaufighters to chase them.
    About 40 He were fitted out with about 50% losses, mostly from "Operational" losses rather than shot down
     
  14. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    TA,

    we all have super scientists and other personnel and this: Lord Cherwell fought against this idea of a flying bomb for a long time in the end.(?)


    Some funny ideas by the Allied generals.

    To make a schrapnel wall by the cannons shooting at the rockets.

    By some other General supposed that there was a tiny man at the end of the V2 that showed the way and just before hitting the ground jumped out..

    :confused:
     
  15. Ali Morshead

    Ali Morshead Member

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    Ya gotta stop reading thos "Commando" comics.

    The British id create a "Wall of AA Fire" by making certain areas AA Fire only or Fighter Only.
    This was said to be the most effective tactic used as it enable each to operate in "Free Fire" zones.

    Please name the General who thought up the guidance package??
     
  16. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    By mid-July 1944 there were 1,800 AA guns of all calibres in Southern England's 'V1 corridor' plus 1,000 barrage balloons.

    A total of 1,971 V1s were destroyed by guns, a further 278 hiting balloon cables.
     
  17. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    I wasn't making a joke about that countermeasure. The proposal came from the Radio Research Laboratory (RRL), Division 15, Airborne Insturments Laboratory at MIT. Dr. Don Hare headed the project.
    The plan was to disrupt the magnetic compass that fed signals to a rate gyro controlling the rudder of the V-1. A series of rail lines, most of which existed, was to be connected in a loop about 60 miles in diameter around London. A 1000 amp DC current would be fed through the loop using a 30 Megawatt power plant. It was calculated that the resulting magnetic field would disrupt the compass of a V-1 flying as high as approxmately 1000 feet. Work was even started on some of the equipment necessary to carry this out.
     
  18. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    I would love to see how this "genius" intended to make this ECM idea work.
    I think he probably meant AC rather than DC, but even so, divide 1000 amps into 30 MILLION watts and find out how many volts would actually be sizzling through those lines-about 30,000 (Ohm's Law).
    Even providing they could get everything cleared off those lines in enough time to energise them, it would not only disrupt the war effort, but also the Chain Home system and any form of radio communication.And then there's the electrocution factor too.


    Regards,

    Gordon
     
  19. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    There were so many 'barmy' ideas flying about during the war - you can see why Harris initially dismissed Barnes Wallis' theories.

    But, hell - if they could make FIDO work..... ;)
     
  20. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    True, Martin, True......... :rolleyes:
     

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