V1 - German wartime film

A friend just sent me this link- a German wartime film on the V1 construction and operation:

Ridiculously simple concept and cheap to manufacture. Although the US did experiment with the V1 concept at the end of the war (thinking it could be useful against Japan) the simple and cheap pulse jet seemed to drop from view as a means of propulsion.
 
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The original cruise missile. My 91 year old mum still remembers the horrible interlude between the sound of the engine cutting out and the sound of it falling on someone/something else....
 
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The original cruise missile. My 91 year old mum still remembers the awful interlude between the sound of the engine cutting out and the sound of it falling on someone/something else....
Fortunately, the rivalry between the German Army (V2) and the Luftwaffe (V1) ensured that neither weapon system reached its potential. The V1 carried roughly the same-sized warhead as the V2, although blast characteristics were quite different as the V2 impacted at c 2500 knots vs c 400 knots for the V1. However, the V1 was more reliable and cost about 1 tenth the cost of the V2. Nonetheless, c 10,000 V1s were fired at England and about 60% got through (10% were also air launched), killing c 6,200 people. By comparison, about 1200 V2s were launched against the UK, killing about 2750 people.
 
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I just found this interesting table on Wikipedia comparing the relative cost of delivery systems:

Blitz (12 months) vs V-1 flying bombs (2¾ months)
BlitzV-1
1. Cost to Germany
Sorties90,0008,025
Weight of bombs tons61,14914,600
Fuel consumed tons71,7004,681
Aircraft lost3,0750
Personnel lost7,6900
2. Results
Structures damaged/destroyed1,150,0001,127,000
Casualties92,56622,892
Rate casualties/bombs tons1.61.6
3. Allied air effort
Sorties86,80044,770
Aircraft lost1,260351
Personnel lost2,233805

My only comment about this is that the V1 campaign went from June 1944 to March 1945; the V2 from September 1945 and also to March 1945. It would be interesting to add to that table. Some of you will recall the Arrser 'Crash' who used to post prolifically. Sadly, he withdrew from ARRSE because of ill-health but he sent me the link to the German film in the OP. Last summer, he also published a detailed article on the intelligence defeat of the V2 campaign.
 
No way to hit a specific target , the only point of it was to randomly terrorise the population ?


Not a war winner was it ?
 
The V2 was laughably inaccurate. Only 50% fell within a 200 square mile target area. The V1 was about as accurate as Allied strategic bombing was. Of course, British intelligence strategies executed by the 'Twenty Committee' saw the MPI walked south to Croyden ('hurrah!') reducing the the damage to central government. The Germans used radio triangulation to plot where some V1s fell, but didn't believe the results, preferring to rely on agents - who were all working for the XX Committee. Some work was done on radio control , using beam navigation techniques, but the technology wasn't sufficiently mature to deploy this on an unmanned platform. This could have resulted in devastatingly accurate bombing - but only for a short time. Air Defence of Great Britain (Fighter Command) deployed 100 Gp aircraft in a constant search for radio signals and would have been quick to have either destroy the transmitters or to jam the beams. Anyway, by late 1944, the land campaign in France and then the low countries in 1945 progressively overran launch sites which meant that the V1 didn't have the legs to reach the UK, hence the move to air-launching which saw one reach as far as Birmingham, but (sadly) failed to inflict damage on that cesspit.
 
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No way to hit a specific target , the only point of it was to randomly terrorise the population ?


Not a war winner was it ?
The V1 and V2 campaigns caused considerable dislocation in London and the South East - mass evacuations, relocation of critical industries, movement of troop concentrations - in a country exhausted after five years of war. Moreover, the V2 - with no warning of approach - caused particular anxieties in London.

Neither were war-winning, but if the technologies had been deployed 12-18 months earlier (which could have been entirely possible save for the rivalries) and directed at the Channel ports, the outcome of D Day, might not have been a foregone conclusion.
 
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This is a clip of some of the defences against the V1 and towards the end one going down & exploding

 
The V2 was laughably inaccurate. Only 50% fell within a 200 square mile target area. The V1 was about as accurate as Allied strategic bombing was. Of course, British intelligence strategies executed by the 'Twenty Committee' saw the MPI walked south to Croyden ('hurrah!') reducing the the damage to central government. The Germans used radio triangulation to plot where some V1s fell, but didn't believe the results, preferring to rely on agents - who were all working for the XX Committee. Some work was done on radio control , using beam navigation techniques, but the technology wasn't sufficiently mature to deploy this on an unmanned platform. This could have resulted in devastatingly accurate bombing - but only for a short time. Air Defence of Great Britain (Fighter Command) deployed 100 Gp aircraft in a constant search for radio signals and would have been quick to have either destroy the transmitters or to jam the beams. Anyway, by late 1944, the land campaign in France and then the low countries in 1945 progressively overran launch sites which meant that the V1 didn't have the legs to reach the UK, hence the move to air-launching (which saw one reach as far as Birmingham, but (sadly) failed to inflict damage on that cesspit.
Accurate or inaccurate it was no laughing matter. In addition to my mum's trauma from the V1's, I have an aunt in her nineties who has a big scar on her neck, caused by flying glass from the V2 that without any warning whatsoever totalled her entire street in the East End of London.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
The original cruise missile. My 91 year old mum still remembers the horrible interlude between the sound of the engine cutting out and the sound of it falling on someone/something else....
I may have related on here before, but my father was on the balcony of the flats ( Peabody estate Wansdsworth) when one flew in between the blocks, he craned his next to watch it, but luckily my Grandfather a Great War veteran ran out held him down and held onto the railings, otherwise he would have been sucked out by the implosion
the V1 Demolished my Mothers house, his childhood sweetheart
luckily she was out with me nan shopping down the Northcote and nattering !
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
No way to hit a specific target , the only point of it was to randomly terrorise the population ?


Not a war winner was it ?
It Achieved that, my mother spent some time in a psychiatric hospital post war, recovering from the after effects
as children we were never allowed to watch war films
and she hated fireworks
she was bombed out a further 2 times one time waking up on lavender hill in the remains of the bed with her infant sister, who she had to revive
my nan was in the karzi and most of the shop landed on that
her language would have made a sailor blush !
she used to call my scooter the doodlebug
 

When that one struck there was a BBC announcer working in Bush House, doing a short-wave radio broadcast to occupied Europe. He continued the broadcast with the ceiling on top of and around him, they weren't supposed to give any indication that a missile had landed in the vicinity.
 
Accurate or inaccurate it was no laughing matter. In addition to my mum's trauma from the V1's, I have an aunt in her nineties who has a big scar on her neck, caused by flying glass from the V2 that without any warning whatsoever totalled her entire street in the East End of London.
Hence my comments above:

The V1 and V2 campaigns caused considerable dislocation in London and the South East - mass evacuations, relocation of critical industries, movement of troop concentrations - in a country exhausted after five years of war. Moreover, the V2 - with no warning of approach - caused particular anxieties in London.
 

Tyk

LE
I just found this interesting table on Wikipedia comparing the relative cost of delivery systems:

Blitz (12 months) vs V-1 flying bombs (2¾ months)
BlitzV-1
1. Cost to Germany
Sorties90,0008,025
Weight of bombs tons61,14914,600
Fuel consumed tons71,7004,681
Aircraft lost3,0750
Personnel lost7,6900
2. Results
Structures damaged/destroyed1,150,0001,127,000
Casualties92,56622,892
Rate casualties/bombs tons1.61.6
3. Allied air effort
Sorties86,80044,770
Aircraft lost1,260351
Personnel lost2,233805

My only comment about this is that the V1 campaign went from June 1944 to March 1945; the V2 from September 1945 and also to March 1945. It would be interesting to add to that table. Some of you will recall the Arrser 'Crash' who used to post prolifically. Sadly, he withdrew from ARRSE because of ill-health but he sent me the link to the German film in the OP. Last summer, he also published a detailed article on the intelligence defeat of the V2 campaign.
I'm astonished the weight of bombs in the Blitz by 90,000 sorties (I assume this includes fighter sorties which makes the numbers look worse) was so low, does the joint wisdom of ARRSE think this number is realistic?
As to the accuracy vs terror debate, strategic bombing being accurate has been pretty much debunked as at best wishful thinking so it really makes very little odds in the long run.

The V2 was laughably inaccurate. Only 50% fell within a 200 square mile target area. The V1 was about as accurate as Allied strategic bombing was. Of course, British intelligence strategies executed by the 'Twenty Committee' saw the MPI walked south to Croyden ('hurrah!') reducing the the damage to central government. The Germans used radio triangulation to plot where some V1s fell, but didn't believe the results, preferring to rely on agents - who were all working for the XX Committee. Some work was done on radio control , using beam navigation techniques, but the technology wasn't sufficiently mature to deploy this on an unmanned platform. This could have resulted in devastatingly accurate bombing - but only for a short time. Air Defence of Great Britain (Fighter Command) deployed 100 Gp aircraft in a constant search for radio signals and would have been quick to have either destroy the transmitters or to jam the beams. Anyway, by late 1944, the land campaign in France and then the low countries in 1945 progressively overran launch sites which meant that the V1 didn't have the legs to reach the UK, hence the move to air-launching which saw one reach as far as Birmingham, but (sadly) failed to inflict damage on that cesspit.
Indeed, I've read a fair bit about this it's a classic case of where intelligence services can make things less awful, Britain being an island helped no doubt, but the effect of shifting the V1 fall of shot was significant.

I understand the biggest drawback of the V1 to the Germans was the launch ski sites were easy to spot where as the V2 was more or less a truck based deploy, shoot and scoot system.
 
There's a museum on the island of Usedom in the Baltic:
Among shed loads of other things there's a V2, plus the indoor museum. A k or three away is the remains of the LOX plant used to manufacture the LOX for the rockets, primarily the V2. The East Germans used the coal powered electricity generation facility up to re-unification and just beyond.
Pure coincidence but I visited the place on 11 Sep 2001. Cause for much thought.
 

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