The Buzz on the V-1 (Not VH1 Totally Different!)

The Buzz on the V-1

The Buzz on the V-1

You now how it is when you read about something and then when you see it in reality you are sort of taken aback? That was the feeling when I came across this V-1 rocket. During WW2 the Germans rained these down on Britain. In all almost 10,000 were produced and fired. Even with only about 25% hitting anything close to a target they were an effective and cheap method of warfare that allowed Germany to harass British soil after the Blitz had been turned back.

Power by a pulse jet engine it made a very distinctive sound and became known as the buzz bomb. The guidance system was sate of the art for the time, weights pendulums and gyroscopes, flight control given by compressed air this “autopilot” system meant all you had to do was point in the general direction and watch it fly. If you were lucky the almost 2000lb payload would hit something important. If not, then just hearing them in the air was enough to rattle the civilians.

An Effective Distraction?

Where the V-1 was most effective was in sapping resources from the allied war effort. Not only did Britain have to concentrate on the methods and tactics of intercepting and defeating them, but almost a quarter of all the strategic bombing missions that the Allies carried out on the mainland centered around the underground bunkers that housed the launch and building facilities in Northern France, Belgium and the Netherlands. On March 29th, 1945 the last V-1 struck British soil and brought the buzz bomb era to an end.

 There were lessons learned from these instruments of terror. In a way we still use these weapons today. Everything from the Tomahawk Cruise Missiles to the drones that current are being used to great effect.