One of Germany’s famous terror weapons, the V1 was the first cruise missile employed en masse.
After the jump, a brief look at this weapon.
The Fi-103, better known as the V1 (or buzz bomb or doodlebug in common slang), was built to raze British cities in response to British Bomber Command burning German cities. It is a very simple unmanned aircraft. Range is less than 200 miles at a speed of about 400 mph. Capabilities actually fluctuated a lot since this missile was built by unskilled and unmotivated slave labor, resulting in very uneven quality. It had slightly less than 2000 lbs of high explosive warhead. Targeting was rudimentary; the small propeller on the nose provided a crude distance measure through the number of rotations it turned. The missile was launched from a catapult in the direction of London, when it traveled the set distance, the controls locked down and the V1 plunged to earth.
These catapults, or ski ramps, proved difficult to destroy and remained active until they could be captured by ground forces. Alternately, some V1s were air launched from He111 bombers. The V1 campaign was an epic battle that started shortly after the Normandy invasion (June of 1944) and continued through the end of the year. Many of the faster fighter types were kept in Britain to chase the Buzz Bombs down; this means late mark Spitfires, Tempests, Mosquitoes, Meteor jets and Mustangs. Operation Crossbow involved a massive bombing effort to destroy the launch sites; and finally, a ground campaign over-ran all such locations.
This is the Tamiya kit. The V1 was tested post-war by all combatants, and even produced in the US as the Boeing JB Loon. This gave way to newer designs as engine and targeting technology improved quickly.
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