In the early years of WWII, Nazi Germany fired 10,000 V1″Doodlebug” rockets at England, killing over 6,000 Londoners by 1943. The subsonic V1 was an effective terror weapon, but the “low and slow” trajectory and short range of the weapon lacked the strategic power to end the war in the Nazi’s favor.
The V2 was different. It was the dawn of the ballistic missile era, and Nazi Germany was first off the starting line.
The Peenemünde Aggregat A4 V2 was an early predecessor of the Cruise Missile, delivering a 2,148-pound payload over a 236 mile range at 5 times the speed of sound. You could hear the V1 “Buzz Bomb” coming and seek shelter. Not so the V2. Victims of the V2 didn’t know they were under attack until the weapon had exploded.
When Wernher von Braun showed Adolf Hitler color film of the launch of a V2…
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