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Early V-1

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  • Early V-1

    As we have a thread on the Zero in the Battle of Britain, I thought that it would be interesting to have one the V-1 flying bomb in 1940.

    The point is that the V-1 (Fieseler FI 103 or FZG-76) was rather low technology and could have been designed and built in the 1930s although it probably benefited from improvements in autopilots and, for example, improved methods of calculating wing flutter.

    The nasty feature of the V-1 in 1940 is that there would be no way of stopping it, especially at night, and, at the least, would mean that London would be functioning with limited sleep over 1940-4.

  • #2
    The 'manned' bombers of the Luftwaffe were unable to bomb Britain into submission, let alone win the Battle of Britain during the Blitz.
    The mistake was the shifting of the initial Luftwaffe's campaign focus from concentrating on RAF fighters, airfields and radar towers to a concentrating on city bombing.

    Replacing Luftwaffe bombers by V-1s or even adding these rockets to the 'manned' Luftwaffe bomber force to bomb cities would IMO not have corrected what was basically a wrong strategy.
    BoRG

    You may not be interested in War, but War is interested in You - Leon Trotski, June 1919.

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    • #3
      As a "bang for the buck", they were better value than the conventional bombers - but this is comparing 1940 with 1944. However, they are limited to preselected targets whereas bombers can be diverted, reallocated and so forth.

      But as the good Major has noted, the strategy employed was wrong and it is probable that the Germans would not come up with a better one.

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      • #4
        One obvious reason why Germany would not have developed a V-1 before 1940 was that it would have been useless. It could only be used to hit a target the size of London and then only if you can fire it from the French Coast which the Germans only captured in 1940.

        However, what if someone had known about the automatic beam bombing method called Y-Gerät http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-Ger%C...8navigation%29? As the Y-Gerät was automatic, it might lend itself to controlling a flying bomb. When Y-Gerät was actually used, it failed because it was easy to jam. However, if you did not understand that problem – and the German developers evidently did not – it might appear very attractive to guide a V-1 with sufficient accuracy to hit a factory at night (X-Gerät did hit the Supermarine factory near Southampton in 1940). The advantage of the flying bomb over a bomber is that flying a long distance along a beam might make an aircraft vulnerable to Flak and the lack of a crew and the higher speed might be attractive.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mostlyharmless View Post
          As we have a thread on the Zero in the Battle of Britain, I thought that it would be interesting to have one the V-1 flying bomb in 1940.

          The point is that the V-1 (Fieseler FI 103 or FZG-76) was rather low technology and could have been designed and built in the 1930s although it probably benefited from improvements in autopilots and, for example, improved methods of calculating wing flutter.

          The nasty feature of the V-1 in 1940 is that there would be no way of stopping it, especially at night, and, at the least, would mean that London would be functioning with limited sleep over 1940-4.
          AA fire would still be effective as would barrage balloons. Attacking the launch sites would be another.

          The real danger is what if the British just copy the thing and start firing them back at the Germans? Historically, the US had a working copy of the V-1 (the JB 2 Loon) flying just 60 days after the first V-1 was fired on England.

          I would think that it might even turn into a new arms race with both sides trying to build a better, longer ranged cruise missile.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Mostlyharmless View Post
            One obvious reason why Germany would not have developed a V-1 before 1940 was that it would have been useless. It could only be used to hit a target the size of London and then only if you can fire it from the French Coast which the Germans only captured in 1940.

            However, what if someone had known about the automatic beam bombing method called Y-Gerät http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Y-Ger%C...8navigation%29? As the Y-Gerät was automatic, it might lend itself to controlling a flying bomb. When Y-Gerät was actually used, it failed because it was easy to jam. However, if you did not understand that problem – and the German developers evidently did not – it might appear very attractive to guide a V-1 with sufficient accuracy to hit a factory at night (X-Gerät did hit the Supermarine factory near Southampton in 1940). The advantage of the flying bomb over a bomber is that flying a long distance along a beam might make an aircraft vulnerable to Flak and the lack of a crew and the higher speed might be attractive.
            Huh, you are assessing the likely effectiveness of Y-Gerät based on the effectiveness of X-Gerät?

            You say Y-Gerät was "automatic". Naturally the German gorund controller freely talked with a pilot who had a hand on the controls. Are you sure the primitive guidance of the V-1s could be easily adapted to imitate this? Radio-controlled V-1s?
            Michele

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            • #7
              The V 1 would not have been more bang than conventional bombers . The V 1 warhead was about a ton and that was almost the same payload as an He 111.
              Stopability now that may have been a problem, or lead to a faster Spitfire
              Guidance well the beam system the Germans had had to be heard by a bomb aimer in order to drop the bombs and I don't believe there was an utomatic system though that might have been in developement.

              "To all who serve , have or will serve , Thank You"

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