The Nazis Built 30,000 V-1 ‘Buzz Bombs’ to Terrorize London into Submission (It Didn’t Work Out That Way)

The Nazis Built 30,000 V-1 ‘Buzz Bombs’ to Terrorize London into Submission (It Didn’t Work Out That Way)

Sebastien Roblin

History, Europe

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Sorry, Hitler.

On June 13, 1944—a week after the D-Day landing in Normandy—residents of the East London working-class district of Bethnal Green heard an unusual buzzing drone

Over the last four years, German bombers had intermittently rained death on the metropolis. But now Allied fighters reigned so supreme that Luftwaffe bombers were barely present over Normandy, let alone London. 

Nonetheless, a small dark object was seen flitting across the sky at 2,000 feet before it plunged into a railway bridge on Grove Road. Its one-ton warhead ruptured the surrounding buildings, killing six Londoners, wounding 30 and leaving 200 homeless. 

In fact, this was the only missile of 10 launched that day that drew blood. But thousands more “buzz bombs” would come droning down from the sky in the following months, as you can see in this wartime recording

Vengeance Weapons 

This first-ever operational land-attack cruise missiles was designated the Fiesler Fi 103 Kirschkern (“Cherry Stone”), or FZG-76. But they were better known as V-1s—as in “V” for Vengeance, in retaliation for Allied bombing of German cities. 

Earlier in November 1939, German scientist Fritz Gosslau began working on a remote-controlled flying bomb. Indeed, the first cruise missiles were anti-ship weapons remotely piloted into enemy warships by an observer in a nearby aircraft. 

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