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To minimise the associated risks primarily radar detection , the aircrews developed a tactic called "lo-hi-lo": When the launch point was neared, the bombers would swiftly ascend, fire their V-1s, and then rapidly descend again to the previous "wave-top" level for the return flight.
Research after the war estimated a 40 per cent failure rate of air-launched V-1s, and the He s used in this role were vulnerable to night-fighter attack, as the launch lit up the area around the aircraft for several seconds.
The combat potential of air-launched V-1s dwindled as progressed at about the same rate as that of the ground-launched missiles, as the British gradually took the measure of the weapon and developed increasingly effective defence tactics.
Late in the war, several air-launched piloted V-1s, known as Reichenbergs , were built, but these were never used in combat.
Hanna Reitsch made some flights in the modified V-1 Fieseler Reichenberg when she was asked to find out why test pilots were unable to land it and had died as a result.
She discovered, after simulated landing attempts at high altitude where there was air space to recover, that the craft had an extremely high stall speed and the previous pilots with little high-speed experience had attempted their approaches much too slowly.
Her recommendation of much higher landing speeds was then introduced in training new Reichenberg volunteer pilots.
The Reichenberg s were air-launched rather than fired from a catapult ramp as erroneously portrayed in the film Operation Crossbow.
There were plans, not put into practice, to use the Arado Ar jet bomber to launch V-1s either by towing them aloft or by launching them from a "piggy back" position in the manner of the Mistel , but in reverse atop the aircraft.
A somewhat less ambitious project undertaken was the adaptation of the missile as a "flying fuel tank" Deichselschlepp for the Messerschmitt Me jet fighter, which was initially test-towed behind an He A Greif bomber.
The pulsejet, internal systems and warhead of the missile were removed, leaving only the wings and basic fuselage, now containing a single large fuel tank.
A small cylindrical module, similar in shape to a finless dart, was placed atop the vertical stabilizer at the rear of the tank, acting as a centre of gravity balance and attachment point for a variety of equipment sets.
A rigid tow-bar with a pitch pivot at the forward end connected the flying tank to the Me The operational procedure for this unusual configuration saw the tank resting on a wheeled trolley for take-off.
A number of test flights were conducted in with this set-up, but inflight "porpoising" of the tank, with the instability transferred to the fighter, meant the system was too unreliable to be used.
An identical utilisation of the V-1 flying tank for the Ar bomber was also investigated, with the same conclusions reached. Some of the "flying fuel tanks" used in trials utilised a cumbersome fixed and spatted undercarriage arrangement, which along with being pointless merely increased the drag and stability problems already inherent in the design.
One variant of the basic Fi design did see operational use. The progressive loss of French launch sites as proceeded and the area of territory under German control shrank meant that soon the V-1 would lack the range to hit targets in England.
Thus the F-1 version developed. Additionally, the nose-cones and wings of the F-1 models were made of wood, affording a considerable weight saving.
With these modifications, the V-1 could be fired at London and nearby urban centres from prospective ground sites in the Netherlands.
Frantic efforts were made to construct a sufficient number of F-1s in order to allow a large-scale bombardment campaign to coincide with the Ardennes Offensive , but numerous factors bombing of the factories producing the missiles, shortages of steel and rail transport, the chaotic tactical situation Germany was facing at this point in the war, etc.
Beginning on 2 March , slightly more than three weeks before the V-1 campaign finally ended, several hundred F-1s were launched at Britain from Dutch sites under Operation "Zeppelin".
Almost 30, V-1s were made; by March , they were each produced in hours including for the autopilot , at a cost of just 4 per cent of a V-2 ,  which delivered a comparable payload.
Approximately 10, were fired at England; 2, reached London, killing about 6, people and injuring 17, Antwerp , Belgium was hit by 2, V-1s from October to March However, they later considered other types of engine, and by the time German scientists had achieved the needed accuracy to deploy the V-1 as a weapon, British intelligence had a very accurate assessment of it.
The British defence against the German long-range weapons was Operation Crossbow. In September , a new linear defence line was formed on the coast of East Anglia , and finally in December there was a further layout along the Lincolnshire — Yorkshire coast.
On the first night of sustained bombardment, the anti-aircraft crews around Croydon were jubilant — suddenly they were downing unprecedented numbers of German bombers; most of their targets burst into flames and fell when their engines cut out.
There was great disappointment when the truth was announced. Anti-aircraft gunners soon found that such small fast-moving targets were, in fact, very difficult to hit.
The altitude and speed were more than the rate of traverse of the standard British QF 3. The static version of the QF 3.
The cost and delay of installing new permanent platforms for the guns was fortunately found to be unnecessary - a temporary platform built devised by the REME and made from railway sleepers and rails was found to be adequate for the static guns, making them considerably easier to re-deploy as the V-1 threat changed.
In , Bell Labs started delivery of an anti-aircraft predictor fire-control system based on an analogue computer , just in time for the Allied invasion of Europe.
These electronic aids arrived in quantity from June , just as the guns reached their firing positions on the coast. Seventeen per cent of all flying bombs entering the coastal "gun belt" were destroyed by guns in their first week on the coast.
This rose to 60 per cent by 23 August and 74 per cent in the last week of the month, when on one day 82 per cent were shot down. The rate improved from one V-1 destroyed for every 2, shells fired initially, to one for every This still did not end the threat, and V-1 attacks continued until all launch sites were captured by ground forces.
Observers at the coast post of Dymchurch identified the very first of these weapons and within seconds of their report the anti-aircraft defences were in action.
This new weapon gave the ROC much additional work both at posts and operations rooms. The critics who had said that the Corps would be unable to handle the fast-flying jet aircraft were answered when these aircraft on their first operation were actually controlled entirely by using ROC information both on the coast and at inland.
Fighter aircraft required excellent low altitude performance to intercept them and enough firepower to ensure that they were destroyed in the air rather than crashing to earth and detonating.
Most aircraft were too slow to catch a V-1 unless they had a height advantage, allowing them to gain speed by diving on their target.
When V-1 attacks began in mid-June , the only aircraft with the low-altitude speed to be effective against it was the Hawker Tempest.
Fewer than 30 Tempests were available. They were assigned to No. Early attempts to intercept and destroy V-1s often failed, but improved techniques soon emerged.
At least sixteen V-1s were destroyed this way the first by a P piloted by Major R. Turner of th Fighter Squadron on 18 June.
In early such a missile soared below clouds over Tilburg to gently alight eastwards of the city in open fields. The Tempest fleet was built up to over aircraft by September.
Specially modified PM Thunderbolts half their fuel tanks, half their 0. This was so successful that all other aircraft in Wing were thus modified.
The anti-V-1 sorties by fighters were known as "Diver patrols" after "Diver", the codename used by the Royal Observer Corps for V-1 sightings.
Attacking a V-1 was dangerous: In daylight, V-1 chases were chaotic and often unsuccessful until a special defence zone was declared between London and the coast, in which only the fastest fighters were permitted.
Musgrave with a No. As daylight grew stronger after the night attack, a Spitfire was seen to follow closely behind a V-1 over Chislehurst and Lewisham.
Between June and 5 September , a handful of Wing Tempests shot down flying bombs,  with No. All other types combined added Even though it was not fully operational, the jet-powered Gloster Meteor was rushed into service with No.
It had ample speed but its cannons were prone to jamming, and it shot down only 13 V-1s. The first bomb disposal officer to defuse an unexploded V-1 was John Pilkington Hudson in To adjust and correct settings in the V-1 guidance system, the Germans needed to know where the V-1s were impacting.
Therefore, German intelligence was requested to obtain this impact data from their agents in Britain.
However, all German agents in Britain had been turned , and were acting as double agents under British control. If given this data, the Germans would be able to adjust their aim and correct any shortfall.
However, there was no plausible reason why the double agents could not supply accurate data; the impacts would be common knowledge amongst Londoners and very likely reported in the press, which the Germans had ready access to through the neutral nations.
While the British decided how to react, Pujol played for time. On 18 June it was decided that the double agents would report the damage caused by V-1s fairly accurately and minimise the effect they had on civilian morale.
It was also decided that Pujol should avoid giving the times of impacts, and should mostly report on those which occurred in the north west of London, to give the impression to the Germans that they were overshooting the target area.
While Pujol downplayed the extent of V-1 damage, trouble came from Ostro , an Abwehr agent in Lisbon who pretended to have agents reporting from London.
He told the Germans that London had been devastated and had been mostly evacuated as a result of enormous casualties. They thought that the Allies would make every effort to destroy the V-1 launch sites in France.
Due to Ultra , however, the Allies read his messages and adjusted for them. A certain number of the V-1s fired had been fitted with radio transmitters, which had clearly demonstrated a tendency for the V-1 to fall short.
Oberst Max Wachtel, commander of Flak Regiment W , which was responsible for the V-1 offensive, compared the data gathered by the transmitters with the reports obtained through the double agents.
He concluded, when faced with the discrepancy between the two sets of data, that there must be a fault with the radio transmitters, as he had been assured that the agents were completely reliable.
The policy of diverting V-1 impacts away from central London was initially controversial. The War Cabinet refused to authorise a measure that would increase casualties in any area, even if it reduced casualties elsewhere by greater amounts.
It was thought that Churchill would reverse this decision later he was then away at a conference ; but the delay in starting the reports to Germans might be fatal to the deception.
So Sir Findlater Stewart of Home Defence Executive took responsibility for starting the deception programme immediately, and his action was approved by Churchill when he returned.
By September , the V-1 threat to England was temporarily halted when the launch sites on the French coast were overrun by the advancing Allied armies.
The last enemy action of any kind on British soil occurred on 29 March , when a V-1 struck Datchworth in Hertfordshire. Unlike the V-2, the V-1 was a cost-effective weapon for the Germans as it forced the Allies to spend heavily on defensive measures and divert bombers from other targets.
The statistics of this report, however, have been the subject of some dispute. The V-1 missiles launched from bombers were often prone to exploding prematurely, occasionally resulting in the loss of the aircraft to which they were attached.
The Luftwaffe lost 77 aircraft out of 1, of these types of sorties. Wright Field technical personnel reverse-engineered the V-1 from the remains of one that had failed to detonate in Britain.
The result was the creation of the JB-2 Loon. The attacks on Antwerp and Brussels began in October , with the last V-1 launched against Antwerp on 30 March Antwerp was recognised by both the German and Allied high command as a very important port, essential to the further progression of Allied armies into Germany.
The zone of command under the 21st Army Group was called "Antwerp-X" and given the object of protecting an area with a radius of 7, yards covering the city and dock area.
US units deployed SCR radar units controlling four 90mm guns per battery using an M9 director to electrically control the battery guns.
British gun batteries were each equipped with eight QF 3. The radar was effective from 28, yards, the M9 director predicted the target location position based on course, height and speed which combined with the gun, shell and fuse characteristics predicted an impact position, adjusted each gun and fired the shell.
In November attacks began from the north-east and additional batteries were deployed along the new azimuths, including the th AAA Battalion United States brought from Paris.
Additional radar units and observers were deployed up to 40 miles from Antwerp to give early warning of V-1 bombs approaching.
Of these, only 4. In , an Argus pulsejet engine was shipped to Japan by German submarine. The Aeronautical Institute of Tokyo Imperial University and the Kawanishi Aircraft Company conducted a joint study of the feasibility of mounting a similar engine on a piloted plane.
The resulting design was named Baika "plum blossom" but bore no more than a superficial resemblance to the Fi Baika never left the design stage but technical drawings and notes suggest that several versions were considered: After reverse-engineering captured V-1s in , the French began producing copies for use as target drones , starting in The CT 10 could be ground-launched using solid rocket boosters or air-launched from a LeO 45 bomber.
More than were produced, some of which were exported to the UK, Sweden, and Italy. The inaccuracy of the guidance system when compared with new methods such as beam-riding and TV guidance saw development end in the early s.
The Soviets also worked on a piloted attack aircraft based on the Argus pulsejet engine of the V-1, which began as a German project, the Junkers EF Lilli ,  in the latter stages of the war.
The Soviet development of the Lilli ended in after a crash that killed the test pilot. Retrieved August 9, Auto Road Atlas Map.
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