German V-1 Rocket

     The V-1 was an unmanned, un-guided, flying bomb.  Although primitive by today's standards, it was the first of what we now call a "cruise missile."  It was designed by the Fiesler company and designated the FZG-76.  The Germans called it "Vergeltungswaffe" or "retaliation weapon."  Since it was the first such weapon, it was designated the V-1. 
     The V-1 was a liquid fuelled, pulse-jet drone aircraft that could carry a 2,000 lb warhead.  There was no navigation system, so it was simply pointed in the direction of it's target.  Simple gyrocompasses kept it level and range was controlled by the fuel supply.  It's typical target was a city in southern England.
     The first V1 flew in 1942 at Peenemunde on the southern Baltic coast. A series of fixed launching sites  were constructed in France, Holland, Denmark and Germany to allow the Germans to shower V-1s on any part of southern England.  However, German planning did not take into account a strong bomber and fighter-bomber offensive against the V1 launch sites. This forced the Germans into creating mobile launch sites and launching some from Heinkel 111 bombers.
     The first offensive launch was on June 12, 1943. Once the Germans got their stride they launched an average of 190 V1 rockets a day. The British quickly became expert at spotting and shooting them down and only some 25% of the V1s hit their target.  They English established defensive zones, first were the fighters (Mosquitoes, Spitfires and Typhoons) over the English channel, then came a thick zone of heavy AA guns equipped with the first radar proximity fuses, then a zone of light AA guns and rocket projectors and finally barrage balloons. Once the Allies captured the launching sites the target of choice switched to Antwerp, the main Allied port. It received a pounding by 11,988 V1s and most of the 1,766 V-2 missiles launched. Fortunately, for the Allies they overran the launch sites that could have deluged the Normandy beachhead with these high explosive bombs, interfering greatly with the supply and logistics of an army in Europe.

German V-1 Rocket
Deluxe Series.  1/20th scale.  12.35" wingspan x 15.65" long.
  No. USM1D-V1.  Only $119.95 
aviation td15