V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

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Von Schadewald
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V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Von Schadewald » 07 Jan 2023 18:45

The 1st V1 launch on London was on 13 June 1944.

If the Germans had started launching on 1st June 1944, sufficient to derange and degrade the command and control orders and weather intelligence for D-Day coming from London, what would the Allies have done?

Would they have rush moved their London HQ elsewhere and evacuated Churchill and Eisenhower? Would they have cancelled D Day or continued anyway? Would they have been able to?

Once they located the V1 launch areas would they have diverted every bomber they had from bombing Germany to instead to carpet bomb the entire French coast from end to end to take out the launch ramps?

How long, if ever, before German intelligence would have determined that Normandy was the landing zone, and they would have redirected their V1s on to Portsmouth, Southampton, Weymouth, Poole, Dartmouth, Falmouth and Felixstowe, bearing in mind that the American troops were very spooked by the first V1s, they never having been under fire before, which could've caused their morale and fighting spirit to plummet?
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Peter89
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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Peter89 » 07 Jan 2023 22:26

By the summer of 1944 what could put a dent in Allied morale?
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Michael Kenny » 07 Jan 2023 22:41

If you read the Normandy POW reports it is clear the ordinary German soldier was absolutely convinced this was a war-winning weapon and that England was being systematically destroyed by these bombs. They were convinced the war was going to be won by this and the other much-heralded 'Wunder-waffen' that were in the pipeline.
I know it sounds hard to believe but the faith in the V weapons was even greater in 1944 than it is today by those
totally immersed in the 'Luftwaffe 1946' delusion.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by T. A. Gardner » 08 Jan 2023 05:42

Just remember, the Allies captured enough wreckage from V-1's that just 60 days after the first one launched the US had reverse engineered it and was producing prototypes of the JB-2 / Loon a near exact copy.

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Terry Duncan
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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Terry Duncan » 09 Jan 2023 08:49

Peter89 wrote:
07 Jan 2023 22:26
By the summer of 1944 what could put a dent in Allied morale?
Maybe the V3 system, had it been in operation and its likely intended munitions available.

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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Peter89 » 09 Jan 2023 12:02

:)

June 1944 was a pretty though month for the Axis :)

Rome fell
Allies landed in Normandy
The Eastern Front got torn apart
The back of the Luftwaffe broke finally

The shelling of London would not be more than a temporary, minor discomfort, even if it was done with 100 V3s.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Sheldrake » 09 Jan 2023 13:02

The aim of the V weapons was pure terror. Win the war in '44 by forcing the British to seek an armistice. Ten tons of bombs an hour on London to erode the British will to fight.

The V1s had a bigger impact than the V2. As the Ukrainians are finding now, cheap cruse missiles are an effective strategic weapon. The V1 lacked the guidance to hit anything smaller than a big city. Counter measures worked. A 50,000 strong army of men and women manned the AA defences and the fastest allied fighters could catch and down the missiles. The spymasters used double agents to report, falsely, that the mean point of impact of the V1s was over North London, which persuaded the Germans to shorten the range, resulting in the MPI falling over the less densely populated suburbs of South London - which is where my grandparents lived. (This was strictly against the British cabinet decision not to favour one MPs constituents by diverting bombs to someone else's voters, but the Secret service did it anyway)

The V1 campaign caused significant damage. Over a million structures were damaged or destroyed inflicting 22,000 casualties. The V1 campaign did have a serious impact on British morale. Productivity in SE England fell by C. 25% in Summer 1944 as thousands of Londoners took avoiding measures like camping in Epping Forest. We British are proud of the Blitz spirit of 1940, and many people thought that if their world was going to end they would take a hun with them. By 1944 it was obvious we were winning the war. Who wants to be the last casualty?

The V2 was a waste of German resources, a con trick perpetrated by Werner Braun and colleagues to persuade the Nazis to fund space rockets. There one ton war head was no bigger than that of the V1. It could not be stopped so it absorbed relatively little allied resources as countermeasures. The fighter bombers of ADGB formerly Fighter Command tried to maintain a watch over the launch sites in the Netherlands, but probably killed more Dutchmen than Deutchies. Possibly the biggest effect of the V2s might have been to influence the decision to launch Op Market Garden. The Op was planned at a time when the British knew that the V2 was imminent and knew what they had suffered from the V1. It does answer the question of why Op Market Garden intended to advance to the North rather than East towards Germany.

The V3 was a supergun - as developed later by Dr Gerald Bull for Saddam Hussain. It was untried and projected the Paris Gun concept. Delivering a 155 round every two minutes to London was the idea, but it may never have worked. British technology got their first and Grand Slam Bombs irreparably damaged the installation in Julky 1944, but not before Jack Kennedy had blown himself up in an American cruise missile.




If V1s and V2s had been ready a year earlier it might have made a difference. Two weeks earlier and they allies would have gritted their teeth and carried on.

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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by thaddeus_c » 09 Jan 2023 14:18

Von Schadewald wrote:
07 Jan 2023 18:45
The 1st V1 launch on London was on 13 June 1944.

If the Germans had started launching on 1st June 1944, sufficient to derange and degrade the command and control orders and weather intelligence for D-Day coming from London, what would the Allies have done?
seems too late to stop (or even stall) the Allied juggernaut.

if they had V-1 to launch in Jan.'44 that could have eclipsed Operation Steinbock which would be a major change.

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T. A. Gardner
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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by T. A. Gardner » 09 Jan 2023 20:55

If the V-1 started firings a year earlier, and the Allies still captured enough wreckage and failed missiles to copy it, as the US thought of doing they could have started their own production and fired back as many as 10 for each one the Germans fired at England. That doesn't sound like a winning scenario for Germany to me.

A better scenario might have been to use the BV 246 Hagelkorn glide bomb en masse against targets like London in coordination with a V-1 bombardment program. For this, the Germans could use any suitable plane that climbs to the proper altitude over France and releases their bomb(s) at the proper distance for it to glide to an impact on the target city. While this would be far more indiscriminate (the US discovered that trying their GB-1 glide bomb against Cologne), it would provide a cheap, safe, way to rain bombs all over Southern England free from retaliation against the launching force.

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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Terry Duncan » 10 Jan 2023 09:06

Peter89 wrote:
09 Jan 2023 12:02
:)

June 1944 was a pretty though month for the Axis :)

Rome fell
Allies landed in Normandy
The Eastern Front got torn apart
The back of the Luftwaffe broke finally

The shelling of London would not be more than a temporary, minor discomfort, even if it was done with 100 V3s.
I would tend to agree, but the V3 with the most likely intended nerve gas munitions would likely change the entire nature of the last months of the war. Britain would likely retaliate in kind, but there is always the chance masses of people dropping dead in London could change minds, especially if they had no idea how capable Germany could be in targeting and duration.

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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Peter89 » 10 Jan 2023 09:42

Terry Duncan wrote:
10 Jan 2023 09:06
Peter89 wrote:
09 Jan 2023 12:02
:)

June 1944 was a pretty though month for the Axis :)

Rome fell
Allies landed in Normandy
The Eastern Front got torn apart
The back of the Luftwaffe broke finally

The shelling of London would not be more than a temporary, minor discomfort, even if it was done with 100 V3s.
I would tend to agree, but the V3 with the most likely intended nerve gas munitions would likely change the entire nature of the last months of the war. Britain would likely retaliate in kind, but there is always the chance masses of people dropping dead in London could change minds, especially if they had no idea how capable Germany could be in targeting and duration.
Well we all tend to think that people might not take suffering, or that it is related to some sort of national spirit. The brutality of the Western front / home front as a result of the CBO was indeed much worse in Germany than in Britain, and I think the Allies could not really make their advance into Germany much more brutal. The major German cities lay in ruins with thousands of civilians, including children and old people dead. The civilian infrastructure was attacked extensively and deliberately. How could the British retaliate in kind? Nerve gas would of course add to the untold suffering of the German population, but they would not revolt and overthrow Hitler's regime anyway.
Also the Soviets were closing in, and what they've done in Germany was also comparable suffering to death by nerve gas.

Axis allies abandoned Germany in 1944, and everyone, including the high commands knew that the war was over. I see very little if any chance for a collapse of the British morale. I know it sounds awful, but even if civilians would die by the tens of thousands in London, it would not be enough to put Britain out of the war in the summer of 1944. Although I agree that it might have been enough in 1940 or in early 1941.
Last edited by Peter89 on 10 Jan 2023 16:39, edited 1 time in total.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by EwenS » 10 Jan 2023 10:21

Sheldrake wrote:
09 Jan 2023 13:02


The V3 was a supergun - as developed later by Dr Gerald Bull for Saddam Hussain. It was untried and projected the Paris Gun concept. Delivering a 155 round every two minutes to London was the idea, but it may never have worked. British technology got their first and Grand Slam Bombs irreparably damaged the installation in Julky 1944, but not before Jack Kennedy had blown himself up in an American cruise missile.




/quote]


It was Tallboy that did for the Mimoyecques V3 site in July 1944. Grand Slam was still in the future.

The Germans used two half sized V3 type barrels mounted on a hillside in Luxumbourg during late 1944 / early 1945 to bombard Allied position during the Battle of the Bulge. I recall an After the Battle magazine issue that looked at them

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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 10 Jan 2023 18:34

Von Schadewald wrote:
07 Jan 2023 18:45

Would they have rush moved their London HQ elsewhere and evacuated Churchill and Eisenhower? Would they have cancelled D Day or continued anyway? Would they have been able to?
No HQ rushed anywhere when the V raids started. Can't see any reason to here
Once they located the V1 launch areas would they have diverted every bomber they had from bombing Germany to instead to carpet bomb the entire French coast from end to end to take out the launch ramps?
OTL residual CROSSBOW attacks continued against V1 launchers and storage. It likely would have been the same.

The Brits had been monitoring the progress of the V programs. Op CROSSBOW had previously been executed. They went into May wi a general idea of when the V bombardments would start & what the numbers might be.

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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by thaddeus_c » 10 Jan 2023 19:31

thaddeus_c wrote:
09 Jan 2023 14:18
seems too late to stop (or even stall) the Allied juggernaut.

if they had V-1 to launch in Jan.'44 that could have eclipsed Operation Steinbock which would be a major change.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
09 Jan 2023 20:55
A better scenario might have been to use the BV 246 Hagelkorn glide bomb en masse against targets like London in coordination with a V-1 bombardment program. For this, the Germans could use any suitable plane that climbs to the proper altitude over France and releases their bomb(s) at the proper distance for it to glide to an impact on the target city. While this would be far more indiscriminate (the US discovered that trying their GB-1 glide bomb against Cologne), it would provide a cheap, safe, way to rain bombs all over Southern England free from retaliation against the launching force.
my point for a somewhat earlier introduction of the V-1 weapon was that the LW would have had at least a small bomber force.

that could have been used in conjunction with the V-1 bombing campaign or held back for the anticipated Allied invasion of France

also it allows a development cycle of the V-1 weapon itself, historically they used more fuel, less fuel, and schemed a jet version and a twin pulse jet version.

I've always made the point of Allied forces stranded at Anzio could have been subjected to air launched V-1s.

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Re: V1s start being launched 2 weeks earlier

Post by Peter89 » 11 Jan 2023 00:24

thaddeus_c wrote:
10 Jan 2023 19:31
thaddeus_c wrote:
09 Jan 2023 14:18
seems too late to stop (or even stall) the Allied juggernaut.

if they had V-1 to launch in Jan.'44 that could have eclipsed Operation Steinbock which would be a major change.
T. A. Gardner wrote:
09 Jan 2023 20:55
A better scenario might have been to use the BV 246 Hagelkorn glide bomb en masse against targets like London in coordination with a V-1 bombardment program. For this, the Germans could use any suitable plane that climbs to the proper altitude over France and releases their bomb(s) at the proper distance for it to glide to an impact on the target city. While this would be far more indiscriminate (the US discovered that trying their GB-1 glide bomb against Cologne), it would provide a cheap, safe, way to rain bombs all over Southern England free from retaliation against the launching force.
my point for a somewhat earlier introduction of the V-1 weapon was that the LW would have had at least a small bomber force.

that could have been used in conjunction with the V-1 bombing campaign or held back for the anticipated Allied invasion of France

also it allows a development cycle of the V-1 weapon itself, historically they used more fuel, less fuel, and schemed a jet version and a twin pulse jet version.

I've always made the point of Allied forces stranded at Anzio could have been subjected to air launched V-1s.
V1 was quite an inefficient way to bombard a target onshore.
"Everything remained theory and hypothesis. On paper, in his plans, in his head, he juggled with Geschwaders and Divisions, while in reality there were really only makeshift squadrons at his disposal."

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