The V1 (Fi103; FZG 76 ; Flying bomb)

Many books have been writen about the V1 flying bomb, I shall only give an overview so the reader can understand the background:

On the Baltic coast in Germany, extensive testing had been carried out on a pilotess aircraft. At the secret reseach center of Peenemunde the had produced the first guided missile was reaching finishing stages financed by the German Luftwaffe. The Fi103 was the result of an idea put forth to the Germany army as far back as 1935 but dismissed. It was not until 1942, that the project was approved by the Luftwaffe. When field marshal, Erhard Milch recognised the potential when shown a demonstration of this new type of weapon. It was given high priority and the project was code named "Project Cherrystone". Gerhard Fieseler FlaubergWerke GmbH in Kassel, an aircraft company, had been developing a pilot less aircraft. Initially designated the Fi103, with the collaborated efforts of the engine manufacturer Argus. Argus MotorenWerke GmbH, had taken on Dr. Paul Schmidt's engine and continued development during the early thirties. The engineer Robert Lusser, who worked for Heinkel, Messerschmitt and then Fiesler helped further develop the Fi103. With help from Fritz Gosslau who worked for Argus they refine the design of the Fi103. The airframe of the Fi103 was developed by Robert Lusser, the pulse jet by Dr.Paul Schmidt and the guidance system from the Askania company which was part of Siemens. The Fi103 was gyroscope stabilized, guided by a magnetic compass. Distance was measured using an air log windmill set in the nose and armed with a one ton warhead.

V1, Bruxelles, Belgium (G.TAYLOR)
V1, Duxford, England (G.TAYLOR)

V1, Eperleque, France (G.TAYLOR)

V1, Warluis, France (G.TAYLOR)

The pulse jet did not have enough thrust to get the aircraft airborne so a launch ramp off 48 metres was equipped with a steam catapult system. This was designed by the WalterWerke (Kiel) company. The ramp contained a slot fitted with a dumbbell shaped piston, the V1 was connected to simple trolley which was linked to the piston by a pin. By 1943, top Nazi officials visited Peenemunde, to evaluate the progress of the FZG-76. It was concluded that the weapon should be put into full scale production. The V1 needed a special type of launch ramp (GESCHUTZE) and a special unit to handle and fire these new weapons The construction of launch sites was ordered by Hermann Goring and the formation of the special unit , the Flakregiment 155 was formed in August 1943 under the command of Max Wachtel.

Max Wachtel

The British

During 1943 the term 'Body line' was used as reference to both pilotless aircraft and rockets. However, in November the term was changed to 'Crossbow' and referred to all activities concerning the V-weapons or Vergeltungs Waffe (reprisal weapon). By February 1944, 'Diver' was adopted as the new term for Vergeltungs Waffe V1.

V1, Saint Leu d'Esserent, France (G.TAYLOR)

Find out more (A selection of books I have):

Hitlers Terror Weapons by Ron Irons(ISBN 0-00-711262-9)

Flying bomb by Peter G. Cooksley (ISBN 0-7091-7399-7)

The Flying bomb war by Peter Haining (ISBN 1-86105-581-1)

The War in Picture '5th year' by ?, Odhams Press Limited (?)

Les Sites V1 en Picardie by Laurent Bailleul (ISBN 2-9515840-1-6)

V-1 Flying bomb by Osprey Publishing (ISBN 1-84176-791-3)

Monogram close up 4 - Buzz bomb (ISBN 0-914144-041-9)

La 2eme Guerre Mondial (Historia Magazine)n°97-20th April 1982

L'Enfer des V1 en Seine Maritime -by Dufour & Dore (ISBN 2-86 743 179-4)

The Flying Bomb by Richard Anthony Young (ISBN 0 7110 0842 6)

Les Site V1 en Flandres by Laurent Bailleul (ISBN 2-9515840-0-8)

Flying bombs over England by H.E.Bates (ISBN 1-872337-04-x)

Flying Bombs over the Pennines by Peter J.C.Smith (ISBN 1-85216-029-2)

Waffen-Arsenal N°24 by Wilfreid Kopenhagen (ISBN3-7909-0662-x)

Les Armes secretes Allemandes (LES V1)by Regis Grenneville (ISBM ?)

Germn Secret Weapons of WW2 by Ian V.Hogg (ISBN1-85367-510-5)

The Doodlebugs by Norman Longmate (ISBN0-09-929020-0)

German Secret Weapons:Blueprint for mars by Brain Ford (ISBN0-345-24989-5-250)

Mysteres de L'histoire n°6 Magasine 2005(ISNN 1763-3761)

FZG 76 Gerate Handbuch April 1944

Hunters of the V1 (Air Ace picture library n°279) Comic 1966

A Critical Analysis of the Air Defense of London against the V-1
June through September 1944 by David R. Delo, Major, Washington ANG

Invisible Eagle by Alan Baker

Historia n°276, November 1969 by Wim Dannau

Historama n°242, Janvier 1972 by Alain Decaux

V1 Flying Bomb by Joachim Engelmann (ISBN 0-88740-408-1)

Doodlebugs & Rockets by Bob Ogley (ISBN 1-872337-21-x)

War boy by Michael Foreman (ISBN 1-85145-353-9)

German Secret weapons, Purnells history of world wars, Special. 1974 (?)

Artillerie & Blindes n°12 Collection Hachette.(French ver. of Above)

Constructions Speciales by R.H (?)

Antwerp under V1 & V2, photo collection

Historia magazine n°73, 1969 by John Vader

Signal Extra

Chasseurs contre V1 by J.Zorn 'collection "Patrie" n°87'

Paris Match n°518 & 519, Mars 1959

Paris Match n°856, Septembre 1965

ONPP Billet n°07/2005, Les base V1 by J.M. Gratianne


Wings of the Luftwaffe - V1, Discovery Channel

Operation Crossbow,1965 with Sophia Loren

The German V1 rock leaflet campaign

by SGM Herbert A.Friedman