Fieseler Fi-103 V1 Flying Bomb

Catalogue number
  • MUN 3854
Department
Exhibits
Display status
IWM London
Materials
  • whole: wood, metal
Dimensions
  • whole: Height 172 cm, Length 830 cm, Weight 783 kg, Width 572 cm
Alternative names
  • full name: Fieseler Fi-103 V1 Flying Bomb
  • simple name: missile : German
Category
Weapons and ammunition

Purchase & License
Label

In 1942, Adolf Hitler's demand for "terror attacks" against Great Britain led to a rapid acceleration in the development and production of German guided missile. The V1 (Vergeltungwaffe 1 - Reprisal Weapon 1) was at the forefront of this programme, but design faults and pre-emptive Allied air raids on vital installations ensured that it did not enter operational service until June 1944. Over the next 10 months, 10,492 flying bombs were launched against Britain resulting in 24,165 casualties and extensive damage to property. The devastation would have been much greater but for effective British anti-aircraft defence and intelligence operations. Although the V1 offensive continued after D-Day with attacks on liberated cities such as Antwerp, the Allied advance denied the Germans their launching sites in France and Belgium, forcing them increasingly to use Heinkel He111 bombers to air-launch the V1s against targets in Britain.

Physical description

V1, ramp The V1 flying bomb was powered by an Argus 109-014 pulse-jet engine, carried a warhead of approximately 850kg, and was guided to its target by an autopilot. The maximum range was typically 149 miles (240km), with a maximum speed of 400mph (645kph), and this particular version has a span of 5.3m. Although some V1s were air-launched, most were catapulted from specially constructed ramps. The history of this particular V1 is not known but it was acquired by the Museum in 1946, and retains its original wartime paintwork.

History note

In 1942, Adolf Hitler's demand for "terror attacks" against Great Britain led to a rapid acceleration in the development and production of German guided missile. The V1 (Vergeltungwaffe 1 - Reprisal Weapon 1) was at the forefront of this programme, but design faults and pre-emptive Allied air raids on vital installations ensured that it did not enter operational service until June 1944. Over the next 10 months, 10,492 flying bombs were launched against Britain resulting in 24,165 casualties and extensive damage to property. The devastation would have been much greater but for effective British anti-aircraft defence and intelligence operations. Although the V1 offensive continued after D-Day with attacks on liberated cities such as Antwerp, the Allied advance denied the Germans their launching sites in France and Belgium, forcing them increasingly to use Heinkel He111 bombers to air-launch the V1s against targets in Britain.

Associated people and organisations

Fair Dealing

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