Weekly Meeting - Roger Alton

Thu, Aug 8th 2019 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Roger in the Lancaster cockpit of S sugar, formerly the Scampton Gate Guardian

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8th August 2019 Hitler’s V1 and V2 Rockets – Roger Allton

Roger Allton came to our Club to tell us about Hitler’s V1, V2 and V3 Rockets, the development which started after the Versailles Treaty and influenced by Wernher von Braun in Peenemunde research base. He went into great detail to explain the difference between the pulse-jet powered V1 and the V2 liquid fuelled rockets, and the devastating effects that these missiles had on our Country. Fortunately, RAF bombing delayed the start of the V1 offensive, allowing D-Day to proceed without disruption. The first V1s targeted UK just 7 days later.

He showed that the Vergeltungswaffe 1 FZG-76 (V1), known as the Flying Bomb or Doodlebug, was the first modern unguided missile used in wartime, with 18 foot wingspan and capable of 350mph.

Vergeltungswaffe means 'reprisal weapon'. The V1 was the German response to the British and American air assaults on their cities. Over 9000 were fired at England. The eastern and south-eastern boroughs of London suffered the most with ten hits per square mile, three times the average for Greater London.

Roger then, as a comparison, demonstrated with pictures and diagrams the Vergeltungswaffe 2 (reprisal weapon 2) was an even more sophisticated rocket and was the world's first ballistic missile, with a 53 mile high trajectory and capable of 6500 ft/sec (Mach 6), aimed at a target 200 miles away – arriving unheard at Mach2 +. Over 1300 V2s were launched on London, killing more than 2500 people and seriously injuring almost 6000.Although most London boroughs were hit by V2s, they killed more people in Deptford than anywhere else. The borough suffered nine V2 strikes, which killed nearly 300 people and injured even more. The rockets also destroyed hundreds of houses in the borough.

He described ‘Operation Paperclip’, where the USA acquired more than 1000 former German rocket engineers, culminating in the first Saturn rocket launch at Cape Canaveral in 1952

Many members of our Club were surprised at the level of technology that was available, and being used, during those times.

The concentration on our Members faces for the whole of the presentation, said without words, how interesting it was.                                                                    DG/AR

 

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