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15 October 2014
WW2 - People's War

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Contributed by 
People in story: 
Pamela Petersen, Helen Buckland, Lou Payne
Location of story: 
South London
Background to story: 
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Contributed on: 
13 July 2005

Watching a V2 come over the houses opposite whilst standing on balcony of flats. Engine stopped so knew this meant it would land nearby. Fortunately for us(I was aged about 7), the bomb cruised further along. We were blown from front to back of flat, not so fortunate for those in the houses that were demolished with fatalities. Two of three people now deceased.

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Message 1 - The V2

Posted on: 13 July 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

Quite an experience! However, the missile you saw was a V1, commonly called a 'doodlebug' or 'buzzbomb', not a V2.

A V2 was a true rocket, the first guided ballistic missile. It went up to 50 to 60 miles high at enormous high speed, a staggering 3,355 mph - quite impossible to see or detect. links gives excellent information on the V2.

As to the V1, once it had reached the set range two detonators fired which caused the rudder and elevators to lock pushing it into a steep dive. Thus it was not possible for a V1 to start flying level again once the controls had locked. It was never intended that the engine should cut out, but the locked dive caused the engine to stop through abrupt massive shutter failure.


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