London V2 Rocket sites ... mapped
January 13, 2009 9:15 AM   Subscribe

Autumn 1944, and London was under attack from space. Hitler's 'vengeance' rocket, the V-2, was the world's first ballistic missile, and the first man-made object to make a sub-orbital spaceflight. Over 1400 were launched at Britain, with more than 500 striking London. Each hit caused devastation. The 13 tonne rocket impacted at over 3000 miles per hour. There was no warning; the missile descended faster than the speed of sound and survivors would only hear the approach and sonic booms after the blast. via Londonist.
posted by swift (84 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
SLGM?

(Single-link Google Map)
posted by wabashbdw at 9:19 AM on January 13, 2009


If this guy has had sex in each of those locations, I will be officially freaked out.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:22 AM on January 13, 2009 [11 favorites]


gravity's rainbow
posted by sentinel chicken at 9:25 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


AA beat me to the punch ...

A screaming comes across the sky. It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now. It is too late. The Evacuation still proceeds, but it's all theatre...
posted by mrgrimm at 9:25 AM on January 13, 2009


SLGM

There are 2 links.
posted by swift at 9:27 AM on January 13, 2009


This is really interesting. I've walked over quite a few of these roads. Looks like East London took the worst of it.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:28 AM on January 13, 2009


This is an important topic and can easily needs to be covered by a multitude of references. Peenemunde. Werner von Braun. Operation Crossbow/Backfire/Paperclip. Such a pivotal and diverse touch-stone of history, both horrific and exciting.
posted by CynicalKnight at 9:30 AM on January 13, 2009


SLGM?

Quality, not quantity. This is neat.
Thanks, swift!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:32 AM on January 13, 2009


God dammit I HATE Space-Hitler!
posted by Navelgazer at 9:34 AM on January 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


According to Wikipedia it would seem that more people died making them than were killed by them being used as weapons, which seems kind of like a fail.
posted by mandal at 9:35 AM on January 13, 2009


Not if you're a Nazi. Kill some Brits, and get rid of some undesirables in the process: win-win.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:41 AM on January 13, 2009


I heard that Germany had dropped leaflets telling everyone they were going to be bombed, and then put a large wall round what is now the congestion charge zone, and then claimed its actions were self defence because Britain was making all sorts of aggressive statements about pushing the Third Reich back to its 1939 borders.

What? You say it's not time for another thread about Israel/Palestine?
posted by MuffinMan at 9:41 AM on January 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


I aim for the stars, but sometimes I hit London.
posted by localroger at 9:42 AM on January 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


more people died making them than were killed by them.

More concentration-camp inmates died making the missiles, which by Nazi thinking is probably a two-fer.
posted by swift at 9:43 AM on January 13, 2009


which seems kind of like a fail.

Only if you consider the purpose of the bombs to be killing people. The purpose of a bomb is to get people to do something you want them to do, such as be afraid or flee the city or stop production lines, or prevent them from doing something you don't want them to do, such as think clearly and act boldly. Exploding is just an implementation detail.

Despite having read my share of Connie Willis, I've never really realized that the V2 bombs and Coventry Cathedral are basically unrelated. The latter was 4 years earlier and miles away, not to mention via a fire bomb from a plane not a bomb from spaaaaace.
posted by DU at 9:43 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


According to Wikipedia it would seem that more people died making them than were killed by them being used as weapons, which seems kind of like a fail.

Those were concentration camp inmates. Their deaths were probably seen as an ancillary benefit to the actual product being manufactured.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:44 AM on January 13, 2009


That preview button..I've always meant to try it one day
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:45 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


And yet we couldn't get the scientists who made these rockets out of Germany and working on our rockets fast enough.

Fittingly, NASA devotes only one sentence to the V2 in their bio of Wernher von Braun.
posted by tommasz at 9:47 AM on January 13, 2009


Looks like East London took the worst of it.

Range issues. Well, the Nazis would have liked to hit things like Docklands and such, but the V2's accuracy was such that "City" was about the most you could aim at. Estimates of CEP range from 2km to 18km at long range. Basically, they lobbed it at a city and hoped it hit something important.

Also, range issues -- the V2 had a flaky engine that often cut out early, which would cause the missile to fall short of target. East London was closer to the launch sites, so short rounds targeted at Central or West London would land there.

According to Wikipedia it would seem that more people died making them than were killed by them being used as weapons, which seems kind of like a fail.

This was the Nazis. The builders of the V2 were Jews, Slavs and other "undesirables", the fact that they got some work out of them before they died or were murdered was considered a good thing by the Nazis. The Mittlewerk can't stand as the highest crime against humanity that the Nazis managed, but it's well up there in the pure, unadulterated evil rankings.
posted by eriko at 9:49 AM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Back in the early 1990s I visited Pennemunde, where von Braun & Co. developed the rockets, and Dora, the concentration camp where they built them under horrifying conditions, for a magazine article. It was fascinating, to say the least. I would like to return and see what's happened at both places in the meantime. The curator at the small museum at Pennemunde had grandiose dreams of starting a space camp there--dreams I suspect would be doomed by the V2s history. No such dreams at Dora, where the curators were a little bit appalled by what Pennemunde wanted to do. I did not get to go into the tunnels of Mittelwerk, where the rockets were built. The Soviets had blown up the entrances and although it was possible to get in it was difficult. I did see a video that had been taken inside, and the tunnels were still littered with V2 and V1 parts that neither the Soviets nor the Americans had taken. (Anyone know if the tunnels have been opened to the public since?) I did get to go into tunnels on the other side of the mountain, which were used to store beer. At the National Archives I read through the testimony at the war crimes trial for people who ran Dora. Grim reading.
posted by Man-Thing at 9:52 AM on January 13, 2009


Fittingly, NASA devotes only one sentence to the V2 in their bio of Wernher von Braun.

"Once der missles go up
Who cares where they come down?
That's not my department,
says Wernher von Braun."

-- Tom Lehrer
posted by briank at 9:53 AM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Let me try putting it another way:

That 13 tonne ballistic space missiles being aimed at a large densely populated area should only kill an average of just over two people per missile seems like a large failure. No matter who was doing the assembly work, these were very expensive to produce (same cost as a bomber).
posted by mandal at 9:54 AM on January 13, 2009


Yeah, that map would benefit from having some of the launch sites indicated.
posted by steef at 9:57 AM on January 13, 2009


...only if yiou care about the people making them. At the fatcory Dora Mitelbau they shifted living quaters into the tunnels. It would have been cold and dark and damp and very, very horrible and all round a nasty place to die.

I've some cheery holiday snaps here, also Penemunde where the V2 was developed (check out the last couple of photos - actual real nazis! We gave them the finger and sped off, happy days), and all sorts of big concrete stuff in France like a domed launch facility and the V3 complex - the V3 was basically a supergun, rather than a missile system. Joe Kennedy blew the shit out of it.

[/self link frenzy]

I think the list of cities that have come under attack from ballistic missiles is actually quite a small one – London, Antwerp, the general vicinity of Tel Aviv, and it’s all been the V2 or the Scud, which is basically a V2 design that’s been tinkered with. Mostly they’ve been a terror weapon, fairly ineffectual in terms of actual damage but very effective spreaders of fear and panic.
posted by Artw at 10:03 AM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Something I didn't know: On the V-2 Wikipedia page it shows that Antwerp was the target of more rockets (1664) than London (1402).
posted by PenDevil at 10:04 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dammit. Beaten to the Gravity's Rainbow references and Tom Lehrer both.

The actual result of the bombings, in terms of death and destruction, was a side feature. Terrorizing the population was likely more the aim, with an eye to destabilization.
posted by jokeefe at 10:05 AM on January 13, 2009


The London map also serves as a tracker for Lt. Tyrone Slothrop.

Pynchon, FTW.
posted by SansPoint at 10:05 AM on January 13, 2009


The Nazi threat from space isn't over...
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:06 AM on January 13, 2009


That 13 tonne ballistic space missiles being aimed at a large densely populated area should only kill an average of just over two people per missile seems like a large failure.

It isn't a failure if the weapon can't be heard before the explosion. Before the V2 it was possible to hear the whistle of incoming rockets so you would have time to duck into a shelter. With the V2 any warning sound was too late. That must have been terrifying. No warning and then suddenly explosion and, if you missed that, fire. If you really want to kill people than aerial bombardment is the way to go. I know that Germany wasn't capable of doing this, so the V2 was born out of a practicality, but still terror, not body-count, was the main point of this weapon.
posted by ob at 10:07 AM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Good subject. Not a very well-formed, content-rich post, unfortunately.
posted by markkraft at 10:07 AM on January 13, 2009


That was in reply to mandal.

Actually I think it's no bad thing that the Nazis got sidetracked into stupid unworkable weapons systems and viscously stupid working practices – it probably helped distract them from doing things that would have helped them protract the war. That’s little consolation for the poor guys in who died in the tunnels though.
posted by Artw at 10:07 AM on January 13, 2009


That 13 tonne ballistic space missiles being aimed at a large densely populated area should only kill an average of just over two people per missile seems like a large failure. No matter who was doing the assembly work, these were very expensive to produce (same cost as a bomber).

But they didn't need pilots, and pilots are also expensive and very time-consuming to produce. Germany didn't have pilots to spare on high-loss bombing missions. Plus, the Nazis were lousy at prioritisation and realistic decision-making, and had a fanatical belief from Hitler down that wunderwaffen would win the war when nothing else could.
posted by WPW at 10:09 AM on January 13, 2009


There are other reasons why certain areas took more hits than others. From wikipedia:

The defence against the V-2 campaign was to destroy the launch infrastructure—expensive in terms of bomber resources and casualties—or to cause the Germans to "aim" at the wrong place through disinformation. The British were able to convince the Germans to direct V-1s and V-2s aimed at London to less populated areas east of the city. This was done by sending false impact reports via the German espionage network in Britain, which was controlled by the British (the Double Cross System).
posted by ob at 10:13 AM on January 13, 2009


Does this mean we can now definitively locate Slothrop?
posted by mwhybark at 10:17 AM on January 13, 2009


The London map also serves as a tracker for Lt. Tyrone Slothrop.

d'oh! The internet is a race, AND I HAVE LOST.
posted by mwhybark at 10:18 AM on January 13, 2009


Lastly another point was propaganda. The V2 was sold to the German people as a miracle weapon, the one thing that would help them finally win the war. If this was believed then it's easy to see that resources were directed at the project. Yes it was costly, but it's fair to say that, and this is being very generous, the Nazis only had a tenuous grasp on reality.
posted by ob at 10:21 AM on January 13, 2009


Wow, I just looked up Coventry Cathedral and I was blown away at how... ugly the replacement is. Fuck, when the Dom in Salzburg was bombed, at least they had the decency to rebuild it, not replace it with some brutalist monstrosity.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:23 AM on January 13, 2009


Some friends of mine have a great story about when a visiting German friend of theres was in East London and asked why everything was so new and ugly.

Of course, it’s fuck all compared to what we did to Hamburg or Dresden. Stitch that, Fritz!
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does this mean we can now definitively locate Slothrop?

Never mind Slothrop - can this thing help us track down that giant fucking octopus?
posted by gompa at 10:25 AM on January 13, 2009


There's a reason why they call it "Sent to Coventry".
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM on January 13, 2009


Man-Thing - sounds like we've crossed trails a lot.
posted by Artw at 10:28 AM on January 13, 2009


I like Basil Spence's Coventry Cathedral.
posted by WPW at 10:34 AM on January 13, 2009


Good subject. Not a very well-formed, content-rich post, unfortunately.

Man, fuck that shit. It's a good subject and a good map, and we don't need twenty-seven other links giving background on everything from von Braun to the history of London to Gravity's Rainbow. It's all about the map. If it had been one of these overstuffed linkfests some of the obsessives around here churn out, I wouldn't have bothered clicking; my eyes glaze over and I move on up the front page.

Nice post, and keep keepin' it simple!
posted by languagehat at 10:34 AM on January 13, 2009 [22 favorites]


Wow, I just looked up Coventry Cathedral and I was blown away at how... ugly the replacement is. Fuck, when the Dom in Salzburg was bombed, at least they had the decency to rebuild it, not replace it with some brutalist monstrosity.

I lived in Coventry for ~10 years and am no fan of its architecture but the cathedral isn't that bad, and quite attractive inside.
posted by biffa at 10:37 AM on January 13, 2009


"one of these overstuffed linkfests some of the obsessives around here churn out"

The 'Vengence Post", or "Miracle FPP", produced in response to the massive faliure of previous posts in the face of overwhelming asshole-scorn.
posted by Artw at 10:38 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Never mind Slothrop - can this thing help us track down that giant fucking octopus?

By Jove, gompa, you've found the literary source for Watchmen's space squid!

Seriously!

- Moore is obsessed with geomancy
- his space-squid FX demolishes NYC as a proxy for the Blitz
- when you vizualize the arc of the missles they can resemble not only a rainbow but also tentacular graspings!

Also, then, it follows that Lt. Slothrop's amouros adventures must be classified as belonging, therefore, to that class of erotica best-typified by ye olde Dream of the Fisherman's Wife!
posted by mwhybark at 10:42 AM on January 13, 2009


Wow, I just looked up Coventry Cathedral and I was blown away at how... ugly the replacement is.

I don't dislike the cathedral but Coventry itself is pretty ugly. Many towns hardly touched by bombs did this to themselves not long after. All that concrete was the bright new wave of the future. My home town was bombed once, by accident for all I know, but by the mid sixties had gutted itself to 'catch up'.
posted by vbfg at 10:42 AM on January 13, 2009


Strange, considering how random the V2's targetting was, that they apparently managed to hit a one-block stretch of Great Dover Street twice within 10 days.

This map is fascinating, and I'd actually been wondering for a while whether such a thing exists but showing the bomb damage of the Blitz as a whole.
Living in Elephant & Castle in South London it was always striking just how empty and devoid of life or character was the entire zone between E & C and the river, and I would wonder, on my long walks home, how much of this could be ascribed to the hasty rebuilding of bomb-damaged neighbourhoods.
posted by Flashman at 10:49 AM on January 13, 2009


Good subject. Not a very well-formed, content-rich post, unfortunately.

Man, fuck that shit.


Yes yes yes. Excellent post. No padding necessary, though the details provided by others in the thread are much appreciated. More often than not, I don't click on OmniPosts.
posted by chinston at 11:00 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The first photo ever taken of earth, from space, was taken onboard a captured V2 Rocket.

"Army fired dozens of captured German missiles brought to White Sands in 300 railroad cars at the end of the war. While the missileers used the V-2s to refine their own rocket designs, scientists were invited to pack instruments inside the nosecone to study temperatures, pressures, magnetic fields and other physical characteristics of the unexplored upper atmosphere."
posted by thisisdrew at 11:06 AM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'd actually been wondering for a while whether such a thing exists but showing the bomb damage of the Blitz as a whole.

I'm not sure if you've seen this Flickr set, linked on the Londonist site.
posted by chinston at 11:06 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


a visiting German friend of theres was in East London and asked why everything was so new and ugly

a w k - w a r d !

Don't mention the war!
posted by CynicalKnight at 11:06 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The first V2 attacks were on September 8, 1944, which was very late in the war, after D-Day, and after the Soviets had almost entirely driven the Germans out of Russia.

Antwerp was a major target because it was the main harbor and supply route for the Allies' attack on Germany.

Bomb Census Maps of (non-V2) bombing raids in various UK cities.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:08 AM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fickt nicht mit der Raketemensch!
posted by Afroblanco at 11:17 AM on January 13, 2009


According to The Backroom Boys there was a meeting of the British Interplanetary Society (Arthur C Clarke among them) in a pub in Paddington, when the first V2 arrived. Once they'd realised what had happened - no noise, followed by a sonic boom and the impact - they stood and cheered.

Which I find touching and chilling all at the same time.
posted by calico at 11:19 AM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


We live in The East End and love all the history this area has to offer.

We found a plaque commemorating the first flying bomb attack on London, which they seem to think took place on June 13th, 1944. I didn't see this on his map - maybe I overlooked it.

I doubt many people have seen it as it was only on one side a relatively obscure train trestle in Victoria Park. Really neat to stumble upon it.

When the weathers nice we wander about looking for the anti aircraft command centre that's supposedly buried in Victoria Park as well. Good excuse to get out and about on a summers day.
posted by Mutant at 11:26 AM on January 13, 2009


Paul Allen's Flying Heritage museum has a V-1 and a piloted V-1 (!) on display. Not exactly a V-2 but still a way for Seattle-area people to get a gander at these type of rockets.

I don't understand folks who bitch about FPPs that they think are missing crucial links. You can always, and I know this is a radical concept, leave them here in the comments, eh?
posted by maxwelton at 11:28 AM on January 13, 2009


Just imagine all the crucial words have wikipedia links...
posted by Artw at 11:28 AM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree with Languagehat - I read the paragraph in the FPP and saw one real link, as well as the "via". My first thought? About time! I'm SO clicking on this. That plus the subject matter.

I passed Staveley Road in Chiswick every day for about 6 years, and always, always knew that it was the site of the first V2 to land in Greater London. From the map, it also looks like the western-most strike of them all. From comments above, I understand that there were range/reliability issues, as well as misinformation, but I always thought that the industrial East End, with the docks etc was a deliberate target of The Blitz as well as the V1 and V2 campaigns.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 11:31 AM on January 13, 2009


There’s generally a V1 or V2, or at least parts of a V2, in most decent aerospace museums I’ve been to. Usually theres a little “History of Spaceflight” display around there which tells the story of rocketry from Goddard and Tsiolkovsky through Von Braun and the V2 to the post-war American and soviet efforts, making a note of how they both built on V2 work. The big except to this was Kennedy Space Centre, where the Nazis don’t really seem to get much of a mention at all – I think you get a bit of a Disneyfied version of the history of spaceflight there.

Still, they’ve got a “Rocket garden” which is essentially a big display of ICBMs, that’s quite cool even if they don’t really emphasis the original purpose of the missiles.
posted by Artw at 11:36 AM on January 13, 2009


God dammit I HATE Space-Hitler!


You're telling me. My future self sent me a Black-Box Probability Device for Christmas. It can pull objects from alternate dimensions into our own. Pretty neat right? Wrong. My future self set it to "Grab Hitler" and I can't make heads or tails of the documentation (FYI the future is in Basque.) So every 20 minutes I get another Possible Hitler crowding up my living room. Space Hitlers, Alien Hitlers, Well-Adjusted Architect Hitlers, Crippled Hitlers, Asian Hitlers, Gay Hitlers (there are a surprising number of Gay Hitlers) and even, god help us, Lady Hitlers. I have no idea how to turn it off or send them back to their respective dimensions, so now they're eating all my food and bitching about how this universe doesn't have Battle Zeppelins or Mastodon Jerky.


My future self is a real asshole.
posted by The Whelk at 11:37 AM on January 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


Oh, and Mutant - the first "Flying Bomb" that you found was the earlier V1 "doodlebug", not the V2 ballistic rocket.
posted by Nick Verstayne at 11:38 AM on January 13, 2009


Later in life, Wernher von Braun would have a biographical film about himself which naturally glossed over his work for Hitler, portraying him as a conscientious objector forced to produce the V2 under great duress from the Third Reich. The film was titled "I Aim at the Stars." Comedian Mort Sahl suggested adding the subtitle "But Sometimes I Hit London."
posted by brownpau at 11:40 AM on January 13, 2009 [11 favorites]


The Saturn rockets were incredible though - not bad for a war criminal.
posted by Artw at 11:45 AM on January 13, 2009


Once the rockets go up, who cares where they come down?
That's not my department, says Werner von Braun

posted by Artw at 11:46 AM on January 13, 2009


query:
would admiral Nelson allow Von Braun aboard the SeaView?
posted by clavdivs at 11:49 AM on January 13, 2009


Jesus, I had no idea. I mean, you hear a lot about the bombings in London and the Battle of Britain, but I never realized the impact that ballistic rockets had in the war. It must have seen as very effective, psychologically, by the Germans - at least you can see and hear airplanes coming.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 12:21 PM on January 13, 2009


Wow, not just beaten to the punch on the Pynchon joke but thence taken out back and beaten to the kicking me in the ribs and subsequently beaten to the being shot three times and stuffed in a dumpster.
posted by cortex at 12:33 PM on January 13, 2009


Mutant, I certainly noticed that plaque, as I would walk under it every time I went to the climbing gym right next to the tracks.
posted by Flashman at 12:37 PM on January 13, 2009


It must have seen as very effective, psychologically, by the Germans - at least you can see and hear airplanes coming.

Exactly. Aside from the battles WW2 was also a war of technology. So many things that we now use came from innovations and inventions that had their roots in WW2. Yet nothing demonstrates to the general public of the enemy country that you're winning the technology war like a rocket that you can't hear and you can't defend against. Well, until August 6th, 1945 when the war in Europe had been over for months.
posted by ob at 12:40 PM on January 13, 2009


It was when the V1 stopped making noise you had to duck...

Appatrently with a Spitfire you could cathc up to the V1, use your wingtips to tip it's wings, and cause it to crash off target. I'm wondering if there are any actual recorded instances of that though.
posted by Artw at 12:44 PM on January 13, 2009


Interesting. I live in east London and it certainly explains at least one of the ugly-ass buildings at the end of mt street.
posted by rhymer at 12:44 PM on January 13, 2009


sorry my street
posted by rhymer at 12:45 PM on January 13, 2009


My grandad worked in Vauxhall's in Luton making tanks, which was a "reserved occupation" meaning he wasn't called up to fight. But outside work he was in the air defence battalion manning A-A guns on the factory roof. He always said that what made the rockets worse was the lack of warning - you'd hear the bombers come over or there'd be a warning but the V-2s seemed to come from nowhere.
posted by Abiezer at 12:55 PM on January 13, 2009


Artw, in the V-1 wikipedia page, they have a photo (scroll down about halfway) of a Spitfire touching wingtips with a V-1, and has the note that "at least three V-1s were destroyed [in this manner]."

Here's another photo from a Google books search, but the text beside it might be of more interest:
There was a more elegant method to dispose of a V1, if a fighter could move into a position alongside it. The pilot edged his wing over the top of the that of the V1, thus destroying the lift on one side of the flying bomb. That sent the V1 into a steep bank and out of control, but without the need for physical contact between the two aircraft so there was no damage to the fighter.

(Late Mark Spitfire Aces 1942-45, by Alfred Price)
posted by barnacles at 1:06 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


VBFG is right...what is astonishing about the ugly 50s, 60s and 70s crap that dominates much of East London (and other towns) is not how much but how relatively little of it was due to German bombing.
posted by rhymer at 1:07 PM on January 13, 2009


I think the list of cities that have come under attack from ballistic missiles is actually quite a small one – London, Antwerp, the general vicinity of Tel Aviv,

Actually, the list is a bit longer than that, and includes Tehran, Isfahan, Qom, Baghdad, Kirkuk and Kandahar. All scuds though.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 1:38 PM on January 13, 2009


I didn't realise they saw use in teh Iran-Iraq war. Actually the Scud has seen a lot more use than I thought - I never new about it's use in teh Afghan civil war for instance.
posted by Artw at 1:52 PM on January 13, 2009


Americas first satellite went into space on a Redstone, also an immediate descendant of the V2.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM on January 13, 2009


But it is a curve each of them feels, unmistakably. It is the parabola. They must have guessed, once or twice -- guessed and refused to believe -- that everything, always, collectively, had been moving toward that purified shape latent in the sky, that shape of no surprise, no second chance, no return. Yet they do move forever under it, reserved for its own black-and-white bad news certainly as if it were the rainbow, and they its children...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:27 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's interesting to read this as I listen to the airforce do practice bombings @ the AFB near me. They're loud tonight, must be big-uns.

As for them being a failure---they were an implement of terror as much as of destruction. ZOMGSPACEHITLER is the point here, not the byproduct.

Sometimes when I was younger I used to think about time travel, and I had lots of my own ideas about it. The one that I kind of stuck with was that if there ever WERE to time travel there would always HAVE BEEN time travel and that most likely there was and it was just a big ass secret that was used like the proverbial red-button to subvert imminent disaster.

I tell you this because I've always wondered what if we actually lost WW2 the first time and had to travel back in time to change some key decisions (I mean who actually thought D-day would WORK, you know?, or the battle of the bulge? seriously? Or of stalingrad?) just so that fewer jabillions of people would die.

Cuz, I mean, we read about crazy WWII german scientists and how ridiculously advanced they were, and sometimes I seriously wonder how we won.

In all that I'm joking, kidding, being sarcastic. But seriously? That's some nutty stuff.
posted by TomMelee at 6:34 PM on January 13, 2009


The first V2s to London and a lot of others were launched from The Hague were I live. Mobile launch sites were set up among residential areas. To attack them anyway they were bombed by dive bombing against heavy flack.
posted by jouke at 9:07 PM on January 13, 2009


Movies in colour of V2s being launched successfully and unsuccessfully.
posted by jouke at 9:12 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Keith Richard's autobiography (?) begins with a description of a V2 crashing into his house. IIRC it did not explode.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:17 AM on January 15, 2009


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