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On This Day... 23 September 2019

The first V1 flying bomb is launched against Britain*

The first V1 (Vergeltungswaffe 1) flying bomb is launched against Britain during Operation 'Rumpelkammer' and hits Swanscombe in Kent at 0418, causing shock and near panic among the civilian population. V1s were launched from "ski-jump" launch sites along the French (Pas-de-Calais) and Dutch coasts until the sites were overrun by Allied forces in March of 1945. The V-1 was constructed mainly of welded sheet steel and wings built similarly or of plywood. The simple Pulse jet engine pulsed 50 times per second and the characteristic buzzing sound gave rise to the colloquial names "buzz bomb" or "doodlebug" (after an Australian insect). The V1s speed was 630 km/h (390 mph), it had a range of 250 km (150 miles) and a warhead of 850-kilogram (1,870-pound) made of a mixture of TNT and ammonium nitrate.
[V1 on its launch ramp]

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