March 2, 2019 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

History of the V1 Flying Bomb and V2 Missile

Saturday, March 2, 11:00 AM

Presentation by Phil Gioia 

Event included with Museum admission.

An anonymous letter is received by British Naval Intelligence in 1939, warning of mysterious new secret weapons being developed by Nazi Germany.

The British do nothing until 1942, when an accidental overflight of a German base at Peenemünde on the Baltic seacoast reveals heavy construction of a huge, unique military site with adjoining airfields.

Through late 1942 and into 1943 massive concrete structures and unusual radar installations also begin appearing in reconnaissance photos taken over Occupied France.

In late 1943 a young RAF woman Flight Officer identifies a mysteriously shaped object in an air photo of Peenemünde, and surmises it is a flying weapon of some kind. At the same time the Allies also receiving human intelligence reports from resistance fighters on the Continent of some kind of giant rocket.

The Allies are preparing to launch the cross-Channel attack at Normandy in June 1944. A race begins to identify and destroy these new German weapons and their supporting facilities, before they can be brought into action against England.

This the story of the secret development of the Nazi V-1 flying bomb and V-2 missile, and the Allied efforts to destroy them. As Wellington said of the victory narrowly won against Napoleon at Waterloo, ‘It was a damn near-run thing.’ Military historian Phil Gioia will tell this engaging story in detail, with photos of all the principals, weapons, sites, and technologies.