Hitler's Revenge Weapons (Hardback)
The Final Blitz of London
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From September 1940 until May 1941, Britain - especially Greater London - suffered heavily under a barrage of day and night-time raids by the then mighty Luftwaffe; raids which killed some 20,000 people and destroyed or damaged one million homes during what came to be known as the London Blitz. A ‘baby blitz’ followed, from January to May 1944, which was destined to be the final manned bomber offensive by a much depleted Luftwaffe. Afterwards, there came the last gasp, the final blitz on London, this time delivered by the V1 flying bombs and V2 rockets which were aimed at the capital. Overall, the V weapons killed or seriously injured 31,000 in London and destroyed or seriously damaged 1.6 million houses throughout Britain. Yet despite all this, British industry, economy and morale remained largely intact.
Group Captain Nigel Walpole grew up in London during the Blitz and he has traced the full history of the V1 'doodlebugs' and V2 rockets that terrorised so many at this time. He looks at the infamous missile development site at Peenemunde and the engineers who brought Hitler's horrific visions to life. He reports his vivid memories of the three Blitz campaigns and the countermeasures taken in response to them. Having been granted direct access to the history of the V weapons, he describes the evolution, development, production deployment and launch of the flying bombs and rockets. Whilst acknowledging the terrible damage inflicted by these weapons, Nigel also recognises them as an example of Germany’s extraordinary capacity for innovation and determination during one of the darkest periods of world history.
Click here to listen to interviewBBC Radio Suffolk, 30th July 2018 with presenter Lesley Dolphin
NOTE: set cursor to 30:50
It is quite a complex story and the book does a very good job of telling it, with the added element of being told by an author who experienced being on the receiving end of the assault on London.Military Model Scene, Robin Buckland
Read the complete review here.
I have just read Nigel Walpole's latest book; it was most enjoyable. The author weaves a fascinating tale of what happened in the Third Reich in the development of their Vergeltunswaffen as well as the impact they had on the populations in the target areas. It was interesting to discover that both he in North London and his wife in Holland had personal experience of the devastation caused by these weapons.Alex Weiss
The author has been painstaking with his research and included visits to Peenemunde, Mimoyecques and other sites in mainland Europe where these weapons were developed and from which they were launched. He has included many fascinating photographs of the weapons themselves, pictures of them taken by photo-reconnaissance aircraft as well as images of their various different launch sites. Along with the V1 and V2, he also provides details of the V3 and potential future developments of the V2 (A4) missile.
As an experienced fast-jet pilot himself who also undertook fighter reconnaissance, he gives an expert account of the problems the allied air forces had in trying to locate the launch sites and destroy the weapons before they were launched.
I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone interested in the subject.