V1 "buzz bomb"
The V-1 was developed during the Second World War at Germany's Peenemunde research and testing facility on the Baltic Coast, and was the first operational cruise missile in the world. Powered by a pulse jet system generating 770 pounds of thrust (or 3,400 newtons), the two and a half ton V-1 could fly 150-200 miles to reach its target.
The V-1 was most commonly launched from a ground ramp and was assisted in reaching altitude by a powered catapult (it could also be launched from a heavy payload aircraft such as a medium bomber). After launch the V-1's guidance system would direct the missile toward the target. The V-1 was relatively inaccurate and almost useless as a military weapon; in addition it was slow, could be knocked out of the sky by interceptor aircraft and was also plagued by mechanical problems. As such only about 25% of the V-1's Germany launched during the War hit their targets.
Germany built thousands of V-1's during the War with the vast majority of those deemed operational launched at targets in England. Of the V-1's launched at England a significant proportion were directed at London; well over 2,000 V-1's struck London from June 1944 to early in 1945, killing or injuring over 20,000 people.
Picture Courtesy of Steven Mercatante