The Atlantik Wall In Normandy



X-series Missiles

These were German wire-guided missiles.
The first to be developed was the X4, an air-to-air missile, work on which began in June 1943.
It was a finned missile with a wingspan of 6ft 6in, driven by a BI-fuel liquid rocket at 550mph. Bobbins of wire were carried in the wing tips, which unwound as it flew, and guidance signals were sent down the wire to function spoiler tabs on the wing surfaces which caused it to alter direction.
The warhead carried 44lb of explosive and a "Kranich" acoustic proximity fuze. Prototypes were flown successfully in September 1944 but the wire link from aircraft to missile was considered too restricting, and work then began on two alternative versions, one using the 'Pudel' acoustic homing system in which the missile would find its own way to the noise of the targets engines, and one using a radio link system of guidance. Neither of these had passed the development stage when the war ended. As an offshoot of the X4 program. it was decided to develop a wire-guided ground-to-ground missile for antitank use; this became known as the X7. It was gyro-stabilized and wire-guided in the same manner as the X4 but carried a hollow charge warhead fitted with an impact fuze. It was propelled by a two-stage solid propellant rocket motor, weighed 22lb, had a range of 1000 meters and could penetrate over 200 mm of armour. The X-series were developed by the Ruhrstahl AG company of Düsseldorf, but none was ever brought to sufficient perfection to begin production before the war ended. Nevertheless, the company deserve recognition for being the originators of the wire-guided antitank missile which is today in the armories of every nation, and, except for relatively small refinements, is made to the same specifications as the X7.


Home Up

All photographs are the copyright of Hand Maid Tours,  please ask before you use them.
For problems or questions regarding this web contact