|There are three main V2 sites in Normandy two are
listed below. I have not included Brecourt because it was first used as
a V2 facility, only after most of the V1 Ski sites had been bombed did
the Germans use Brecourt as a V1 site. It can be found in the V1 section
of this site.
The V2 was an unmanned, guided, ballistic missile. It
was guided by an advanced gyroscopic system that sent signals to
aerodynamic steering tabs on the fins. It was generally inaccurate due
to errors in aligning the rocket with itís target, premature shutoff of
the motor and inconsistencies in electric current in the guidance
system. It was propelled by an alcohol (a mixture of 75% ethyl alcohol
and water), and liquid oxygen fuel. The two liquids were delivered to
the thrust chamber by two rotary pumps, driven by a steam turbine. The
steam turbine operated at 5,000 rpm on two auxiliary fuels, namely hydro
peroxide (100 %) and calcium permanganate. This system generated about
55,000 lbs (27,000 to 30,000 Newton) of thrust. The motor typically
burned for 60 seconds, pushing the rocket to around 4,400 ft/second. It
rose to an altitude of 52 miles and had a range of 200 - 225 miles.
The man who sold the idea of the V2 as a weapon must have been a very
good salesman, it cost a fortune and delivered just 1 ton of explosive.
In the later stages of the war the German's had nearly a quarter of a
million people working on the V1 & V2 projects. This at a time when men
at the front had not got enough ammunition.
The V2 carried a high explosive warhead weighing 2,000 lbs (1 ton)
that was capable of flattening a large building. It was first fired
operationally on Sept. 7, 1944 against London, primarily as a propaganda
exercise. Itís real claim to fame was as the start of the rocket race
that developed during the Cold War, and ultimately put men on the moon
and probes that have left our solar system.