SENSE OF PRESSURE Harold de Bree
The Fieseler Fi 103/FZG-76 (Vergeltungswaffe-1, V-1),
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The Fieseler Fi 103/FZG-76 (Vergeltungswaffe-1, V-1), known as the Flying
bomb, Buzz bomb or Doodlebug, was the first guided missile used in war and
the forerunner of today's cruise missile.
The name Vergeltungswaffe, meaning "reprisal weapon", was coined by German propaganda minister Goebbels to signify reprisal against the Allies for the bombing of the Fatherland. FZG is an abbreviation of Flakzielgerät (anti-aircraft gun aiming device), a misleading name.
Selbstopfer (German for self-sacrifice) was a late-World War II German project to develop a "smart weapon" for attacking high-value targets such as bridges and command centers. First proposed by Otto Skorzeny, leader of the German commandos, and Hanna Reitsch, the famous test pilot, they suggested using converted V1 Flying Bombs with a tiny cockpit on top, with a pilot.
About 100 pilots, drawn from KG 200 were trained, and about 175 of the modified V-1 (named Fieseler Fi 103 R Reichenberg) were built. Unlike the somewhat similar Japanese Kamikaze Ohka, pilots of the new Fi 103 R were intended to bail out just prior to impact, although in reality this would be difficult because of the cramped cockpit, the sharp angle of the final dive, and the fact that the cockpit was located just below the pulsejet intake.
Testing was carried out by KG 200 on several occasions, dropped from Heinkel He 111 bombers, with Reitsch herself piloting an unpowered version equipped with a wooden landing skid. Several stories claim operational use, but it appears highly unlikely that the weapon was ever used in combat.