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Hitler's Vengeance Weapons

Tuesday 19th January 2016

This talk was given by John Pyle of the Colchester Engineering Society, John started by giving us some background on Adolf Hitler, the Nazi regime and the place of Engineers and Scientists within it. The leading players in each of the respected fields were identified with regards to the weapons featured in the talk. John moved on to looking at the V1 rocket known officially as the FGZ-76 covering why it was introduced so late in the war (June 1944). John talked in detail about its technical specification, how its engine worked, how it was launched from ramps and sometimes from modified Heinkel bombers, its effectiveness and how the British defences were arranged to try to prevent it impacting on particularly London and southern England in general, using anti-aircraft fire, barrage balloons and fighter planes. John then looked at the V2 rocket officially known as Aggregat-4 this being the world’s first long range ballistic missile using liquid fuel. John covered similar topics as he had for the V1, the first V2 attack came just two days after the last V1 attack. The V2 was a formidable weapon travelling faster than the speed of sound, it was not heard until after impact adding to the level of terror. John then looked at the unfulfilled German plans to create a two stage version of the V2 and how the V2 formed the basis of the first 15 years of the space race and some post war weapons created from it by the USA, Russia and China. Finally John moved on to the V3 or high pressure pump, this was in fact a giant gun that was to be used to fire rocket assisted shells at London from the other side of the English Channel. John again discussed the technical specification and objectives for this weapon which was never used on London and how it was bombed by 617 squadron at Mimoyeques in Northern France without them knowing what it actually was. The talk was followed by a lively question and answer session.

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