Ragnarok wrote:As far as practicality and efficiency, not so much. They killed an average of less than one person with each shell (admittedly, they also wounded an average of two).
True, but for "terror weapons" the actual body count is usually irrelevant compared to the incalculable psychological effect.
Actually, I'm glad you reminded me about this though, because I was looking into it recently. Although clear figures on the Paris gun are a little hard to find, most can be estimated pretty well - so I was fiddling about with modelling it in the range calculator, because it's a wonderful mix of complicated factors: Coriolis, Earth curvature, very high velocities, atmospheric thinning, rifling, exceptionally long hang times...
Do you live anywhere near Eastbourne, and should the good citizens of Paris be quaking in their chaussures?
The V1 was no poor weapon- but it had nothing on the V2. The V1 used a pulsejet for propulsion, and the reed valves would often fail before the bomb reached it's location. I can't recall the figures- but the amount that failed en route is staggering. The V2 was a much more effective weapon.
The V2 was impossible to counter once it left its launchpad, while the V1 was increasingly easy to shoot down but at least it was tying up resources in the UK that would have been better deployed elsewhere. Also, thanks to a bit of witty counter-intelligence by the Brits, the Germans were under the impression that the missiles were landing further inland than they actually were, so they overcompensated with the timing mechanism and caused many to fall short of their target - this means the mechanics were working properly
Interesting to note that the British were developing their own version, the Miles Hoop-la, before being subjected to the V1 onslaught, but in terms of mechanical simplicity and performance it would have been even worse.