Germans introduce V1 in 1940

Work on the V1 began in 1935, but didnt get official backing until well into the war.

Maybe with the help of some technical breakthroughs etc. What if it gets backed and goes into production earlier?

In OTL the Germans were able to fire off a couple of hundred per day while the bases and transport net were under air attack from vastly superior allied air forces. So I think they could significantly exceed that. In OTL, the number of launches began as a dribble and ramped quickly. So assume the same.

13 Aug 1940 (eagle day) - 6 V1s launched at London

14 Aug 1940 - 26 V1s

15 Aug 1940 - 37 V1s

16 Aug 1940 - 98 V1s

17 Aug 1940 - 123 V1s

18 Aug 1940 - 241 V1s

19 Aug 1940 - 337 V1s

From then on 300-500 V1 launches per day (mostly on the lower side)

Does Hitler still divert the LW to attack London after the RAF bomb Berlin? (Let's say no as the V1 is doing the job).

What is the effect on Britain?

What is the V1 called in this TL?
 
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Well, I guess it will be called the Fi 103? Or some Argus 29x/3xx?

Anyway, continous attacks by the flying bomb on London will likely mean no Luftwaffe bombing of said city, instead, the focus will be on RAF bases, Radar stations and factories, and perhaps, given Goering's idea of air war, the Bf 109 will act as escorts to the Fi 103s, waiting to engage the British pilots who will desperately try to shoot the flying bombs down.

(A reversal of the Bf 110 - Bf 109 vs Hurricane and Spitfire where the 109 pilots don't care about losing the Fi 103s)
 
I was also the Germans can keep this up for years (in OTL it was only overrunning the bases that stopped V1 attacks on London) - maybe even increase the numbers further still over the next few years. V1 launch ramps can operate at night too.

Churchill is now offering nothing but blood, sweat, toil, tears and 247 V1 attacks.

As the war goes on, does this divert (or increase at the expense of other areas) the bomber offensive?

Do the Allies launch a premature invasion to get to the V1 launch sites?
 
Do the Allies launch a premature invasion to get to the V1 launch sites?
Launch an invasion with what?
Great Britain was still reeling from the Dunkirk disaster and Fall of France.

From my memory they had ten armies of which 8 went to Europe... plus there's Northern Africa to deal with, lack of guns, planes, tanks etc.

Perhaps they will try a... suicidal night time attack on the launch sites, with paratroopers landing to finish the job...
(I don't see another option, the balloons and fighters shooting the flying bombs will probably be destroyed by Luftwaffe escorts)
 
I was thinking in 1940, they put up with the V1s

In 1941, the pressure to do something is becoming severe

In 1942-3 the pressure to do something becomes unbearable. You get a Super Dieppe instead of Torch or Husky.
 
So what does not get built? How do they still succeed as per OTL, when the invasion of France was a constant roll of sixes as it was?
 
I don't think the Germans would go for V1 so early.

Compared to simple bombs, the cost of using V1 is extremely high in 1940.
(in reality, it would have been far too high in 1938-1939, when the V1 would have to be developped if it is to be ready in 1940)

At the times, all the air forces in the world operated under the assumption : "the bomber will always get through"

V1 became justifiable later in the war as the Luftwaffe could no longer afford the casualties rates in their bombers.

So, an economic analysis of the V1 in 1938 would have resulted in the War Ministry to tell to the inventor "are you completely stupid ?"

Military do not go for "oh, shiny new tech", they go for the most affordable answers to known problems.

In 1938-39, V1 would have been an unaffordable answer in search of a problem.
 

Garrison

Donor
The Nazis only committed to the V-1 after the Luftwaffe had suffered serious setbacks and could no longer effectively bomb Britain. The V-1 was an inflexible weapon that required those long fixed launch ramps that would have to be built after the fall of France, which will probably take longer than putting together the airfields the Luftwaffe required.
There's also the payload issue:

V-1 850 kg
Ju 88 1400 kg internal 3,000 kg external
He 111 2000kg internal up to 3600 kg external
Do 17 1000 kg
He 177 7000 kg internal and 2500 kg external

Some of those don't seem that large a difference, but those bombs are cheaper and simpler than a V-1/Fi 103 so to match the bomb loads dropped on the UK during the latter half of 1940 will require a huge investment of resources that can't be used for other purposes, i.e. supporting Barbarossa or anti-shipping operations. also there's the accuracy issue, getting the bombs to hit allied airfields would be a challenge and trying to use the navigation systems that aided German night bombing would be all but impossible.

In short even if this were somehow technically feasible its a terrible idea that's going to weaken the German war effort not enhance it.
 
It is an nice twist for the luftwaffe, bomb large area targets with no risk to highly trained personel. But the payback is going to be an bitch for Germany. With so many V1 fired, the british will have dud soon and can build their own version. Considering the total cost (money, men, support etc) of bomber command using V1´s to `dehouse` the german war industries is cheap
 
The idea was that the V1 was such a simple design, using no strategic materials, and relatively easy to manufacture. Plus the pulse jet was a known technology going back before WW1. If the German government had enthusiastically backed it, and with a little luck, it might have been ready in 1940. So the BoB would have been conducted as IOTL, but with V1s (or whatever name they would have given it), also raining down as indiscriminate “terror” weapons. It’s terrible accuracy would actually be a “feature”. Just one more thing for the British to have to contend with, with little chance of interception.

BTW - I wrote a little “one act play” back in 2018 as part of this topic to illustrate the V1 getting the green light. In it, the V1 is ordered up for the upcoming attack on France (to be used against Paris). However, with the rapid fall of Franc,e, the stockpile of V1s could now be used against Britain.

Ric350

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V1 drones during the Battle of Britain​


So here is the back story I came up with for the V1 to get the political support, that enables it to be a deployed weapon in 1940.

Ric350

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He hated Berlin! There was something about the city that always had a gray cast, no matter how sunny the day. Now even with the recent victory over the Poles, Berlin seemed more oppressive than ever. Of course his colleagues would argue he was only happy in his lab or on the test range, (and they were right). At the end of September, they had run several successful tests of the “Project P 35” with the new engine design, and within days, he had been summoned to Berlin to give a presentation to “high ranking officials”. What unnerved him the most was the timing of this “invitation” so soon on the heels of the successful tests. It was obvious that government informants had infiltrated the facility, and/or members of his team were willingly (or otherwise), providing test results to Berlin. He shouldn’t have been surprised, but it was unnerving.

He glanced at the clock. It was time to begin his presentation, but a look around the conference room gave him pause. Across the table to his left sat representatives from the Wehrmacht; a Colonel and two Majors. To his right sat the Luftwaffe contingent; two Captains. A decidedly mediocre attendance given the expedient tone of his summons. The two groups talked quietly amongst themselves, hardly giving him any notice.

He was about to get their attention and begin, when the double doors of the conference room burst open and four soldiers entered the room: two on each side of the doorway. He immediately noticed their SS badges, and his mouth went dry. The officers at the table turned as one and he could see their reaction reflected his own.

The room remained frozen for several seconds. The Wehrmacht Colonel looked like he was about to speak, when loud talking and laughter came from the hallway. The four SS soldiers snapped to attention, and in walked Field Marshall Göring!

The officers in the room bolted to attention, one of the Luftwaffe Captains doing so with such zeal that the his chair flew backwards, to be caught by one of the SS soldiers, and returned to the table. The Captain flushed red but didn’t move.

Göring was accompanied by five Luftwaffe officers including a General, to whom Göring continued to talk and laugh. Then after scanning the room, Göring said, “be seated gentlemen, and do continue Herr Doctor.” (Ric350 - I will refer him as “HD” in the remainder of this play)

Once everyone had been seated, (and after a calming pause to drink some water), HD was about to start the presentation, when another figure quietly entered the room: Reichsführer-SS Himmler! Again, the original groups of officers came to attention, but HD noticed that none of Görings’ entourage did. Göring only gave Himmler a sidewards glance. HD saw Himmler give the officers permission to sit with a slight hand motion. Himmler nodded to the SS men, who closed the conference room doors. Then Himmler stared at HD and simply said “continue.” HD realized all eyes were on him, taking another sip of water, and with a cold sweat soaking his shirt, HD began the presentation.

“And that gentlemen concludes my briefing. I will take any questions or observations you may have.” The presentation had only taken 45 minutes, and with the exception of one question early in the meeting by the Wehrmacht Colonel, no other questions or comments were given during the presentation. During the meeting Göring would whisper comments occasionally to his entourage followed by laughter, while Himmler stood the entire time in silence, staring at HD from across the table.

After a few awkward seconds Göring spoke. “So Herr Doctor, if I understand your briefing correctly, your machine, while having an impressive top speed, has an impact accuracy of; let me see here in your paper; ah, it’s measured in kilometers!?” “That seems ludicrous to the point where the word accuracy shouldn’t be used at all!” Göring laughs at his joke, joined by the rest of attendees (except Himmler and the four SS men). Göring continued, “Any of my Stuka pilots could easily put a bomb through that window (pointing)!” “That my dear doctor is accuracy, as the Poles found to their dismay!”(more laughter). “Even our comrades in the Wehrmacht artillery” (waving a hand toward the Wehrmacht officers, and smiling at the their unease), “can put their shells in the general vicinity of their target.” “Perhaps they would be interested in your device.” Then in a booming voice Göring stood and said, “We in the Luftwaffe find the suggestion of our sponsorship of this device inappropriate and frankly insulting; it doesn’t even have a pilot!”

HD endured Goring’s tirade trying not to show his disappointment and fear. HD watched silently as Göring, his entourage, filed out of the conference room, with Göring’s loud voice and laughter receding down the hall. HD felt as though he would be physically sick. HD reached for his chair, when he realized that the four SS soldiers were still there.

“Some people are very short-sighted.” With a start, HD turned to see Himmler standing almost at his elbow. HD had focused so much on Göring, he hadn’t noticed Himmler come around the table and stand next to him. HD began to sweat again, and tried desperately not to let Himmler see his hands shake. Himmler motioned to the SS soldiers, and they closed the conference room doors. Himmler continued; “The fat one is still living his glories of the last war.” “He hasn’t realized that warfare has changed.”

“Herr Doctor, I noticed here in your report that your group acknowledges the potential of your device to, and I quote, terrorize the populace or even undisciplined troops, unquote.” Our recent experience in Poland demonstrated the usefulness of such terror. Our analysis of various campaigns there showed that groups of terrorized civilians, trying to escape areas of shelling or bombing, created blockages of roadways that had detrimental effects on Polish military withdrawals and counter attack. Even just the sound of the Stuka sirens caused panic. As a result, the Poles lost the initiative at several crucial points, to our advantage, and ultimate victory.” “Terror is a weapon to be wielded, as useful as bullets or bombs.”

HD didn’t know if Himmler expected a response, so he remained quiet. Luckily HD guessed right, as Himmler began to speak again. “Per your report, the Project P 35 requires minimal strategic resources, and unskilled labor to manufacture, is that correct?” “Yes, I mean, partially Reichsführer.” Himmler's’ stare hardened, so HD explained quickly; “Only the pulse motor requires skill to manufacture, as does the guidance system.” “However the main fuselage and wings are simple constructions using basic wood and metal materials, and could be made by semi-skilled or even unskilled labor.”

Himmler was quiet for a few seconds, then asked, “if you are provided the required materials, could your team build 1000 motors and guidance systems in 6 months?” SD responded, “yes Reichsführer, that should not be a problem, given that we are provided the necessary materials.” “However we do not have nearly enough semi-skilled or unskilled labor to produce that number of airframes.” Himmler’s stare softened somewhat, “My office will ensure you received whatever materials you need.” “As for the labor, my office will provide that as well.” HD thought he detected a slight smile on Himmler’s face as he said that, which somehow was more sinister than his stare.

Himmler continued, “I want a detailed production proposal submitted to my office by the end of the week.” “My office will begin shipment of materials to your facility within 30 days of your report.” “The labor force and airframe assembly facility will be ready within 60 days.” “I expect full production to begin no later than January 1st.” “I will speak to the Wehrmacht and get their support as well, as you can expect nothing from the Luftwaffe.”

HD was about to question the rapid schedule plan given Poland’s recent surrender, but immediately thought better and stayed silent. Himmler turned and walked around the table to the conference room doors. Himmler paused there for a second, then turned to HD and said, “Herr Doctor, I am going to update the Fuhrer regarding your proposal.” “You would do well not to disappoint him, or me.” With that Himmler walked out, followed by the two SS soldiers. HD slumped into a chair. The full weight of what had just occurred seemed to rob him of his breath, and sapped the strength from his muscles.

He hated Berlin!
 
If these were effective and numerous a Britain fearing invasion as well would be sorely tempted to drop/spray persistent gas chemicals onto the launching sites. They were prepared to use this against an invasion force landing on their own territory so the possibility is quite real. Otherwise the available air respirces were not up to the task of locating and destroying such launching sites were they in a 1944/5 numbers. The heavy bombers were too few and inaccurate whilst the light ones too vulnerable to fighter defence and AA fire. The heavies (biggest bomb load coming from a Whitley) needed to operate at night.
However, we are in an either/or situation unless we wave a magic wand. A 1940 V1 will eat far into the German air industry’s capacity which was already producing fewer aeroplanes than Britain. Were it part of a thought out strategy then the Luftwaffe would be a pure army support force leaving the heavy bombing to the V1s. More Stukas and an Me 110 equivalent as a light bomber. No He111 and the Ju88 conflated with the Me 110 Into one airframe.
I do recall seeing calculations that the OTL bomber losses of the Luftwaffe and the cost of these airframes and training made the V1 a cheaper bomb load delivery system even as a total loss delivery system.
 
I was thinking in 1940, they put up with the V1s

In 1941, the pressure to do something is becoming severe

In 1942-3 the pressure to do something becomes unbearable. You get a Super Dieppe instead of Torch or Husky.
1942?
The US would have long since reverse engineered them, improved them(Beam ride guidance, longer range like later did with the USN Loon), and then mass produce them
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The heavy bombers were too few and inaccurate whilst the light ones too vulnerable to fighter defence and AA fire. The heavies (biggest bomb load coming from a Whitley) needed to operate at night.
V1 launch sites are within the range of 11 Group Fighter Command. The heavies will have escorts.
 
A couple observations:

1. The V1 campaign was originally to be kicked off early spring 1944. Operation CROSSBOW set that back to mid June. large scale attacks by the RAF & US 9th Air Force destroyed the original set of launchers under construction from latter 1943. These high volume launchers were replaced by flimsier portable launchers. Moving those regularly and their less robust construction cut into the numbers per day that could be launched. Op CROSSBOW was cut short by the need to return the bomber groups involved to the higher priority bomb missions of Op OVERLORD during March- June. Otherwise the CROSSBOW attacks could have continued.

1942?
The US would have long since reverse engineered them, improved them(Beam ride guidance, longer range like later did with the USN Loon), and then mass produce them
View attachment 762958View attachment 762960

The actual time spent on picking apart the V1 design and putting together the JB-2 Loon was fifteen to sixteen months. Low priority and halting the development at one point dragged it out over two years. Once the V1 became a actual threat Hap Arnold approved high priority we went from a paper design to production in barely a year. 5,000 were scheduled to be completed in 1945, but production was canceled in August or September that year & only 1000 were completed.

There were several other designs in the JB projects from 1942. ie: the JB-1 using a different propulsion system & the LBD-1 Gargoyle intended as a precision anti ship missile. The Tiny Tim, anther anti ship weapon, was briefly earmarked for use in Op CROSSBOW in late 1943.
 
There's a chart comparing OTL V1 to the Blitz.


Now in this timeline

1. V1s are roughly twice as effective as OTL because the launching sites are not bombed as much, not as many are shot down etc

2. Roughly twice as many V1s per day

3. The OTL V1 campaign against London last a couple if months. In this timeline lets just do 1940-1941. That's about 18 months. 9x as long.

So x2 x2 x9 = x36 destruction on London

Even if this is an overestimate, and it's only x10, this is going to put severe pressure on the uk. I dont think waiting till 1942 for a mass produced US response will be a solution. I'm not even sure it is a solution as American V1s would have to be shipped to the UK. I know the US actually had their V1 (JB-2?) ready for the invasion of japan but had to severely cut back numbers planned as it exceeded 25% of shippping capacity by itself

As for what doesnt get built, the other point about the V1 is it is built from non-strategic materials by slave labour. I can see the Germans abandoning the He-177, Amerika bomber, and the incredibly expensive A4/V2 programme though.
 
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How likely would it be for the British to ask for terms in the event of monthly V-1 bombardment? And with no solutions to the flying bombs? I think Germany offered terms after the Fall of France that were quite favorable to the British?

While Churchill would not surrender, what about the British Parliament?
 
How likely would it be for the British to ask for terms in the event of monthly V-1 bombardment? And with no solutions to the flying bombs? I think Germany offered terms after the Fall of France that were quite favorable to the British?

While Churchill would not surrender, what about the British Parliament?

They do have a solution: mustard gas bombardment of the launch sites.
 
... The heavy bombers were too few and inaccurate whilst the light ones too vulnerable to fighter defence and AA fire. The heavies (biggest bomb load coming from a Whitley) needed to operate at night.

Actually most of the attacks of Operations CROSSBOW were made by the light bombers of the US 9th Air Force in day light. The Brits abandoned night bombing after a few weeks as too inaccurate. From early December 1942 the 9th AF attacked the "Site 1 System" launch sites with A20 light and B26 medium bombers. This was before the 9th AF experiments with using single engine planes as precision 'dive bombers'. In April the need to return all the medium bombers of the 9th AF to the Transportation Plan attacks and a desire to bump up the volume on bombs on the V1 launch sites caused a portion of the 8th AF to be assigned these targets. As of 1 May 24 of the Site 1 types were judged destroyed and 58 judged heavily damaged. Thats of the 96 Type 1 Sites identified at the start of January 1944. The HYPERWAR web site has a article on this subject, as does the history of the US 9th Air Force.

However, we are in an either/or situation unless we wave a magic wand. A 1940 V1 will eat far into the German air industry’s capacity which was already producing fewer aeroplanes than Britain.


Ellis in 'Brute Force' has in Table 41 a comparison of Axis & Allied aircraft production. For 1940 Germany is show as building 6,201 combat aircraft of all types, Britain 7,771, & US Air Corps accepting 1,785 combat aircraft*.

For 1941 its Germany 7,624, Britain 11,32. & US 8,531. All combat types

Jumping ahead to 1943: Germany 18,953, Britain 18,445, & US 53,343 built. All combat types.


*US production does not include aircraft sold to France and Britain. I don't have total numbers for the foreign sales, but France is supposed to have had 1,800 US built aircraft delivered in 1940. 600 were actually delivered by the Armistice in June.

Britain and the US were building a much higher portion of multi engined combat aircraft in 1943 than Germany. The latter was shifting to a fighter only construction policy. This was in part due to the difficulty in training air crew 1942-43, but more for the inability to increase engine production. Numbers vary by source, by some time in 1943 the Allies supposed the Axis in aircraft engine production by 7-1 ratio.

Focusing on the 1940-41 production.

For 1940 Germany is show as building 6,201 combat aircraft or 9,430 of all types,

For 1941 its Germany 7,624 combat, & 10,930 of all types

Assuming two Fi 103 can be built per the average single aircraft the if existing production of manned aircraft is quartered then for:

1940 9,340 x 25% = 2,335 x2 = , 4,670 Fi 103 or 390 per month. Thats of course dependent of building that many motors. The OP indicate production starts midyear, so the total for 1940 is closer to 2,300 or 200 per month avg.

1941 10,930 x 25% = 2,733 x2 = 5,465 Fi 103 or 455 per month.


What the reduction of replacement manned aircraft to the Luftwaffe by 25% does to overall combat capability or to specific campaigns is problematic.
 
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