Carrying a ton of explosives, the V1 rocket flew at ~400 mph with a range of 200 miles. Launched from the occupied French coast, the first V-1 “Buzzbomb” (Vergeltungswaffen) attacked London on 13 June 1944, immediately after the Allied D-Day invasion.
British countermeasures, including antiaircraft guns, barrage balloons and Hawker Tempest and Gloster Meteor aircraft proved increasingly successful throughout the summer – by August 1944 ~80 per cent of V-1s were being destroyed before hitting their targets.
V-1 attacks on England continued (~100 attacks/day) until October 1944, when the last V-1 launch sites in range of Britain were overrun by the invading Allies. Although difficult to find accurate data, one estimate states ~5,475 people died in V-1 attacks on England.
Beginning in September 1944, Germany sent thousands of V-2 missiles from mobile launch sites against Antwerp and London. These liquid-fueled missiles flew like rocket ships, straight up to the border of space before falling at a terminal speed of 2,386 mph toward their targets. ~1000 V-2’s were fired at Britain before their launch sites were overrun by the advancing Allies. An estimated ~2424 people were killed by V-2s.
Although not particularly accurate, V-1 and V-2 Buzz Bombs achieved their intent – forcing the Allies to commit vast resources in countermeasures and, most important, terrorizing civilians.