14 September 2014

14th Sept 1944: collars, tie & fish... & ballistic missiles

14 Thur. Very mild, calm, a little hazy sunshine: not unpleasant. To Wimbledon along rail path in morning; bought a shirt, two collars and a tie at Rego’s. Saw a Pacific loco. with the improved front end. Bought fish at Morden in afternoon and continued my journey along Abbotsbury Rd. to St. Helier. Saw where some shops and a garage were destroyed near the Angelbridge Sutton. Returned along Sutton Common Rd. where I saw severe damage to a great number of modern villas. Two more rockets* are reported to-day, one at Walthamstow and one at Seven Kings. They travel at such a great height and speed, no warning can be given, as at present instruments for their detection have not been devised.


*Wikipedia excerpt on the V-2:  Vergeltungswaffe or "Vengeance Weapon 2",  the world's first long-range ballistic missile. The V-2 rocket was also the first man-made object to enter the fringes of space.
Beginning in September 1944, over 3,000 V-2s were launched against Allied targets, mostly London and later Antwerpand Liège. The attacks resulted in the deaths of an estimated 9,000 civilians and military personnel, while 12,000 forced laborers and concentration camp prisoners were killed producing the weapons.
As Germany collapsed, teams from all of the Allied forces raced to collect rockets, designs and the German engineers and scientists involved.  The knowledge gained led to rapid progress, especially in the United States and the Soviet Union, and by the mid-1950s, nuclear-armed descendants of V-2 missiles were common battlefield weapons. By the end of the decade these had reached intercontinental range. Link to Wikipedia V-2 entry.

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