View Full Version : V1 map?

9th Aug 2008, 17:12
Does anyone know where online one can find a map of all V1 bomb sites? I am particularly interested to find out which parts of my neck of the woods (SE London) were involuntarily modified by the V1s ( and indeed the V2s). A Google trawl revealed nothing.



9th Aug 2008, 20:13
Opposite Purley Cricket Club in The Ridge is one, we had our front door and windows blown out in No 15. I seem to remember one fell somewhere near the Tram depot in Purley. Hope this helps Alan

PPRuNe Pop
9th Aug 2008, 20:57
I will try to find a book published by the Sutton library, showing where all the V1's came down in the South East.

I made a post some years ago about one my mother and sister and I ran 75yds from outside St.Helier hospital, Carshalton in July 1944, to a shelter which saved our lives. It exploded as we got half-way down the slope into the shelter.

The only V2 that came close, came down in Tooting - you didn't see those coming of course.

India Four Two
10th Aug 2008, 12:19

I'm going from memory here, but I think there is a map in one of the plates in R. V. Jones' book "Most Secret War".

bigal and Pop,

I hesitate to say this, but Professor Jones may have been responsible for your close encounters with V1s. In his book, he describes how they used a "turned" agent to feed back V1 impact data to the Germans. They gave the time of impact correctly, but they gave the impact point as further along track than the actual impact.

As they expected, this resulted in the V1 technicians reducing the distance to be flown in the counter (driven by a small propellor in the nose). This had the effect of moving the mean impact point southeast of central London. Great if you lived in central or northwest London. Not so great if you lived in Surrey or Kent!

The book is an excellent read covering all aspects of scientific intelligence from the "Battle of the Beams", through radar development, Oboe, Gee, Window to the V1 and V2.

10th Aug 2008, 12:52
Yes there is, I have it in front of me, plate 24 in Jones' book. It is Flak Regiment 155(W)'s battle map showing dark spots, which were the fall of V-1s in London as reported by German 'agents'. Not surprisingly these are clustered together around Central London, and to the west. Then it has white spots, which were the fall of V-1s as indicated by radio transmitters mounted in sample missiles. These are mainly to the south of London, as a result of the 'agents' reporting North London hits as hitting the central area.

On page 534, Jones says that the Allies found this map when the Flak Regiment's HQ was overrun. It was surprising that the deception had worked because Jones had not known about the radio transmitters, which had correctly indicated that the bombs were falling short, whereas the 'agent's' reports said that they were tending to overshoot. But a written report in the regiment's files on the discrepancy stated that "the agents were particularly reliable, and therefore their information was to be accepted, and that there must be something wrong with the radio D/F (direction/finding) method."

10th Aug 2008, 13:03
Huge amount of V1 V2 info HERE. (http://www.flyingbombsandrockets.com/V1_summary.html)

Flying Bombs and Rockets : where the Fell (http://www.flyingbombsandrockets.com/V1_summary.html)

10th Aug 2008, 15:41
IFT and D120A:

I appears that the "turned agent" was Eddie Chapman, known as Agent "ZigZag" by his MI5 handlers. Googling him produces an astounding story of double-dealing and duplicity, which has been the subject of both books and a film, titled "Triple Cross" in which he was played by Christopher Plummer.

It seems that the false information that he fed to his German secret service masters resulted in alterations to the V1 range settings, which displaced their actual impact points away from the densely populated areas of central London. Hence a number fell short, in more rural areas of Kent and surrounding regions. Over 1,400 fell in Kent alone, and these are plotted on a map which the "Kent Messenger" newspaper published in September 1944. It is reproduced in various books, etc, and I have a copy in a book titled "Kent at War" by Bob Ogley published by Froglets Publications and the KM Group.

Many of those that fell were shot down by AA fire and by fighter attacks, and as a 5 year old living in mid Kent with my mother, I can clearly remember the exciting sights of "doodlebugs" being pursued by RAF fighters with guns visibly and audibly blazing! To a 5 year old, all RAF fighters were "Spitfires", but now I suspect that Tempests and Mustangs were also involved. On one occasion while playing in our garden, a fighter came alongside a "pop-popping" V1 and seemed to flip it over, so it plunged to the ground - my mother rushed out into the garden and yanked me back indoors, just as it exploded with a frightening "whoompf". In our living-room the small panes of window glass all bulged suddenly inwards against their metal frames, and just as suddenly went back to normal, without cracking! It was a dramatic demonstration of the effects of blast, and of the surprisingly elastic properties of glass in certain circumstances.

10th Aug 2008, 17:35

thank you for reminding me about the RV Jones book. I read it many years ago, and must dig it out of my attic. (seem to remember he had a very dry writing style).


that website is brilliant - just the sort of detailed locational info I was after.

Many thanks to all - the power of Pprune!


10th Aug 2008, 18:15
skua, a bit further away from London there's this:


Apparently a V1 landed close to Castor station. The crater is supposed to be still visible but I couldn't see it when I went past the site the other day - probably looking in the wrong place.

On second thought -- it's ahelluva long way from London , did they have the range or is it a local myth to attract custom?

Roy Bouchier
10th Aug 2008, 18:32
Unfortunately, that website only covers south London. Your best source would be the Imperial War Museum.

10th Aug 2008, 18:32

After the ground-launching of V1 flying bombs had stopped, I understand that for a period, the Luftwaffe air-launched a number, from adapted Heinkel bombers. So it seems possible that one might have fallen at Castor, having been transported by a carrier aircraft, perhaps?

10th Aug 2008, 18:36
Banstead Library and local bookshops sell Memories of Wartime Banstead District by Banstead History Research Group (check their website) - the inside front cover shows a map of Banstead old Urban District Council area with plots shown for all types of bombs that landed in the area including all high explosive, all incendiary, crashed aircraft and of particular interest to you the 37 V1 and 2 V2. Seem to remember seeing this map on display in Banstead Library at one time - may still be available by prior permission.

10th Aug 2008, 21:32
Does anyone know where online one can find a map of all V1 bomb sites? I am particularly interested to find out which parts of my neck of the woods (SE London) were involuntarily modified by the V1s ( and indeed the V2s).
One of the better known ones in your area was the Bexleyheath bus garage (in wartime days trolleybuses). It had already had significant damage from standard bombing, but a V1 came down as a direct hit and destroyed about 60 double-deck trolleybuses, one of the most significant bits of war damage to the London transportation network. Amazingly many were "rebuilt" after the war, though how much of the original remained to be incorporated is doubtful. The bus garage building there nowadays dates from the early 1950s.
Photograph 1998/35205 - Photographic collection, London Transport Museum (http://www.ltmcollection.org/photos/photo/photo.html?_IXSR_=EAEtrFptQfl&_IXMAXHITS_=1&IXinv=1998/35205&IXsummary=location/location&IXlocation=bexleyheath&_IXFIRST_=21)

11th Aug 2008, 18:00
Look at the "Ramsbury at war" website with the volume turned up! And look at the crash sites...combe gibbet

12th Aug 2008, 07:44
My late great grandfather and great grandmother had what was believed to be the last but one V2 to arrive in UK in their back garden about thirty yards away. The house was a wood frame building with wire netting rendered over. The explosion blew half the roof tiles off, all the doors and window frames out and shattered most of the rendering. They were in the kitchen at the back of the house and didnít get a scratch. Apart from a severe dose of deafness for a couple of days there were unharmed. The carcass of the house was virtually undamaged and after a new roof, windows, doors and rendering they were back in business.

It changes hands a couple of years ago for £485,000.

robert f jones
5th Sep 2008, 13:37
I have a book called "Buzz Bomb" purchased at Headcorn Aerodrome, produced by the Kent Aviation Historical Research Society. It covers mainly Kent, but includes S.E. London up to Bromley/Beckenham. There must be other books, try The Aviation Bookshop, Tunbridge Wells. Address available online.

Tyres O'Flaherty
5th Sep 2008, 16:54
Rgarding the range of these things, I'm sure I remember being told that one landed just outside the village where I grew up, Brill, in Bucks (about prob 50 miles as the crow flies from London )

henry crun
5th Sep 2008, 21:51
Tyres O'Flaherty: It could have been one that was air launched.

aw ditor
6th Sep 2008, 15:22
Good background in the book "The Flying Bomb War" by Peter Haining, Robson Books. We lived about a mile North of Kenley during the Summer of 1944 (although our postal address was Purley) and we "lost" our back windows twice, though regretably I cannot recall where the Bombs' dropped.

7th Sep 2008, 16:38
A V-1 destroyed houses in Regina Rd, Southall - not far from RAF Heston - in August 1944. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/70/a2061370.shtml

A look through http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/categories/c54649/ might produce some more locations and stories.

7th Sep 2008, 20:19
Regarding the southall one, my nan + grandad told me all about that. They said they always remembered the sound of it flying overhead!

7th Sep 2008, 22:20
In 1944 I lived at 144 The Avenue Sunbury on Thames. I was about 5 and playing in our dining room one morning when I looked out of the window and saw a V-1 gliding [no noise] towards the house. Low level. We kids all knew Spitfires, Mosquitos, Wellingtons etc. Hanworth Air park was fairly close and we saw lots of types, low, probably on their approach?
I shouted to my mother, who was just walking into the room and she saw it, screamed [maybe swore!], grabbing me and throwing me under the table [ which was a sort of air raid shelter with a steel frame under the woodwork and cushions/rugs etc. The V-1 hit our tall chestnut tree in the front garden and blew up houses about 13 numbers on the other side of the road just North of the London Irish Rugby practice ground [as it was then] My ears hurt from the bang, our leaded light windows were all bowed inwards and the oak front door had had its lock smashed and was wide open. I think 2 or 4 people died and I remember bricks strewn all over the road.
I went into the back garden and a shiny, jagged piece of metal with fine machined threads was laying on the path, I picked it up and burnt my finger, it was so hot! Looking on google earth and remembering where I saw the V-1 coming from and holding a ruler on the screen and zooming out, the ruler ends up in the Pas de Calais area. Coincidence maybe but it is something I have always remembered. Be interesting to see if there is a record of a V-1 hitting houses in The Avenue S-on-T. As Kempton Park POW Camp was but a stone's throw away, there was soon a detachment of German POW's clearing the rubble off the street.

9th Sep 2008, 17:44
My parents and grandparents recalled it well also. They lived just a little to the west across the Recreation Ground in Leamington Road and the fear created when the engine cut out close by can only be imagined. Apparently it was a relief, of sorts, mixed with horror, when the explosion was heard as it meant someone else had copped it and they were saved. Hard to imagine if you've never been in that situation. Half a litre or so more fuel or a slight change of wind and it might have gone just a little further and I wouldn't be here. Makes you think!

10th Sep 2008, 08:46
There used to be a large scale map of V1 bombsites across greater London at the National Army Museum in Chelsea - I think it was reproduced in the third volume of "The Blitz - Then & Now" by After The Battle Press.

I do wish there was an online version as I often wonder where they fell in my okd neighbourhood (Wandsworth) - I know that a high percentage of V1s fell there.

13th Sep 2008, 10:40
It occurs to me that perhaps the reason why these various maps of V1 sites are not available online is that their copyright has not yet expired. If this is the case they would not be "in the public domain".

They were produced and published from 1944 onwards, and copyright often dates from the demise of the author plus a variable period of between 50 and 70 years. Several of them are available in published books, however.

13th Sep 2008, 13:03
Would it be worth suggesting a "sticky" where info could be stored (say London, Kent, Southern England, South East , Coventry, etc etc??) so that anyone curious about what happened between 1939 and 1945 in their part of the world could at least be directed to appropriate reference sources?
I'm sure that where copyright etc involved this could at least be shown.

There recently was quite a thread on another local forum regarding bombing and possible machine gunning of Kew Bridge which I found fascinating for the amount of recall some people who were just kids at the time had.

Judging by the amount of feedback, I also wonder if there is a "need" for those affected by WW2 to "unload" their memories before it's too late?
I know my father and other relations were very reluctant to talk about their wartime experiences to me, generally only telling insipid events, not "blood and guts". I never expected tales of heroism or singlehandedly defeating Hitlers hordes, but just how life was in general.

That's why I think the "Sunderland" and "Pilots Brevet" threads have been so popular. The "younger" generation DO want to learn about the past, hopefully to ensure that those sacrifices do not occur again.

Please do encourage anyone with wartime memories to at least write them down so they are not lost.

14th Sep 2008, 10:35
'Courageous Croydon' published by The Croydon Advertiser Group of Newspapers covers all the V1 hits in the Croydon area. The centre page has a map pinpointing each hit and lists all the affected roads by name. I think it was published in the 1980s.

astir 8
17th Sep 2008, 12:56
Reminds me of when I was a student working one summer on a farm at Robertsbridge in Sussex.

There was an old farm worker name of Jasper (no I'm not making it up) who said one day

"See that field over there? In the war there was one of they Eytalian prisoners of war ploughing it. One of they doodleybugs landed right on top of 'ee.
We never found one bit of him. Did we laugh!"

Presumably it was a prime area for doodleybugs hit by the coast deployed AA to crash. Bit tough on Eytalian POW's though.