The V1 and V2 campaigns
On 13 June, 1944, just days after the Allied landings in Normandy, the flying bomb offensive against London began, from the launch pads located between the Seine and the Belgian border.
A V1 flying bomb after takeoff from the launch pad
Nazi propaganda gave the flying bomb the name "V1" (Vergeltungswaffe eins, "reprisal weapon No. 1"). Thousands of V1s were launched at London from France up until 1 September, causing 6000 deaths. The British nevertheless managed to break the offensive with a combination of anti-aircraft artillery and fighter planes. The liberation of French territory, at the beginning of September, led the British to believe that all the danger was over. That was not the case.
After the failed assassination attempt against Hitler, the entire programme for new German weapons was placed under the direction of the SS. The V2 rocket offensive began on 8 September, 1944: a first rocket hit the suburbs of Paris, then a second fell on London. They were fired from mobile units installed in the Belgian Ardennes and Holland. From 12 October, a V1 and V2 double offensive was to hit the Belgian port of Antwerp, the main logistical entry point for the Allies on the continent. The last firing of V2s would occur on 27 March, 1945: 3,000 devices were launched in total.