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Operation Crossbow 1944

Steven J Zaloga

Hunting Hitler's V-weapons.

In mid-1943, Allied intelligence began to pick up the signs of unusual German construction in remote locations near the Channel Coast. Several massive fortifications were beginning to take shape, and they appeared to be oriented towards London. Allied intelligence codenamed these sites as "Crossbow" and began plans to attack them before they could bombard Britain's capital city. These "Heavy Crossbow" sites for the V-1 and V-2 missiles were supposed to be bomb-proof, but they soon attracted the attention of RAF heavy bombers with the new Tallboy concrete-penetrating bombs.

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Hunting Hitler's V-weapons. In mid-1943, Allied intelligence began to pick up the signs of unusual German construction in remote locations near the Channel Coast. Several massive fortifications were beginning to take shape, and they appeared to be oriented towards London. Allied intelligence codenamed these sites as "Crossbow" and began plans to attack them before they could bombard Britain's capital city. These "Heavy Crossbow" sites for the V-1 and V-2 missiles were supposed to be bomb-proof, but they soon attracted the attention of RAF heavy bombers with the new Tallboy concrete-penetrating bombs. Fully illustrated with commissioned artwork and contemporary photographs, Operation Crossbow 1944 examines the dynamics of the world's first missile war. It also describes the parallel American efforts to develop missiles and assault drones to attack the "Heavy Crossbow" sites, including the Air Force's Aphrodite and Navy Anvil projects.

ISBN: 9781472826145
Format: Paperback
Author(s): Steven J Zaloga
First Publishment Date: 26 July 2018

Additional Information

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  1. This excellently detailed book delves deeply into the campaign and highlights ingenious tactics on both sides including the use, by the USAAF, of obsolete B-17 bombers as explosive radio-controlled drones. review by Warship World - PB on 07/03/2019

    In the immediate aftermath of World War Two the technology behind Nazi Germany’s V weapon rocket program was investigated (amongst other places) at White Sands in the United States. Another well-documented programme saw a V2 rocket launched from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Midway. This superb book in the Osprey range tells the story of how, after discovering Germany’s massive investment into rocket technology, the Allies strove to systematically destroy it. The Germans were experts in multi-site production to ensure that no one major strike could completely stop production of the V1s and V2s, and thus the hunt for sites of production was stepped up by the Allies. V2s have become an iconic symbol of Germany’s advances in technology but this book looks deeper into the history of German rocket warfare with sections on the V1 flying bomb and the proposed super long-range version of the V2 capable of attacking New York. Operation Crossbow was established in mid-1943 following disturbing intelligence reports that showed large concrete citadels and structures being built near to the Atlantic Wall. All seemed to be pointed towards London. These structures became known as Heavy Crossbows and were subsequently targeted for intense aerial bombardment which also included the use of RAF Lancaster bombers armed with Tallboy bombs; the same type that sank the battleship Tirpitz. This excellently detailed book delves deeply into the campaign and highlights ingenious tactics on both sides including the use, by the USAAF, of obsolete B-17 bombers as explosive radio-controlled drones. This book is highly detailed with a superb range of photographs and illustrations and whilst it doesn’t have a great deal of naval content it is well worth a read.

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