V1 Bomber Val Ygot

It is amazing and disturbing all the things that went on between ’39-’45  Things worked out well for the allies but there was heavy cost on both sides.  I’ve learnt a lot about WW2 over the years and seeing a V1 bomb still on the ramp aimed at London is a chilling sight.

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The Firing Control Bunker stands next to it, where the German Officer would have overseen the bombs take off releasing the V1 by electrical contact.  There are no working parts inside the bunker now, just the empty concrete shell.  This particular site at Val Ygot was immediately bombed before it ever got used.  However, there were 117 sites like Val Ygot and some were used to devastating effect.  In 1944 between mid Jun – August approximately 3000 V1s reached London killing 6000 people and wounding 3 times as many.  The total number of ‘doodlebugs’ launched was 9521 and at its height, about 100 were launched per day across the launch sites. Some V1’s didn’t go far accidentally landing in France killing or wounding civilians.

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This ‘Amagnetic’ Building was built without any ferrous metal to avoid confusing the compass withing the bombs.  It was in here that the compass would be adjusted for direction and the flights altitude would be set and autopilot engaged.  Once ready, the V1 would be sealed so there were no changes before getting to the launch pad.

The evidence remains all around the area that the site was rendered unusable from allied bombing with big craters still in the ground and destroyed buildings still visible.

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It seems so strange that in a wood that stands today so quiet and peaceful, such an evil thing lurked within and was primed to take so many lives miles away.  The noise of WW2 is over thankfully, and the woods are peaceful once more, but the memory of the horror of those days lives on, let us not forget…

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