FrangibleCover wrote:It worked alright though...Realistically they're like the Meteor or Tempest though, in service but fully utilised doing an important job elsewhere while older and less flashy tech can do the work in Normandy.
The 3" and 7" AA rockets (Unrotated Projectiles, or UP in British parlance) were neither more advanced, nor any more effective than conventional AAA. British research in rockets as an AA weapon started in the mid-thirties, and the weapon was already in trials by 1939. It's worth noting that the weapon might have faded away at the developmental stage, had it not been for the intervention of Churchill, who, delighting in unconventional (and frequently impracticable) schemes, enthusiastically backed rocket production.
Neither appears to have achieved much in the way of success; the 7" naval variant seems to have been positively despised by it's operators, owing to the tendency of the parachute mines deployed by the rockets to blow back against the ships that deployed them. Overall, they were short-ranged and extremely crude solutions, with some very clear drawbacks - the barrages were essentially one-shot weapons, and relatively easy for enemy pilots to see (and avoid). Most of their use was in 1940-41, after Dieppe, when the British were wanting for adequate quantities of proper AAA; the UP was 'better than nothing', albeit not by much. Perhaps the only positive to come out of the whole affair was the much more useful repurposing of the rockets for ground attack in the Land Mattress MRL and as air launched 3-in RP-3 HE rocket.
FrangibleCover wrote:Incidentally, does anyone know why the V-1s were launched during daylight hours when they could be taken down by fast day-fighters? Obviously they could still be engaged by Radar-guided AA at night (in part, courtesy of my Grandmother and her team of girls in a shed near Hastings) but you'd think that any possible edge the Germans could get at that stage would be advantageous, even if it was just driving the Tempest operational loss rate up as pilots screwed up the night landings.
As far as I know, plenty were fired at night. But the Western Allies weren't exactly wanting for radar-equipped night fighters (Beaufighter, etc.), which mostly negated any advantage. Also, the pulse-jet propulsion on the V-1 supposedly had a very bright exhaust flame, and was extremely loud, which pretty much ruined any possibility of concealment.