On the night of the 13th June 1944 Londoners heard a strange sound in the sky. The
sound was later described as sounding like a motorbike without a silencer or a badly
maintained steam train going up hill. Some also saw, what they thought was a burning
enemy aircraft crossing the sky with a sword of flame emanating from its tail. Others knew
that this was the first of the Vengeance weapons code named "Diver " by British
Intelligence
The first V1 to hit London
Grove Road London E4  after the attack
13th June 1944
The people of London  had become used to bombing and  hardened to its
horrors during the Blitz of 1940 -41. Since then,bombing had become much
more sporadic .There were some heavy hit and run raids in 1943 and In
February 1944 there were a series of attacks which caused further damage and
death in London. These are known as the
mini blitz .They were not on the scale
of the main 1940-41 Blitz but still caused further death,suffering and material
damage.
After D day there was great relief and an expectation that the war would be over
very quickly There had been rumours for some time about Hitler's secret
weapons but these were taken as a joke and civilians did not believe that there
was a serious threat.
It was a cold, damp, grey summer and the days following the Normandy
landings were marked by the severest summer storms that anyone could
remember. The greyness of the summer accentuated the mood. Fatigue after
five long years of war, deprivation, rationing and suffering. Londoners were
desperate for the war to be over but had no idea that they would shortly be in
the front line again. They thought that their part of the war  at the home front
was finished.                 
On the night of the 13th June 1944 Londoners heard a strange sound in the sky.
The sound was later described as sounding like a motorbike without a silencer
or a badly maintained steam train going up hill. Some also saw, what they
thought was a burning enemy aircraft crossing the sky with a sword of flame
emanating from its tail. Others knew that this was the first of the Vengeance
weapons code named "Diver " by British Intelligence. For a year Bomber
command had been engaged in a campaign to destroy the V1 launch sites in
Northern France. This met with  a great deal of success and had delayed the
launch of the first missile by about 6 months. This was at the cost of the lives of
2000 allied airmen.
The first V1 dived to the ground and exploded in
Grove Road,London E4 at
04.25 on the
morning of 13th June 1944. It hit the railway bridge which carries the
Great Eastern Railway across Grove Road, from Liverpool street to Essex and
East Anglia. The bridge was badly damaged, as was the railway track. A number
of houses were demolished and six people were killed. London had its first taste
of what a V1 could do. he Grove Road V1 was one of five launched that night
which were probably a range finding exercise by the Germans. After that
nothing much happened for about 48 hours as the  next wave of the attack was
prepared.     
Next read about the first weekend
of the attacks and  The Guards
Chapel tragedy
Next read about the first
weekend of the attacks
and  The Guards Chapel
tragedy