The V-1 flying bomb (German: Vergeltungswaffe 1,[a])—also known to the Allies as the buzz bomb, or doodlebug,[b] and in Germany as Kirschkern (cherrystone) or Maikäfer (maybug)—was an early pulsejet-powered predecessor of the cruise missile or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
The V-1 was developed at Peenemünde Army Research Center by the Nazi German Luftwaffe during the Second World War. During initial development it was known by the codename 'Cherry Stone'. The first of the so-called Vergeltungswaffen series designed for terror bombing of London, the V-1 was fired from launch facilities along the French (Pas-de-Calais) and Dutch coasts. The first V-1 was launched at London on 13 June 1944), one week after (and prompted by) the successful Allied landing in Europe. At its peak, more than one hundred V-1s a day were fired at south-east England, 9,521 in total, decreasing in number as sites were overrun until October 1944, when the last V-1 site in range of Britain was overrun by Allied forces. After this, the V-1s were directed at the port of Antwerp and other targets in Belgium, with 2,448 V-1s being launched. The attacks stopped when the last launch site was overrun on 29 March 1945.
The British operated an arrangement of air defences (including anti-aircraft guns and fighter aircraft) to intercept the bombs before they reached their targets as part of Operation Crossbow, while the launch sites and underground V-1 storage depots were targets of strategic bombing.