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Mervyn Mitton




How the World has changed from these early days of WW2. Blitzkreig in 1940 - V1 Rockets in 1944 and V2 Rockets in late 1944 . Today we are so used to modern remote controlled weaponry - Tomahawk Cruise Missiles can fly hundreds of miles and land within a few metres of their targets

The point I am making is that we had suffered 4 1/2 years of intensive bombing - damage that was quite unbelievable -
and deaths by the tens of thousands. This was followed from June 1944 by the V1 rockets - known to everyone as
Buzz Bombs. We have already covered how their Buzz signaled motion - when that stopped you had about a minute before it landed. This in itself was problematic - high winds, not as much fuel , glidepath - all changed directions and distance. When it stopped we ran for the nearest shelters.

This was to change even more drastically from September 1944.

British Intelligence had known about the development of the V2 at Peenemunde and the RAF had made several daring bombing raids. However, the first ones landed as a complete horror surprise. This was war on a different level - and,
we - in London - were very frightened.


The problem with the V2 was that it was fired vertically - ascended to a height of some 60 miles and came straight down at over 2000 miles per hour (2800 kms). It carried a ton of high explosive and you had no warning at all. London was the main target - again they were primarily being aimed at the London Docks - which stretched for miles along the River Thames. However, as with the V1 they had primitive - by today's standards - steering, and could land in an area of some ten miles from where they were aimed.

One never knew when a V2 would hit - we all slept in shelters again - but , if one hit you didn't have much chance.
Mordern Road was hit at each end - but at different times. The damage was very bad and the first time my Father was involved. I can't rmember what day it was - probably a weekend - I do remember we were having a sandwich for lunch -
without warning there was an explosion which stunned us. Windows broke and we could hear crashing everywhere - I was in total shock. My Father rushed off to try and help and was gone for some two hours. The rocket had landed near the end of Mordern Road - near to the remains of the Paragon, which I mentioned in an earlier posting.

Workmen had been working almost exactly where it came down - I think they were repairing a water main - damaged in a previous attack. There were quite a number and nearly all were killed. I shall never forget my Father coming back in a state of total shock and covered in blood - this was from trying to dig out bodies. He would never tell me about the scene.

Later , we were hit by one at the other end of the Road - at night - so, casualties were not as bad - however, I think some people were killed. All security and school activities were curtailed and the streets became even more empty of traffic.
Our problem was that Blackheath was at the right distance and angle for overshoots from the dock attacks.




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