The V-2 rocket weighed 13 tons and arrived via the stratosphere at 3,000 miles an hour. It was the world's first long range guided ballistic missile and was specifically designed to attack Allied cities as retaliation for Allied bombings against German cities. The V-2 made a crater sometimes ten feet deep and caused an earthquake effect which cracked washbasins a quarter of a mile away. It was deliberately targeted at civilians.
Missile strikes that found targets could cause a large numbers of deaths — 160 were killed and 108 seriously injured in one explosion at 12:26 pm on 25 November 1944 at a Woolworth’s store in New Cross, South East London. After this incident, British Intelligence leaked falsified information implying that the rockets were over shooting their London target by 10 to 20 miles. This tactic worked, causing the Germans to make erroneous recalibrations and, for the remainder of the war, most V-2’s landed on less-heavily populated areas just outside London. Ironically, the rocket which hit my ancestors house in Wanstead was probably intended for London !
The V-2 rocket attacks continued until 27th March 1945 when the allied advances into Europe curtailed it. After the War ended the V-2 technology directly helped design a series of booster rockets for the Saturn space programme and enabled man to walk on the Moon.