Crossbow was the code name in World War II for Anglo-American operations against the German long range reprisal weapons programme. The main V-weapons were the V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket – these were launched against Britain from 1944 to 1945. It included strategic operations against research and development of the weapons, their manufacture, transportation and attacks on their launch site.
About Operation Crossbow in brief
Crossbow was the code name in World War II for Anglo-American operations against the German long range reprisal weapons programme. The main V-weapons were the V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket – these were launched against Britain from 1944 to 1945 and used against European targets as well. It included strategic operations against research and development of the weapons, their manufacture, transportation and attacks on their launch site. It also included fighter intercepts against missiles in flight. Post-war, Crossbow operations became known as \”Operation Crossbow\” particularly following the 1965 film of the same name. The first bombing of sites was by USAAF Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers in early December with RAF Bomber Command starting night-time attacks shortly after. By end of December 54 sites had been attacked and seven were destroyed. The bombing continued – by end of March 9 destroyed and 35 seriously damaged, by May 24 destroyed and 58 seriously damaged. A mid-1944 plan for US Marine Corps aircraft to attack V- 1 launch sites from aircraft carriers fell victim to inter-service rivalry – being opposed by the Army. V- 2 facilities were also bombed in 1944, including smaller facilities such as V-3 storage depots and liquid oxygen plants. At the request of the British War Cabinet, General Eisenhower directed Crossbow attacks to have absolute priority on all other operations, including all other air operations.
The Allies who surprised the Allies who had gotten the upper hand in this particular business had surprised the Germans who had surprised them in other areas of the war, including industry and civilian morale. The Germans were surprised by the Allies, who surprised them who had got the upperhand in this specific business, and who were surprised at the Allies’ ability to intercept and destroy the German weapons. They were surprised that the Allies were able to intercept the German weapons in the first place, and that the Germans had not been able to use chemical or biological warheads on the Allies. The German weapons programme was discovered to be a serious threat to the war effort by the end of 1943 and the Allies had to act quickly to stop the spread of these weapons across Europe and the Pacific Ocean. The campaign’s first planned raid was directed by the War Cabinet Defence Committee on December 5, 1943. The works in France were the German \”Site System 1\” which was to be 96 fixed launching sites with storage bunkers and outdoor ramps. There were also four larger Wasserwerk bunker sites: Siracourt, Lottinghen, Nardouet, and Brécourt. In May 1943 Allied surveillance observed the construction of the first of eleven large sites in northern France for secret German weapons, including six for the V -2 rocket. By December 1943, Allied intelligence had identified all 96 sites.