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V-1 Buzz Bomb


Germany answered the invasion of France by launching its first V-1 against London on the night of June 12-13. By July 21, 4,059 V-1s had been fired, 3,045 of which reached England. Although this "secret weapon" did little to alter the course of the war in France, it killed 3,875 people and injured 24,960 others, forcing the Allies to divert some of their air power to bomb V-1 launching sites.

To add to Germany's difficulties, the Allies invaded the French Riviera by air and sea on Aug. 15. Caught in a giant pincer movement, the Germans started to evacuate France. Allied columns on the ground then began advancing so rapidly that they outdistanced their logistical support and had to be supplied from the air. German forces, under constant attack from the air and hotly pursued on the ground, pulled back to the Siegfried Line and by Sept. 12, most of France and Belgium was in Allied hands.

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