When Germany Created The First Radio-Controlled Bomb

When Germany Created The First Radio-Controlled Bomb | World War Wings Videos

US Air Force

On The Fritz.

Bombing missions during WWII were performed by huge planes dropping massive amounts of munitions over target areas. The idea was that just a few of these bombs would hit the intended target in a general area. However, there was a bomb that came along and changed bombing forever the first smart bomb the Fritz X.

In modern-day warfare, precision-guided bombs are fairly routine but they actually have origins in Germany. The Fritz X was the world’s smart bomb, a simple yet brilliant design that yielded deadly results. This bomb earned the X in its name for the X-shaped steering mechanism on its tail. This mechanism along with a radio-controlled steering mechanism actually allowed a bombardier to steer the Fritz X to its target upon its descent.

After Italy defected against the Axis Powers, Germany sought to retaliate against their former ally. Bombers tracked down Italy’s flagship the Roma and launched a single Fritz X which successfully landed in the middle of her hull, sinking the ship immediately and taking nearly 1,400 lives with her.

“Germany’s first and most spectacular success with the Fritz X came in September 1943, when Do 217 aircraft sank the Italian battleship Roma and damaged the battleship Italia as they were sailing to surrender to the Allies.”

The Fritz X proved that precision can be deadlier than sheer numbers and inspired a new generation of targeting bombs. War historians go into further detail on the development of the Fritz X and the destruction of the Roma in this clip.

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