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Tista Karmakar

The Rise and Fall of Fritz X: The World’s First Precision-Guided Combat Weapon

News, Weapon, World, World War

The rise and fall of Germany’s precision-guided missile bomber Fritz X have been recorded in history. Fritz X was widely used in World War II as the world’s first precision-guided combat weapon.  

It was guided by a Kehl-Strasbourg radio control link which sent signals to move it in both horizontal and vertical directions while targeting a ship. But despite Fritz X’s precision in combat, it had some dangerous drawbacks. 

Fritz X carrying aircraft has to fly straight and level, having the missile onboard. A bombardier had to reduce the speed of the aircraft to release and visually guide the bombs. The allies noticed the vulnerability of the aircraft associated with the Fritz X release. Soon after they found a way to exploit the German aircraft carrying and deploying the Fritz X. 

Allies took advantage of this flaw and started deploying fighter craft that prevented Germans aircraft from flying down slowly and straight. They even created heavy smoke which prevented the Germans bombardiers from seeing and guiding missiles. While the Germans were struggling to deploy missiles the Allies quickly jammed the radio signals to completely disarm them. 

The following year the Germans produced only 1,386 Fritz X missiles instead of producing 750 of them per month. The missiles were not effective as previously thought by the German Axis power. 

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