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German Guided Missiles of World War II

German Guided Missiles of World War II Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review October 2019 Title German Guided Missiles of World War II
Author Steven J. Zaloga Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2019 ISBN 9781472831798
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $19.00


“From a tactical perspective, the requirement was to enable a Staffel (squadron) of nine bombers to have a high probability of sinking a warship where otherwise it would take an entire Geschwader (wing) of nine squadrons to sink such a warship using on guided bombs.”

That’s historian Steven J. Zaloga on Nazi Germany’s raisons d’être for developing guided weaponry: efficiency and economy.

Now he succinctly surveys the subject in German Guided Missiles of World War II: Fritz-X to Wasserfall and X4 – number 276 in Osprey’s vast “New Vanguard” range.

After introductory notes, core coverage spans four sections over 48 pithy pages:

  • Antiship Missiles
  • Flak Missiles
  • Air-to-Air Missiles
  • Antitank Missiles

Text includes systems design, development, and if deployed, operational remarks.

Commentary on warhead and guidance technologies – as well as on Allied countermeasures – proved especially illuminating. And contents even include associated notes on unguided munitions.

Period and current photos, color views, archival drawings, a cut-away, and action paintings illustrate the account. Jim Laurier’s work is excellent.

A glossary, explanatory captions, tables, specifications, and postwar “influence” remarks further supplement the study.

Want to know more? Zaloga’s admirably indexed effort also includes two pages of government reports, books, and articles for further reference. But what’s the source of Albert Speer’s extended quote on page 40?


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!