My book review of 'V2' by Robert Harris
Taking place in 1944, in London and Belgium, and told from dual perspectives, this is another fantastic immersive story from Robert Harris.
Rudi Graf has dreamt of sending a rocket to the moon. Instead, along with his friend Werner von Braun, he has helped create the world's most sophisticated weapon - the V2 ballistic missile, capable of delivering a one-ton warhead that travels at three times the speed of sound. Hitler has ordered 10,000 to be built and Graf has been tasked with sending them to destroy London.
Kay Caton-Walsh is an officer in the WAAF. She has had a lucky escape from a property decimated by a V2 in central London, and she determines to take her war effort up a notch. She enlists in a unit sent to Belgium, and is trained in plotting the arc of the V2. These calculations equip the RAF with the coordinates for halting the path of this terrifying weapon.
Opening up an episode in our recent past, of which I had no knowledge, this provides a fascinating insight.
A sophisticated weapon was halted by the pencil and paper of the WAAFs. Their concentrated and rapid work solving equations, using simple charts and slide rule proved an invincible force. It's intriguing, humbling and inspiring. And ultimately leaves you wanting to find out more.