Off Target: America’s Guided Bombs, Missiles and Drones 1917-1950

Author(s): William Wolf

ISBN: 9781781558164
$42.00 $60.00
A detailed and unknown story of America’s rise to post-Second World War guided missile and drone dominance.
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  • The definitive and comprehensive study of US pre-Cold War guided bomb, missile and drone development

  • A fascinating study of German guided-missile technology during the Second World War such as the V-1, V-2 , Rheinbote, Fritz X, Ruhrstahl X-7, Wasserfall, A4b and Feuerlilie

  • Beautifully illustrated with many rare and unpublished photographs

  • Of interest to aviation and military historians, modellers, gamers and flight simulator enthusiasts

  • Supplemented by a wealth of diagrams and photographs, some believed to be previously unpublished 

Every week, mass media highlights the use of drones and guided missiles against terrorists and the recreational use of drones has become commonplace.

The Nazi development of guided missiles and bombs during the Second World War is often given credit for America’s Cold War success in this realm; however, it was during the war that America also began the development of systems and weapons that laid the foundation for today’s technology.

Off Target: America’s Guided Bombs, Missiles and Drones 1917-1948 relates in detail the then ‘secret’ research, development and combat employment of these early guided bombs, missiles and drones from 1917 to 1950.

Using formerly secret/confidential manuals, reports, microfilm printouts and photos collected over forty years, William Wolf gives a detailed look at this unknown topic that progressed from biplane drones to sophisticated post-Second World War guided missiles.

Among the subjects discussed are Sperry’s aerial torpedo and the Kettering ‘Bug’ of the First World War to early rudimentary GB Series glide bombs to the more sophisticated VB Series that evolved from radio, heat, light or television guidance.

BOOK ISBN 9781781558164
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Hardback
PAGES 544 pages
PUBLICATION DATE 10 February 2021
ILLUSTRATIONS 344  black-and-white photographs



William Wolf retired from dentistry at the age of 45 to pursue his fascination with military aviation and outdoor pastimes. He has authored over twenty-three books on the Second World War air combat, including nine on American bombers, two on US fighters, five on US flying units and three volumes on US aerial armament. His personal library, collected over 40 years, contains over 27,000+ books and magazines; 10,000+ photographs; 2,000 reels of rare microfilm from original sources; 1,000+ CDs of scanned manuals/books; and over 800 DVDs.