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The V1 rockets, or doodlebugs, and the V2s were a feature of my mother's late teens. A Londoner, she lived through the Blitz, and then Hitler's final onslaught with his 'Vengeance Weapons'.

Peace is very precious, and it's something that has not been common in Europe down the centuries. My two year-old daughter takes it for granted - but none of the rest of us should.

Rockets in the Deutsches Museum

Screen_shot_2017-12-05_at_08.50.24by Patrick Howse19 Dec 2014

The terrible silence,
The weighted pause
Between the cut

Of the doodlebug engine
And the guilty-grateful bang,
Never left my mother.

The V2 gave no warning,
Just a sudden blast
From nowhere, from Hell.

Both are here, one hanging,
The other white and black
Pointing to roof-hole sky,

Gleaming, gutted of malice;
My daughter toddles past
On her way to play.