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Selbstopfer

Selbstopfer (German for self-sacrifice) was a late-World War II German project to develop a "smart weapon" for attacking high-value targets such as bridges and command centers. First proposed by Otto Skorzeny, leader of the German commandos, and Hanna Reitsch, the famous test pilot, they suggested using converted V1 Flying Bombs with a tiny cockpit on top, with the "smarts" being provided by the pilot.

About 100 pilots drawn from Skorzeny's KG 200[?] were trained, and about 175 of the modified V-1 (named Fieseler Fi 103 R Reichenberg[?]) were built. Unlike the somewhat similar Japanese Kamikaze Ohka, pilots of the new Fi 103 R were able to bale out just prior to impact, although in reality this would be difficult because the cockpit was located just below the pulsejet intake.

Unmanned testing was carried out by KG 200 on several occasions, dropped from Heinkel He 111 bombers. Several stories claim operational use, but it appears highly unlikely that the weapon was ever used in combat.

Some other Nazi secret weapons projects involved near-suicide missions like the Bachem Ba 349 Natter.

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