The V2 was an unmanned, guided, ballistic missile. It was guided by an advanced gyroscopic system that sent signals to aerodynamic steering tabs on the fins and vanes in the exhaust. It was propelled by an alcohol (a mixture of 75% ethyl alcohol and 25% water), and liquid oxygen fuel. The two liquids were delivered to the thrust chamber by two rotary pumps, driven by a steam turbine. The steam turbine operated at 5,000 rpm on two auxiliary fuels, namely hydrogen peroxide (80 %) and a mixture of 66% sodium permanganate with water 33%. This system generated about 55,000 lbs (24947 kg) of thrust at the start, which increased to 160,000 lbs (72574 kg) when the maximum speed was reached. The motor typically burned for 60 seconds, pushing the rocket to around 4,400 ft/second (1341 m/sec). It rose to an altitude of 52 to 60 miles (83 to 93 km) and had a range of 200 to 225 miles (321 to 362 km). The V2 carried an explosive warhead (Amatol Fp60/40) weighing approximately 738 kg (1 ton) that was capable of flattening a city block. It was first fired operationally on Sept. 8, 1944 against Paris then London, this was the beginning of the V2 campaign.
Over 6,000 missiles were completed of which a bit more than half were used operationally against targets in England and Belgium. Mostly used from mobile launch sites, the effectiveness of the weapon on the course of the war was almost non-existent, though it did consume Allied resources to hunt out and destroy as many launch sites as possible. The V-2 was the most expensive weapons system ever deployed by Germany during WWII, consuming materials, man power and money that could have been more effectively used elsewhere. Despite this, the V-2 was the number one priority for post-war Allied research, eventually using the remaining missiles and those technicians working on the project in both the American and Soviet space programs of the 1950s and 1960s.