Although unguided, this was the first multi-stage missile to be used in warfare. The Rheinbote’s powerful first stage delivered 38,000kg (83,774lb) thrust for just 1 second, to clear the rocket from the converted 88mm gun mount. The second and third stages were identical sustainers with a slightly less powerful fourth stage. Guidance was based on careful aiming of the launcher, with each stage of the missile having six slightly canted fins which caused the missile to spin, reducing inaccuracies.
The velocity achieved at final stage burnout was not exceeded until the development of the Inter continental Ballistic Missile, (ICBM).
More than 200 Rheinbotes were fired at Antwerp in the bombardment of the city in November 1944.