Discussion in 'Weapons & Technology in WWII' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Feb 21, 2008.
The 'butterfly' bomb was used against Grimsby (My home town) and its neighbour Cleethorpes. It was used against one other town but this was not named. A complete curtain was pulled down on these attacks. If the Germans found out how demoralising these weapons were, they would have used more of them. To my knowledge, none were used against airfields. The sensitvity of the bombs depended on how much of the fuse was unscrewed by the vanes on the way down. There was only one way to deal with them,- four sand bags were placed round the bomb, a wad of gun cotton with a fuse was laid (carefully) alongside the bomb and two more sandbags were laid, (Again, carefully) on top. The fuse was lit and every one took cover. The explosion from something smaller than a condensed milk tin was astounding. In the main it was children and animals that suffered.
The Butterfly Bomb
YouTube - The Butterfly Bomb
BUTTERFLY BOMB 1941 (Sprengbombe Dickwandig 2kg or SD2 )Stored in the aircraft folded, when released the wings opened and rotated the shaft into the bomb thus arming it. Fitted with 3 fuzes, the 41 fuze detonated on impact, the 67 fuze was time delayed between 5 and 30 minutes, and the 70 fuze which detonated if the bomb was moved. As these bombs were so dangerous most were destroyed on the spot (if they failed to explode). This one was painted green and yellow. The U.S. copied the bomb and it was used in Korea and Vietnam, designated the M83
The Museum of Technology
Thanks everyone for all info!!
The "para-frag" bomb used by the Fifth Air Force in the SWPA during WW II was not, strictly speaking, a cluster bomb. It was a small 23 lb. anti-personnel fragmentation bomb with a small parachute attached to allow it to be dropped from very low altitude without damaging the plane doing the bombing. It was developed by Captain (later General) Kenney in the 1920's. A B-25 could carry dozens of these bombs in the bomb bay and deliver them at low altitude where their effect was very similar to cluster bombs. A rotary dispenser was developed to allow even more of these bombs to be carried and dropped during a prolonged bomb run over Japanese airfields.
Combined with heavy forward firing .50 caliber MG batteries in modified B-25's, the para-frag was a devastating weapon. In one attack on Borum airfield on New Guinea, in August, 1943, a group of B-25's, covered by P-38's shattered Japanese air power on New Guinea;
"thirty-three B-25s with eighty-three P-38s as cover made a simultaneous attack on Borum, Wewak, and Dagua [all airdromes in the Wewak area]. Sixteen B-25s, scheduled to hit But [also in the Wewak area], had run into bad weather and did not make the rendezvous. Lieutenant Colonel Don Hall, [who had] first used my parafrag bombs at Buna in September 1942, led the B-25 line abreast attack on Borum. Coming in over the tops of palm trees, Don saw a sight to gladden the heart of a strafer. The Jap bombers, sixty of them, were lined up on either side of the runway with their engines turning over, flying crews on board, and groups of ground crewmen standing by each airplane. The Japs were actually starting to take off and the leading airplane was already halfway down the runway and ready to leave the ground. Off to one side fifty Jap fighters were warming up their engines ready to follow and cover their bombers. Hall signaled to open fire. His first burst blew up the Jap bomber just as it lifted into the air. It crashed immediately, blocking the runway for any further Nip take-offs. The B-25 formation swept over the field like a giant scythe. The double line of Jap bombers was on fire almost immediately from the rain of fifty-caliber incendiaries pouring from over 200 machine guns, antiaircraft defenses were smothered, drums of gasoline by the side of the runway blazed up, and Jap flying crews and ground personnel melted away in the path of our gunfire, in the crackle of a thousand parafrag bombs, and the explosions of their own bomb-laden aircraft. We hit them just in time. Another five minutes and the whole Jap force would have been in the air on the way to take us out at Marilinan."
The Japanese lost over 150 aircraft at the three airfields, plus almost all of their pilots and aircrew, as well as over 300 ground crew. They referred to it as the "Black Day of August 17th." The Americans lost not a single plane.
I think they were...only 'think', mind you....because I quite recently read a book which mentioned butterfly bombs having to be laboriously cleared by the entire personnel of a bomber airfield by searching every inch of the base.
And now, I have to confess that I cannot recall either the book or the circumstances...DOH !
But if I do, I'll get back to this thread.....
The germans actually dropped over 1000 of these on Grimsby and Cleethorpes in 1943. They were still killing people months afterwards. It was all hushed up at the time just in case it caused the germans to repeat the process as it caused a great deal of alarm
There were more than a thousand dropped on Grimsby and Cleethorpes. From the number of containers found, it was estimated that about 2,500 were dropped. I lived in Grimsby and remember them well, I also remember them being found and exploded. This was ongoing well into the late fifties. The largest number found in one location was at least thirty in a disused cemetary. Two children were killed in that cemetary, I think it was somwhere in the Ainslie Street area. It is true that there was a reporting blackout for newspapers ands the BBC.
Molotov Bread basket
Heres my SD-1 and SD-2 (butterfly) unfortunately i dont have the wings for the butterfly ,but gives you some idea how small these units are
"Butterfly bombs were first used against Ipswich in 1940, but were also dropped on Grimsby and Cleethorpes in June 1943, amongst various other targets in the UK. They were subsequently used against Allied forces in the Middle East. The British Government deliberately suppressed news of the damage and disruption caused by butterfly bombs in order not to encourage the Germans to keep using them.
The SD2 saw use in the opening stages of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, which began on 22 June 1941. Twenty to thirty aircrews had been picked to drop SD2s and SD10s (10 kg submunitions) on key Soviet airfields, a flight of three aircraft being assigned to each field. The purpose of these early attacks was to cause disruption and confusion as well as to preclude dispersion of Soviet planes until the main attack was launched. It was reported that Kampfgeschwader 51 had lost 15 aircraft due to accidents with the SD2s, nearly half of the total Luftwaffe losses that day.
The last recorded death from a German butterfly bomb in England took place on November 27, 1956, over 11 years after the Second World War ended: Flight Lieutenant Herbert Denning of the RAF was examining an SD2 at the Upminster bomb cemetery, East of RAF Hornchurch, when it detonated. He died of shrapnel and blast injuries at Oldchurch Hospital the same day."
From Wiki. Take with a grain of sale
List of Japanese World War II army bombs
Type 2 1/3kg cluster bomb
Type 3 1/2kg cluster bomb
Type 2 1/2kg cluster bomb
Container for Type 2 1/3kg cluster bombs
Container for 76 Type 2 1/3kg cluster bombs
Container for 63 Type 3 1/2kg cluster bombs
Type 1 1kg aircraft missile
50 kg pamphlet container
100 kg pamphlet container
List of Japanese World War II army bombs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
List of Japanese World War II navy bombs
Cluster type bombs
Type 2 No.6 Mk 21 bomb model 1
Type 2 No.6 Mk 21 bomb model 2
1 kg hollow-charge bomb
1 kg anti-personnel bomb
List of Japanese World War II navy bombs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This photo shows either the german cluster bomb SD 1 or the SD 2. Those were the first cluster bombs ever to be used in military conflicts. The SD 1 was filled 360 small 1-kg bombs, the SD 2 with 180 2-kg bombs. These (nowadays prohibited) weapons were developed and used to destroy the concentrated soviet artillery and AT gun positions. The bombs effect was devestating. (ftg)
German Air Force - German cluster bomb
Cluster Bombs Falling on Germany Original caption: Incendiary cluster bombs fall on Germany. Two 500 pound incendiary cluster bombs plunge toward their target over Kiel, Germany. One of the bombs, containing more than 100 small incendiary bombs, is shown after the cluster broke and scattered the incendiaries like match sticks. The other big bomb has not yet broken but will do so momentarily.