Aviation of World War II
German Aerial Bombs of the 1930s-1940s
The German aviation was armed with a fairly wide range of aerial bombs - fragmentation, high-explosive, high-explosive, incendiary, chemical, etc.
High-explosive bombs were subdivided by caliber (weight) and wall thickness. Main calibers: 50, 250, 500, 1000, 1800 and 2500 kg. The thickness of the hull walls differed into thin-walled SC with a cylindrical middle part, a welded nose spinner and a screwed-in tail fairing with a stabilizer (the bomb was loaded through the bottom) and thick-walled SD - solid, the tail fairing was screwed after the bomb was loaded.
On the basis of thick-walled bombs, armor-piercing and missile-high-explosive (with a rocket engine to destroy armored and reinforced concrete targets) bombs were made. They were designated PC and PS.
The bombs were equipped with side fuses. The harness was in the form of a single lug or pad (for heavy bombs). To reduce the depth of penetration of bombs into the ground and increase the effect of the shock wave, a ring or cast-iron tips in the form of a ploughshare were welded to the head of some bombs.
High-explosive bombs with caliber up to 1000 kg were painted gray, and with caliber over 1000 kg - in light blue.
High-explosive, high-explosive and fragmentation bombs; 1 - SC 50; 2 - SC - 100; 3 - SD 250; 4 - SC 250; 5 - SD 500; 6 - SD 1000; 7 - SC 1000; 8 - SC 2500
Shrapnel bombs were designated SD and BdC. The bomb bodies were made of steel cast from two steel pipes of different diameters, inserted one into the other, the space between the pipes was filled with steel fragments or concrete (concrete SBe-1). These bombs were painted mainly in dark gray (SD-2 - green, SD-1 - lemon yellow). Small caliber fragmentation bombs were placed in containers, including containers of the AB type.
The SD-2 fragmentation bomb was distinguished by an unusual design solution. The bomb itself was in a cylindrical casing. The casing consisted of two spring-loaded halves. The bomb was cocked with a cable, one end of which was attached to the fuse, and the other, with a limiter, was brought out through a hole in the body.
An incendiary bomb assembled from several parts. Ignited with two small incendiary bombs attached to the side.
Incendiary bombs were produced in hulls of thin-walled high-explosive bombs corresponding in caliber. There were purely incendiary bombs, designated Br C - (50, 250 kg, etc.), Flam C - (50, 250 kg, etc.) and high-explosive incendiary bombs Spre C - (50, 250 kg, etc.) etc.). In addition to thermite cartridges, some bombs contained steel fragments and a TNT charge. Incendiary bombs were painted dark gray.
Large-caliber composite incendiary bombs were also used, which were manufactured in front-line conditions. The nose and tail (with a stabilizer) fairings from heavy high-explosive bombs, a harness and a fuse in the form of two small-caliber incendiary bombs were attached to the incendiary tank.
NC smoke bombs were made in hulls corresponding to the caliber of SD. They were dark gray with stripes of the same color as the smoke from the bomb.
On the stabilizers of some high-explosive and fragmentation bombs, the Germans welded "whistles". The fall of such bombs was accompanied by a high-pitched whistle, which caused panic among the morally unstable infantry. For the fired units, it served as a warning of danger.
To destroy the sides of surface ships, the Germans designed the so-called 800-kg planing bombs with a small jet engine SB-800RS. These bombs had a spherical warhead with a diameter of 750 mm and an annular stabilizer. The total length of the bomb is 1910 mm. The bombs were dropped at a low altitude, about 20 m, from a distance of 4.0-4.5 km from the target. After dropping, the solid-fuel engine was fired, and the bomb flew horizontally, and then touched the water at a low angle. The tail section and the stabilizer fell off, and the warhead made several ricochets and hit the side of the enemy ship. On tests, the lateral deviation from the target was up to 55 m with a drop range of 4.5 km. However, the accuracy of the planing bomb was very dependent on the state of the sea and the strength of the wind, so in 1944 work on it was discontinued.
Conventional armor-piercing bombs weighing from 500 to 1800 kg were put into service in 1940. Their combat use showed that when bombing from low altitudes (700-1500 m), the speed of falling bombs did not ensure penetration of all armored decks of battleships or heavy cruisers ... Increasing the bombing altitude to 5-7 km sharply reduced the likelihood of hitting the ship.
In 1942, the Luftwaffe adopted 3 jet armor-piercing bombs: PC500RS "Paulina", PC1000RS "Paul" and PC1800RS "Panther" weighing 500, 100 and 1800 kg, respectively. A small solid-propellant engine installed in the tail of the bombs gave them an additional vertical speed of about 160 m / s, thereby significantly increasing their armor penetration.
1 - BT 200 torpedo bomb; 2 - PC 1000; 3 - SB 800R-5 250; 4 - X-1.
Here are the data of several German conventional bombs. The smallest incendiary bombs weighed only 1 kg. They are 350 mm long and 50 mm in diameter. There were the same small fragmentation bombs, and some of them were made from 50-mm mortar mines.