German Bombs

Below are details of the most common types of German bombs and mines.

High Explosive Bombs

The most common sizes are the 50 and 250 kg bombs but sizes up to 1,800 kg were encountered during the War. They were fitted with one or sometimes two fuzes:

Direct acting and short delay fuze

  • Long delay fuze (containing a clock mechanism) – usually fitted to 250 and 500 kg bombs although incidences when fitted to 50 and 1,000 kg were recorded.
  • Anti-handling fuze (designed to function if a bomb is moved or disturbed in any way) – these were usually fitted with a Long delay fuze in the same bomb.
    •   Above: left - 50 Kg bomb. Right 250 Kg bomb.

      Anti-personnel bombs

      Two types of anti-personnel bombs as follows:

      • 2 kg anti-personnel bomb: so called ‘Butterfly bomb’. UXB’s were highly sensitive and could cause death up to 25 yards and wounds up to 150 yards if disturbed.
      • S.C.10 – these were about 3 ¼ inches diameter and 22 ½ inches long including the tail. They contained 1 to 2lbs of H.E. only, being designed for splinter effect. They were fitted with a mechanical fuze which was designed to explode the bomb on or very shortly after impact.
        • Incendiary Bombs

          Three types were in use:

          • 1 kg bomb: A hollow cylindrical magnesium body filled with thermit and a tail painted green. Some of these bombs had a small bursting charge contained in a steel tube screwed into the back of the bomb and hidden under the tail unit. This burster charge explodes after the bomb has been alight for from one to two minutes.
          • 250 (Flam) incendiary bomb: looked like a 250 kg bomb and referred to as an “oil bomb”. It was filled with oil and had a bursting charge of about 2 ½ lbs of high explosive.
          • C.500 (Flam) Incendiary bomb: - looked like a 500 kg bomb, and was otherwise similar to the C.250 (Flam).
            •   German 1 Kg Incendiary Bomb

              Parachute Mines

              Originally intended as magnetically triggered sea mines, they were adopted for use to act as blast bombs against land targets. They were fitted with a clock mechanism and designed to explode at roof level to maximize the effect of the blast. They were extremely dangerous if found as a UXB – they were liable to detonate either magnetically or acoustically or through ground vibration.

              They varied in size and shape and were roughly cylindrical. They were made of aluminium and usually painted grey. The parachute was up to 15 inches in diameter when opened out and was usually made of green silk.

              Right: German Parachute Mine

              “G” Mines

              These were dropped like bombs, without a parachute and were approximately equivalent to 1,000 kg bombs. The were painted light blue and fitted with tail fins of brown bakelized cardboard coloured light blue on the surface and about 1/8 inch thick, which break off on impact.

              Right: German "G" Mine

              Military Training Pamphlet No.45 - Bomb Reconnaissance and Protection Against Unexploded Bombs, WO, 1942


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