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Thread: Halifax bombs

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    Default Halifax bombs

    What sort of bombs would the RAF heavy bomber use to destroy railway marshalling yards in 1944? Would they be 'air burst', ground burst, incendaries or perhaps a mix ? I am paticularly interested in the Trappes raid of 2-3 June 1944
    Thank you
    Norman

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    From the entries for other railway marshalling yard attacks in the BC Diaries, the previous month, it would appear to be High Explosive bombs.

    A

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    Default Bomb loads

    Hi Norman

    As I understand it, BC modified their loads depending upon the type of target and distance (bombs -v- fuel).

    I don't think that they had 'air burst' bombs other than target markers and whereas town attacks would comprise a range of HE and incendiaries, maybe coming with the different waves of the attack, I think that the proportionate 'mix' would depend upon the type of target. It could be that for things like marshalling yards (less there to burn?) more HE would have been the order of the day.

    The other factor would have been the type of a/c taking part. Lancs, Mossies and some modified Wellingtons could carry 4,000 lb 'cookies' but I don't think the Halifax's bomb-bay design allowed it to do so, so it was limited to smaller bombs.

    Don't have access to the reference books at present. No doubt others can add more.

    Cheers

    Ian

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    hello,

    I have found that the cargo was usually 16 500 lb bombs for railway target in Nord-Pas-de-Calais, in May and June 1944. High Explosive or General Purpose. Also very often 2 out of the 16 had long delay fuzes.

    As Trappes was further away, near Paris, I wouldn't be surprised by a small decrease in cargo load, maybe down to 14.

    Joss

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    Norman from two of the 78 Sqn crew log books that I have copies of showing raids on similar marshelling yards either side of the Trappes raid one shows the bomb load as being
    9 x 1000lb HC and 4 x 500lb HC and the other shows a load of 7 x 1000lb MC and 6 x 500lb MC. I think I have a copy of the Op Order for Trappes somewhere I'll see if I can find it and let you know.

    Rgds

    Daz

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    Default Trappes

    6 group sent Halifax aircraft to Trappes on March 6/7,1944. 419 had the furthest to fly, they carried 8 x 1,000 lb and 7 x 500 lb HE. 432 Squadron distance was shorter, they carried 9 x 1,000 lb and 6 x 500 lb HE. Many of these bombs would of have delays, so they could still been exploding hours later. It also depends on track miles as to the actual bomb load. I am not sure on the route taken on June 2/3,1944. Hope this helps.
    Richard

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    The Halifax could carry the 4000lb bomb, but the bombbay doors would not entirely close. Surprisingly, tests at Boscombe Down showed only a negligible effect on performance in this configuration, and it was cleared for service use. I must admit finding this surprising, and would be interested in any comments recorded by the units.

    However, for this kind of distributed target a number of smaller bombs would be more effective in spreading the damage to track, railbed and pointing.

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    The 4'000lb "Cookie" was a high capacity blast bomb, most effective in removing roofs from buildings etc and therefore not really suited to railway lines or marshalling yards.
    1,000lb and 500lb GP or MC bombs would be far more effective against this type of target causing craters as well as the destructive blast which would mean much hard work in making the ground again fit to lay fresh rail track. Of course any buildings and rolling stock would fall victim to blast effect.

  9. #9
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi Norman

    The route and timings used to Trappes by 158 Sqn was

    Base 221.15hrs
    Set Course 22.45hrs
    Pevensey Bay 00.07hrs
    4949N 0030E 00.25hrs
    Target On 00.50hrs
    Target Off 00.55hrs
    4949N 0030E 01.36hrs
    Pevensey Bay 01.59hrs
    Base 03.16hrs


    21 aircraft carried 18 x 500lb bombs and 3 carried 16 x 500lb bombs

    Fuses included delays

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    Default TRAPPES RAID 2nd 3rd June 1944

    Hi Norman
    I have the Orbs for 10 Squadron for the above raid they read as follows

    Bombing attack on TRAPPES (TWELVE AIRCRAFT)

    Bomb Load 12 x 500 lbs G P TD. 0.025. 6 x 500 G P .fused tail inst.

    All aircraft had the same bomb load.

    Regards

    Harold Dummer

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