Good morning,

I have a quite strange question to submit to you.

I am talking about the 'behaviour' of British 500 and 250 lb. bombs, loaded during WWII on Vickers Wellington bombers in the Mediterranean campaign (having no references about special bombs from the historical documents I read, I suppose them to be general purposes ones).

I knew that, in a mountain wreckplace, at least one "very large bomb" was found intact, without any damage, while the plane was completely disintegrated. This obliged local partisans to climb up there, in order to find and destroy this dangerous weapon.

Instead, during the same mission of the previous plane, several aircraft jettisoned their bomb patterns in order to reach higher altitudes, to escape from mountains and icing.
Some of these patterns did not explode, while at least three others did. They destroyed a church, a farmer house (killing three inhabitants) and skimmed a small village on the coast.

I asked more info about such British bombs to several bomb disposal experts, here in Italy, one of them also experienced in Iraq and abroad. They all answered this: similar weapons had to be armed, trigged, in order to explode.
If not, they simply would hit the ground, without any effect. And as you know, at least a single bomb survived to a plane crash against a mountain side, then to two years of avalanches and landslides.
Do you agree? Is it possible to know more about 500 and 250 lb bombs loaded over Italy by Vickers Wellingtons in 1943?

A second question. If these crews just wanted to jettison their weaps to escape from a dangerous zone, why should they arm these bombs?

The only answer I can find, as far as I know, is this. They already armed the bomb pattern, supposing to be almost over their target. When they jettisoned this load, their weapons were already trigged, and they exploded.


Thank you,

Marco