Monday, November 5, 2012
This is coolbert:
From a previous blog entry the attack by German ground attack aircraft to include the Hs 123 unrelenting and horrific to those on the receiving end:
". . . the next twenty minutes were like a nightmare in hell. The machine guns cut swaths in the ranks of men and horses; hundreds of light weight scatter bombs flamed and exploded; the heavier detonations of the 110-pounders tore gouts out of the earth, ripped through trees and flung jagged metal shards thudding into men and animals"
Those "scatter bombs" a type of cluster bomb of the Second World War Two era, best described AS A CLUSTER OF BOMBS [BOMBLETS] SMALL IN SIZE AND NOT AS THAT TERM CLUSTER BOMB UNDERSTOOD TODAY!
"Cluster bombs are aerodynamically-designed, mostly free-fall bombs, that at a pre-set height detonate breaking the outer casing to release a controlled-spread *cluster* of bomblets. The detonation of the casing is essential, as it allows to drop the weapons from almost any altitude (including very low ones) while still obtaining the desired pre-set 'cluster' area effect, something that is clearly impossible from any gravity-released one."
The Axis air forces at the forefront of such ordnance development, the low-level attacker using scatter bombs with effectiveness, WARPLANES AND AIR FORCES THE MISSION OF WHICH PRIMARILY AS SUPPORT FOR THE GROUND TROOPS!!
From "Military Intelligence Blunders" by Colonel John Hughes-Wilson:
"As the first bombing raids thundered down on the RAF's airfields, the derisive British airmen poured scorn on the so-called 'diarrhoea' bombing tactics where tight formations of bombers dropped their loads simultaneously onto an area target . . . The raids were remarkably successful, however. Using tactics developed in four years of area raids on targets the in China the Japanese . . . knew their business. On the order to release from a master bomber, Japanese bombs fell in a broad pattern that turned out to a highly effective tactic for airfield denial."
"Japanese sources indicate that cluster bombs may be used against either airborne or grounded aircraft. There are two types. A two pound bomb is packed 40 to a cluster, and the more common 2/3 pound is packed 76 to a cluster. The cluster opens shortly after leaving the releasing plane, which, it is believed, makes the drop a few hundred feet above the target. The individual bombs scatter."
"During the Japanese raid on Rangoon, 23 December 1941, some ten or a dozen antipersonnel bombs fell in an open space of about 150 by 250 yards, which was laced with slit trenches. But the people were on top of the trenches and even ran out of them, with the result that 250 were killed on the spot in a few minutes. The wounds were generally terrible leg and stomach injuries. The most fatal zone was within 50 to 60 yards of the burst, but some individuals were killed up to 300 yards away."
The Italian Air Force bomber warplane ALSO able to carry light weight scatter bombs in extraordinary quantity, high-explosive [HE] and incendiary both!!
"an Italian Air Force BR.20M bomber [being loaded with] bomblets dispensers (Spezzoniera). The BR.20 could carry four dispensers, armed with up to 720×1 or 2 kg (2 or 4 lb) HE or incendiary bomblets (Spezzoni)"
That concept of "diarrhea tactics" NOT favored by the allied air forces [British and American] but effective when used by the Axis during that most early period of WW2 pursuit of a withdrawing adversary NOT allowing either respite or surcease an integral element of the blitzkrieg offensive.
Again, clusters of bombs and not cluster bombs as that term understood today!