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Luftwaffe and Allied late war clusterbombs

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Are there any plans to include further ground attack loadouts for Luftwaffe fighter bombers, namely AB series cluster / disperser bombs, such as AB 250 or AB 500 series?


These were very commonly used with a loading of various mixtures of smaller bombs, most prominently SD-2 ''Butterfly'' fragmentation bomblets and SD-4 HL anti tank bomblets with shaped charged top attack munition. 


Seeing how often these kind of bombs being used in late 1944 / 1945 by Fw 190As and Bf 109s for attacks on Allied ground troops its a bit of a letdown that they are not yet included. 


AB (Abwurfbehalter - Drop Container) series bomb dispensers could contain a number of submuntions, with corresponding stencil change in designation.


The number corresponds to nominal weight (i.e. 250 or 500 kg)


AB 250-2 bomb containers



COLOR AND MARKINGS: Khaki overall with two red stripes on tail cone:
Stenciled on container for SD 1 bombs:
AB 250-2
224 SD-1
Gew 215 kg
(79) A
(69) D

Stenciled on container for SD 10 A bombs:
AB 250-2
17 SD 10A
(69) E
(89) B

The body is of mild sheet steel in two longitudinal halves hinged at the tail. It is divided into three compartments; dome-shaped nose compartment, cylindrical central compartment and cone shaped tail compartment. The nose compartment houses the fuze pocket welded to a bracket which, in turn, is welded to the upper half of the container. The two halves of the container are presumably held together by a securing nut and a shear wire which pases through an anvil in the lower half of the fuze pocket. (see illustration).
    The sheet steel tail of four fins, braced by two bars riveted to opposite fins, is welded to both the central cylindircal and cone-shaped tail portions of the container.
    The SD 1 bombs are housed in the central compartment. No packing pieces have been found.
    When the SD 10A bombs are carried, a three plywood or cardboard partition is inserted making two compartments. The front compartment holds eight bombs and the rear nine. The bombs are positioned by a wooden structure placed in the center of the compartments. The odd bomb at the rear is stowed within this structure. Each cluster is held by smll wooden blocks bound by two steel tapes. 


Possible Fillings
224 SD 1 bombs, 
17 SD 10A bombs, 
144 SD 2 bombs.

AB 500, the nominally 500 kg version, the largest practical for single engined fighters. 





-SD 1, 1 kg 'mortar' anti-personnel bomblets

392 SD-1 bomblets in AB 500-1
224 SD 1 bomblets in AB 250-2


-SD 2, 2 kg, the famous'butterfly' anti-personnel bomblets


-SD 10, 10 kg 'butterfly' anti-personnel fragmentation bombs

17 SD 10A in AB 250-2 container


-SD 4HL, 4 kg HEAT/shaped charge anti-tank bomblets

74 bombs in AB 500-1 container, 
40 bombs in AB 250 container
Bombs are packed nose in tail, thus increasing fuze safety.




AB 250-2 description via Wiki / United States War Office (1953). German explosive ordnance : (bombs, fuzes, rockets, land mines, grenades and igniters). United States Government Printing Office. OCLC 713755660


AB 250-2[edit]

The body of the AB 250-2 was constructed of mild sheet steel and was of clamshell construction and hinged at the tail. It was divided into three compartments; a dome-shaped nose compartment, a cylindrical center compartment, and a cone-shaped tail compartment. The nose compartment housed the fuze pocket which was welded to a bracket on the upper half of the container. The two halves were held together by a shear wire which passed through a steel anvil, in the lower part of the fuze pocket. When the fuze is triggered, this wire was sheared by a small exploder under the fuze. The case then opened and allowed the bombs to fall out. The tail unit had four fins that were welded to the container with braces riveted between each fin.[1]

A number of different sub-munition configurations were possible:

  • 224 x SD 1 A or SD 1 FRZ - These were stored in the central compartment. The bombs were packed nose to tail with the tail cup of each bomb forming a safety device for the nose fuze of the bomb behind it. Both bomb types were loaded in the same manner.
  • 144 x SD 2 - These were small anti-personnel bombs that were stored in the central compartment.
  • 40 x SD 4 HL - These were stored in the central compartment and were packed nose to tail in clusters of 20 with the tail cup of each bomb forming a safety device for the nose fuze of the bomb behind it.
  • 17 x SD 10 A - These were stored in the central compartment in a plywood or cardboard box with a center divider. The front half contained eight bombs while the rear held nine. The bomb clusters were held together with steel bands and the clusters were held in place by wooden blocks.
  • 17 x SD 10 FRZ - These were stored in the central compartment in a plywood or cardboard box with a center divider in the same way as SD 10 A bombs.
  • 28 x SD 10 C - Unknown configuration.[1]


Photo of AB 250-2:







Types of sub-munitions used:




Model Length Diameter Weight Explosive Weight Explosive
SD 1 170 mm (6.7 in) 50 mm (2 in) 910 g (2 lb) 112 g (4 oz) TNT[2]
SD 1 FRZ 154 mm (6.06 in) 50 mm (2 in) 500 g (1.1 lb) 120 g (4.2 oz) 60/40 Amatol or TNT[3]
SD 2 89 mm (3.5 in) 76 mm (3 in) 1.9 kg (4 lb 4 oz) 210 g (7.5 oz) TNT
SD 4 HL 31 cm (12.3 in) 91 mm (3.6 in) 4.2 kg (9 lb 4 oz) 340 g (12 oz) RDX or TNT
SD 10 A Type I 55 cm (21.6 in) 86 mm (3.4 in) 10 kg (22 lb) 900 g (2 lb) 60/40 Amatol or TNT
SD 10 A Type II 55 cm (21.6 in) 86 mm (3.4 in) 10 kg (22 lb) 900 g (2 lb) 60/40 Amatol or TNT[1]
10kg (P.A) Type I 55 cm (21.5 in) 90 mm (3.54 in) 9.5 kg (21 lb) 1.1 kg (2 lb 8 oz) 70/30 Picric acid/Mononitronapthalene
10kg (P.A) Type II 55 cm (21.5 in) 90 mm (3.54 in) 9.5 kg (21 lb) 1.1 kg (2 lb 8 oz) 70/30 Picric acid/Mononitronapthalene
10kg (P) Type I 55 cm (21.5 in) 90 mm (3.54 in) 9.5 kg (21 lb) ? ?
10kg (P) Type II 55 cm (21.5 in) 90 mm (3.54 in) 9.5 kg (21 lb) ? ?[4]
SD 10 C 52 cm (20.5 in) 76 mm (3 in) 7 kg (15 lb) 750 g (1 lb 10 oz)





Edited by VO101Kurfurst
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I would love them!

They where also used by Fw190 Schlachtgeschwader to suppress AA enplacements during attacks.
The shaped charge would be a nice extension of the axis AT arsenal.

I miss my IL-2s capability against tanks when playing blue. That would help a bit. :)

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Yes please. ABs were also the most commonly used loadouts of ground attack units equipped with the Me-262. For example during the hit-and-run attacks on Allied airfields.


One reason why we don't already have ABs in the game might be the necessary changes to the AI's ground attack behaviour. If I remember correctly, AB-250/500s had to be released above 1000 m when dropped in a shallow dive, to allow a wide enough dispersion of the bomblets. At the moment fighter-bombers in the game drop bombs at much lower altitudes.

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I mentioned the lack of cluster munitions to the Devs several times already, but to no avail unfortunately.

The Luftwaffe restricted the usage of regular bombs exceeding the 250 kg class during the BoBP timeframe, heavily promoting the use of Abwurfbehälter.
The Allies used cluster munitions alongside their regular ordnance.



Armourers attach the nose and tail units onto a cluster projectile containing 26 x 20-lb anti-personnel bombs, fitted under the wing of a Hawker Typhoon Mark IB of No. 439 Squadron RCAF at B78/Eindhoven, Holland. © IWM (CL 1959)



I don't see much use for bomblets like the SD 1 & 2 in the game. There are no living "soft targets" and even way larger bombs generally lack destructive power (splintering) against unarmoured soft targets (imo).

Missing ordnance for the BoBP timeframe:



AB 250-2 - 40 SD 4 HL

AB 250-2 - 28 SD 10 C

AB 500-1 - 74 SD 4 HL

AB 500-1C - 37+ SD 10 C

AB 500-1D - 24 SD 15


For NSGr.:
Mark AB 250-2 - 35 Mark 3 Boden

Mark AB 500-1 - 58 Mark 3 Boden

LC 50 F/G 5 (parachute flare - no cluster)



Cluster Projectile 500-lb. No. 7 Mk I - 56 8-lb. F. Bombs Mk II

Cluster Projectile 500-lb. No. 17 Mk II - 26 F. 20-lb. Bomb Mk II (for No. 17 Mk II)

Cluster Projectile 350-lb. No. 23 Mk I - 14 AN-M41 20-lb. (modified)

Cluster Projectile 500-lb. No. 24 Mk I - 20 AN-M41 20-lb. (modified)



Cluster AN-M1A2 - 6 AN-M41A1 20-lb.

Cluster M26 - 20 AN-M41A1 20-lb.

Cluster M27 - 6 AN-M82 90-lb.


Adding those would enhance the game considerably - I really hope it happens.

Maybe you could change the name of the thread to include the Allied ones?

Edited by =27=Davesteu
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Cool picture of the 20 lbs bomblets on the Typhoon. I was not familiar with these, only US equivalents. Were they used in the BP timeframe?


Changed thread title to include Allied cluster bombs. Like yourself, I really hope that this happens... dropping the same old 250 kg/lbs 'pigs' is a bit of an immersion killer.


With the inclusion of more advanced DM for the soft vehicles, I think smaller bomblets may have place. But then again 10 kg ones are just as fine - as long as we get some kind of soft/hard cluster bomb to work with, its OK with me. There is no need to include all of them, there were a crazy number of variants.

Edited by VO101Kurfurst

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26 minutes ago, VO101Kurfurst said:

Were they used in the BP timeframe?

Yes, they were (see the caption ;)). Thanks for changing the name!


25 minutes ago, -=PHX=-SuperEtendard said:

What's the penetration value of the shaped charge bomblet?

130 mm @ 60°

Edited by =27=Davesteu

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3 hours ago, =27=Davesteu said:

130 mm @ 60°


Pretty good, enough for any tank in a top/down attack. I think the way the game calculates the dispersion pattern coupled with the DM of the tanks make them a bit underwhelming though, at least in my experience training with the ptabs. Sometimes you can see multiple bomblets impacting the tank but they don't make much effect.

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IIRC 2x AB 250 or 1x AB 500 was standard loadout on KG 51s Me 262s which harassed allied troops during the bulge. Would love to have those included in the game.



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That would be wonderful to have it included in IL-2 BOX.


It might be a good idea to add this information to the main suggestions thread. 


Edited by JG_deserteagle540

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in IL-2'46 i always prefered a SC250 over a AB250 ............................ not to talk about the SC500 over the AB500 with its few SD4HL bomblets.


There was a nice compare Video about these weapons (in game !) on youtube - not sure if it is still avaialble

Edited by III/JG53Frankyboy

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