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Question about 160lb US bombs


JtD
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In our area they keep digging up "75kg bombs of US origin". Translates to 160lb bombs. I haven't been able to really find any information on that bomb, except for that a grand total of exactly 79 160lb bombs were dropped on Germany by the USAAF in the entire WW2. HE type bombs, all in 1943. For referece, 7.9 million HE bombs were dropped in total by the USAAF. So finding one would be something like winning the lottery, even if all 79 bombs had been duds.

 

I wonder if the media got it right, or if I am missing something.

 

Here's a supposedly 160lb bomb being detonated in Leipzig a few years ago. Leaves 78 unaccounted for.

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2656329/Hundreds-evacuated-experts-detonate-160lb-bomb-dropped-Leipzig-USAF-WWII.html

 

Does anyone have further info on the bomb and usage or more accurate info on the disposals?

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Lots of talk about a 75 kg bomb. But not even the weight of the explosive charge matches 75 kg. I think that is a typo in the original message and from the size of the blast, they probably found a 250 lbs bomb.

 

See here: some even contradict in their own report:

https://www.ruhrnachrichten.de/ahaus/sprengmeister-entschaerfen-amerikanische-75-kilo-bombe-83395.html

 

Edit: here you have one example of a bomb that weights "75 kg":

https://www.br.de/nachrichten/bayern/evakuierung-beendet-hofer-fliegerbomben-werden-entschaerft,SDTHhaW

 

To me these are the remains of a 250 lbs bomb. There are seemingly more finds of "75 kg bombs" than such bombs ever dropped. See here:

https://www.mdr.de/sachsen-anhalt/halle/bombenfund-halle-silberhoehe-evakuierung100.html

 

 

Edited by ZachariasX
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2 hours ago, ZachariasX said:

There are seemingly more finds of "75 kg bombs" than such bombs ever dropped.

 

Exactly my impression, hence the question. Searching for more info about that unknown to me type of bomb I got hits for about a dozen disposals over the last decade, which simply doesn't make sense... They are also being found in places that weren't attacked by the USAAF in 1943, so how'd the bomb get there?

 

I believe the disposal experts are capable of identifying the type of bomb correctly and I do suppose that most journalists are able to quote correctly and I think the USAAF statistical digest is a fairly reliable source on bombs dropped. Something doesn't add up.

 

But then, until recentely I didn't even know that a US 160lb bomb even existed in WW2...

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1 hour ago, JtD said:

I believe the disposal experts are capable of identifying the type of bomb correctly

Is that what they are doing when they are referencing an 80 year old bomb? Or is it much rather that they classify corresponding to an amount of (expected) explosive material and communicate accordingly?

 

1 hour ago, JtD said:

I do suppose that most journalists are able to quote correctly

I am less enthusiastic about the general ability to quote if historic and technical context is required, especially in short news.

 

Here‘s another example of a back translation error, where a US 500 lbs bomb becomes a 250 kg bomb that is accurately back converted to 551 lbs:

https://www.dw.com/en/world-war-ii-bomb-germany/a-54565300

 

Clearly, BBC was just getting a round number from 75 kg for the reader on the island rather than specifying a certain type of ordinance, especially since no communication (also the German sources) specify a certain exact type or model. Only with very special and big charges, they mention a type (when they find a cookie or a Tallboy).

 

But in all, most reports make errors in specifying weight in the same way: For example an AN-M64 500 lbs bomb is a „250 kg bomb“ if the initial report is German. International press then often make it a 551 lbs bomb by being wrongly exact. 

 

Here, they most likely found an AN-M57 (250 lbs) that is then converted to a „125 kg bomb“ when in fact it weighs 113.4 kg net, the charge being 53.8 kg.

https://www.wn.de/Schlaglichter/2016/06/2433825-Notfaelle-Weltkriegsbombe-in-Lindenthal-entschaerft-3000-Koelner-betroffen

 

I don‘t think it is the intent of the disposal units to be exact on the caliber, but more so in giving a general idea of how far back people have to stand until all clear.

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7 minutes ago, ZachariasX said:

Is that what they are doing when they are referencing an 80 year old bomb? Or is it much rather that they classify corresponding to an amount of (expected) explosive material and communicate accordingly?

 

I think they need to ID the bomb and in particular the detonator correctly in order to have a reasonable chance of success. I wouldn't want to start drilling on an unknown explosive. Matter of fact, I wouldn't want to start drilling on any explosive. :biggrin:

 

OK on the rest, I can deal with 250kg or 125kg, but there's just nothing close to 75kg in the common US arsenal. May the disposal guy said "two hundred fifty" and the journalist understood "a hundred fifty". Or the disposal guy is a joker.

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  • 1 month later...
pocketshaver

most of the bomb disposal is the following:

 

place a brick of c-4 on it, wire with LOOONG detonation wire,,, punch the happy switch and watch the smoke.

 

Far to many THOUSANDS of tons of bombs have been detonated since ww2 ended to actually meet the statitistics of the "government admitted" bombs that failed to explode. 

 

How much of these bombs are actually "oh boy, we just found a terrorist cell with 3 tons of HE in the basement..  lets not tell anyone how they got that past customs.... in tonights news a large bomb left over from ww2 was found and detonated in the country side near hamburg this afternoon authorities say...."

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Regarding the '75kg bombs' around here, one out six has been exploded, five of them had the detonator(s) removed and were transported off site. They were evidently found while digging on major construction sites, disarmed on site, and pictures of them in their rotten state were taken and published. It's also said there are still several hundreds of failed bombs in the area, both according to US data, and common sense estimate by known bomb failure rates.

 

What we didn't have, ever, were terrorist cells with 3 tons of explosives in their basements.

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Mitthrawnuruodo
1 hour ago, JtD said:

Regarding the '75kg bombs' around here, one out six has been exploded, five of them had the detonator(s) removed and were transported off site.

 

Perhaps something like an AN-M58 SAP bomb listed as having 160 lb of explosive filling? Just speculating here.

 

Telling the public the actual weight of TNT could be more meaningful than "500 lb bomb (of which most is metal)".

 

However, I have no idea whether such bombs were used in the area.

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  • 3 months later...

Just saw a picture of one of the bombs (by now eight disarmed in the last few month at one single construction site), it appears it is a 115lb M70 chemical bomb filled with explosives, labelled T-1, weighing about 140lb, classified as 150lb. Apparently, there was a shortage in standard (100lb, 250lb) GP bombs and these were used as stand ins.

 

So the bomb disposal guys know what they are talking about (no surprise here), but the journalist thinks that a 150lb classification translates to 75kg actual weight (no surprise here as well), where it's just ~65kg in case of the T-1.

 

So, riddle solved, and I learned a thing in the process. I wasn't really aware of the T-1 bomb and its use.

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