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  1. #1
    UBIQUE
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    British Balloon Incendiary Bomb ?

    Having a look through my stuf i found this image,the text is in German,I think it shows a Balloon dropped incendiary bomb,,to me it looks like it releases either the No76 grenades or something similar,Does anyone know anymore about these ,were they actually used ?,any info welcome.........thanks for looking spotter


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    Re:British Balloon Incendiary Bomb ?

    Operation Outward was the name given to the British World War II program to attack Germany by means of free-flying balloons.

    Outward made use of cheap, simple gas balloons filled with hydrogen. They carried one of two types of payload.

    A trailing steel wire, intended to damage high voltage power lines by producing a short circuit.
    Three incendiary devices - six pound (2.7kg) flexible socks filled with flammable material - that were intended to start fires in forests and heathland.
    A total of 99,142 Outward balloons were launched: 53,343 carried incendiaries and 45,599 carried steel wires.

    Compared to Japan's better known fire balloons, Outward balloons were crude. They had to travel a much shorter distance so they flew at a lower altitude (16,000 feet, compared with 38,000 feet) and had no need for a mechanism to regulate altitude by means of dropping ballast or venting lifting gas. However the balloons were simple to mass produce and only cost 35 shillings each.

    History
    On the night of 17 September 1940, a gale broke loose a number of British barrage balloons and carried them across the North Sea. In Sweden and Denmark, they damaged power lines, disrupted railways and the antenna for the Swedish International radio station was knocked down. Five balloons were reported to have reached Finland.

    A report on the damage and confusion reached the British War Cabinet. On 23 September 1940, Winston Churchill directed that the use of free-flying balloons as weapons against Germany should be investigated.

    The Air Ministry initially produced a negative report, possibly because the Ministry of Aircraft Production felt balloons would be ineffective weapons and would use up too many resources. However, the Admiralty took up the idea with more enthusiasm. They concluded balloons had the advantages of being low cost and not placing British personnel at risk. The design of the German power grid made it vulnerable to damage by short-circuit and large areas of pine forest in Germany made the countryside vulnerable to random incendiary attack. Furthermore, winds above 16,000 feet tended to blow from west to east, making it harder for the Germans to retaliate with similar balloons.

    After a lengthy bureaucratic struggle between the Air Ministry and the Admiralty, the British Chiefs of Staff gave the go-ahead in September 1941 and a launch site was set up at Landguard Fort near Felixstowe in Suffolk. The first launches took place on 20 March 1942. Within days, the British were receiving reports of forest fires near Berlin and Tilsit in East Prussia.

    Intercepts of Luftwaffe communications soon showed German fighters were trying to shoot down balloons. This encouraged the British as it was felt that the harassment value on German air defences alone justified Operation Outward. It cost the Germans more, in terms of fuel and wear and tear on aircraft, to destroy each balloon than it cost the British to make them.

    In July, a second launch site was set up at Oldstairs near Dover. On 12 July 1942, a wire carrying balloon struck a 110,000 volt power line near Leipzig. A failure in the overload switch at the Bohlen power station caused a fire that destroyed the station; this was Outward's greatest success. Balloon launches continued, though they were frequently suspended when there were large air-raids on Germany as it was feared the balloons might damage Allied bombers. In the lead-up to D-day invasion, balloon launches became more sporadic. The last balloons were launched on 4 September 1944.

    Source: Wikipedia

    The picture shows Phosphourus Bottles (Balloon Device "C" ) and Canisters with wire (Balloon Device "B" ).

    Device "B". suspended close to the balloon may be found a small canister, of ordinary tin colour, 8 in. diameter and 9 in. long with lengths of string or wire which may amount to a total of 1,000 feet attached. The contentents of these canisters are harmless unless exposed to a naked flame.

    Device "C". This device is associated with the canister used in device (b). It consists of a cylindrical metal container 8 1/4 in. diameter and 9 in. long fitted with a lid and holding seven or eight short-necked half pint bottles containing a mixture of phosphorus and benzine which ignites immediattely if the glass is shattered. The bottles may be found seperately or with a metal sleeve fitted over the neck of the bottles and a ball about 1 in. diameter attached to a short length of canvas.

    Source: Objects dropped from the the air. 1944.

    It would seem the Incendiary socks were device "D" and can of Incendiary jelly, device "E".
    The bottles do look like No.76 SIP grenades.

    Quatermass

  3. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Quatermass For This Useful Post:

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    Re:British Balloon Incendiary Bomb ?

    Cracking write-up Q!B)

    cheers

    waff

  5. #4
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    Re:British Balloon Incendiary Bomb ?

    Fantastic write up Q...simple but effective as long as the winds are blowing the right way,,,i had heard of the japanese ballons but didnt realise we used such a simple weapon

    Any Live or Dug ordnance shown by me has been disposed of by military EOD personnel .


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    Theres an article on Operation Outward in this months (June 08) 'Britain at war magazine'.

    It includes some nice photoghaps of the ballons being launched at Landguard fort.

    Quatermass.

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    Hi Q, By looking at their website, I believe that this issue also has an article on the Smith Gun ? if you already have it, does it have any good photos or drawings of the ammunition ? Tony.
    "Smoke me a kipper, i'll be back for breakfast!"

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    Hello Tony, there are two sectioned lined drawings from the handbook showing the 8lb H.E. and practice bombs and cartridge.

    Theres also a photograph of a relic practice bomb.

    Its a very good 6 page article, probably the best write up on the gun i've seen in print.

    Its really a very good magazine, a much better read than the Armourer!

    Quatermass.

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    Thanks for that Q, I may have to get a subscription, I get the Armourer, but there is not much ordnance related in it these days. I got a copy of the first one with the article about the Northover Projector in it from a fellow member, that was very good. Maybe i will get the one about the Spigot mortar and Smith Gun before I subscribe. Tony.
    "Smoke me a kipper, i'll be back for breakfast!"

  10. #9
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    more pictures..

    hello,
    Just THIS 2 pictures, I hope they 'll help you a littel.. best regards..
    Attached Images Attached Images

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  12. #10
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    thanks for the additional pictures Spgr30

 

 
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