LW Fragmentation bombing of Allied bombers

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Andy H
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LW Fragmentation bombing of Allied bombers

Post by Andy H » 24 May 2004 01:06

Whilst reading the Obit of the Memphis Belle pilot, it mentions that the LW introduced a new method of attacking the bombers-by dropping fragmentation bombs onto the Allied bomber streams.

Anyone have any info on this weapon & method of attack

Andy H

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 24 May 2004 01:44

Andy it was actually introduced in april of 1943 by Bf 109G's of II./JG 11. the weapon was a 250 lb dropped and a set fuze to blow at altitude.

E ~

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 24 May 2004 01:51

Thanks Erich.

Am I right to presume that it was a failure given that I haven't heard much about this weapon before now?

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Tony Williams
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Post by Tony Williams » 24 May 2004 07:26

If you think about it, you can understand the problems. First, the attacking aircraft would have to make sure that they were the correct height above the bombers so that the fuze would detonate at the right altitude. Second, they would have to judge how much in front of the bombers they should drop the bomb so that it arrived at the right place.

And all that is before they have escort fighters to worry about....

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varjag
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Post by varjag » 24 May 2004 11:29

I always understood it to be a total failure - quickly abandoned. Another crackpot idea born in desperation. Perhaps Erich knows better.

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 24 May 2004 15:54

There's a good account of use of bombs in Heinz Knoke-Die Grosse Jagd.

According to it idea came from Lt.Dieter Gerhardt 2./JG1 (KIA 18.3.43).Idea was introduced 28.2.43 and Knoke downed an B-17 with bomb in 22.3.43.In 14.5.43 3 B-17 are downed with bombs by Wilhelm Fest of 5./JG11,Ofw.Erich Führmann of 5./JG11 and Biermann.

15.5.43 Lennartz downs 1 B-17 and 28.7.43 Uffz.Wilhelm Fest of 5./JG11 downs 3 B-17 with single bomb. In mid-September 21 cm rockets are installed and there's no need to bombs anymore.

I guess bombing was a temporary solution to try break the bomber "boxes" but it was later replaced by more accurate rockets.Most likely the most succesful "bomber" was Uffz.Fest with 4 B-17's.

Cheers/Juha

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MAX_theHitMan
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Post by MAX_theHitMan » 24 May 2004 17:19

My old teacher from the 8th grade (R.I.P.) used to tell us stories of his time as a bomber navigator on a B-17 . And from his first hand account he did see some of the German aircraft literally try to "bomb" the Allied bombers :o Not much success tho.

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 24 May 2004 19:41

Thank you all for your information & insight

Andy H

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Erich
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Post by Erich » 24 May 2004 23:00

wish we could be all on the same time zone........

andy I think Juha gave you some op details. the wepon was a very short term solution to disperse the Heavy US "packed" bomber boxes. the wepon was dropped by Bf 109G's and also Ju 88A's when allowed to fly higher, though rare above the US formations and tackled by US P-47's. later a long cable with the bomb attached was used with the idea from the Junkers crews to fly about a 1500-up to 2,000 feet higher and literally hold on to the bomb and detonate it in the bomber box. this was in theory to stay out of the range of the B-17/B-24 upper .50's.............yeah right. In case another experiment gone bad. the cable/bomb necessated some pretty perfect like weather conditions but flying agaisnt a wind and in clouds there was no way this 'thing' was going to be placed in exactly the spot needed to take down bombers.
the Br 21cm mortar came into effective used by single engine and twin enigen Bf 110G-2's with similiar thought. to fire the wepoan out of the range of the bombers .50's and cause lethal carnage by exploding amongst tightly grouped bombers. In effeet it worked, albeit not like the Luftwaffe wanted to as the rocket at times actually sailed through the aluminum skin of the heavies and exploded harmlessly out of range the other side. With admvent of more long range tanks on the P-47 escorts the Bf 110G's became sitting ducks. Bf 109G gruppen were then tasked to serve as escorts about the same time that the Pioneer Mustang group, the 354th started to fly high escort missions..........the result was.............well let your mind roll.........

~E

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