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Subject: During WW2, did the British bomb with whatever they could find? rss

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Barry Harvey
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Okay, this was on a repeat of Lovejoy and I'm wondering if it's in any way accurate.

The program suggested that during the bombing campaign against Germany, if British bombers didn't have enough bombs to completely fill their bomb bays then they would load anything heavy that would fit - in the case of this program, a civil war cannon.

The interesting point was that not only would large lumps of heavy metal falling from the sky damage anything they hit but by not exploding it would tie up bomb disposal squads while they dug it out before they determined that it wasn't actually a bomb.

So, does anyone know anything about this or was it just fanciful writing?
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Bob Zurunkel
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Sounds like fanciful writing to me. You don't just toss bombs into a plane and then push them out over the target. There are bomb racks, etc. Doing something like that could raise havoc with weight distribution, affecting flight characteristics.
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Peter Lloyd
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I would put this more in the realm of whimsical, like the wooden bomb on the wooden airstrip. A couple reasons... I've never heard of any country not having enough bombs, though occasionally some did not have the right type of bombs. Second the British were doing night area saturation bombing. Dropping a chunk of iron kinda-sorta-overthere is not going to do much, especially considering the fuel required to get it to the area.
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Wendell
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From the subject, I thought this question would be "did the British drop bombs just anywhere", not "did the British drop just anything as bombs"!

I've never heard that Bomber Command took the kitchen sink approach literally.
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Jeff Saxton
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After all, gas can is my middle name. Eh, not really.
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Oh heck yeah, haven't you ever heard of the specially modified squadron of Wellingtons designed to drop Indian Elephants? Sadly, they had to give up on the program, there weren't enough volunteer Mahouts willing to drop with them.
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MURRUMBEENA
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I've spent a day trying to find the reference - somewhere in a book of memoirs I read about a bomber crew throwing empty bottles as they passed over a German city. But my memory is hazy.

Great War pilots threw all sorts of stuff, including things that look like lawn darts.
 
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Damo
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Ozludo wrote:
I've spent a day trying to find the reference - somewhere in a book of memoirs I read about a bomber crew throwing empty bottles as they passed over a German city. But my memory is hazy.

Great War pilots threw all sorts of stuff, including things that look like lawn darts.


Empty beer bottles were used by the USAF 380th squadron and RAAF 23rd Squadron(B-24) crews in the PTO. Used for night harassment as the whistle on the way down sounded just like a bomb.
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Could be it, but I have it in my head they were Australians flying over Germany.

Damjon wrote:
Ozludo wrote:
I've spent a day trying to find the reference - somewhere in a book of memoirs I read about a bomber crew throwing empty bottles as they passed over a German city. But my memory is hazy.

Great War pilots threw all sorts of stuff, including things that look like lawn darts.


Empty beer bottles were used by the 380th squadron (B-24) crews in the PTO. Used for night harassment as the whistle on the way down sounded just like a bomb.
 
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Damo
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Probably. These were Aussies flying over the Japanese...
 
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Jur dj
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Damjon wrote:
Ozludo wrote:
I've spent a day trying to find the reference - somewhere in a book of memoirs I read about a bomber crew throwing empty bottles as they passed over a German city. But my memory is hazy.

Great War pilots threw all sorts of stuff, including things that look like lawn darts.


Empty beer bottles were used by the 380th squadron (B-24) crews in the PTO. Used for night harassment as the whistle on the way down sounded just like a bomb.


heared similar referende of British pilots bombing southern Italy from Malta, possibly Swordfishes over Taranto. Apparently to suppress AA crews
 
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jumbit
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The US Navy dropped a toilet on the communists in Vietnam. Tons of photos and a couple of videos at the link.




"The flight was a Dixie Station strike (South Vietnam) going to the Delta. When they arrived in the target area and CDR Stoddard was reading the ordnance list to the FAC, he ended with "and one code name Sani-Flush". The FAC couldn't believe it and joined up to see it. It was dropped in a dive with LCDR Bacon flying tight wing position to film the drop. When it came off, it turned hole to the wind and almost struck his airplane. It made a great ready room movie. The FAC said that it whistled all the way down.

The toilet was a damaged toilet, which was going to be thrown overboard. One of our plane captains rescued it and the ordnance crew made a rack, tailfins and nose fuse for it. Our checkers maintained a position to block the view of the air boss and the Captain while the aircraft was taxiing forward. Just as it was being shot off we got a 1MC message from the bridge, "What the hell was on 572's right wing?" There were a lot of jokes with air intelligence about germ warfare. I wish that we had saved the movie film. CDR Stoddard was later killed while flying 572 in Oct 1966. He was hit by three SAMs over Vinh."
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