‘Come friendly bombs…’

Discussion in 'General' started by CL1, Oct 1, 2016.

  1. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    When life imitates art: ‘Come friendly bombs…’
    Monday 13 July 2015 | James Cronan | Records and research | 3 comments
    Most people, especially its long suffering residents, are familiar with the John Betjeman poem ‘Slough’. Betjeman published his poem in 1937, when creeping industrialisation and hemmed in housing projects made Slough appear to him to be cramped and sterile, while the factory managers were portrayed as oppressive and crude and the clerks and their families as facile lovers of modernity who had lost touch with the natural world, in favour of labour saving devices and crass popular culture.

    ‘Come, bombs and blow to smithereens

    Those air-conditioned, bright canteens,

    Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans,

    Tinned minds, tinned breath.’

    How ironic that a ‘friendly bomb’ really did fall on Slough, damaging the aluminium factory that was at the centre of his little rant.

    On 15 July 1940, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, Sir Cyril Newall, the Chief of the Air Staff, opened Churchill’s War Cabinet meeting by reporting that a pilot had admitted that, while returning from a mission on July 13, one of his bombs had fallen out of his plane and had scored a direct hit on the Aluminium Works at Slough.

    War Cabinet minutes, 15th July 1940. Catalogue reference CAB 65/56

    Battle of Britain | The National Archives blog
    canuck, Harry Ree, nicks and 2 others like this.
  2. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    The aluminium works were on Slough Trading Estate. I worked on the estate 1966 - 1999
  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Usually there was a RAF practice to jettison bombs at sea when returning without dropping them on the target or other target of opportunity.On some aircraft there was an aperture into the bomb bay,which a crew member could view and ascertain if bombs had cleared the bomb bay.However there were times when aircraft returned and unbeknown to the crew had suffered a hang up which ran the risk of disastrous results for those around the aircraft when the bomb bay doors were opened.

    It would be interesting to hear of the sequence of events that caused the bomb to fall on friendly territory.....the bomb doors would have to be opened for any bomb release maloperation to lead to a bomb leaving the bomb bay.

    I would think that the technical report from any official inquiry would have a restricted circulation based on a need to know.

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