New series - Blitz Street

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by nicks, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    Land mines dropped by parachute caused much more devastation than the bombs, they could destroy a whole block of houses. A pavement near where I lived carried the imprints of where incendary bombs had landed, even the numbers etc could be read. They looked quite extrordinary when they landed as they bounced having been ignited so they all had flames coming out, very earie.

    Jim
     
  2. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    What about the science, is the science accurate?

    Not really well up on the subject ut my understanding of a free fall hard case blast bomb is that it buries itself before exploding, many feet down.

    Also the second bomb had no casing, apart from the shrapnal effect does this effect the blast in any way?


    Kev
     
  3. CL1

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

    What about the science, is the science accurate?

    Not really well up on the subject ut my understanding of a free fall hard case blast bomb is that it buries itself before exploding, many feet down.

    Also the second bomb had no casing, apart from the shrapnal effect does this effect the blast in any way?


    Kev

    Kev was thinking the same
    a good show but cant help think that although they used the correct amount of explosives it wasnt sent down from a few thousand feet at speed.
    Having said that it does show the terrible scenarios that the bombs caused

    Drew the bottle was still ok
     
  4. CL1

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

    Land mines dropped by parachute caused much more devastation than the bombs, they could destroy a whole block of houses. A pavement near where I lived carried the imprints of where incendary bombs had landed, even the numbers etc could be read. They looked quite extrordinary when they landed as they bounced having been ignited so they all had flames coming out, very earie.

    Jim

    Jim
    attached a photo of the damage caused by a parachute mine
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Kev, my thoughts exactly - see previous posts. I was also surprised to see the 'Herman' simulated with bags of amonium nitrate placed in what looked like a cardboard box! From my vague knowledge I would have thought the A-N/TNT would have been carefully mixed and packed for maximum effect. The casing would, as far as I know, contain the initial detonation allowing pressure to build up to the point the casing burst therefore 'concentrating' the blast.
    OK I know the casing was omitted from the 500kg bomb in the first programme for safety reasons so presumably the same applied to the Herman but it does make the 'experiment' a little unrealistic. I also agree about ground penetration of bombs affecting blast but if the bombs struck a building rather than the ground I guess the effects would be pretty much the same as shown on the programme (albeit without shrapnel).
    The Incendiary bomb was rather frightning, but I am surprised no mention was made about sand being used to extinguish them (water was of little use apart from on secondary fires). The 'petrol' bomb looked quite impressive but the after effects seemed a little tame. I suspect the fuel used was just petrol which burned off pretty quickly. I understand the actual bomb used a jellified fuel, similar to napalm, which would have had much greater long term fire raising capabilities as it tends not to 'flash off' so easily and then sticks to anything and continues to burn for some considerable time.
    So overall the programme might not be al that accurate historically but they have gone to a lot of effort (eg building a street) and I wonder if a little more accuracy could have been achieved quite easily. Still an interesting programme and the veteran and survivor stories are first class, probably the best part.

    Mike
     
  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Drew the bottle was still ok


    Did you drink some...I suspect it had curdled :lol:
     
  7. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Achtung! Vikipedia: Deutsche_Abwurfmunition_des_Zweiten_Weltkrieges
    There doesn't seem to be an English equivalent.

    I can remember the thermite reaction being demonstrated at school - bet they don't do that now. The Flamm bomb brought to mind the Home Guard's fougasse, the same principle of oil/petrol touched off by HE.
     
  8. Ron Goldstein

    Ron Goldstein WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran Patron

    Apropos the Land Mines that Jim mentions in Posting No.41, this reminded me of something long forgotten but just brought to mind.

    The cords that held the land mines ( if I remember rightly, they were dropped by parachute so that they could have a "soft" landing ) was a silvery/green colour, incredibly tough and about 1/2" in diameter.

    When a mine turned out to be duds (as sometimes happened) the cords were salvaged and found their way onto the black-market for sale as pyjama cords !

    As a young lad of seventeen at the time I had my own share of souveneers, including of course loads of shrapnel, (collected whilst still hot) and can remember sporting one of these cords just for the fun of it !
     
  9. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    Kev, my thoughts exactly - see previous posts. I was also surprised to see the 'Herman' simulated with bags of amonium nitrate placed in what looked like a cardboard box! From my vague knowledge I would have thought the A-N/TNT would have been carefully mixed and packed for maximum effect. The casing would, as far as I know, contain the initial detonation allowing pressure to build up to the point the casing burst therefore 'concentrating' the blast.
    OK I know the casing was omitted from the 500kg bomb in the first programme for safety reasons so presumably the same applied to the Herman but it does make the 'experiment' a little unrealistic. I also agree about ground penetration of bombs affecting blast but if the bombs struck a building rather than the ground I guess the effects would be pretty much the same as shown on the programme (albeit without shrapnel).
    The Incendiary bomb was rather frightning, but I am surprised no mention was made about sand being used to extinguish them (water was of little use apart from on secondary fires). The 'petrol' bomb looked quite impressive but the after effects seemed a little tame. I suspect the fuel used was just petrol which burned off pretty quickly. I understand the actual bomb used a jellified fuel, similar to napalm, which would have had much greater long term fire raising capabilities as it tends not to 'flash off' so easily and then sticks to anything and continues to burn for some considerable time.
    So overall the programme might not be al that accurate historically but they have gone to a lot of effort (eg building a street) and I wonder if a little more accuracy could have been achieved quite easily. Still an interesting programme and the veteran and survivor stories are first class, probably the best part.

    Mike


    Good post Mike!
     
  10. kfz

    kfz Very Senior Member

    I like the way it was delivered. a little in the modern style, over dramatic but no punches pulled. I like tony Robinson too, hes pretty good, quite willing to have a go at these minority programmes.

    I wonder if there going to say what happened after and the Allies dished out the same only 10 times worse???


    Kev
     
  11. Driver-op

    Driver-op WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I was surprised to learn as an ATC cadet that HE bombs had a time fuse and were not detonated on impact. A number of aircrew were lost when the bombs had been primed and the bomb-aimer hit before he had time to release the bombs.
    Reverting to land-mines ( which they were always known as), some times there were two joined by a cable. I saw a case where one had exploded on the edge of Epping Forest, the only damage was a wrecked bungalow. The other one of the pair was in the back garden where the Royal Navy had removed its fuse, the copper in charge was my dad's cousin, so we had a close look, and dad thought it was a great piece of engineering. The parachute and cords had gone with the Navy I think. One night I watched one floating above caught in a searchlight, some ack-ack was popping at it and on reflection I doubt if I would be writing this if they'd hit it!
    Happy days.
    Jim
     
  12. slaphead

    slaphead very occasional visitor

  13. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Enjoying this series. Very watchable.
     
  14. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    Slaphead, thanks for the translation (dubious as it may be).
    Seems to confirm a few things I had thought about.
    I understand as recently as the Falklands conflict low-flying aircraft had to employ various 'delay' devices to avoid being enveloped in the blast of their own bombs. One device was a parachute flight delay device (perhaps only effective at higher altitudes? and a major aiming problem) another a simple delayed impact fuse.
    As I understand it the problem with the delayed impact fuse was that the initiating device was operated by a 'turbine' or 'windmill' device on the nose of the bomb and if it was dropped too low the turbine had insufficient time to engage the impact fuse. Hence the large number of 'duds' that hit RN ships in Falkland Sound - the Argentine 'Armada' were flying too low and insufficient time for impact fuse to arm. Believe they corrected that later in the conflict eg RFA Tristram and Galahad bombing.
    Recent footage of even current large capacity bombs clearly show 'delay' aerofoils deploying from the back of ordnance if deployed at low altitude to allow launch aircraft to escape blast but this has to be set up on the ground before aircraft launch. Most modern munitions can be ground configuered in several different modes. Even 'dumb' bombs can be upgraded by addition of 'intelligent' fins and guidance devices etc on the ground.
    I suspect WW2 'parachute' mines were pretty inaccurate devices due to effect of parachute and general navigation difficulties. However when the mine detonated the effects would be pretty devastating. Many pictures bear witness. But I suspect most mines were dropped from medium to high altitude to avoid the blast effect.

    Mike
     
  15. Oggie2620

    Oggie2620 Senior Member

    Did you drink some...I suspect it had curdled :lol:

    It was probably the sort of milk we use on stage not the proper stuff. LOL.... All hail the survivor

    Re the casing no casing I think they left that off so they could examine what the explosive does. I agree there would be more devastation if they had included casing but then there would be nothing left for them to demolish for the V1 (or is V2) example in next programme. I think it may be a little overdramatised but it makes me feel more and more empathy for those who experienced this sort of thing both side of the Channel!
     
  16. IzzyR

    IzzyR Junior Member

    I didn't even realise this series is on which is a bit gutting, and am currently out in Oz for work so can't download it from the 4OD sight. Hopefully it will still be avliable when I get back. I'd be very interested to see it and the science they are quoting aswell.

    I remember my nan telling me stories of the blitz, I was quite young at the time and wish I had paid a lot more attention/had a better memory of them. She mentioned the buzz bombs (doodle bugs is it?) a lot and how her grandad never wanted to go to the shelter but would prefer to die in his own bed if he was going to go. One story I will never forget goes thus:

    My nan was from London and at school there before being evacuated at a later date. Whilst at school one day she was making a tart in cookery class and the air raid siren went off, in her panic she dropped the tart on the floor. The tart was so hard that it didn't even break!

    I'd like to point out that my Nan went on to make the best tarts, cakes and apple pies ever. Sadly she passed about 10yrs ago and I have never found an apple pie as good as hers!


    Ron, the pyjama string cord is one of those amazing little stories you hear from the Blitz, thank you for sharing it.
     
  17. CL1

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

    Tonights episode the V1

    There wasnt a "dont try this at home" though
    with regard to the pulse engine demo involving a jam jar ,hole in lid of jam jar filled with a flammable liquid and ignition source applied.
     
  18. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The Anderson shelter monitoring was interesting. I can't help feeling it'd have been nice if they could have made much more of the scientist chap and his instruments, but I suppose that'd narrow their audience far too much for such a prime time slot.
    Decent enough series so far I think. It's captured the other half's interest, which is often a sign for me of WW2 docs hitting a reasonable balance.

    The personal reminiscences have been pretty good too, quite affecting sometimes (Particularly that poor sod this week that lost his entire family, and the fact there's a chap that was dug out of the Guards chapel wreckage still with us). Though a few of them seem to have been so young at the time you do wonder exactly how much of the remembered story has been pieced together by family memory over the years, rather than that of the individual.

    See the brief glimpse of the upcoming 'V2' blast? Strewth.
     
  19. DoctorD

    DoctorD WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    I mentioned my employment at the town's ARP Control Centre, in Post 31 of this thread. Perhaps the following additional extract from the reminiscences I put together some years ago, at the request of the youngest generation of my family, may lend interest to the proceedings:-

    Although our role at the Control Centre, when the bombs were dropping and the telephone lines were down, would prove to be rather hazardous it provided me with an unforeseen, and fruitful**, opportunity of striking up an acquaintance with the civilian Bomb Disposal Liaison Officer, when I was to act as his ‘runner’ at the location of an unexploded parachute mine. This was reported as having smashed through the roof and upper floor of a house near to the local swimming baths during a daylight air raid and, still attached to its parachute cords, had come to rest suspended above a saucepan of potatoes on a lighted gas cooker, in the kitchen. Having first been assured that the War Reserve Police and Air Raid Wardens had evacuated and secured the area, and in the knowledge that the type of ordnance involved was devoid of delayed action timing devices, the Army Bomb Disposal Teams generally dealt with inert UXB’s (unexploded bombs) at their leisure. But, in this case, somebody was needed to turn off the gas cooker! But whom? The civilian UXB Liaison Officer, of course.
    Just in case he decided to delegate the task I had the 'presence of mind' to choose the immediate 'absence of body' option and lost no time in burning cycle rubber to report back to the Control Centre.

    **The Civilian BDLA, whose day job was the management of a Town Hall department, later became my boss prior my RAF enlistment.
     
  20. blacksnake

    blacksnake As old as I feel.

    Yes Adam... I have to agree that although poignant, the eye witness accounts of 6-7 & 8 year olds could possibly be a little tainted. I also get the feeling that they don't want to rebuild the houses, so the more devastation a weapon may cause, like the SC1000, the farther away they'll detonate it.
     

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