Monday, 11 July 2016

Italian Explosive Ordnance - Bombs (Part 4)

Italian Explosive Ordnance

100kg Special Bomb Combination Anti-Personnel Bomb and Bomb Container

Overall length: 53.2 inches
Body length: 29 inches
Body diameter: 10.7 inches
Wall thickness: 0.07 inch
Tail length: 20.8 inches
Tail width: 10.7 inches

Type of filling: TNT
Total weight: 113 kilograms or 82.1 kilograms

-Nose: Type X
-Tail: Type Z
Color and markings: Overall reddish brown; red nose

Description:    This is a composite which comprises: (1) 32 small Spezzine bombs; (2) a central bomb; and (3) a nose charge which acts as an anti-personnel bomb.  If Spezzine bombs are filled with H.E., the bomb is called 100kg Sp. I. in the latter, the 32 small bombs (1-kg I) may be replaced by 16 (2-kg I) bombs.

Nose fuze (Type X) functions at a preset height and causes the conical nose portion, carrying a length of burning safety fuze and an explosive charge enclosed in concrete, to fall away and explode subsequently; small bombs thus released fall independently.  The main body continues its flight, containing the central bomb, which explodes on impact under the action of the tail fuze.

The container part consists of two concentric sheet-steel cylinders, the outer 0.08 inch thick and the inner 0.04 inch thick, held together by four strips and the end plate.  The tail is attached to the outer cylinder by four threaded studs; in the inner cylinder is fitted the central bomb, of the "Mitroglia" type.  The nose protrudes and is attached by a steel adapter and locking-ball device to the central bomb.

Spezzine bombs are packed, with safety pins removed, in eight columns of four; each column has a conical spring to keep it in compression.  Under one spring is a spring-loaded plunger, protruding through the end plate and acting as a safety pin for the Fuze Type Z of the central bomb.

15kg Gas Bomb

Overall length: 31 inches
Body length: 20.7 inches
Body diameter: 4.7 inches
Tail length: 13.8 inches
Tail width: 6.3 inches

Type of filling: Diphenyl Chlorarsine
Weight of filling: 3.65 kilograms
Burster used: TNT
Weight of burster: 1.7 kilograms
Total weight: 16 kilograms (approx.)

Fuzing: Tail - Unknown
Color and markings: Overall yellow; Geneva cross stenciled on the body
Description: The bomb is thick-walled with a steel body and nose cast in one piece, to which a dome-shaped base it attached.  Sheet-metal tail fins are attached to a metal band clamped around the body.

Remarks: This bomb is thought to be the same as the 15kg S.A.P. except for filling.

25kg Gas Bomb (Furretta)

Overall length: 32.7 inches
Body length: 30.1 inches
Body diameter: 6.3 inches
Type of filling: Lachrymator
Weight of filling: 10 kilograms
Total weight: 25 kilograms

Fuzing: Tail - Type K
Color and markings: Overall yellow; Geneva cross in red
Description:  The bomb has a blunt nose and parallel sides, but no tail or stabilizing fins.  This is a percussion bomb; but it functions as a tear-gas generator.  There is no burster charge, but the casing is pierced with small holes through which the lachrymator is emitted.

40kg Gas Bomb C40P

Overall length: 32.3 inches
Body length: 21.4 inches
Body diameter: 9.9 inches
Tail length: 16.1 inches
Tail width: 9.9 inches

Type of filling: Diphenyl Chlorarsine
Weight of filling: 6.5 kilograms
Weight of burster: 13 kilograms
Total weight: 47 kilograms

Type of filling: Mustard Gas
Weight of filling: 14.7 kilograms
Weight of burster: 0.18 kilograms
Total weight: 40.6 kilograms

Fuzing: Tail only - Unknown
Color and markings:
-Diphenyl Chlorarsine: Overall yellow; Geneva cross stenciled in black
-Mustard Gas: Overall yellow; red nose; red stenciled marking (see below)

N 2226
Lorpo KG 359; Tara KG179

Description: This bomb is similar to 40kg G.P.-H.E. bomb in size and appearance.  The burster tube contains TNT and is about fifteen inches long.  Other information is lacking.

55kg Gas Bomb and 100kg Gas Bomb (C100P)

Overall length: 32.3 inches
Body diameter: 9.8 inches
Type of filling: Phosgene
Weight of filling: 20 kilograms
Weight of burster: 18 kilograms
Total weight: 55 kilograms

Overall length: 50.2 inches
Body length: 32.5 inches
Body diameter: 10.7 inches
Tail length: 20.8 inches
Tail width: 10.7 inches
Type of filling: Diphenyl Chlorarsine
Weight of filling: 14.3 kilograms
Weight of burster: 28.7 kilograms
Total weight: 101.9 kilograms
-55kg: Unknown
-100kg: Tail only; probably C-1 or Y-1
Color and markings:
-55kg: Overall yellow; Geneva cross stenciled in white
-100kg: Overall yellow; Geneva cross stenciled in black

Description: These bombs are similar to same weight G.P.-H.E. bombs.  Little information has been found on them.

250kg and 500kg (500T) Gas Bombs

Overall length: Unknown
Body length: 57.5 inches
Body diameter: 18 inches
Wall thickness: 0.12 inch
Type of filling: Mustard Gas
Weight of filling: 214 kilograms (approx.)
Total weight: 264 kilograms (approx.) without tail

Overall length: 96.6 inches
Body length: 54.3 inches
Body diameter: 18 inches
Wall thickness: 0.12 inch
Type of filling: Diphenyl Chlorarsine
Weight of filling: 210 kilograms
Total weight: 298 kilograms

-250kg: Nose - Unknown
-500kg: Nose - Type T

Color and markings:
-250kg: Overall light blue-grey; yellow nose plug
-500kg: Overall grey; Geneva cross, probably in green, above the lettering S.C.M. 1-37 C-500T

Description: These two bombs are thought to be the same except for the slight differences in length of the body, which could have been measured erratically.  Two different illustrations are shown; one is made from recovered bomb and the other is from Italian drawings.

-250kg: The casing is of thin sheet metal and is of welded construction.  Inside the body casing is a baffle for the chemical filling.  The tail unit was not recovered, but could take the alloy tail unit which is used in the C500T.

-500kg: Very little is known about this bomb, since it was not used in the war.  The bomb is very similar to the 500kg General Purpose, except that is has a baffle plate in the center.

5kg Vento Marker

Overall length: 17.4 inches
Body length: 8.9 inches
Body diameter: 5.2 inches
Wall thickness: 0.3 inch
Tail length: 9.2 inches
Tail width: 7 inches

Type of filling: Smoke or Incendiary
Weight of filling: Unknown
Total weight: 5.2kg
Fuzing: Nose fuze - Type S
Description: The body consists of a thin metal cylinder liner and outer concrete bomb body, which is reinforced with sheet pellets and wire.  The body liner has welded to it: (1) the suspension lug socket which is internally threaded to receive the horizontal suspension lug; (2) four metal vane support which have riveted to them four aluminum-alloy vanes; (3) two pairs of diametrically opposite wire guides for the base plug retaining wire; (4) the ends of a helical reinforcing wire, 16 S.W.G., which is coiled in three turns and passes through the holes provided in the vane support; and (5) the upper end of a second helical reinforcing wire, 8 S.W.G., which is coiled in five turns and is welded at its other end to the fuze pocket.

At the upper end, the liner is closed by a cork plug.  This bomb is used in conjunction with chemical bombs.  The purpose is to indicate the force and direction of the wind at ground level.  Two main fillings are used, a smoke filling for use in the daytime, and an incendiary filling for use at night.  The night filling is the 1kg Incendiary Bomb Type II.  Another modification of this bomb has no body liner but is all concrete and is used for practice.

Next Time: Italian Gas Bombs and Others

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