Monday, 18 July 2016

Italian Explosive Ordnance - Bombs (Part 5)

Italian Explosive Ordnance

160kg (CS) Anti-Submarine Bomb

Overall length: 69.8 inches
Body length: 36.2 inches
Body diameter: 13.3 inches
Wall thickness: 0.31 inch
Tail length: 27.2 inches
Tail width: 15.3 inches

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: 99 kilograms
Total weight: 176 kilograms

-Nose: Type B
-Tail: "Grand-daddy"
Color and markings: Overall gray; red nose

Description:  This bomb has a hemispherical nose.  The vanes are short, with a corrugated metal reinforcing ring around the rear of vanes.

160kg H.E. Bomb

Overall length: 62.4 inches
Body length: 50.4 inches
Body diameter: 12.6 inches
Tail length: 27.6 inches
Tail width: 12.6 inches

Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: Unknown
Total weight: 163.5 kilograms

Fuzing: Nose - Unknown
Color and markings: Overall gray; red nose
Description: The bomb has an unusual tail unit.  The vanes are short and attached near the end of the tail cone.  The nose of the bomb is more hemispherical than other Italian H.E. demolition bombs.  It is thought that this bomb was designed for use against submarines.

3kg (CV) Antiaircraft Bomb

Overall length: 13.5 inches
Body length: 6.4 inches
Body diameter: 3.2 inches
Tail length: 7 inches
Tail width: 3.2 inches
Type of filling: Amatol
Weight of filling: 0.4 kilograms
Total weight: 3 kilograms

Fuzing: Nose - Type I
Color and markings: Overall green; red band on nose
Description:  The bomb consists of two containers made of mild steel sheet.  The space between them is filled with steel pellets embedded in concrete.  The nose and the body of the bomb are apparently loaded separately with their filler of concrete and steel.  A brown substance, which tops the nose filling, forms a cushion between the concrete filling.  It appears to be a waterproof composition, containing a resinous wax.

20kg (CV) Antiaicraft Bomb

Overall length: 30.7 inches
Body length: 15.5 inches
Body diameter: 5.5 inches
Wall thickness: 1.1 inches
Tail length: 18 inches
Tail width: 5.7 inches

Type of filling: Unknown
Weight of filling: Unknown
Total weight: Unknown

Fuzing: Nose - Type I

Description: The bomb case is loaded with steel pellets embedded in concrete.  No further description is available.

3.5kg, 5kg, 25kg, 50kg, and 100kg Hollow Charge Bombs

Body length: 18.8 inches
Body diameter: 6 inches
Wall thickness: 0.06 inch
Tail length: 7.7 inches
Tail width: 6 inches
Type of filling: RDX/TNT
Weight of filling: 2.2 kilograms
Total weight: 3.5 kilograms (approx.)
Fuzing: Tail fuze for hollow-charge bombs

Description: All these bombs are very similar in appearance, except the 25kg which differs slightly.  The 25kg has the bomb casing of helically wound steel strips.  The 3.5kg was the only bomb of this type known to be used or manufactured by the Italians.

This bomb has a dome-shaped nose completely empty of any main filling and threaded at its base to screw over the threaded cone-shaped body.  The main filling is 60% RDX, 38% TNT, and 2% wax, which is separately cast and is an easy fit in the bomb body.

This main filling has the hollow dome-shaped recess at its base and has fitted to its apex an RDX booster pierced to receive the fuze and its booster.  A horizontal suspension lug is riveted to the body, and a safety pin holder is riveted to the tail vane to receive the safety pin of the fuze.

Bomb Container

Overall length: 5 feet, 6 inches
Body length: 2 feet 8.5 inches
Body diameter: 11 inches
Wall thickness: 0.047 inch
Tail length: 22 inches
Tail width: 11 inches (approx.)

Type of filling:
-40 x 2kg Anti-Personnel F or Mtr.; or
-40 x 1kg Incendiary; or
-20 x 2kg Incendiary; or
-24 x 4kg Anti-Personnel Thermos

Weight (empty): 23 kilograms

Description: This is a metal container holding eight columns of anti-personnel or incendiary bombs.  The body is cylindrical and is of sheet metal.  It contains eight longitudinal tubes which are welded to the after closing plate and the forward closing plate holes in the latter leave the forward ends of the tubes open.  A flap, which is hinged to this plate, partly closes these holes.  The container is held closed by a ball locking the adjustment of which can be observed through the inspection hole.  The forward end of the bomb is closed by an aluminum cap held on by three clips.  Riveted to the inside of this cap is a plate.  Ejector springs are fitted in the after ends of the tube.

The tail cone, carrying four fins, is fitted by screws to the body.  A corrugated ring strut strengthens the tail fins.  Below the drum and situated between each pin of adjacent fins is a drogue of pressed steel.  Each of these drogues is connected to its neighbor by a fabric web fixed to the sides of the drogue by rivets.

A fabric-covered elastic strip attached to each case at one end to the drogue, and at the other end to the drum, tends to pull each drogue open.  The range of movement of each drogue is limited by the length of a flexible wire cable fixed to the tail cone.  Before dropping, these drogues are prevented from opening by a cord or wire which encircles them and passes through a cutter.  This clockwork is prevented from running by a safety pin.  To the underside of this particular drogue is attached an additional cable which runs through a hole in the tail cone, between the main body and inner tubes, and terminates in a bolt, the withdrawal of which releases the ball locking device.  A transit safety pin prevents withdrawal of the bolt.

Operation: On loading into the aircraft, the transit pin is withdrawn.  On release, the safety pin in the clockwork is withdrawn.  After the preset time, varying between 0 and 20 seconds, the clockwork activates a cutter which severs the restraining wire and so allows the drogues to open.  This causes the bolt to be withdrawn.  The springs eject the bombs by forcing open the flap which, in turn, throws off the cap by pressing on the plate with the cap.

Parachute Flares

Overall length: 36.9 inches
Flare length: 17 inches
Body diameter: 4 inches (approx.)
Tail length: 14.2 inches

Type of filling: Magnesium Powder
Weight of filling: Unknown
Total weight: Unknown
Fuzing: Nose fuze - Type L
Description: The bomb consists of a light metal nose, a thin cylindrical body filled with magnesium powder, and a tail unit containing the parachute and release mechanism.  The flare is set for height by means of an indicator on the parachute release mechanism.  On release from the plane, the vanes of both the release mechanism and the nose fuze rotate; the fuze arms, and, when the parachute release mechanism functions to cause the parachute to open, the jerk is sufficient to operate the nose fuze.  The resultant explosion blows away the light metal nose, with the fuze from the cardboard magnesium container, setting off the ignition powder, which, in turn, ignites the magnesium.

Parachute Flares (Cardboard)
(No Picture Available)

Overall length: 12.5 inches
Body diameter: 1.45 inches
Wall thickness: 0.19 inch

Type of filling: Unknown
Weights: Unknown
Fuzing: Friction igniter in nose

Color and markings: Overall bright red
Description: This flare is contained in a cardboard tube the same thickness throughout its length.  A corrugated cardboard 3.9 inches long surrounds the tube near the center to form a grip.  Below the grip the tube is constructed to fit into the groove in the wooden plug at the nose and is held by a wire.  The open ends of the tube are sealed by paper gummed over.  In central hole of the wooden plug is a friction igniter.  This consists of a friction composition attached to the end of a short length of string impregnated with a phosphorus composition.

The flare operates by breaking the seal at the nose end and pulling the string, which ignites the friction composition.  This, in turn, ignites the safety fuse, which gives approximately two seconds before igniting the powder charge located below the candle.  The charge ignites the candle and at the same time ejects the candle and parachute from the tube.  The resistance to the expelling charge is provided by a felt washer and waste packing at the top of the tube.

Next Time: Italian Projectiles

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