Monday, 14 November 2016

French Explosive Ordnance - Bombs






French Explosive Ordnance





Bombs




Classes

French bombs may be divided into three classes.  The bombs in each class are named according to their weight, approximately in multiples of 10kg. and there follows a designation intended to differentiate several bombs of the weight.  H.E. service bombs are made of steel-hardened, forged, or drawn steel; welded sheet or cast steel.  The bomb fillings are generally as follows:

Hardened steel bombs ----- M Mn
Steel bombs ----- M Dn
Other bombs ----- D D



Fillings

The following fillings are used in French bombs:

M Mn - Trimonite (U.S.A.)
-70% melinite (picric acid)
-30% mononitionapthalene

M Dn or MFDN
-80% melinite
-20% dinitronapthalene

D D - Shellite (British)
-60% melinite
-40 dinitrophenol

Of these, "M Mn" is the most used filling for cast-steel anti-personnel bombs.  The remainder are normally filled with "M Dn", "D D" being confined to certain types which are now considered obsolete.


Flares

Flares are normally used in reconnaissance of targets or landing grounds.  They may be 10 or 30 kilograms in weight and should be used at altitudes between 1,500 and 5,000 feet.  The star burns for four or five minutes.  The smoke bomb produces, on impact, a cloud of smoke which lasts about a minute and indicates the direction of the wind.


Coloring of Bombs

1. Service Bombs
-H.E. bombs ---- Yellow
-H.E. bombs (old pattern) ---- Grey
-Flares ---- Red
-Incendiary 1kg (old pattern) ---- Blue body/Black tail
-Incendiary (new pattern) ---- Red body/Green tail
-Incendiary 10kg ---- Red body/Green tail
-Smoke ---- Black nose/Green body and tail

2. Miscellaneous Bombs
-Practice bombs ---- Yellow, blue band, or unpainted
-Instructional bombs ---- Grey or black/Blue band
-Ballast bombs ---- Grey or black/White band


Markings on French Bombs

Markings indicating manufacture are stamped on the nose of the bomb, either transversely near the nose fuze pocket or in a direction parallel to the axis of the bomb.

On mild or forged steel bombs they indicate the source of the steel, the establishments which have carried out the tempering and the manufacture, a consecutive number, the lot number, and year of manufacture.  The letter "M" shows that the bomb is of rolled steel.

On bombs of cast steel, markings indicate the foundry, the lot number, the year of manufacture, and the mark of the factory.

The nature of the explosive filling is indicated by letters 0.4 inch in height, stamped on the bomb at 0.4 inch from the nose fuze pocket.

The following markings are painted on the bombs.
In black, initials of the firm which carried out the filling, with the month and year of filling e.g. PCFD-7-22

Source and lot number of the explosive filling e.g. SF-514-20

Nature of filling
Lot number and year of filling e.g 4-22

In red, the inscription "F de Culot" on the same side as the other markings, in the case of bombs fuzed in the tail.  In addition, bombs of  100kg and over carry below all other markings a number indicating the exact weight of the bomb, to the nearest kilogram.





French Navy Bombs

Little information has been found on French Navy bombs.  Only the information in the following chart is available, except for the 125kg light case bomb, which is included in the bomb section.








10kg (P.A.) Anti-Personnel Type I and Type II


 Overall length: 21.5 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 3.54 inches
Wall thickness: 0.5 inches
Tail length: 9.3 inches
Tail width: 5.5 inches

Type of filling:
-70% Picric Acid
-30% Mononitronapthalene

Weight of filling: 2.5 pounds
Total weight: 21 pounds

Fuzing: Nose Only
-24/31 Type H, Model 1921 R.S.A.
-24/31 Model 1925 or Model 1928

Color and markings: Overall yellow
Stamped 0.4 in. from nose fuze pocket in letters 0.4 in. in height - nature of filling.


Description: The bomb casings are single-piece steel castings, internally threaded at the nose to accommodate the tapered steel fuze adaptor.  Type II is similar to Type I, with the following exceptions: No struts are fitted to the tail unit, and strengthening is effected by pressing the lateral and longitudinal corrugations in each tail vane.  In Type I, the tail unit is formed of four similar segments riveted together, fitted over the rear of the bomb, and secured by crimping the tail cone into an annular groove out in the bomb body.








10kg (P.) Anti-Personnel Type I and Type II

 Overall length: 21.5 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 3.5 inches
Wall thickness: 0.5 inches
Tail length: Unknown
Tail width: Unknown

Fuzing: Nose Only
-24/31 Type H, Model 1921 R.S.A.
-24/31 Model 1925 or Model 1928

Color and markings: Overall yellow
Stamped 0.4 in. from nose fuze pocket in letters 0.5 in. in height - nature of filling.


Description
Type I: The bomb body consists of a converted 90mm artillery shell.  A sheet-metal extension fits over the upper end of the body and is secured to it by crimping within two annular grooves machined in the body.  The tail unit is riveted to the upper half of the extension.

Type II: This bomb is similar to Type I, with the following exceptions: No conical extension is fitted, but a tail cone formed of a single-piece casting is fitted over the upper end of the bomb and is secured to it by crimping within a single annular groove.










50kg (A.) and 50kg (G.A.M.Mn.) G.P. H.E.
  

(A)
 Overall length: 39 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 6.15 inches
Wall thickness: 0.69 inches
Tail length: 17 inches
Tail width: 7.85 inches
Type of filling: M.Dn
Weight of filling: 22 pounds
Total weight: 88 pounds

 (G.A.M.Mn)
 Overall length: 46.5 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 7.85 inches
Wall thickness: 0.125 inches
Tail length: Unknown
Tail width: Unknown
Type of filling: M.Mn
Weight of filling: 63 pounds
Total weight: 112 pounds

Fuzing:
(A): Nose - Type H Model 1921; Tail: 3B15
(G.A.M.Mn): Tail: M. No.2

Color and markings: Overall yellow
Painted on bomb case - Type of filling and "F de Culot" if tail-fuzed only.


Description:
(A): The body of this bomb is a single-piece steel forging made from a rejected 155mm artillery shell.

(G.A.M.Mn): This bomb is made of sheet steel; it has either a longitudinal or a circumferential weld.








50kg (D.T. No.1, No.2, and No.3) G.P. H.E.

   
(No.1)
 Overall length: 46.5 inches
Body diameter: 8.25 inches
Wall thickness: 0.375 inches
Tail length: Unknown
Tail width: Unknown
Type of filling: M.Dn or D D
Weight of filling: 44 pounds
Total weight: 123 pounds

 (No.2)
Overall length: 46.5 inches
Body diameter: 7.7 inches
Wall thickness: Unknown
Tail length: 21 inches
Tail width: 10.2 inches
Type of filling: M.Dn or D D
Weight of filling: 42 pounds
Total weight: 123 pounds

 (No.3)
Overall length: 46.5 inches
Body diameter: 7.86 inches
Wall thickness: Unknown
Tail length: Unknown
Tail width: Unknown
Type of filling: M.Dn or D D
Weight of filling: 44 pounds
Total weight: 123 pounds

Fuzing:
No.1 and No.3: Tail only - 3B15

No.2: Nose - Type H Model 1921 R.S.A., Model 1925, or Model 1928.
Tail - Sch.R. Model 1938

Color and markings: Overall yellow
Painted on body - Type of filling, source, year of manufacture, etc.


Description: These bombs are single-piece forgings; No.1 made from converted 220mm artillery shells, No.3 from converted hydrogen cylinder; both made obsolete by the French.  The tail consists of four vanes fastened to teh tail cone, strengthened between the vanes by sheet metal struts.







100kg and 200kg G.P. H.E.
  

100kg
 Overall length: 56 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 10.8 inches
Wall thickness: 0.44 inches
Tail length: 18.9 inches
Tail width: 10.2 inches
Type of filling: M.Dn or D D
Total weight: 258 pounds

 200kg
Overall length: 62 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 14.5 inches
Wall thickness: 0.41 inches
Tail length: 27.25 inches
Tail width: 11.5 inches
Type of filling: M.Dn or D D
Total weight: 503 pounds

Fuzing:
Nose - A modified R.S.A. 30/45 Model 1930
Tail - 3B15 (100kg only) Sch. R. Model 1938

Color and markings: Overall yellow
Painted on body - Type of filling, source, etc. and "F de Culot" if tail-fuzed only.


Description: These bombs have a forged steel case.  The tail assembly consists of four vanes attached to the tail con and reinforced by struts made of strip steel.








500kg (Model 1930, No.1, and No.2) G.P. H.E.
   

Model 1930
 Overall length: 81 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 19.3 inches
Wall thickness: 0.56 inches
Tail length: 34.2 inches
Tail width: 27.2 inches
Type of filling: M.Dn or D D
Weight of filling: 600 pounds
Total weight: 1285 pounds

 No.1
Overall length: 83 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 21.4 inches
Wall thickness: 0.44 inches
Tail length: Unknown
Tail width: Unknown
Type of filling: M.Dn or D D
Weight of filling: 662 pounds
Total weight: 1182 pounds

No.2
Overall length: 79 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 19.6 inches
Wall thickness: 0.625 inches
Tail length: Unknown
Tail width: Unknown
Type of filling: M.Dn or D D
Weight of filling: 595 pounds
Total weight: 1148 pounds

Fuzing:
Nose - A modified R.S.A. Mod. 1930 (except 500kg Model 1930)

Tail - 3B15 Sch. R. 1938 (500kg Model 1930 only)

Color and markings: Overall yellow
Painted on body - Type of filling, source, etc.


Description:
Model 1930: Bomb case is made of a single-piece steel forging.

No.1: This bomb is made of three sheet-steel sections welded together, presumably circumferentially.

No.2: The bomb case is made of a single-piece steel forging.

The tail assembly of these bombs consists of a tail cone with four vanes attached.



  



125kg G.P. H.E. (Naval)
  

 Overall length (w/o fuze): 61.5 inches
Body length: 36 inches
Body diameter: 12.2 inches
Wall thickness: 0.25 inches
Tail length: 26.8 inches
Tail width: 12 inches
Type of filling: TNT
Weight of filling: Unknown
Total weight: 125 kilograms (approx.)

Fuzing:
Nose: Type A
Tail: No.8

Color and markings: Unknown


Description: This bomb is light cased.  The tail assembly is secured to the bomb body by four clamping bolts which are received by four lugs on the body.  The tail unit has corrugate stiffening plates for strengthening.









40kg Fragmentation Bomb
   

 Overall length: 35.75 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 6.25 inches
Wall thickness: Unknown
Tail length: 16.75 inches
Tail width: 7.75 inches
Type of filling: Unknown
Weight of filling: Unknown
Total weight: Unknown

Fuzing:
Nose: No.3
Tail: Unknown

Color and markings: Unknown


Description: This bomb is a converted artillery shell.  The tail unit is the cross-blade type, with the blade joined near the end of the bomb by a narrow strengthening band.








1kg Incendiaries Type A and Type B
   

 Type A
Overall length: 14.5 inches
Body length: 9 inches
Wall thickness: 0.35 inches
Tail length: 4.75 inches
Tail width: 2 inches
Type of filling: Thermite
Total weight: 1 kilogram

Type B
Overall length: 14.5 inches
Body length: Unknown
Wall thickness: 0.35 inches
Tail length: Unknown
Tail width: 2 inches
Type of filling: Thermite
Total weight: 1 kilogram

Fuzing:
Nose only - Fuzes for 1kg Incendiaries

Color and markings:
Type A: Blue body and Black tail
Type B: Red or Blue body and Green or Black tail


Description:
The bomb bodies are cylindrical castings of magnesium alloy, with the nose internally threaded to take a nose fuze.  Toward the nose, the bomb casing is perforated by two small vents, plugged with wax.  The bombs differ in tail assemblies, with Type A consisting of three sheet-metal banes supported at the ends by a circular ting and Type B consisting of a cast-alloy tail cone and eight vanes.









10kg (Model 1927) Incendiary
   

Overall length: 22.1 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 3.54 inches
Wall thickness: Unknown
Tail length: 10.2 inches
Tail width: 5.5 inches
Type of filling: Thermite
Total weight: 1 kilogram

Fuzing:
Nose only - Fuzes for 1kg Incendiaries

Color and markings:
Type A: Blue body and Black tail
Type B: Red or Blue body and Green or Black tail


Description:
The bomb bodies are cylindrical castings of magnesium alloy, with the nose internally threaded to take a nose fuze.  Toward the nose, the bomb casing is perforated by two small vents, plugged with wax.  The bombs differ in tail assemblies, with Type A consisting of three sheet-metal banes supported at the ends by a circular ting and Type B consisting of a cast-alloy tail cone and eight vanes.









10kg Parachute Flares Old Type (A) and New Type (B)
  
  

 Type A
Overall length: Unknown (Book states Type A 10kg)
Body length: 45.3 inches
Body diameter: 4.4 inches
Wall thickness: Unknown
Tail length: Unknown
Tail width: Unknown
Type of filling: Star Composition
Weight of filling: 8 kilograms
Total weight: 13 kilograms

Fuzing:
Type A: Nose only - Time Fuze V.M.
Type B: Nose only - Time Fuze Model 1930

Color and markings:
Type A: Red overall
Type B: White overall; three grey stars painted near the head of the flare.


Description: These types of flares are very similar.  They come in weights of 10, 15, 30, and 50 kg.  The Type A is the older type and B is the newer.

Type A: The 10kg flare of this type has a body of sheet iron, tin plated.  When the fuze functions, it ignites the powder charge and this, in turn, ignites the flare composition.  At the same time the gas caused by the combustion of the powder creates sufficient pressure to eject the star and parachute through the tail of the flare, the cup of which is lightly attached to the body.

Type B: The newer type of flare is made of aluminum.  The tail cover is attached to the body by a lead strip running around the joint between the body and the tail.  The expulsion of the stars and parachute is accomplished in the same manner as in the Type A.  The head of the flare contains a ballast, as well as the powder charge which ignites and expels the contents of the flare.  The ignition of the large star is caused by the safety fuzes.  When the parachute opens, the six small stars hang around the large star.








Smoke Bomb
   

Overall length: 9.45 inches
Body length: Unknown
Body diameter: 2.75 inches
Tail length: 4.25 inches
Tail width: 3.15 inches
Type of filling: Titanium Tetrachloride
Bottle content: 100 cc

Fuzing: None

Color and markings: Green body and tail, Black nose.


Description: The casing is sheet aluminum, with the head pressed separately and soldered in several places to the body.  A glass container fits within the casing, protected from breakage by cork at the tail, felt washers along the side of the casing, and a collar supported on a helical spring at the nose.  A U-shaped safety pin holds the collar in position.  On release, the safety pin is pulled, freeing the bottle in the case.  On impact, the bottle moves forward against a spring onto four cutters in the nose of the body.




Next Time: French Mines and Traps

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