Striking by Night
Bombs came in a variety of types depending on the target. Among them were air-laid mines, high-explosive bombs ranging up to the twelve-thousand-pound Tallboys and the twenty-two thousand pound Grand Slams, incendiary bombs and target indicators. Some were designed for blast effect, others for penetration. The fusing and loading of bombs was under taken by ground crew armourers. Bombs were delivered under the aircraft on trolleys towed by tractors such as the David Brown VIG 1/462.
Main bomb types included:
- The 4-pound magnesium incendiary bomb
- One of the most destructive British weapons was the small (1.8- kg) incendiary bomb used in large numbers to create ground fires over a wide area.
- The 4,000-pound High Capacity bomb
- The 4,000-pound (1800-kg) ‘cookie’ relied on maximum blast effect. These, combined with incendiaries, were the primary weapon of the area bombing campaign.
- General Purpose and Medium-Capacity bombs
- General Purpose (GP) and Medium-Capacity (MC) bombs were high explosive weapons that differed in their weight to blast ratio. They became larger as the war progressed.
- Target indicator bombs
- Target indicators needed to be accurate and highly visible at night. They would burn in bright colours at a predetermined height or on the ground.