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laosdave

Chain bombs

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laosdave

What ho all,

I have just finished reading "der Gespenster am Toten Mann" by P.C. Ettighofer.

In the very last chapters, he mentions that French aircraft attacked the German infantry positions with "Kettenbombe" (chain bombs). This was in spring 1918 during the German offensives.

Does anybody know exactly what kind of weapon this is?

Cheers,

Dave

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centurion

In the Spanish Civil War the Condor Legion adopted a technique known as chain bombing (actually developed by the Spanish Nationalist pilots flying single seat Heinkel biplanes) of a series of aircraft dive bombing the same target one after another (in a chain). This was adopted by the Henschel and Stuka squadrons in WW2. I wonder if this was an earlier version of the same thing?

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laosdave

What ho!

No, it is the weapon, not the procedure for applying the weapon (as it were).

The German text is quite clear about this.

The text also meantions the use of a new instantaneous fuse for artillery shells that was most disliked by the receiving party.

Cheers,

Dave

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PhilB

Google shows little on this topic. I can only imagine that either it was several small bombs chained together (I can`t see why?) or a bomb which contained chains rather than shrapnel balls (similar to nails etc these days). Could it be designed to cut barbed wire?

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centurion

What ho!

No, it is the weapon, not the procedure for applying the weapon (as it were).

The German text is quite clear about this.

The text also meantions the use of a new instantaneous fuse for artillery shells that was most disliked by the receiving party.

Cheers,

Dave

Instantaneous (grazing) fuses had been around well before 1918

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centurion

What ho!

No, it is the weapon, not the procedure for applying the weapon (as it were).

The German text is quite clear about this.

The text also meantions the use of a new instantaneous fuse for artillery shells that was most disliked by the receiving party.

Cheers,

Dave

If what you are referencing is

"Flugzeuge stürzten aus undurchsichtiger höhe herab und warfen unzählige kettenbomben"

This could be interpreted as

Planes dived vertically from the clouds and dropped chains of bombs

Which is a pretty good description of chain bombing as carried out later at the battle of the Ebro and the Assault on Crete.

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PhilB

Maybe a device for ensuring that several bombs, dropped together, all land together? Though one big bomb would achieve the same effect!

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truthergw

If what you are referencing is

"Flugzeuge stürzten aus undurchsichtiger höhe herab und warfen unzählige kettenbomben"

This could be interpreted as

Planes dived vertically from the clouds and dropped chains of bombs

Which is a pretty good description of chain bombing as carried out later at the battle of the Ebro and the Assault on Crete.

What meaning are you applying to unzahlige ? No umlaut available. I make it countless, many, a host of.

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SiegeGunner

What meaning are you applying to unzahlige ? No umlaut available. I make it countless, many, a host of.

Yes, 'unzählig' means innumerable, countless, 'vast numbers of' and the like.

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SiegeGunner

Dave, could you pl post here the references and links to pics that you've posted to your corresponding thread on The Aerodrome, which can only be activated by registered members of that forum. The Jentzsch reference says he was killed 'durch eine Kettenbombe' which means 'by a Kettenbombe', suggesting that it was an entity rather than an unconnected 'chain' of small bombs dropped in rapid succession.

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laosdave

Robert Jentzsch was killed at about the same time as the events in the Ettighofer book take place.

In the Archivalienverzeichnis (Archive list) of the German Bundesarchiv-Militärarchiv, Bestand RL 3 there is a mention of "Kettenbomben" already for the years 1936-1937;

"Übungsbomben (Zwergbomben) für Hs 123. Aktenvermerk über Zwergbombe Udet. Verwendungsrichtlinien und Vorschrift zum Beladen und Fertig-machen der Zwergbombe. Leichte Splitterbombe. Kettenbomben"

so (whatever it was) obviously it existed before WW2.

I am however beginning to think that it is more the dropping technique than the weapon itself.

I seem to remember that the Breuget XIV had a special container for dropping lots of small bombs in succession...

I have located some pictures showing the bomb dropping mechanism etc. on the Breuget XIV. The bombs look rather small, I would guess 8-10 kgs.

I found the pictures at .checksix-forums.com (thanks)

Maybe this is what is meant by "Kettenbombe"?

...and the third pic.

Cheers,

Dave

post-49093-0-20349000-1331655750.jpg

post-49093-0-77611800-1331655769.jpg

post-49093-0-48314800-1331655866.jpg

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laosdave

... this picture shows the bomb-aimer with his hand on the release handle (once again a thnks to "check-six")

Cheers,

Dave

post-49093-0-89469200-1331656112.jpg

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laosdave

...and from "The U.S. Air Service in World War I, Volume IV: Postwar Review!

Cheers,

Dave

post-49093-0-34735100-1331657883.jpg

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laosdave

... and the final picure for today, the bomb rack with it's load in situ.

Cheers,

Dave

post-49093-0-03951600-1331658904.jpg

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fitzee

Interesting topic!

I wonder if the term comes from the release device the bomb aimer "cranks".

It appears to be chain driven and would indeed drop the bombs in succession causing a "chain" reaction.

I suspect physically chaining the bombs together would be a particularly bad idea if one failed to release!

Cheers

Fitzee

post-11336-0-84991000-1331664951.jpg

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SiegeGunner

Maybe this is what is meant by "Kettenbombe"?

Note that 'Kettenbombe' is the singular form, 'a Ketten bomb', and 'Kettenbomben' is the plural form, 'Ketten bombs'. Whatever they are, they therefore evidently come in physical units (which may or may not consist of two or more bombs somehow joined together).

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laosdave

What ho Fitzee.

I very much doubt the German infantry could see the French "Emil" cranking away inside his Breuget as they covered in the ditches and trenches.

In my opinion, the term "Kettenbombe" is more likely to have been inspired by the way the explosions "walked" in a long, regular chain across the target area.

Cheers,

Dave

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Stoppage Drill

Yes, the Germans were very imaginative with their descriptions of bombardment, "deckende bombardierung" "trommelfeuer" "blitzkrieg," all immediately spring to mind. Who the * in their right mind would chain bombs together ? To what end ? And imagine a hang-up, with half-a-dozen (that's six, to our foreign chappy contributors ! :rolleyes: ) bombs trailing under the aircraft. No, "kettenbomben" must relate to a procedure.

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laosdave

... yes as in "das kettenbomben", rather than "die Kettenbomben"

Cheers,

Dave

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Cnock

Hi,

I have a complete overlook of French aerial bombs WWI, filed by the French army bomb disposal, and 'Ketten' or 'Chain' bombs are not mentionned.

It is also said that the French were not interested in the concept of 'strategic bombing' and preferred to drop quantities of smaller bombs instead of one or two heavy weight bombs, often with delay fuses.

Cnock

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laosdave

What ho all,

well, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I think we may safely assume that we can have an ansver to this question.

I now beieve that "kettenbomben" refers to attacks by Breuget XIV bombers using light anti-personnell bombs dropped with short and regular interval.

The bombs were released in succession across the target, causing a series - or chain - of bombs to explode with such exceptional regularity that the German troops coined an expression for this - "kettenbomben"

I wish to thank everybody that has helped, and if anybody knows more about this, or has a better answer, I would be happy to stand corrected.

Cheers,

Dave

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