Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Misc. Forums > Aviation History and Nostalgia
Reload this Page >

Tallboy explodes in Poland

Aviation History and Nostalgia Whether working in aviation, retired, wannabee or just plain fascinated this forum welcomes all with a love of flight.

Tallboy explodes in Poland

Old 16th Oct 2020, 06:42
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
Age: 72
Posts: 8,755
Originally Posted by Brian W May View Post
LOUD . . . . !!!
Would you have heard it though? It was supposed to detonate underground; sure there would have been a helluva shock wave but would you have actually heard much?
We felt the shock wave from the explosion at the Hemel Hempstead oil terminal years ago (whole house shook) and we're 30 odd miles from there in Surrey.
chevvron is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2020, 08:22
  #62 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Outer ring of HEL
Posts: 68
Originally Posted by kangaroota View Post
How were these things detonated? Presumably you didn't want them going off on impact but wait until they buried themselves a bit.
Apparently it had three tail pistols no. 58 mk1. The description is as follows: https://bulletpicker.com/pistol_-tail_-no-58-mk-1.html

Regarding the Tallboy description, is as follows per "British Explosive Ordnance NAVORD 1665 10th June 1946", page 49
Detonators—Sensitive type, delays up to 60 min. as required operationally.
Exploders
- Primary: 2 ring and 2 solid C.E. pellets; 4 solid RDX/Beeswax pellets
- Secondary: 2 ring and 2 solid large RDX/ Beeswax pellets (placed in a special exploder tube into which the standard exploder container fits).

https://bulletpicker.com/bomb_-12000...-1-tallbo.html


Beamr is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2020, 09:00
  #63 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: bkk
Posts: 91
Thanks for that Beamr.
Are there any recorded instances of the Germans trying to defuse one?
kangaroota is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2020, 09:23
  #64 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Outer ring of HEL
Posts: 68
Originally Posted by kangaroota View Post
Thanks for that Beamr.
Are there any recorded instances of the Germans trying to defuse one?
Take a look at this, apparently they succeeded: https://www.britishpathe.com/video/V.../query/GERMANY

Seems like the tail section and detonators are already removed. I wouldn't want to do that for a living.

Beamr is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2020, 09:46
  #65 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Outer ring of HEL
Posts: 68
Interestingly, apparently in total three Tallboys were found unexploded at Sorpe dam in ´58/´59. The first one found in 1958 was defused 6th of Jan 1959, and this is mentioned in many sources throughout the internet.
BUT: the Reuters news video linked above has the headline "More Tallboys Discovered In Germany" with comment "Two more RAF 5 1/2-ton 'tallboy' bombs were found, Jan 19, in the drained Sorpe dam reservoir, North Rhine-Westphalia."

So its four tallboys with the polish one counted for, I reckon there must have been more. Or be more yet to be found.
Beamr is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2020, 10:40
  #66 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 398
Originally Posted by Beamr View Post
Interestingly, apparently in total three Tallboys were found unexploded at Sorpe dam in ´58/´59. The first one found in 1958 was defused 6th of Jan 1959, and this is mentioned in many sources throughout the internet.
BUT: the Reuters news video linked above has the headline "More Tallboys Discovered In Germany" with comment "Two more RAF 5 1/2-ton 'tallboy' bombs were found, Jan 19, in the drained Sorpe dam reservoir, North Rhine-Westphalia."

So its four tallboys with the polish one counted for, I reckon there must have been more. Or be more yet to be found.
Sorpe dam raid took place on 15th October 1944 by eighteen Lancasters of 9 Sqn. Sixteen bombed with two hits on the crest and another three on the air side. However there was no breach possibly due to the Germans lowering the water level so reducing the pressure on the water side of the dam. No losses.

All of the bombs were supposed to be fitted with delay fuses - twelve with a 11 second delay and the other six on a 30 minute one. However it later emerged that at least two bombs were fitted with direct impact pistols. Again there was a mosquito camera aircraft present filming the attack.
Brewster Buffalo is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2020, 10:56
  #67 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: middle england
Posts: 98
Perhaps a little something lost in the translation?
upperecam is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2020, 11:29
  #68 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Starring at an Airfield Near you
Posts: 273
Post attack recce picture of Sorpe Dam post Tallboy raid. No wonder UPKEEP couldn't do the business!

Downwind.Maddl-Land is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2020, 11:37
  #69 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Outer ring of HEL
Posts: 68
Originally Posted by Downwind.Maddl-Land View Post
Post attack recce picture of Sorpe Dam post Tallboy raid. No wonder UPKEEP couldn't do the business!

Makes me wonder, since three of those were later found unharmed in the reservoir and one in a riverbed, if the design of the bomb (tailfuse for use against hardened structures) caused it to fail when hitting water with sufficient depth.
Beamr is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2020, 15:13
  #70 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: UK (and now rarely behind enemy lines but still enjoying foreign climes.)
Posts: 1,350
Originally Posted by cattletruck View Post
The saw tooth dock structure appears to have been created by subsequent bombs hitting the dock a few seconds later.
Actually, the "saw tooth dock structure" is a ferry loading/unloading dock. I doubt it was created soley because of the bomb. See here:
https://goo.gl/maps/Af61GwnvF58ByLU8A

And here is a post-bombing recce photo, taken 25 April 1945 (attack occurred 16 April) showing the damage to the canal vicinity, and the Lützow settled in the shallow water. The visible craters all match up nicely with the strikes seen in the video linked earlier in this thread. It is clear from this photo just how devastating that bomb between the dock edge and the battleship hull must have been!
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/F...April_1945.jpg

Originally Posted by GeeRam View Post
The ship would have been in front of the saw tooth dock structure that has been built since, ...
Spot on, I'd say, as this 'quick and dirty' overlay of the recce photo on a modern Google Earth shot shows!



MrBernoulli is offline  
Old 16th Oct 2020, 16:11
  #71 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The No Transgression Zone
Posts: 2,323
I love the details of the fuze and bomb body, I would love to see one in action live just not too close

Last edited by Pugilistic Animus; 16th Oct 2020 at 22:54.
Pugilistic Animus is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 07:18
  #72 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Beyond the Blue Horizon
Age: 60
Posts: 813
Originally Posted by Beamr View Post
Take a look at this, apparently they succeeded: https://www.britishpathe.com/video/V.../query/GERMANY

Seems like the tail section and detonators are already removed. I wouldn't want to do that for a living.

While working on a project in Munich in the mid 80,s a 4000lb RAF Blast bomb was found on site. It looked like a water tank or immersion heater but was identified as a bomb by German Project Manager who called out local German bomb disposal unit, who turned out to be very matter of fact about the thing, as it was not unusual back then, and indeed is still not that unusual today. Talking to them later, they explained the failure rate on allied bombs was quite high, I think it was 15% from memory, but it was a while ago so it could be more, or indeed less. The reason they said was that allied bombs when being developed were typically dropped onto harder ground than that which covers most of Germany, and many bombs just literally sank into the loam. I am not sure if that is correct, but it would seem logical, or it was just poor manufacturing. They said Berlin was the worst place for unexploded ordnance of all types due to the extensive street fighting as well as the heavy bombing, the next worst unsurprisingly was the Ruhr valley cities.
Cheers
Mr Mac
Mr Mac is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 08:06
  #73 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ferrara
Posts: 1,959
"TNT and RDX are very stable explosives."

A wise man who wishes to live long will treat that as a relative statement

it's best to treat all explosives as if they are loaded guns - they're really designed to go off
Asturias56 is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 08:37
  #74 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: England
Posts: 90
Originally Posted by kangaroota View Post
How were these things detonated? Presumably you didn't want them going off on impact but wait until they buried themselves a bit.
The full story in this book, which I recommend.
Rory57 is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 12:05
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Wales
Posts: 56
Big brother of Tallboy here at Bielefeld Viaduct
papa_sierra is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 18:33
  #76 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: bkk
Posts: 91
Speaking of fuses, I read about a device - limpet mine I think - that used a boiled lolly as a delay.
Water got in, dissolved lolly, and BANG. Talk about effective low tech!
kangaroota is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 21:47
  #77 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The No Transgression Zone
Posts: 2,323
Originally Posted by kangaroota View Post
Speaking of fuses, I read about a device - limpet mine I think - that used a boiled lolly as a delay.
Water got in, dissolved lolly, and BANG. Talk about effective low tech!
The assembly of the detonation powder train of a bomb is called a "fuze".

Cool mechanism as a timing device, the lolipop



​​​​​Sorry for pedantry

Last edited by Pugilistic Animus; 18th Oct 2020 at 14:48.
Pugilistic Animus is offline  
Old 17th Oct 2020, 23:26
  #78 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: CYYC (Calgary)
Posts: 5,393
I recently drove to the Bomber Command Museum in Nanton, south of Calgary, to see the reproduction Grand Slam and Tallboy that the museum had recently acquired. Very impressive to see in "in the flesh".






On the starboard side of the Lancaster is an Upkeep mine. I didn't take a picture of it, because I thought I had one!

https://www.bombercommandmuseum.ca


PS Pugilistic Animus, do pedants have short fuses?
India Four Two is offline  
Old 18th Oct 2020, 00:27
  #79 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 3,443
The reason they said was that allied bombs when being developed were typically dropped onto harder ground than that which covers most of Germany, and many bombs just literally sank into the loam.
Berlin is in an area of low-lying marshy woodlands with a mainly flat topography, part of the vast Northern European Plain which stretches all the way from northern France to western Russia. The load bearing ability is such that Hitler had a 12,000 ton test building erected to see if the soil would be able to support the planned buildings of Germania. The test piece still exists.



megan is online now  
Old 18th Oct 2020, 05:54
  #80 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: The No Transgression Zone
Posts: 2,323
[QUOTE=PS Pugilistic Animus, do pedants have short fuses? [/QUOTE]
I think that I have a pretty long fuse because I am a firework

Last edited by Pugilistic Animus; 18th Oct 2020 at 11:04.
Pugilistic Animus is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.