Butterfly Bomb

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by amberdog45, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    I notice in the 30th Bt. Royal Berkshire war diary for '43 several references to Butterfly Bomb films. Were these films showing British troops how to disarm them or just how to avoid them when they were spotted on the ground?
  2. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  3. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Butterfly bombs were intended to kill and maim,bomb disposal personnel following a raid but mainly had more effect on civilians.

    There was spate of such droppings,the Grimsby area was hit hard on the night of 13/14 June 1943 when in addition to the usual loads of HT and incendiary bombs dropped on the town and port,about 1000 butterfly bombs were released.It took nearly three weeks to comb and rid the area of the butterfly bombs....casualties from the bombs amounted to 61 deaths,14 during the raid and the rest during the next 12 hours...75% of the butterfly bombs were reported to be discovered unexploded,the problem being on the "all clear",civilians then left shelter and stumbled upon them during the black out.There were cases of dogs picking up butterfly bombs, well after the raid and taking them to their masters with disastrous results.

    Schoolchildren were particular the victims of this indiscriminate anti personnel weapon and to counter this,there was instructions outlining the danger of the butterfly bomb.I remember the warnings at school regarding the butterfly bomb accompanied by the warning posters.The experience at Grimsby was used to instruct people how to deal with the weapon...there was so many tragic cases of civilians getting involved and mishandling the weapon leading in most every case to loss of life of the individual or the group involved.I have a friend who as a schoolboy experienced this raid and always speaks of the terror instilled in the minds of the civilian population on account of this weapon.

    There were further intrusions into Yorkshire,Lincolnshire and Norfolk during August 1943 when intruders dropped about 3000 butterfly bombs bombs in the vicinity of Bomber Command bases.RAF disposal teams worked up a procedure to deal with them to clear runways and dispersals. the use of the butterfly bomb continued until by October a total of nearly 12000 such bombs had been dropped.During 1943,64 RAF airfields and 19 non flying units were subject to the dropping of butterfly bombs.RAF disposal teams destroyed them in situ to keep runways,dispersals,domestic and technical areas, safe

    It was thought that troop concentrations in the south of England would be targeted during 1944 but this did not occur save for raids on military camps in Dorset.
  4. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Thanks Tom & Harry for your explanations. They weren't half nasty! Grim statistics from June 43. I found some black & white clips on Youtube as well warning the public of the dangers. Weapons is an area I've not been drawn into yet, but with all the brilliant photographs now in the Gallery I'm getting pulled in that direction now.
  5. temptage

    temptage I thought it would only take a few weeks......

    I believe the last butterfly bomb found in Grimsby was back in the 90's when someone found one in their attic, open but unexploded. There were many found in the 70's and 80's but hopefully there will be no more.
  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  7. amberdog45

    amberdog45 Senior Member

    Thanks Temptage & CL1 for the info. It's amazing that after all these years WW2 equipment can still harm. I read in a local paper just last week that a 3 year old dog sadly died after running into a bush and puncturing a lung on metal assumed to be left over from the run way at RAF Montrose, Angus. WW2, still causing deaths!!
  8. BiscuitsAB

    BiscuitsAB Member

    This nasty little item was copied by the US post war as the M83 which was packed 90 to a 500 lb cluster or 24 to a 100 lb cluster. Operation appears identical to the German original.
  9. dave500

    dave500 Senior Member

  10. dave500

    dave500 Senior Member

    Okay, I just uploaded them to Flickr and can now copy them for display here:







    All photos credit NARA.

    CL1 likes this.
  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin


    Excellent photographs. Thank you for posting.

    You can even see the fuse burning, so I wonder if the photographers heart beat was a Little raised.

    I know that mine would!

  12. dave500

    dave500 Senior Member

    Thanks, Tom.

    I'm sure the photographer left the scene in a run.

    If anyone wants high-res scans of these, just let me know.

  13. BG2012

    BG2012 Member

    Just found this topic I never knew these kind of bombs were dropped.

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