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"Japanese Air Bombs" from Tactical and Technical Trends

A report on Japanese WWII bombs, from Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 28, July 1, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


Presented herewith are some general notes on Japanese bombs and a listing of the types most commonly used.

a. Construction Details

Japanese bombs, in general, are made of steel and are not usually streamlined. Except for the armor-piercing and semiarmor-piercing bombs, they are of three-piece construction. The noise and tail units are either screwed in, welded, spot-welded, riveted, or attached by means of screws to the body of the bomb.

The tail cones of some general-purpose bombs are filled with explosive. In these bombs, the body and tail unit are filled in separate operations and are later screwed together.

Japanese bombs use either nose and/or tail fuzes. The nose fuzes are screwed into the nose. The tail fuzes are either screwed into the base plate, or into the apex of the tail cone if the tail unit is filled with explosive.

b. Fillers Used in Japanese Bombs

The several types of fillers for Japanese bombs are listed below. As a rule, they are very toxic and should not permitted to come in direct contact with the skin.

     Trinitroanisol         Hexanite and anisol
     TNT                    Lyddite (cast picric acid)
     Symtrinitroanisol*     Picric powder

c. Types of Bombs

Antipersonnel        Incendiary
   1 kg (2.2 lbs)   1 kg (2.2 lbs)
  15 kg (33 lbs)  60 kg (132 lbs)
  30 kg (66 lbs)  70 kg (154 lbs)
Gas Bomb Illuminating Flare
  50 kg (110 lbs)  33 kg (73 lbs)
High Explosive
   50 kg (110 lbs)  250 kg (550 lbs)--
   60 kg (132 lbs)    semiarmor piercing
   63 kg (139 lbs)  800 kg (1,760 lbs)--
  250 kg (550 lbs)    armor piercing

*36 percent hexanitrodiphenylamine and 64 percent trinitroanisol.


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