Giant Bomb (Dec, 1950)

That certainly is a big bomb. Exactly what would you use to carry that? Especially in 1950.

Right, man is dwarfed beside Earthquake bomb which is 27 ft. high, weighs 42,000 pounds and could level many city blocks

  1. Urban says: August 28, 20072:44 am

    Dropped from B-29, or two from a B-36:….…

  2. Stannous says: August 28, 20077:41 am

    Copied from Urban’s page, above:
    On 5 March 1948 a U.S. Air Force B-29 Superfortress dropped the world’s largest conventional bomb on the test range at Muroc AFB, California. This 22-ton missile was nearly twice as heavy as the largest bomb previously dropped, which weighed a mere 12½ tons.1 The bomb, oldest of aircraft weapons, had come a long way since 1 November 1911, when Lieutenant Gavotti of the Italian Army threw the first one from an aircraft. Although the weight of Gavotti’s bomb is unknown, it was described as “a little larger than an orange.”2 The bomb dropped from the Superfortress in 1948 weighed almost 44,000 pounds. It was 26 feet 10 inches long and 4 feet 6 inches in diameter. The largest bomb dropped during World War II, the British Grand Slam, weighed a little over 22,000 pounds.3

    The size and weight of bombs have always been limited by the capability of aircraft to carry them. In January 1945, with the prospect of getting the B-36 into production before the war ended, the Army Air Forces requested the Ordnance Department to develop a bomb not larger than 60 inches in diameter nor longer than 322 inches. The B-36 was expected to be able to carry a 72,000-lb payload 4600 miles, or an even heavier load over shorter distances.4 After some preliminary work Ordnance advised that a bomb meeting those specifications and weighing about 42,000 pounds could be built.

  3. Emcha says: August 28, 20077:42 am

    Sherman Calliope rocket launcher sure is impressive!

  4. clheiny says: August 28, 20079:23 am

    Also dropped by RAF Lancaster bombers in 1944 and 1945.

  5. Charlie says: August 28, 200710:10 am

    Thanks for all the info!

  6. jayessell says: August 28, 20077:44 pm

    The fathher of the MOAB?

  7. avatar28 says: August 31, 20078:38 pm

    Actually, that one is rather bigger than the MOAB, almost twice the size, and probably more powerful as a result. The H-6 explosive used in the MOAB is not THAT much more powerful than the torpex used in this one. Also these types of bombs are not especially militarily useful. The main reason for needing really big bombs is so that if you miss you still transfer enough energy to the target to destroy it. Modern weapons are precision guided to within meters if not feet of their intended target so a much smaller warhead will suffice (which also cuts down on collateral damage, aka civilian casualties).

    Here’s the wikipedia article on the T-12, the bomb shown above…
    And the one on the MOAB…

  8. Mike Fletcher says: December 18, 200710:49 am

    The Tallboy, Grand Slam and T-12 (all very similar designs, differing only in size) were not intended to destroy the target directly by blast, but to blow a big enough hole under it so that the target collapsed under its own weight. The nose cone of these bombs was hardened and the whole bomb was designed to penetrate the ground (over 131 feet was attained) before detonating. To get this much speed they had to be dropped from a considerable height – 22,000ft+ for the Grand Slam.
    It was by this method that U-boat bunkers were destroyed, when large conventional bombs were unable to do significant damage. Modern guided bombs offer the possibility of repeated hits and shaped charges, but would not be able to completely destroy something as well hardened without repeated and successively more risky overflights. It should be said also that the U-Boat bunkers were much more heavily built, up to 23 feet thick, than the bunkers used in Iraq and elsewhere.
    All three were (or would have been) very effective against bridges, viaducts and tunnels without the complication of a guidance system. Long build times would have hampered widespread use however. Only 41 Grand Slams were dropped and it was only used in the last 2 months of the war.
    The MOAB on the other hand lacks this ability and is little more than a very large conventional bomb of dubious usefulness (as shown by the lack of inventory).

Submit comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.