High yield explosives of that age are highly unstable and the simple
process of mechanically fining them may have 'upset' them. There is
some dispute as to if Allied forces used delayed timers on 'normal'
It is very sad to think these devices are still killing people. On
top of the loss of life we have also lost a great deal of bomb
Dragon Heart wrote in news:84866dfa-3952-4519-
The RAF did as a matter of course, the idea being to kill valuable
rescue workers moving into the area after the raid.
Generally speaking the raids on city areas went like this ...
First wave - pathfinders would drop target markers, these were very
large incendaries that detonated in the air, the filling was burning
rubber and the like.
The next wave in would drop heavy bombs like "cookies", the idea being
to fracture gas mains (to provide additional fuel) and fracture water
mains with them would be droped MC GP bombs - "simple" explosives to
bring down and open up buildings.
The next wave would drop lots of incendaries to set fire to the now
opened up buildings, mixed in with them would be further GPs to stop
If it as a really big raid there would be two further waves, the first
of which would have lots of GP bombs to stir up the buildings again -
bring new fuel to the surface with a smaller proportion of incendaries
to keep the fire stoked.
The last wave would again contain lots of incendaries to burn up
whatever was left to burn and take out what was left of any oxygen in
A proportion of bombs from each wave would have delayed action fuses.
The Germans did the same to us (and everyone else they fought from the
Spanish civil war onwards) but we did it better.