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Thread: balloon bombs: tech info

  1. #1
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    Default balloon bombs: tech info

    probably discussed elsewhere on the forum. today I found a video that shows the complexity of this weapon. amazing technology here. its technical and about 21 mins long.



    they knew something about the weather we didn't. the jet stream. they were assembled by school children.


    "There are no great men, there are only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet."- ADM William F. Halsey

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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    The was a show on the Military channel that dealt with the subject in detail, it was remarkable that the paper Balloons held up as well as they did. Even so, only a small percentage of them ever made it across, and of those, only one caused casualties. Sadly some kids, and an adult hiking in the hills came across one, and not knowing what it was, tampered with it.

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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    On this side of the Great Pond, a fad for launching "Japanese Lanterns" - basically wire-framed paper toys powered by a small tea light or paraffin lamp to give lift - has been causing minor damage, injuries and damage to livestock even over short range. Amazing what simple devices can do damage in such unexpected ways. Perhaps, given the chance, the Bat Bomb might have worked after all ... Best regards, JR.

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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    had they developed an abomb just one hit does the trick. but navigating it to a major city may been mission impossible


    "There are no great men, there are only great challenges that ordinary men are forced by circumstances to meet."- ADM William F. Halsey

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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    And the in print data . . .

    A five part report, comes out to around 19+ Mb all together. Below is the link to part 1, you can download parts 2-5 from here by clicking on "Next".

    Title: Japanese balloons and attached devices.
    Abstract: This report contains the technical results of tests conducted on the various parts of Japanese balloons that have been submitted to the Technical Air Intelligence Center for examination.
    Series: TAIC report no. 41; Technical Air Intelligence Center, Naval Air Station, Anacostia, DC.

    Just about anything you'd ever want to know.

    http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/c...id/1428/rec/27

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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    Quote Originally Posted by namvet View Post
    had they developed an abomb just one hit does the trick. but navigating it to a major city may been mission impossible
    Leaving aside the fact that Japan had no prospect of, and very little official interest in, developing any nuclear weapon, the small boy atomic bomb developed by the Allies (largely but by no means exclusively USA) and dropped by the Allies (entirely USA) weighed about 4,400 kilograms. The Japanese balloon bombs had a payload around 15 kilograms.

    The vast technological gulf between the Allies who could make a plane to deliver a 4,400 kilogram (weapon weight - not destructive energy) atomic bomb exactly where they wanted it and Japan which could make an inconsequential 15 kilogram bomb carried by a paper balloon to a random destination with no guarantee of detonation, let alone destruction to the enemy, is one of the reasons Japan lost, and had no hope of winning, the war Japan started against a technologically and industrially superior enemy.

    As one of my children would say, "Epic fail".
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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    I think the ultimate intent was to start mass forest fires, but I think even that was a bit delusional...

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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    Quote Originally Posted by Nickdfresh View Post
    I think the ultimate intent was to start mass forest fires, but I think even that was a bit delusional...
    Without checking sources, that's my recollection, and that the airstream favoured it by passing the balloons over heavily forested Oregon.

    I think that, apart from the deaths / incident mentioned above, there was a separate and minor fire started in an Oregon forest.

    It all still represents a massive effort for virtually no return.

    Given that this occurred in the last year or so of the war when Japan knew it was losing, this is another example, like kamikaze pilots, of Japan abandoning any hope of victory and just flinging strategically and tactically unimportant but hopefully impressive weapons against the Allies as part of Japan's fairly primitive approach that vigorous aggression might somehow defeat the steadily advancing Allies.

    Meanwhile the Allies, primarily America, were flinging strategically and tactically important weapons at Japan, notably the USN denying trade and military sea routes and vessels to Japan and the USAAF wreaking havoc on the home islands.

    Then again, there were some magnificently stupid ideas from the Allied side, some of which Churchill favoured (along with other magnificently stupid ideas such as reducing his North African forces for a doomed mission in Greece to demonstrate support for a doomed Greece), so the Japanese balloons weren't alone.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 04-21-2014 at 09:23 AM.
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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    This type of weapon is as has been said fairly useless, and cause limited damage. It may provide a morale boost for those sending them, and building them. The one benefit they might provide is if enough of them did cause some trouble, start some fires, and it made it into the media. this may cause fear, uncertainty, anxiety in the populations along the West Coast, and also cause the expenditure, or reallocation of resources to keep watch for, and destroy the balloons. The U.S. Media were very good to not publicize the existence of the Balloons, this helped Japan to decide it really was a bad idea, and stop sending them.

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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    The one benefit they might provide is if enough of them did cause some trouble, start some fires, and it made it into the media. this may cause fear, uncertainty, anxiety in the populations along the West Coast, and also cause the expenditure, or reallocation of resources to keep watch for, and destroy the balloons.
    Pretty much all of which occurred in the Battle of Los Angeles in late February 1942, without the presence of anything from Japan.

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    The U.S. Media were very good to not publicize the existence of the Balloons, this helped Japan to decide it really was a bad idea, and stop sending them.
    Which didn't occur with the Battle of Los Angeles. http://framework.latimes.com/2011/03...f-l-a-1942/#/0 Maybe that was part of the inspiration for the fire balloon program.
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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    Quote from RS*: "Pretty much all of which occurred in the Battle of Los Angeles in late February 1942, without the presence of anything from Japan."
    Very true, but that was Aliens, according to the Media.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    Very true, but that was Aliens, according to the Media.
    Hmmmm!

    Tough choice.

    Do I believe in aliens, or do I believe the media?
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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    I believe I'd have another Dram, but probably better off with the Aliens www.destinationamerica.com/.../<b>alien</b>.../<b>alien</b>.../<b>battle-o</b>...
    Last edited by tankgeezer; 04-22-2014 at 04:27 PM.

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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    Quote Originally Posted by tankgeezer View Post
    I believe I'd have another Dram, but probably better off with the Aliens www.destinationamerica.com/.../<b>alien</b>.../<b>alien</b>.../<b>battle-o</b>...
    Righto, second, and much worse, attempt at humorous reply after being forced to delete first attempt with mod's superpowers due to inability to edit it like normal person.

    Nice pic of colonoscopy of alien in link.
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    Default Re: balloon bombs: tech info

    Sorry, I can be a bit of a Dilbert with computers, my Omniscient Mod Powers must have been in my other super suit. But just google the event, and all manner of Alien related revelations will surface. Madge says they actually had fired on the Balloon of the Wizard of Oz as he returned from the Emerald City.
    Last edited by tankgeezer; 04-24-2014 at 01:34 AM.

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