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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec 2015 03:49 am 
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Dear 'Fixers,

My father and I frequently have discussions about the practical use of technology developed and implemented in World War Two, in today's military and even civilian equipment. Certainly there's the example of German flying-wings, captured by the Americans and developed into F-117s and B-2s, and V-2 as the father of ICBM. But one topic repeatedly surfaces which holds great merit in the face of recent events in the Middle East.

Barnes Wallis, as you all know from the history books, designed the 22,000-lb Grand Slam as a bomb which, after burrowing 100ft into the ground, blew out a massive cavern to effectively undermine German reinforced concrete structures, bridges, rail tunnels and so on. It performed admirably under less than ideal conditions - the only aircraft with a hope of carrying it was the Lancaster, and that could only drop Grand Slam from 18,000 feet - less than half of Wallis' intended 40,000ft.

Today, we have super-heavy bombers in the B-52 and B-2, both of which are capable of a publicly-admitted 50,000lb bomb load. These aircraft also cruise at 50,000ft and can hit any square millimetre of the ground that they choose from that height. Now, aside from the physically prohibitive size of Grand Slam, these aircraft could theoretically carry TWO of the bombs, higher than designed and with greater precision than Barnes Wallis could have dreamed. Possibly combined with a guidance system, and replacing Torpex with modern high explosive, I see no reason that a few squadrons of B-52s can't make every Islamic State stronghold resemble a golf ball in very short order.

Just before anyone mentions the Massive Ordnance Penetrator GBU-57, a quick look at Wikipedia figures indicates that the physical explosive load in this 30,000-lb bomb is only about half that of Grand Slam's - 5,300lb against 9,100lb.

Feel free to discuss this and other theories.
Scott. 8-)

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec 2015 04:48 am 
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Maybe the Russkies will drop a few of these babies:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_of_All_Bombs

...and it's environmentally friendly! (except for the blown up part)

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec 2015 05:17 am 
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Large bombs are for large areas. Small smart bombs for precise targeting which is needed. Far too many real innocents in IS for large area bombing. Real innocents who are in the captured area by no will of their own.

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec 2015 16:49 pm 
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the Americans used a radio guided Grand slam in Korea- it wasn't too successful- American flying wing technology was home grown and was the brainchild of Jack Northrop.

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec 2015 18:04 pm 
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czartan wrote:
the Americans used a radio guided Grand slam in Korea

The Tarzon bombs were based on Tall Boys. Notwithstanding that, the reason that they weren't successful (after a period of striking success, mind you) was the guidance mechanism which put a spanner in the works causing jettisonned bombs to prematurely explode - and one of these destroyed its B-29 (as outlined in the wiki article). The rest of the bomb worked as advertised.

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec 2015 18:09 pm 
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Aussie_ace1940 wrote:
My father and I frequently have discussions about the practical use of technology developed and implemented in World War Two, in today's military and even civilian equipment.

There are the simple things, like General Purpose Machine Guns (most of which are based on the MG-42) and Assault Rifles (compare AK-47 to MP 43/ StG 44).
You'll probably find a few T-34s still rumbling around in Africa.
Then there's radar - still quite useful after all these years.

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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec 2015 18:51 pm 
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The first "smart bomb" was Fritz X, first air to surface guided missile Hs 293, first cluster bomb the SD2 & the jet engine has been pretty useful.


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PostPosted: Fri 11 Dec 2015 20:07 pm 
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Tractorplovdiv wrote:
first air to surface guided missile Hs 293

Germans experimented with radio-controlled missiles in 1918. Hs 293 was first operational guided missile.

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PostPosted: Sat 12 Dec 2015 09:12 am 
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It may not be as sexy as weaponry but there is still a lot of equipment in UK service for parachuting supplies that dates back to WW2 and in the odd case pre dating the war. The best example is the SEAC pack, very few servicemen today using it realise the origin of those letters.


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PostPosted: Wed 06 Apr 2016 23:20 pm 
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I'm not grest with abbreviations
But "SEAC"

Is that South East Asia Command?

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PostPosted: Thu 07 Apr 2016 02:12 am 
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I always think of simpler aircraft, light, rugged, flying in areas like Afghanistan and Iraq. Kind of the same as the Amercan's found in Vietnam where a lot of their modern fast jets weren't as effective as Skyraider's and other prop driven aircraft.


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PostPosted: Thu 07 Apr 2016 06:47 am 
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The MG-42 is still in service in quite a few countries, certainly is with our lot.

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PostPosted: Thu 07 Apr 2016 07:11 am 
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PostPosted: Thu 07 Apr 2016 11:39 am 
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Paraguay has just re-introduced Stuarts and Shermans back into service.

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PostPosted: Tue 12 Apr 2016 01:24 am 
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Let's see. Gloster Meteor still being used to test ejector seats today, by Martin-Baker. The Browning M1919, which sort of dates back to WWI, is still used a lot. As mentioned, the T-34/85 is used in Africa, and the Centurion (first driven in 1944) is used in forms by various armies. The T-54/55 is basically an updated T-34 (basically, what it was supposed to be), and used a lot today, as is the T-62, a development of it. In a strange way, the pre-war B-29 is still around today too, in heavily modified form, as the TU-94 Bear. Old WWII vintage rifles are still used by military forces of course. I do recall the DC-3 still being used too. Don't the Americans still keep one or two WWII battleships in working order, and used one in Lebanon some years back? The P-80 Shooting Star was only recently phased out of service.


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