Black Country Muse



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Forum Home > Tale's from the region. > Bouncing Bomb Myth.

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There's been a bit of fuss recently over the use of an expression, " Mad, Swivel eyed Loons ".  And  to prove they don't only exist in Political parties, out of the woodwork come some of the Black Countries very own. The subject this time, are the famous Bombs designed by Barnes Wallis, and the rather daft claim, ( by someone who should know better ) that they may have been made in Netherton. The entire history of the project, from conception to conclusion was declassified and published in 1963. Strangely enough, there absolutely no mention of any Netherton connection. There were in fact, if people will bother to look at  the records, not one type of " Bouncing Bomb ", but two, " Highball ", the first prototype had a wood and metal spherical framework, which broke apart on impact, although the inner cylindrical drum part, stayed intact. The second version was called " Upkeep ", ( not Uptake, as you may read in a certain Newspaper )  which dispensed with the outer casing, and was dropped for real on the 16/17th May, during operation " Chastise ", in1943. All the metal cylinders for the Bombs/Mines, were constructed from metal plates,welded and bolted together, by Vickers Armstrong Engineering, who were most diffinately not based in Netherton. The bombs, or more correctly Mines, were 5 feet long, and 4 feet 2 inches in diameter, and contained over 6,000lbs of explosive. This is, to-date, one of the tallest tales I have yet come across from within the region. The level of research that went into the story is at an appallingly low level, and the paper should hang it's head in shame for printing such rubbish. There is already a general lack of knowledge about both the Wars, which claimed a great deal of lives, without adding mis-leading information for future generations. M.& W. Grazebrook, who made a great many of the other massive Bomb cases towards the end of the War, deserve better than to be associated with this dire attempt to gain a bit of publicity, and sell a few publications.

One of the prototypes dropped in practice, can be seen at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford, Cambridgeshire. If that Bomb/Mine has a cast iron/steel case, and the name Grazebrook stamped anywhere on it, not only will I eat my hat, but the bomb as well.


A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

May 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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