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WWI French Arial Bombs


Brian Wolfe
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Hello Everyone,

Here's a photo that I just received. I like photos of weapons and different pieces of ordnance especially is shown with the soldiers. This is a nice one showing a French soldier beside three bombs, the 100, 50 and 12 kilo sizes. I didn't really notice much detail regarding the soldier when I purchased this photo but when it arrived I was happy to see that his unit number, 62 and the Croix de Guerre with Palm are very clearly shown. The medal's hanger is interesting and reminds me of the post Chris made on 22 Jan, 2010 with the title, "Mounted as he wore it", which showed two medals hanging from such a device. If anyone can add any information regarding this soldier it would be appreciated; is it possible that he is an aviator?

I hope you like this nice study showing the bombs, the soldier (aviator?) and the height comparison between the two subjects.

Regards

Brian

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi - Brian , what an interesting photograph. Not only for the bombs but, also the nonchalent attitude of the soldier.(Why do the French often have their cigarettes in the centre of the mouth ?) Photos of these early bombs are not that common and to have an actual comparison in size for named weights is excellent.

Remembering that the first pilots used to drop the bombs over the side, makes me think that these have to be later in the War ? Also, for the 100kg. they would have needed a release mechanism. I think it would be worth trying to find some pictures of French planes from that period and see if you can find a bomb being shown ?

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Hello Mervyn,

Perhaps the French like the symmetry of having the cigarette in the middle of the face, they're an artistic lot (no offence meant). As to the attitude of the fellow in the photo I think I would be sweating profusely. Smoking kills but then the company you keep can shorten your life somewhat as well.

Hello Tomas,

Thanks for adding the photo, I've never seen the way the larger bombs were loaded into planes of the First World War. I wonder how accurate they were, though I am guessing that they were dropped at a relitively low altitude as compaired with the bombers of the Second World War.

My late father was a member of Bomber Command (W.A.G.) and took dozens and dozens of photos of the interiors of the Wellington, Halifax and Lancaster Bombers in which he flew. He was not a "camera nut" after the war but during it he was a fanatic. There were photos of the loading of the bombs as well as bombs mounted in the planes. These photos showed all aspects of the interior and exterior of the planes and he told me that the airmen were not really supposed to do this but being young and bold he took the photos anyway. In his later years an unscrupulous so-called antiques dealer bought almost everything he had at an extremely low price. My father suffered from alzheimer's near the end and this was why he sold many of his items. I did hunt the fellow down but could not retrieve the photos or other items, though I offered to purchase them, as they were heading to an undisclosed collector. I will confess that I held no remorse for the dealer when he died suddenly shortly after our encounter, one less snake in the world suits me just fine.

Regards

Brian

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Brian - you're quite merciless - remind me not to get on your bad side.......

The photos from Tomas are excellent. I had no idea that they were carried internally and had to be dropped whilst the plane was in forward flight. The chances of the bomb catching on the undercarriage must have been very high. Also, 200 lbs of high explosive must have had a big up-draft - so, again dangerous for the plane.

This would make a great post if anyone else has photos of early bombs and release mechanisms.

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