Butterfly Bomb

The Butterfly Bombs were dropped by the Luftwaffe in the UK, mainly in the north of England. These butterfly bombs would be dropped in the north because they were aiming for specific targets, targets such as fishing trawlers, boatyards, farms and people connected with these industries. It was Germany’s way of targeting the British food industry and supplies. If you think about if you were out fishing and your net brings up a butterfly bomb or a farmer comes across a bomb whilst bringing the crops. These bombs would so easily go off, at the slightest movement.

A Butterfly Bomb was a German 2 kg anti-personnel munition used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. It was so named because the thin cylindrical metal outer shell which hinged open when the bomblet deployed gave it the superficial appearance of a large butterfly. The design was very distinctive and easy to recognise. The munitions were released after the container was released from the aircraft and had burst open. They were always dropped in groups the discovery of one unexploded was a reliable indication that others had been dropped nearby. This bomb type was one of the first cluster bombs ever used in combat and it proved to be a highly effective weapon.

What made these bombs particularly dangerous was the fact that they could blow up in one of three stages. They could detonate about 3ft off the ground when they hit the ground or they could lay there on the ground like a land mine waiting to be moved or stood on. Because of the ‘wing’ part of the bomb, these could often be found hanging in the trees or from guttering, these were very deadly.

Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.

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