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Sunday, 20 January 2013



The first dropping of a bomb from an aircraft in combat happened on November 1, 1911, during the Italo-Turkish War.

In 1919, posing for publicity shots, silent movie star Harold Lloyd lost a finger and thumb when the prop ‘bomb’ he was holding exploded. It had been thought the prop was designed just to emit smoke.

A rabbit was the only casualty of the first bomb in World War II to fall on British soil.

The term Molotov cocktail was coined by the Finns during the 1939-40 Winter War. Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov claimed that bombs used on the Finnish was humanitarian aid, so Finns started calling them "Molotov bread baskets". When using incendiaries to counter Soviet tanks, they called them "a drink to go with the food"

James Isbister was the first person killed in a German bombing raid on the UK during World War II. He died during a raid on Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands on March 16, 1940.

During World War II, the very first bomb dropped on Berlin by the Allies killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

A raid by the 8th Air Force on the Focke Wulf factory at Marienburg, Germany (1943).

A blockbuster was a bomb used in World War II in air raids in Germany. It could destroy buildings in one explosion. Now, thankfully, the most common blockbusters are films and novels so powerful that in slang terms they ‘blow your mind’.

Bat bombs were an experimental World War II weapon developed by the United States. The bomb consisted of  large bomb casings that would open above cities and release bats with small, timed incendiary bombs. The bats would find somewhere to roost, and the Japanese city that was the intended target would burn down.

Mary Babnik Brown donated her hair during World War II and later received a personal letter of thanks from Ronald Reagan (who had a clerical job with the military during the war). He explained that her hair had been the perfect fit for a complex device used by military aircraft to accurately drop bombs called a Norden sight. Both wire and spider silk had been used beforehand, and neither worked as well.

Hitler addressed his Reichstag on May 4, 1941 in a 72-minute speech in which he referred to night bombing. "Churchill," he said, "is determined to continue this kind of warfare. We, also, are resolved to continue, and are prepared to drop 100 bombs for each British bomb until Britain gets rid of this criminal and his methods."

The first of more than 9,000 German V1 flying bombs, nicknamed doodlebugs, was fired on June 13, 1944. It struck London next to the railway bridge on Grove Road, Mile End and eight civilians were killed in the blast. 9,000 doodlebugs were fired at Britain during the latter stages of World War II, killing more than 6,000 people and injuring more than 18,000.

A V-1 on display in Musée de l'Armée

The flammable liquid napalm was developed in 1942 in a secret laboratory at Harvard University, by a team led by chemist Louis Fieser. Napalm incendiary bombs were dropped on July 17, 1944 for the first time by American P-38 pilots on a fuel depot at Coutances, near Saint-Lô, France.

The U.S. Army Air Force bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb named Little Boy on Hiroshima, Japan, killing as many as 140,000 people.

The Hiroshima atom bomb explosion was generated by matter weighing no more than a paper clip.

The name of the B-29 Bomber that dropped the Atom Bomb on Nagasaki was Bock's Car.

The Nagasaki bomb was known as ‘Fat Man’.

Nagasaki wasn't the original target but Kokura, the first choice, was obscured by heavy cloud.

After the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 13% of the US people were in favor of "killing off" all Japanese people. And after Japan surrendered, 22.7% of Americans wished more atomic bombs had been dropped.

The USA detonated the worlds first thermonuclear weapon, the hydrogen bomb, on Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific on November 1, 1952.

A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb was lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia in February 1958, It was never recovered.

The Soviet hydrogen bomb Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated, was set off over Novaya Zemlya Island in the Arctic Ocean as a test on October 30, 1961. At 50 megatons of yield, it is still the largest explosive device ever detonated, nuclear or otherwise.

Tsar Bomba had a yield of 50 megatons, a force equivalent to 1,400 times the combined power of the two nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II—or approximately 1.4 percent of the power output of the Sun. The resulting seismic shock was measurable even on its third passage around the Earth.

The mushroom cloud that formed from the Tsar Momba was 64 km high, 168 times higher than the Empire State Building.

Napalm-B, used in the Vietnam War, was synthesized with only three ingredients: polystyrene, gasoline, and benzene.

In 2008, over 100 countries came together and agreed to ban the use of cluster bombs. Collateral damage to civilians was found to high (98% of victims were civilian, of that, 27% children) Unfortunately, two countries refused to agree to this ban, Russia and the United States.

The United States dropped 26,171 bombs during 2016 - An average of three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.


Despite what modern cartoons would have you believe, it’s been 150 years since bombs looked like black spheres with burning wicks.

An ordinary TNT bomb involves atomic reaction, and could be called an atomic bomb. What we call an A-bomb involves nuclear reactions and should be called a nuclear bomb.

Grenades take their name from the French word for pomegranate, the fist-sized fruit that bursts forth with seeds when you open it.

Every Swiss citizen is required by law to have a bomb shelter or access to a bomb shelter.

There is a museum on the site of the first atomic bomb testing site in New Mexico. Due to radiation it’s only open 12 hours per year.

A suicide bomber planning on detonating in central Moscow on New Year's Eve 2012, used her phone as the trigger. When her mobile phone company sent her a spam message, wishing her a happy new year, the bomb detonated, killing only herself.

Bees can be trained to detect bombs.

Sources March Hares and Monkeys’ Uncles by Harry Oliver,

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