40 votes
Accepted

Was Hiroshima targeted because its mountains would "rebound the explosion back into the city for more damage"?

The Wikipedia entry on the atomic bombings cites a few sources that confirm this was indeed a criterion, among others (emphasis mine): In April 1945, Marshall asked Groves to nominate specific ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
38 votes

What was the strategy to protect the British Museum during the World Wars?

To answer your last question first: no, there was not really any agreement to protect cultural sites. In principle one existed under the 1899 Hague Convention (II, article 27) and the 1907 Hague ...
Andrew is gone's user avatar
36 votes
Accepted

Which RAF squadrons and aircraft types took part in the bombing of Berlin on the 25th of August 1940?

The definitive source you are looking for here would be the Royal Air Force Operations Record Books for the squadrons involved. There are two parts to RAF Operations Record Books. There is the (...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
29 votes
Accepted

Were there German bomb disposal units in WW2?

Yes. A Bombenräumkommando would be one such unit. These were the ones tasked with disposal. A Bombensuchkommando was used for merely locating the bombs. Also in use was the term Sprengkommando (~'...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
26 votes

During World War II, did the Luftwaffe try to bomb 10 Downing Street?

The answers to a similar question on Quora point out that bombing accuracy just wasn't good enough in those times to target a specific building from the height of several thousand feet. Today this has ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 3,757
23 votes

Did Allied bombers return from enemy airspace with undropped bombs?

The Tallboy bomb was considered so valuable that bomber crews were ordered to return them to base if they could not find the intended target. That was a special case though. For large-scale attacks, ...
DevSolar's user avatar
  • 13.9k
13 votes

Why were Axis bombings deadlier than Allied ones?

The difference almost certainly lies in Civil Defence, aka "Air Raid Precautions". Germany and the UK were well-prepared for air raids, with warning systems, large numbers of air-raid shelters, ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 31.6k
12 votes

Why were medium bombers so low in numbers in Allied air forces?

The US produced 16,028 medium bombers (e.g., B-25, RB-25, PBJ, B-26, RB-26, TB-26, JM, B-34, RB-34, PV, B-23, RB-37) plus 13,651 what were termed “Light Bombers” of the twin engine variety (e.g., A-20,...
R Leonard's user avatar
  • 5,106
11 votes
Accepted

Were toilets used more than once as a weapon in a military conflict?

Not sure if this counts as it relates to a weapon release mechanism rather than the weapon itself, but during World War II, an American B-17 bomber crew apparently used a toilet to better control ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
11 votes
Accepted

Did B-17 crews run into difficulty releasing their bombs and does data exist on this?

B-17 had, in fact, two primary release mechanisms - electrical release device and a manual lever. The standard procedure would be to first use electrical release, in case of failure - the manual lever....
Danila Smirnov's user avatar
11 votes

Was Hiroshima targeted because its mountains would "rebound the explosion back into the city for more damage"?

Although I don't know anything about the historical fact of whether Hiroshima was actually chosen because of a conjectured focusing effect by anyone responsible for this decision, I might shed some ...
oliver's user avatar
  • 211
9 votes

Were there German bomb disposal units in WW2?

An extract from my mother's memoirs from 1941, when she was aged 17 and her brother Ditmar was 15; they lived in Kleefeld, a suburb of Hannover: There were several nights when Ditmar and I helped ...
Michael Kay's user avatar
9 votes

How well did American bombers fight enemy fighters in World War II?

Not very well, because it mainly didn't work. The Schweinfurt Raid is an example when it really didn't work. The bomber always gets through was a pre-war doctrine that looked good on paper, but didn't ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 22k
8 votes
Accepted

How effective was the (Western) Allies bombing campaign over Germany in drawing down the Eastern Front Luftwaffe?

There were two key effects of the strategic bombing campaign for the composition and deployment of the Luftwaffe. The first was the shift in production to emphasise fighters for defence, with a ...
JimCooke's user avatar
  • 136
7 votes

Did B-17 crews run into difficulty releasing their bombs and does data exist on this?

I think you are misunderstanding the development of bomb bays and underwing shackles. The period of hand grenades thrown from open cockpit lasted only a few years. In the interwar period one would ...
o.m.'s user avatar
  • 17k
7 votes

Is there a complete list of German cities bombed by the Allies in WWII?

I doubt anyone has compiled such a list. It wouldn't actually be terribly useful, as far as I can see. The difficulties start with a problem of definitions: are you asking for all the cities that ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 31.6k
7 votes

Did Hitler spare Dundee from bombing because it "rejected" Churchill as MP?

Personally, I would discard it as an unfounded rumour. It's right up there with the "Hitler’s granny came from Dundee" rumour that you can still hear repeated around the city. Dundee actually was hit ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.5k
6 votes
Accepted

Why do people not talk about Tokyo fire bombing during WW2?

The reason one sees Hiroshima and Nagasaki mentioned far more frequently than the Tokyo fire ride of 9-10 March 1945, is that those two attacks were the only use of atomic weapons. And, those two ...
tj1000's user avatar
  • 3,451
6 votes

Did B-17 crews run into difficulty releasing their bombs and does data exist on this?

My dad was the top turret machine gunner on a B-17g in England. One time the bombs did not release so he used a screw driver on the catwalk to release them one at a time. Possibly since he was the ...
John Connell's user avatar
5 votes

Were there German bomb disposal units in WW2?

Defusing of unexploded bombs in WWII Germany was mainly done by Luftwaffe "Feuerwerker" technical staff. The Luftwaffe was responsible for everything involved with aviation, so their ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 31.6k
5 votes

Was the danger of Germany bombing the US East Coast taken seriously and were measures taken to address it?

Ironically, it was Japan, nominally the weaker of the two powers, that gave credence to these fears. Japan Actually bombed Pearl Harbor. Hawaii was then a U.S. possession, and is now a U.S. state. ...
Tom Au's user avatar
  • 105k
5 votes

How many tons of bombs were dropped on Britain between 1940 July 10 and September 7?

I have a partial answer, from the Air Historical Branch's narrative account of the battle. This was written in 1943-44, so as to set down an account while memories were fresh and documents readily ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 31.6k
5 votes

Why were some German and Japanese cities bombed more than others during WW2? Is there a scientific consensus?

You're going to have to learn quite a lot about the bombing campaigns before you can start to research this facet of them in a meaningful way. The history is complicated, and has been obscured by ...
John Dallman's user avatar
  • 31.6k
5 votes

Did Allied bombers return from enemy airspace with undropped bombs?

Although this questions was about bombers, there's also a dynamic between bombers and fighters with bombs. The bombs on fighters were armed on the runway, and thereby you could not return with bombs ...
b degnan's user avatar
  • 185
4 votes

Is strategic bombing as ineffective as this math suggests?

It's an interesting way to look at it, but you do state a false equivalence. Not all strategic bombing was aimed at disrupting oil production, and allied production was not equal. Anything that could ...
Kargathia's user avatar
  • 441
4 votes

Is there a complete list of German cities bombed by the Allies in WWII?

Here is a data set containing all of the cities that were bombed, date of operation, latitude and longitude of the target. This includes all of the Aerial Operations of all fronts for the British, ...
Ridge Allen's user avatar
4 votes

Were any German cities spared by the Allies for personal or idiosyncratic reasons?

Heidelberg, Germany was indeed spared for the reason cited above that it was already selected as the future headquarters of the US Army. The reason being that the US Army needed a site with working ...
Kurt W.'s user avatar
  • 49

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