Disney Bomb



Not a lot is known about this weapon other than it was similar in function to the Durandal which is slowed down after release from the aircrft by parachute until a rocket motor fires and the weapon is propelled towards the target at high speed to penetrate and then explode. While Durandal was designed as an anti-runway weapon to attack airfields, the Disney bomb was designed to attack targets that were covered by reinforced concrete with the intention of destroying what was inside. The weapon weighed in at over 4000 pounds and was carried externally on the B-17 mounted to an underwing bomb rack between the inboard engine and fuselage.

Does anyone have an image or drawing of this weapon? The only image I have ever seen was of one weapon on the ground surrounded by people and only a small portion of the weapon was in view. On-line searches have produced nothing substantial so far.
Hi everybody

more informations
What about the british AP 13500lb bomb
I think it was also a rocket-boosted bomb!

Many greetings
moin1900 said:
Hi everybody
more informations

P.S. What about the british AP 13500lb bomb
I think it was also a rocket-boosted bomb!
Your links are not providing anything specificially on the Disney Bomb. I am in search of a general arrangement line drawing or an image that shows the actual weapon.
Hi Jeffry,

Here's an image of two Disney bombs en route to hit (or more likely, miss) the E-boat pens at Ijmuiden. The pens can be seen to the right, to the left of the rectangular dock surrounded by craters. The pens ae still there and can be made out on Google Earth.

The bomb was developed by the British Admiralty's DMWD, and was initially to have been dropped by Lancaster, but it appears that it never was and the USAAF picked up the torch.

Can anyone tell me why it's called the Disney bomb? None of the sources I've checked give any reason for this name.




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Thank you for sharing that image. Much better than the the only image I have ever seen previously of this weapon. Knowing the dimensions, I can now attempt to create a drawing with a bit more detail. As I mentioned in the first post, the only image I had seen previously of the Disney bomb was in color but the weapon was surrounded by several people so there was only a small portion of the bomb visible in the image as it sat on a trolley.

Regarding why the weapon was named the Disney Bomb, I have no idea. I had thought that it was due to the weapon being developed by someone with that name but according to sources the weapon was designed by Captain Edward Terrell of the Royal Navy.

This page has some supporting reference notes on the Disney Bomb http://members.aol.com/nukeinfo2/ (with many dead image links)
The American bombs tested included the fabricated (welded plate) Tallboy (T-10) and fabricated Grand Slam (T-14), the 2,000 lb SAP (M103) and a new 22,000 lb SAP design called Amazon (T28). The British bombs included the cast Tallboy and Grand Slam, the Disney and the 1,650 lb scaled version of a proposed 12,000 lb rocket assisted concrete penetrating bomb. 34
34 The Disney bomb was a ~4,500 lb rocket assisted concrete/armor piercing bomb. Designed to be dropped from 20,000 ft, a tail mounted set of rocket motors would ignite at 5,000 ft accelerating the weapon to a high impact velocity. The forged and hardened steel cylinder body with a sharply pointed nose contained about 500 lbs of Shellite (similar to US explosive compostition D). In the base of the bomb, two British No. 58 Pistol fuzes were mounted. The tail unit attached to an adapter plate mounted to the base of the bomb. Two suspension lugs were bolted to the bomb casing. The tail unit contained 19 3” rockets bundled together weighing about 900 lbs. Each motor contained 12.5 lbs. of cruciform shaped flashless cordite rocket propellant SU/K/X. An M111 mechanical time fuze activated a switch allowing electrical ignition of the rocket motors that was powered by a wind driven generator mounted on a conical fairing at the tail. The bomb was carried on external racks. Individual pullout wires were used to arm the M111 time fuze, the pistol fuzes and to allow free spinning of the wind generator. USSTAF Armament Memorandum No. 3-133, 28 January 1945, p. 1-2.

Some pictures of Disney I found in one Polish book from 1960 (T.Burakowski, A.Sala "Rakiety i pociski kierowane" = "Rockets and guided missiles")

The description is similar to the above except one detail - authors say that the rocket engines were ignite by barometer switch, not by timer. Also they given some basic data: length about 4 m, max. diameter 0,43 m, total weight about 2000 kg (including 220 kg of high explosive) and terminal velocity 730 m/s.
Speedy said:
Some pictures of Disney I found in one Polish book from 1960 (T.Burakowski, A.Sala "Rakiety i pociski kierowane" = "Rockets and guided missiles")
Thank you for your assistance. From the one image I can see that I was short by two tail fins. I had originally assumed that there were only four but I see from that one image that there are in fact six of them. Do you have a means of sharing the number key for the second image showing the sectional iformation?

Thanks again!
Jeffry Fontaine said:
Do you have a means of sharing the number key for the second image showing the sectional iformation?

Yes of course, but the key is in Polish. I need a little time for translating.

EDIT: Ok, so here is Polish original text and my translation. I try to translate not literally but with using proper terminology (sorry for possible mistakes)

Fig.280. Scheme of English armor piercing aerial bomb with rocket motor
1 – bomb shell; 2 – high explosive; 3 – suspension lugs; 4 – forward fairing cone; 5 – base plate; 6 – mounting cover; 7 – fuze cable; 8, 9 – fuze and detonator; 10 – booster; 11 – felt washer; 12 – a ring, connecting warhead with rocket motor; 13 – forward plate for rocket motors mounting; 14 – rear plate for rocket motors mounting; 15 – fixing sleeves; 16 – solid rocket fuel (cordite); 17 – grates; 18 – nozzles; 19 – membranes; 20 – bags with silica gel; 21 – igniter; 22 – igniter cables; 23 – rocket motors; 24 – ignition cable; 25 – separation ring; 26 – electric igniter box; 27 – a cable, connecting electric ignition system with airplane; 28 – a cable, connecting power generator with electric ignition system; 29 – generator; 30 – generator’s propeller; 31 – rear fairing; 32 – rear fairing cone; 33 – eye bolts for bomb suspension
Dear All,
I own ten original USAAF photographs showing the Disney Bomb being released from the wings of a B-17 of 92nd Bomb Group - 14.3.1945 the first attack using these rocket propelled bombs. These pictures were published in the book "The Mighty Eighth" by Roger Freeman.
There are six 8"x8" showing the bombs in their descent and four PR photos showing the aftermath.
I am listing these on a well known web-site tomorrow evening and came across this site having googled "Disney Bomb".
I wonder if you know, that end of january 2009, there has been an intact Disney Swish bomb taken away by the French Army on the roof of the great blockhaus in Eperleques (France).It was there unexploded for more then 60 years.The big action took 6 days!The owner of the blockhaus has many pictures and videofootage of the operation and hopes that the bomb will come back in his possesion!
See this Youtube video:
and here is this video where the pictures came from:
I hope I was of some help
Hey guys... I think i may have an idea why it was called a "Disney bomb"....I may be wrong, but hey!

I remember seeing a disney made cartoon film a few years ago.
It was made during the war, and it was basically a big propaganda film thing in which it shows the development of warfare and the like - and how America was gonna kick the Axis powers asses - and i remember it featured some sort of bomb that was dropped from a bomber that sort of resembled a beefed up b 17 - the bomb had a rocket inside its tail end.
it was shown shooting down from the sky at an amazing speed, it then blasted its way deep underground and detonated and it levelled a city.
The guy who was narrating the film said something like "this is what we will be using on the enemy soon" or something like that. it was so long ago , but i remember that part. the film must have been made around 1942-43 - i also remember it was shown alongside "In der Fuhrers face" where Donald duck was working as a bomb tester in a german factory , and he was hitting the bombs with a hammer to see if they worked! haha
I hope this bit of info helps in the mystery of the Disney bombs name.
i think ive found the name of the film! it was called "Victrory through air power" its shown breifly on this clip - look at 2 mins 30 secs.....It must be the film, coz i remember the look of them beefy bombers in it
if you can find a copy of that film it will show you the bomb that i described above...its gotta be the reason why the disney bomb named so...


found this too...

I must confess that I haven’t heard of this ‘Disney Bomb’!
What year are we looking at for its entry to operational service?

Hmm, strange to see those fins just being knocked on with a log of wood.
Nothing wrong with simplicity my friend!
A thing that sadly most in the Western world military have forgotten or choose to over look!

I suggest browsing this report, Comparative Test of the Effectiveness of Large Bombs against Reinforced Concrete Structures (Anglo-American Bomb Tests-Project RUBY)

Basically in 1946 the US dropped all its heaviest and best bombs around on the Farge U-boat bunker in Germany, including a number of Disney Bombs. Conclusion was none of the bombs actually worked well on mass concrete targets, and the Disney Bomb in specific was unreliable for various reasons. However it also says the bomb did in fact perforate a 14ft 9in thick slab (4.5m), and was expected to have been able to perforate up to 16ft 4in. It could not beat the part of the roof that was 23ft thick (7m). This is on page 12 of the PDF file. Unreliability included a problem that it would breakup if it hit a wall inside the bunker moving sideways and not detonate.

Page 22 on gives details of the specific Disney test impacts, Page 120 onward shows photos of impact craters, though the scan is not very good, still worth looking at though

For anyone interested, the results of these trials were used to make two new 25,000lb bombs, one shaped like Grand Slam and one shaped like a modern BLU-109 style warhead, which were then dropped on Farge in 1949. This explains why you see stuff like the B-47 bomber being randomly listed as able to carry 25,000lb conventional bombs that are otherwise highly obscure. No signs that I can find that the Disney rocket bomb concept was pursued further by the USAF.
Some test results for those weapons can be found here

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