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SA.4000 V3 radiological 'dirty' bomb at RAF. Museum storage facility Stafford

TsrJoe

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DELETED POST (please remove from the thread)
 

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TsrJoe

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images for reference from a previous post to show overall configuration ... im 'assuming' a container type weapon could be utilised with different fillings ? amatol or radioactive isotopes ?

i find the example in storage casing notation of great interest due to a number of allied documents citing the 'V3' weapon as being something pretty nasty, possibly the reason it was kept as an item of interest was just as described by the museum

cheers, Joe
 

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Orionblamblam

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These two posts are contradictory. The second describes the SA.4000 as being merely a Big Ass Bomb, apparently something like a Daisycutter. The first describes it as a wholly different thing.
 

red admiral

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They're still there. I heard the same dirty bomb story from the curator.

SA4000bomb.jpg
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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" I follow Ewen’s finger, pointing to the top shelf of the racking. Two yellow cylinders, rather like 50gal oil drums, sit there harmlessly. “We only recently discovered what those were”, comments Ewen. “We knew they were German from World War Two. For a long time we thought they were a type of aerial mine. All we had to go on was ‘SA4000’ painted on the side, but eventually we discovered that it was one of Hitler’s nuclear weapons. Not a proper fission weapon, you see, but the original dirty bomb. It was designed to drop a mixture of radioactive isotopes and high explosive; the conventional explosion would scatter radioactive contamination over a wide area.” Germany experimented with nuclear piles during the war, none of which became critical, and toyed with the idea of making a nuclear weapon but lacked the facilities and expertise.

Longer quote from The Hidden Treasures of Stafford, Aeroplane June 2006.

Leaves open the question of how they were identified as dirty bombs - where did this information come from?
 

TsrJoe

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cheers Paul, i'll make some enquiries and try obtain the museum record for the object in question, be interesting to see its museum provenance and catalogue file information,

Joe Cherrie
 

Rickshaw

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I note from the first image in the second posting by TSRJoe that its filling was intended to be "Amatol 50/50*"

Yet there doesn't appear to be an explanation on the image of the asterisk, nor what the other 50% was intended to be. I suspect that it was originally designed to be a "bad ass bomb" - the experience with aerial sea mines dropped in error (and later design) on land was such that they were extraordinarily difficult to defuse and very dangerous objects indeed. It may well have been adopted to the use of a radiological bomb because of its casing size (the more radioactive material in a package, the better). I find its fuzing though indicative that it was intended to explode on contact, not be as the aerial mines became, "thorns in the side" of the UXO authorities.

Oh, and I'd always understood the "Hochdruckpumpe" multi-chamber gun at Mimoyecques in France was referred to as the "V3".
 

SOC

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Is this maybe related to the radiological bomb the Germans intended to drop from Sanger's spaceplane?
 

TomS

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rickshaw said:
I note from the first image in the second posting by TSRJoe that its filling was intended to be "Amatol 50/50*"

Yet there doesn't appear to be an explanation on the image of the asterisk, nor what the other 50% was intended to be.

Amatol is a blended explosive -- Amatol 50/50 would indicate a mix of 50 percent TNT and 50 percent ammonium nitrate.
 

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rickshaw said:
Oh, and I'd always understood the "Hochdruckpumpe" multi-chamber gun at Mimoyecques in France was referred to as the "V3".

The "V" designation was used by WWII Germany in at least two distinctly different ways. The "V for Vergeltung (retaliation)" was a propaganda designation coined and used by Goebbels and his crew. The "V for Versuchs- (experimental)" was a technical designation used for series of development and research items (aircraft, missiles etc.). This has fueled a number of wild speculations about German "V4", "V5". "V6", etc. weapons, when in reality the referenced sources refer to sequential test items of e.g. an aircraft or missile system.

And since the V1 (Fieseler Fi-103 cruise missile) and the V2 (A4 ballistic missile) were never officially designated as V1 and V2, I find it hard to believe that the "V3" in the image refers to a "Vergeltungswaffe". In my opinion far more likely to refer to "Versuch 3" ("Test item 3"), or something else.

Regards & all,
Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

SOC

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Orionblamblam said:
SOC said:
Is this maybe related to the radiological bomb the Germans intended to drop from Sanger's spaceplane?

There were no such intentions.

Then why did they intend to use a 5,000 pound HE bomb wrapped in radioactive silica? Sanger's own gaussian plots of target areas showed that due to the small payload you'd need 80-100 or so Raketenbombers. Siegfried Knemeyer's idea was to wrap the bombs in radioactive silica to maximize the "impact" if not the damage, and he was pitting the A-9, Raketenbomber, and Ho-18A against each other to find the Nazi intercontinental strike platform.
 

Orionblamblam

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SOC said:
Then why did they intend to use a 5,000 pound HE bomb wrapped in radioactive silica?

"They" had no such intentions.

Sanger's own gaussian plots of target areas showed that due to the small payload you'd need 80-100 or so Raketenbombers.

Yup. And you'll note that conventional explosives are *all* that he describes. And even then, there was no "intention" to even build the thing, never mind arm it with radiological weapons. It was a theoretical excercise, far from serious engineering

Siegfried Knemeyer's idea was to wrap the bombs in radioactive silica

By all means, post the *source* of that. Not a modern "retelling," but the actual source documentation.
 

edwest2

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US Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama. "Preparing the American Public for a V-3 Attack - December 1944. L/C Box 223, USAF Microfilm Reel 43811.



"At a CCS meeting in Washington, Dec 8, 1944, the CCS discussed 'without much interest' a Presidential directive which would take action to meet a V-3 threat -- intercontinental missile attack against the United States."





Ed
 

zen

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Do tell us all how and to what extent the Germans knew of radiological effects of radioactive materials on human subjects.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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edwest said:
US Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, Alabama. "Preparing the American Public for a V-3 Attack - December 1944. L/C Box 223, USAF Microfilm Reel 43811.



"At a CCS meeting in Washington, Dec 8, 1944, the CCS discussed 'without much interest' a Presidential directive which would take action to meet a V-3 threat -- intercontinental missile attack against the United States."

"a V-3 threat" is not "the V-3 threat". You'd have to be very stupid when confronted with V-2 attacks on Britain not to consider the possibility of a successor intercontinental "V-3". That quote doesn't really prove that the V-3 existed or even that the US thought it existed, merely that they considered the possibility that it might exist in the future.
 

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York. Map Room Files, Box 20, Folder: Warm Springs, Dec. 9-18, 1944.



"December 9, 1944


"For the President from Admiral Leahy:


"Reference MR-in 217


"Possibility of V-3 stratospheric bomb attack on U.S. was discussed at a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday. General Marshall and Admiral King have sent messages to defense commands, sea frontiers and the First Air Force at Mitchell Field ordering precautionary measures taken.


(signed) William Leahy"





Ed
 

FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: SA.4000 V3 radiological 'dirty' bomb at RAF. Museum storage facility Staffor

Call me cynical but 'precautionary measures taken' sounds a bit like 'we need to say we're doing something in response to the president's concern'?!

Given that the allies were originally surprised at how much more advanced German rocketry was, I'd also expect an element of 'once bitten, twice shy'.
 

Orionblamblam

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Re: SA.4000 V3 radiological 'dirty' bomb at RAF. Museum storage facility Staffor

FutureSpaceTourist said:
Call me cynical but 'precautionary measures taken' sounds a bit like 'we need to say we're doing something in response to the president's concern'?!

Under the circumstances, it was probably just a memo sent out to observers along the coast to pick up their visual scanning.
 

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edwest said:
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York. Map Room Files, Box 20, Folder: Warm Springs, Dec. 9-18, 1944.

"December 9, 1944

"For the President from Admiral Leahy:

"Reference MR-in 217

"Possibility of V-3 stratospheric bomb attack on U.S. was discussed at a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday. General Marshall and Admiral King have sent messages to defense commands, sea frontiers and the First Air Force at Mitchell Field ordering precautionary measures taken.

(signed) William Leahy"

Ed

This does not prove that a "V-3" (whatever it was, or wasn't) or some other Nazi "stratospheric" attack capability existed. It merely shows that the US were concerned that it might.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg
 

Rickshaw

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edwest said:
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, New York. Map Room Files, Box 20, Folder: Warm Springs, Dec. 9-18, 1944.



"December 9, 1944


"For the President from Admiral Leahy:


"Reference MR-in 217


"Possibility of V-3 stratospheric bomb attack on U.S. was discussed at a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday. General Marshall and Admiral King have sent messages to defense commands, sea frontiers and the First Air Force at Mitchell Field ordering precautionary measures taken.


(signed) William Leahy"





Ed

Isn't this merely a reference to the meeting you mentioned in the first post? It is not indicative of anything other than a meeting took part which your first reference described as desultory discussion of a possible V-3 threat. From the description no one really seemed overly concerned about the possibility beyond a general warning being sent out.
 

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