Official "Interesting pictures" thread - Part Three

Drifter

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"The bat bomb consisted of a bomb-shaped casing with over a thousand compartments, each containing a hibernating Mexican free-tailed bat with a small, timed incendiary bomb attached. Dropped from a bomber at dawn, the casings would deploy a parachute in mid-flight and open to release the bats, which would then disperse and roost in eaves and attics in a 20–40-mile radius (32–64 km). The incendiaries, which were set on timers, would then ignite and start fires in inaccessible places in the largely wood and paper constructions of the Japanese cities that were the weapon's intended target. "

Was a failed experiment as the bats would freeze at high altitudes. It did work on one occasion though.
 

beans100

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"The bat bomb consisted of a bomb-shaped casing with over a thousand compartments, each containing a hibernating Mexican free-tailed bat with a small, timed incendiary bomb attached. Dropped from a bomber at dawn, the casings would deploy a parachute in mid-flight and open to release the bats, which would then disperse and roost in eaves and attics in a 20–40-mile radius (32–64 km). The incendiaries, which were set on timers, would then ignite and start fires in inaccessible places in the largely wood and paper constructions of the Japanese cities that were the weapon's intended target. "

Was a failed experiment as the bats would freeze at high altitudes. It did work on one occasion though.
Tell me more, about this occasion...??????? o_O
 

Drifter

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Set fire to a USAAF hanger IIRC.
From Wikipedia:

A series of tests to answer various operational questions were conducted. In one incident, the Carlsbad Army Airfield Auxiliary Air Base (32°15′39″N 104°13′45″W) near Carlsbad, New Mexico, was set on fire on May 15, 1943, when armed bats were accidentally released.[6] The bats roosted under a fuel tank and incinerated the test range.

Following this setback, the project was relegated to the Navy in August 1943, who renamed it Project X-Ray, and then passed it to the Marine Corps that December. The Marine Corps moved operations to the Marine Corps Air Station at El Centro, California. After several experiments and operational adjustments, the definitive test was carried out on the "Japanese Village", a mockup of a Japanese city built by the Chemical Warfare Service at their Dugway Proving Grounds test site in Utah.[citation needed]

Observers at this test produced optimistic accounts. The chief of incendiary testing at Dugway wrote:

A reasonable number of destructive fires can be started in spite of the extremely small size of the units. The main advantage of the units would seem to be their placement within the enemy structures without the knowledge of the householder or fire watchers, thus allowing the fire to establish itself before being discovered.[2]
The National Defense Research Committee (NDRC) observer stated: "It was concluded that X-Ray is an effective weapon." The Chief Chemist's report stated that, on a weight basis, X-Ray was more effective than the standard incendiary bombs in use at the time: "Expressed in another way, the regular bombs would give probably 167 to 400 fires per bomb load where X-Ray would give 3,625 to 4,748 fires."[citation needed]
 
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