The air weapon is new as far as gas warfare is concerned. In the event
chemical warfare breaks out we can expect large scale low-altitude spray attacks
with vesicants as well as concentrated bombing with vesicant and non-persistent
a. Spray Apparatus
(1) Nebelgerät V.200. -- This spray apparatus, suitable for use with either
smoke or gas, is reported to approximate a 250 kg (550 lb) bomb in size and
weight. Its capacity is stated to be 25 gallons of smoke liquid or vesicant
gas. At 200 mph a strip about 660 yards in length may be contaminated during
the emission period of six to seven seconds. (Note: This apparatus has previously been
reported as having a capacity of 44 gallons).
(2) Nebelgerät S.300. -- A larger apparatus than the V.200, the S.300, while
intended primarily for the laying of smoke screens, presumably may be used
for spraying vesicant gases. It is pressure operated and consists of a cylindrical
60-gallon tank, magnetic control valves and an emission pipe. The emission is
operated electrically from a switch-box near the observer's seat and can be
interrupted at will. In the Dornier 217-E-1, it is carried in the bomb stowage
compartment where it may be jettisoned at any time.
A German document states that a minimum altitude of 30 meters (100 feet)
is necessary for cloud emission.
A number of reports mention experiments conducted at Weiner Neustadt, 30 miles
south of Vienna, with gas spray apparatus installed in the Dornier 217 airplane. Other
reports state that a squadron of Dorniers is equipped for gas spray and that
such equipment might be installed on other types of airplanes, especially the Heinkel 111.
(3) Chema Fuma L.90 and L.190. -- Two types of gravity-operated spray
apparatus, developed by the Czech firm of Chema, are available to the enemy. These
may be used either for gas or smoke by a simple change of nozzles and the size
chosen probably depends upon the speed of the airplane. Their general characteristics
are as follows:
|| 90 liters (23.8 gallons)||
||190 liters (50.2 gallons)
|| 97 pounds||
|Weight charged (smoke liquid)||
It is reported that about 1,000 of these spray apparatus had been produced
at the time the Germans occupied Czechoslovakia, in addition, that these apparatus
have previously been reported as having capacities of 20 and 42 gallons, respectively.
During 1941, a report from a source usually considered reliable, mentions
a Messerschmitt with motors cut off, capable of gliding some 200 kilometers
(124 miles) from a height of 20,000 feet. It is stated that the plane is
equipped with reservoirs definitely designed to hold mustard gas. The reservoirs are
equipped with spraying devices and the plane's motors are utilized to keep the mustard gas
in the reservoirs under pressure.
One type of German apparatus for spraying toxic gases from aircraft is
reported to hold 200 kg (440 lbs) of mustard gas. When functioned at a height of
75 to 80 feet, it contaminates a strip 2,500 feet long by 65 feet wide to an average
density of 100 grams per square meter.
c. Gas Loads for Aircraft and Gliders
The following table represents an estimate of the gas loads that may be
carried by German aircraft and gliders:
||Approx. net liquid
gas load (lbs)
||Max. still air|
||estd. 20,000|| to 26,000
||15,000|| to 19,500
||) Dependent upon||
||) type of tug.||
The above figures are unlikely to be attained in practice and indicate the
maximum possible effort.
d. Description of Gliders
In view of the possible use of gliders for aerial spraying, brief descriptions
of the three main types so far identified are as follows:
(1) DFS 230. -- A high-wing monoplane of conventional design, carrying
a useful load of about one ton, or 10 fully equipped troops, including two pilots. A
recent modification has been the installation of dual control.
(2) Go. 242. -- A high-wing monoplane with the tail unit carried on two
booms, the crew and freight being accommodated in a central compartment under
the center section of the wing. The tail of the compartment hinges upward to
facilitate loading. This glider carries a useful load of two and one half tons
or 23 fully equipped troops, including two pilots.
(3) Gigant. -- This 178-foot-span glider, (see Tactical and Technical
Trends No. 21, p. 1) previously known as the Merseburg, has now been identified
as the "Gigant". It is a single-fuselage, high-wing monoplane with a gross wing
area of about 3,200 square feet. A reliable report indicates that the fuselage has
at least two decks, the upper deck floor being detachable in sections, making
possible the stowage of bulky freight. The maximum useful load is about 12 tons
or approximately 130 fully equipped troops. Motor vehicles or small tanks can
be accommodated. The report also states that this glider has been seen towed
by the twin-fuselage Heinkel.
e. Estimated Towing Ranges
By way of example, the following estimated towing ranges are given:
||Ju. 52 ||
||Ju. 52 ||
||Ju. 52 ||
Marked attention has been given by the Germans to aerial gas bombs. The
figures given below probably indicate the size rather than the weight of the bomb. Gas
bombs may be lighter than HE bombs of the same size.
(1) 10-kg (22 lb) K.C.* 10, chemical shrapnel bomb. -- This is primarily
an antipersonnel bomb, in which a small amount of toxic smoke agent may be
incorporated. It is similar in appearance to the S.C.** 10-kg antipersonnel
bomb and probably has the same type of mechanical nose impact fuse. In addition
to the chemical effect within a radius of about 22 yards from point of impact, the
splinters are effective up to 45 yards.
(2) 50-kg (110 lb) K.C. 50, mustard gas bomb. -- This bomb is about the
same size as the S.C. 50-kg HE bomb. Equipped with a highly sensitive electrical
impact fuse, and an area of about 22 yards radius from point of burst is
contaminated. It is provided with a small burster for ground contamination and with a larger
burster for personnel effect.
(3) 250-kg (552 lb) K.C. 250, mustard gas bomb. -- With a time fuse to
operate when within several hundred feet of the ground, this bomb will contaminate
an area of 5,000 to 6,000 square yards. It is about the same size as the S.C. 250-kg HE
bomb. The C250 (Flam.) incendiary bomb case may be used as the gas container.
(4) 1000-kg (2,204 lb) K.C. 1000, gas bomb. -- Phosgene or other lung gases
are likely to be used in this bomb. There may be an impact fuse and small bursting
charge, or the bomb may be designed to break upon impact.
Reports regarding the use of vesicant gases by means of aerial sprays in
the Abyssinian campaign are conflicting. There is no direct evidence that Italian
land planes are equipped With spray apparatus, but captured documents describe
a spray apparatus, Irroratore B, two of which are carried outside the fuselage of
the seaplane Cant.Z. 501. Each tank has a capacity of 180 liters (47.5 gallons) of
either mustard gas or smoke liquid, with a total emission time of 20 seconds.
b. Gas Loads for Aircraft
The following table represents an estimate of the liquid gas loads that be carried
by Italian aircraft:
|Cant Z. 1007 bis
|Fiat B.R. 20 M.
|Piaggio P. 108
|Savoia Marchetti S.M. 79
| S.M. 84
| S.M. 82
| S.M. 75
|Fiat G. 50
*Column 3 shows quantities carried with low-pressure systems, or low-pressure systems plus bombs.
The above figures represent the maximum loads of liquid gas which it would be possible to carry.
It has been clearly established that aircraft bombs filled with mustard gas
were used by the Fascists against the Abyssinians. Such bombs fitted with time
fuzes to explode several hundred feet in the air, led to reports that aerial sprays
were extensively employed. It is reported that in addition to the use of many
105-mm artillery shells, the Fascists dropped close to 5,000 mustard gas bombs
from aircraft upon the defenseless Ethiopians.
(1) Gas-filled aircraft bombs, as shown in the following table, have been
identified from captured Italian documents and other reliable sources:
| New Des-
| Old Des-
| Nature & Wt.
| Wt. of Com-
| Dia. of
| 500 C.
|| C.500 T.
|| C.W. with
| HE ?
| 100 C.
|| C.100 P.
|| C. W.
|| HE 62.2
| 40 C.
|| C. 40 P.
|| C. W.
|| DA 14.3
| 15 C.
|| C. 15 P.
|| C. W.
|| HE 7.4
| 4 C.
| C. W.
|| HE 1.5
| 6.2 ?
| 2 C.
| C. W.
|| HE .6
|| C. W.
According to a recent report these bombs are painted yellow, with a Geneva
Cross indicating the filling. With the exception of the type 500 C. and the Bomba
Furetto, these bombs are filled with DA.*** They have a bursting charge approximately
double the weight of the gas fillings and are fitted with percussion fuzes.
The 500 C. has a time fuze and a relatively small bursting charge, indicating
that it is filled with blister gas and is described as a vaporizing percussion bomb.
Other than the 500 C., the weights of these bombs roughly correspond with
their nomenclature. No doubt the 500 C. is so named because it has the same
external dimensions as the 500-kg (110 lb) HE bomb and would fit the same bomb
racks. Naturally, a gas-filled bomb of the same dimensions, having a thinner
metal case, would be considerably lighter in weight.
(2) Aerial Gas (or Incendiary) Container. -- Among Italian chemical
warfare material captured near Tripoli a number of sheet metal cylindrical
containers 5 feet in length and 10 1/2 inches in diameter were found. They are
painted a battleship gray, with a 1 3/4 inch yellow band circling the center of the
body, and weigh approximately 60 pounds, empty.
The body of the container has eight chambers, each 2 1/4 inches in diameter
and 28 inches long. The tail end of each chamber is sealed and fitted with a spring
platform. The nose-end is fitted with a detachable steel plate covering the end of
all eight chambers, and is held in position by a release pin connected with a wire
cable running through the center of the container. The nose proper consists of an
aluminum dome, which is a push-fit onto the body, held by means of four spring clips.
An ingenious retarding device, attached to the tail, is operated by a clockwork
mechanism calibrated from 0 to 20 seconds. On release of the container
from the aircraft, the retarding device functions at the time set. Simultaneously, the
release pin holding the guard plate is removed by means of the attached wire
cable connected to the clockwork mechanism. Due to the sudden decrease in the
rate of fall, the contents of the inner tubes (gas or incendiary bombs) are forced
down, with the assistance of the spring platforms in the tubes, and overcome
the four spring clips by which the nose is attached. The nose and guard plate
thereby fall away allowing the bombs to scatter.
No bombs to fit the container were found, but since it is similar in design
to the Italian incendiary container used in Caproni aircraft, it is logical to assume
that the container was designed for gas or incendiary bombs.
Other than an aircraft spray spread from leak-proof tanks behind the engine
cowl, there has been no definite information regarding the design, capacity, or
chargings of spray apparatus in use. It is probable that here the Japanese, as in
other chemical warfare matters, duplicate German apparatus.
Gas Loads and Ranges
The following table represents an estimate of the maximum gas loads that
may be carried on the most likely types of aircraft at present in use by the
Japanese Air Force:
|Army Twin-engine Bombers||
|97 T.E. Bomber (Mitsubishi)||
|99 T.E. Bomber (Kawasaki ?)||
|00 T.E. Recco-Fighter ( ? )||
Army Single-engine Bombers and Recco's
A V E R A G E
|98 Light Bomber-Recco (Kawasaki)||
|97 " " " (Mitsubishi)||
||600 to 700||
|98 " " " (Mitsubishi)||
|99 Ground Attack Recco ( ? )||
Navy Twin-engine Bombers
|96 T.E. Shore-Based Bomber (Mitsubishi)||
|01 T.E. Shore-Based Bomber (Mitsubishi)||
Navy Single-engine Deck-landing Bombers
|97 Torpedo-Bomber (Mitsubishi & Nakajima)||
|99 Dive-Bomber (Aichi)||
Army and Navy single-seater fighters and single-engined seaplanes are
not included, as in these cases the gas load is unlikely to exceed 200 pounds.
(1) 50-kg Gas Bomb Type 92. -- During early operations in China the
Japanese used a 50-kg (110 lb) gas bomb, filled with a mixture of equal parts by
weight of mustard gas and Lewisite. The chemical filling
weighs 23 kilos (50.6 lbs). This is reported to be their chief chemical bomb.
The bomb is grayish green in color with a red and blue band at the nose. There
are two yellow bands at opposite ends of the body with a white band in the center.
The bomb consists of a steel nose, cylindrical casing and tail assembly, with
an overall length of 45 inches. The steel body has a wall thickness of 3/16 inch
and is 26.4 inches long by 7.5 inches in diameter. A cast steel nose is attached
to the body by three 1/4 inch grub screws and the sheet iron tail
assembly, consisting of four vanes welded to the tail cone, with two
sets of box-type struts, is welded to the body.
On impact, the nose-fuse functions and the flash from the detonator cap
ignites the first detonator to initiate the picric acid pellet. The main filling in the
bomb nose then detonates to shear the grub screws and eject the body of the bomb
from the shaft of entry. At the same time, the second striker is forced upwards
to overcome the creep spring and to pierce and ignite the second detonator, which
in turn ignites the booster charge. The detonation of the picric acid is then initiated
in the exploder pocket, fracturing the bomb and spreading the blister gas.
(2) Miscellaneous Gas Bombs. -- Details of a 15-kg (33 lb) combination
HE/toxic smoke bomb, possibly of the nose-gas variety, are also reported. The
construction and operation of this bomb is similar to that of
the 50-kg (110 lb) gas bomb.
A French report (July 1939) mentions 25, 50, 100 and 200-kg gas bombs
filled with mustard gas, Lewisite, phosgene and diphosgene.
*Kampfstoff Cylindrisch -- thin-walled gas bomb
**Spreng Cylindrisch -- thin-walled general purpose bomb