Chemical Weapon Types

65 lb Light Case Bomb (United Kingdom)

Slightly strengthened 4 gallon kerosene/petrol can with stabilising flag fitted across one end which gave good flight. Measurements, 12.5 x 13 x 22 inches with a 59 lb charging. The bomb would break up and function from any height on any surface such as “downland, concrete, water, loose sand or shingle”. The weapon was adopted as the “standard UK gas weapon” on account of its wide tactical employment and simplicity of manufacture. This bomb, of simple manufacture, was later manufactured in Australia. There were many “live” trials undertaken with the 65 lb bomb.

250 lb Light Case Bomb (United Kingdom)

Filled phosgene or mustard. The bomb was designed on the tail ejection principle (after striking the target the liquid is ejected from the tail in the form of a spray that contaminated a belt downwind from the target). The body of the bomb consisted of a solid drawn, or jointed and welded, steel cylinder 0.25 inches thick, to one end of which was lightly welded a tail plate carrying a tapered charging hole and plug. To the other end of the cylinder a hemispherical steel nose about 0.5 inch thick was welded, in the centre of which was welded the burster container. The tail of the bomb, supplied separately, was of the snap-on variety and was assembled at the aerodrome just prior to use. The total overall length of the bomb (including the fuze and tail) was 64.56 inches, and the diameter 12 inches. The weight of the charging was approximately 125.5 lb. A total of 281 were extracted from Marrangaroo Army Base during 2008/2009.

Smoke Curtain Installation (250, 400 & 500 lbs) (United Kingdom)

For the purpose of spraying liquid mustard from the air, a spray tank known as a Smoke Curtain Installation was developed. Its primary purpose was to produce casualties by direct anti-personnel attack, but the weapon also possessed other valuable secondary uses depending upon the altitude at which the spray was released. The spray emission was gravity based. The emission pipe consisted of two parts, one short steel pipe welded to the tank (fixed) and an aluminium pipe which was detachable. Each was fitted with bakelite discs at the air inlet which were electrically fired by the pilot. This allowed the mustard to flow from the tank.

30 lb Light Case Bomb (United Kingdom)

The 30-lb Light Case Bomb was used to contaminate ground targets such as aerodromes, barracks, factories, docks, supply depots, etc. Its use as an antipersonnel weapon was of secondary importance. Like the 250-lb bomb it was designed so that on impact with the ground, the ejection charge removed the tail plate only, with the contents of the bomb being ejected upwards into the air.

Chemical Special No. 6 (United Kingdom)

Chemical Special No. 6 drum had a gross weight of 56 lbs. It was used for charging aircraft bombs including smoke curtain installations; hence it was sometimes referred to as an ISC (Installation Smoke Curtain) drum. In appearance it resembled an old fashioned milk urn.

25 lb Base Ejection Shell (United Kingdom)

Gas shells were considered to be of value primarily for harassing the enemy by compelling them to adopt protective measures (wearing of capes and eye shields. The shell body itself was charged with liquid which was ejected through the base by means of a piston. In order to prevent excessive shattering of the liquid the charging was rendered viscous by the addition of a suitable thickening agent. Gross weight 21 to 25 lbs, charged 1.25 to 1.75 lbs. 11,000 yard range.

4.2 Inch Mortar Bomb (united Kingdom)

The gross weight of this mortar bomb was 20 lbs of forged steel, and its charge 3.75 lbs of mustard or phosgene. The tail was of a conventional mortar design, holding a primary cartridge which ignited up to six secondaries through 18 vent holes. It was a heavy weapon and could be used in jungle fighting.

M47A2 Aircraft Bomb (United States)

A 100-lb bomb with a 73 lb charge of levinstein (United States manufactured) mustard gas.