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WW2 Living Bat Bomb

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posted on Oct, 16 2004 @ 04:29 PM
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The Bat Bomb a secret weapon of WW2




It's official name was project X-ray. It was a US funded research project, with military personnel assigned to it, to produce a bomb which would carry bats laded with small incendary devices attached. The bomb would open over an enemy city, the bats would fly out and find a nice building to roost in for the day. The incendary would go off, incinerating the bat, and hopefully setting fires all over the city. "

A Choice of Bats

The largest bat found was the mastiff, which has a twenty-inch wingspan and could carry a one-pound stick of dynamite. However, the team found there weren't sufficient numbers available. The more common mule-eared, or , bat could carry three ounces, but naturalists determined it wasn't hardy enough for the project.

Finally, the team selected the free-tailed bat. Though it weighed but one third of an ounce, it could fly fairly well with a one-ounce bomb. The largest colony of freetailed bats found by, some twenty to thirty million


How the bomb worked

Newly recruited bats were placed in ice cube trays and cooled to force them into hibernation. By cooling them down to this state they were very easy to work with and transport. This is how a small incendiary bomb was attached to the bats. They were oblong, nitrocellulose cases filled with thickened kerosene. A small time-delay igniter.

A special hollow bomb case was created to house a thousand or so chilled bats. Which would have been released from bomber aircraft above the target city. The bomb would release a parachute and slowly glide to the warmer air below.This would bring the bats out of hibernation and at a pre set height the bomb would open releasing waves of tiny bat bombers.

The bats would seek shelter in buildings , warehouse, factories. Then the fire bombs would go off setting fire to the city.

Test Runs

In May 1943, five drops with bats outfitted with dummy bombs were made from a B-25 flying at 5,000 feet. Early test had many complications, Many bats didn't wake up in time for the drops. The surgical clips proved difficult to attach to the bats without tearing the delicate skin.

When these problems were somewhat resolved, new bats were taken up for drop tests with dummy bombs attached. These runs were alot more promising.Bats returned in a few minutes to the building where they were working. One flew underneath, one landed on the roof, and one attached itself to the wall. The next day an examination of the grounds around a ranch house about two miles away from the point of release disclosed two dummies inside the porch, one beside the house, and one inside the barn.


Armed Test Problems

After some good result military brass wanted to see a armed test of the bat bomb. This lead to a chain of events that would shape the future of the Bat Bomb. A small number of bats in hibernation were armed with live fire bombs. These bats were set up to have a photos taken of them. But the flashes from the cameras helped awake the little bats before the were ready. This combined with a careless handler that had left a door open allowed some bats escaped with live incendiaries.

These renegade bats set fire and burned down most of the Airbase even the general's car.Records do not reflect the general's reaction,
I doubt he was pleased.The end result an entire brand-new military airfield burned to the ground

This helped mark the end of the Army Bat Bomb. The Navy took over but the weapon was never put into use. In 1944 the Navy abruptly canceled the operation.By that time, Project X-Ray had cost an estimated $2 million.

The funding was diverted to another project, something code named "The Manhatten Project"

Thats the story of a interesting and little known secret weapon of WW2. Even after it was cancled the head of the project maintained that fires generated by bomber bats could have been more destructive than the atomic bombs that leveled Hiroshima and Nagasaki and ended the war. He found that bats scattered up to twenty miles from the point where they were released. "Think of thousands of fires breaking out simultaneously over a circle of forty miles in diameter for every bomb dropped," he said. "Japan could have been devastated, yet with small loss of life."

Bat Bomb

Bat Bomb Revisited?

Bat bomb book

[edit on 21-10-2004 by ShadowXIX]




posted on Oct, 19 2004 @ 12:35 AM
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A very interesting and funny post. the idea of the bat bomb is very ingenious and it would be interesting if they resumed studies...



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 04:53 PM
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When I saw the topic I though you were talking about a WWII guided surface to air missile. Still this is an interesting weapons. I'm surprised it was never battlefield tested.



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 05:11 PM
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Originally posted by cyberdude78
When I saw the topic I though you were talking about a WWII guided surface to air missile. Still this is an interesting weapons. I'm surprised it was never battlefield tested.


Good point I forgot that there was a missile also with the name bat.I re-named the title adding the word living. I was really amazed when I found out about this weapon. I couldn't believe a few of them could burn down a whole base. It was a very ingenious weapon concept I think it could even have saved lives compared to a A-bomb. It could still do large amounts of damage to factories and buildings but people would have time to get out of the way something a A-bomb wont give you the chance to do.

I also found out about a program where the CIA used cats as spies, turning them into electronic listening devices. Who would ever suspect a cat.
When I find out some more information I will post about that in detail .I thought it was another interesting project.

[edit on 21-10-2004 by ShadowXIX]



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 05:27 PM
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WoW, its been a great day for the Weapons threads, This is great!

Thats the most interesting weapon Ive ever read about. Thank you!



posted on Oct, 21 2004 @ 05:50 PM
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Originally posted by ShadowXIX
[I also found out about a program where the CIA used cats as spies, turning them into electronic listening devices. Who would ever suspect a cat.
When I find out some more information I will post about that in detail .I thought it was another interesting project.

[edit on 21-10-2004 by ShadowXIX]


Of course I'd suspect my cat. It's always snooping around in the background. Cats would be pretty good at gatheing intel but a lot of people are already suspicious of their cats.



posted on May, 21 2008 @ 03:10 PM
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project x-ray was a re-naming of it after getting attention and a valid backing of funds instead of just the original standard research budget thrown around for new research ....from the accident.

That was my take on it anyways.



posted on Jan, 8 2009 @ 03:23 AM
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This is a very interesting topic. Is saw a program on a documentary channel (Nat Geo or something like that) called Weird Weapons where this project was discussed in detail. The part that is not mentioned here but that was covered in the program was that a dummy Japanese style village was constructed somewhere in the desert in the US. They dropped the bats onto the village (can't remember how many cannisters were dropped but each canister contained just over 1 000 bats). The demonstration worked perfectly and the demo village was burned to the ground.



posted on Feb, 2 2009 @ 02:38 PM
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Yes, I recently read up on this subject. I found the info in a book titled, Bats A Natural History. I found it suprising that this plan did not work. **snickers** I would like to salute the bats that lost their lives to blow up the several military buildings that they perched in.



posted on Mar, 11 2014 @ 10:01 PM
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