View Single Post
Old 06 February 2014, 06:21 PM
BrianB's Avatar
BrianB BrianB is offline
Join Date: 03 March 2000
Location: Camarillo, CA
Posts: 3,565

Emphasis mine:
The United States in World War 2 created a bomb that used bats. The bats would be carrying small incendiary charges and would be released from the bomb in mid air, causing them to fly and scatter to different buildings in the area. The charges would then detonate and set all the buildings on fire. It was tested and proven to be very effective.
Not exactly:
Unfortunately, real tests did not go as planned. There were all kinds of things that needed to be fine-tuned. For example, at one point, a few of the loaded incendiary bats were accidentally released, whereupon a hangar and general's car were burned (as you can see in the photo below).

Eventually the Marine Corps took over the program and conducted tests beginning in December 1943. After 30 demonstrations and $2 million spent, the project was canceled.
Also, from Air Force Magazine dated October 1990:
On May 21, 1943, five drops with bats outfitted with dummy bombs were made from a B-25 flying at 5,000 feet. The tests were not successful; most of the bats, not fully recovered from hibernation, did not fly and died on impact.
{ snip }
in August 1943, the Army passed the project to the Navy, which renamed it Project X-Ray.
{ snip }
Full-scale bomber-bat tests were planned for August 1944. However, when Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations, found that the bats would not be combat-ready until mid-1945, he abruptly canceled the operation. By that time, Project X-Ray had cost an estimated $2 million.
From the related Reddit thread:
This was actually APPROVED by the government for development and production, and then cancelled because of the atomic bomb.
It definitely wasn't approved for production because the program was canceled when the concept was still being tested. Also, I can't find any evidence whatsoever that the cancellation was related to the atomic bomb. For example, I assume Admiral King would not have been informed about the atomic bomb.


Last edited by BrianB; 06 February 2014 at 06:42 PM. Reason: Forgot "was".
Reply With Quote