Alternate A-bomb transporters

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Jul 22, 2006
Lady Lake Fl USA
Were there other means of delivering the A-bomb to a target axis or allies?Other than the b-29.i.e he177or mabey a condor?Or the mistel aircraft?
Given the size of the thing, I would guess not. It was big and there were limited numbers of aircraft that could carry it. Lancaster, B29, B32 were probably about it. Little Boy, the one dropped on Hiroshima was a little under 5 tons and Fat Man, the one dropped on Nagasaki, was a tad over. Getting into the air with that kind of payload was beyond the ability of most airplanes, save the ones already mentioned.

If you get into flights of fancy, you could probably deliever it by sub or run it into a harbor on a surface ship but why bother. Dropping it out of an airplane is safer, easier, requires less planning, has a higher probability of success, is exposed to defenses for a shorter time, ect. In short, it works so why bother.
There are numerous accounts for a single He-177 refitted in Prague in march 1945 to carry a single, very large bomb. Altough I personally doubt the creditability of these reports, it could be part of the discussion if anybody knows more in detail.
The Lancaster can definitely carry Little Boy type weapons, better off than the B-29 because of the single long bomb bay. More problems with the Fat Man type because of the fuselage width. I'd expect that it could be fitted to one of the 617 squadron B.III specials.

Could easily fit either weapon into the Savoia-Marchetti 82 Canguru, if you can fit a CR.42 in there you can fit more or less anything. Dropping the bomb from the aircraft would be more problematic.
No doubt a Lancaster could get off the ground with a 'Fat Man' or 'Little Boy', but could it get enough altitude with one of those on board to drop the thing and not get blown to bits in the process? I think the B-29 and maybe the B-32 were about it. Then again, exactly when did the B-36 make its first flight?
V1710 makes a great point. Once you drop the bomb, you had better get out of range as quickly as possible.

Even the B29's were at 30,000 ft and high speed, got shaken up by the detonation.

Those B32's and Lincolns would have been even closer.
V-1710 said:
No doubt a Lancaster could get off the ground with a 'Fat Man' or 'Little Boy', but could it get enough altitude with one of those on board to drop the thing and not get blown to bits in the process? I think the B-29 and maybe the B-32 were about it. Then again, exactly when did the B-36 make its first flight?

Think the B32 was around by 8/45. Saburo Saki writes about attacking one sometime around then. Didn't get much play but they were coming on line by that time.
this's been discussed before and it was concluded that the mainstream bombers capable of taking an outsized 10,000lb payload easily were the B-29, lanc and halibag, the halibag gets instantly knocked out leaving the lanc and B-29, now then, are we paying attention to this adler? it's only happening this once ;) it was concluded the B-29 was the far superior aircraft for the job not for it's load carrying abilities but for the fact it could get high and fast to try and escape the bomb blast, obviously the lanc could take the loads but, with the possible exception of the 350mph Mk.VI, would struggle to avoid the bomb blast, had the war gone on longer both Britain and the US would have even better delivery platforms in the forms of the the Lincoln and B-32, possibly even B-36..........
The Germans had all sorts of vehicluar scenarios for devlivery. Most were missiles and they didn't involve big 5 ton weapons like the Hiroshima bomb. Their 1st design was 2,200 lbs and many other non-fission, isotopic weapons were in development or actually on the shelf. There were many sub models of the V-1 and V-2 of a specialized nature that could deliver myriad warheads of nuclear material, bio-chemical and more.

As for attacking the US, Hitler gave the go ahead to the long-term development of the A-9/A-10 rocket system that was planned to reach the US in 1936. In 1943 he made it the utmost priority to get that system on line.

In hindsight it can't be measured as very serious a threat but in October 1944 the OSS got information of a 4 U-boat contingent with orders to sail to New York at an unknown future date and launch V-1s.

That wasn't very scary in itself but what was is the fact that in the War Dept. document # 14630, not declassified till 1978, it was assumed that Germany had nuclear cabability! While we now call the V-3 the super gun in in France , back then the V-3 was a nuclear armed V-1 derivitive. SHAEF HQ sent the alert and by December an ULTRA/MAGIC document sent to US and British authorities the plan of a blind attack on the US with "this weapon based on the principle of the explosion of nuclear particles in the atom."
While these german long range rockets looked good on paper, do not forget that they were brand new technology pushing the limits (at the time).

When you consider that the US and USSR really didnt get reliable rockets with the necessary payloads and ranges untill the mid 50's, I would look very sceptically at claims the germans could have pushed the state of the art so fast.

Another thing to consider is the reliability. The bigger the rocket, the more the probability something is going to go wrong. Considering that the V2 failed on numerous occasions, does anyone take seriously the scenario that these long range rockets were going to be reliable enough to put an atomic weapon board?
tomsong3320 said:
Wern't the germans planning a raid on new york with he.177?

He-177? :lol:

The He-177 did not have the range to reach a third of the way to New York. The whole Amerika bomber project was only looked at. The aircraft that would have done it would have the Ju-390 or the Me-324.
Aircraft that technically could have carried a Little boy atleast would have been the Lancaster, B-32, Ju-390, He-274, and Me-234. Again though as others have said, it would have been highly unlikely for reasons stated.
The A-9/A-10 was initially to be manned. Since automatic nav aids of the time were to imprecise the final stage was to be re-set on course to the intended target during final glide. The pilot capsule would eject and a U-boat would pick him up...perhaps...slim chance.

The A-9 was moving ahead and test flights were made. The Amerika rocket would have had a better chance than a standard V-1 heading for Britain as only 2-3 out of 10 got through. The A-9 was only a minor extension of the successful A-4 (V-2) No once can say it would not have worked. It did in fact in American and Russian versions later. The Redstone borrowed heavily on the A-9 and in Russia the R-11 had the same visol/salbei propulsion system exactly.

Most assuredly V-1s with isotopic warheads launched close in to NYC would have had a great chance of success as there was relatively little defense there compared to GB.
Wern't the Germans planning a raid on New York with he.177?

Tomsong3320 you were quite right. A newspaper article appeared at the end of the war that Gardermoen airport near Oslo was packed with 44 He-177 aircraft for a planned raid on New York.

Oslo Airport, Gardermoen - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As far as I know a one way trip may have been feasible, but maybe not with a 10,000kg load. That was the load specified by RLM in 1942 for the Amerika Bomber contest. Various plans for an attack by He-177 were hatched proposing crew bail out afterwards for collection by U-boat.

As for the A9/A10 Werner Von Braun was interviewed by a US Navy Investigative Commission on 18 May 1945 and was asked about the A9/A10 guidance system. He said that there were two guidance methods developed.

One was as mentioned a suicide pilot for the winged upper stage rocket. The other method von Braun mentioned was to plant radio homing beacons with spies.

General Walter Dornberger revealed at a postwar internment camp (CSDIC Camp 11) to the British that he and Werner von Braun had gone to Lisbon for secret surrender talks in October 1944. Such a trip at that stage of the war was so treasonous that it had to be sponsored by SS Lt Gen Dr.Ing Hans Kammler.

Walter Dornberger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My view is that from October 1944 some Nazis in the know bought their own freedom by sabotaging the Axis plan to bomb USA.
Tomsong3320 you were quite right. A newspaper article appeared at the end of the war that Gardermoen airport near Oslo was packed with 44 He-177 aircraft for a planned raid on New York.

I do not buy that story and think that it is nothing but a story. There may have been 44 He 177s in Norway, but they were certainly not going to be used to bomb the US.


1. If they were to be staged to bomb the US, it would have been from some other location and not from Norway which is farther away than lets say parts of France, or even parts of Germany.

2. The He 177 did not have the range. Its combat radius was only 960 miles. The ferry range of the He 177 was 3200 miles (that was without armament and full of extra fuel tanks).

3. If there was any way to reach the United States it would have been a one way trip. The Germans were not the Japanese and they would not have conducted "Kamikaze" missions.
The Germans were experimenting with towing V-2s behind U-Boats. That could have made things interesting but by 1945, Uboats were becoming increasing easy to find and kill.

A Uboat dragging a rocket hanger would have made a pretty display on sonar.

The First Submarine Launched Rockets



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a little known fact

regarding a attack on new was actually given a order for the Fw 200 condors that were stationed in Norway to do a suicidal attack on NY on a one way tour..filled up with bombs ( this order was given in march/april 1945 from der fuhrer ) but the crews and commanders in Norway new that the war was soon over and they delayed that order with all means ( slowely getting ready for the mission but this and that took its time and so on as they knew that would gain nothing and in the end it dident happen )

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