Bombing accuracy

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Jan 26, 2005
During the summer of 1944, 47 B-29s raided the Yawata steel works from bases in China; only one plane actually hit the target area, and with only one of its bombs. This single 500 lb general purpose bomb (which hit a powerhouse located 3,700 ft from the far more important coke houses that constituted the raid's aiming point) represented one quarter of one per cent of the 376 bombs dropped over Yawata on that mission.

In the fall of 1944, only seven per cent of all bombs dropped by the Eighth Air Force hit within 1,000ft of their aim point; even a fighter-bomber in a 40 degree dive releasing a bomb at 7,000 ft could have a circular error (CEP) of as much as 1,000 ft. It took 108 B-17 bombers, crewed by 1,080 airmen, dropping 648 bombs to guarantee a 96 per cent chance of getting just two hits inside a 400 by 500 ft area (a German power-generation plant.)

A chart can be found on this site, from which the above was taken.
That is one large 'pickel barrel', eh. :p

"Average % of bombs dropped which fell within 1,000 ft (610 m) and 2,000 ft (306 m) of pre-assigned MPI's on visual missions under conditions of good to fair visibility."
Now lanc... what makes you think that the only reason they hit their target was because they were flying a Lancaster?
Yes, dropping iron bombs from high altitude is far from an exact science. I would think that RAF and USAAF percentages were probably very similar at the same altitude.

The big problem with high altitude bombing over Japan was the jet stream that flows over the island. Very difficult to compensate for and that is part of the reason that LeMay went to the low altitude approach. Lower altitude leads to better accuracy.
They only got hits during that type of mission cos thy flew so damn low...its a diffeernt story altogether at 15,000ft

the minimum safe height for the dropping of a grand slam was 12,000ft, that's not low..........
actually no that's not the way upkeep worked, due to the backspin placed on the mine (it was a mine, not a bomb as most people say) she "stuck" to the inside face of the dam, when she exploded, she would crack the dam, all the water pressure would then cause the dam to colapse, very clever really.................

and as far as bombs go, the Grand Slam and her family were about as accurate as you could get, they were amoung the very few bombs to be deigned with aerodynamics so much at the forfront, the bomb itself did actually have allot to do with accuracy...........
It was the shockwave underwater caused by the explosion that broke the dams. The Tallboy/Grand Slam were so aerodynamic that they passed the speed of sound when dropped- you heard it land after it actually did

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