television guided bombs and miniturizing their components

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Jul 6, 2005
Read that the germams worked on t.v. guided bombs,even managed to produce a few of them by early 1944,but,they were impractical to mass produce because of great difficulties in miniturizing the components.This may sound dumb,but why didn't they just make the components larger and put them on the nose of the bomb?Even if the bomb ended up having a nose like a mushroom,the accuracy of tv guided bombs would have been worth it,yes?OR was it that some components HAD to be the same size as the wavelength of t.v. waves and could not be made larger?Anyone know?TIA
The more weight you put into a weapon for guidance, the less you have for high explosive or incendiary material. Plus, the technology of the time was pretty primitive. Getting any kind of range out of Tx/Rx sets in those days was pretty tough. The technology had not really been developed yet.
No printed circuitry in 1944! You only have to look inside the back of an old radio to see the size of the componants you needed.
I remember seeing something on History channel that the US did develope TV guided bombs during WW2. They were never deployed though because they were easy to jam, were quite large, dimensions wise, and they were not reliable.

Im going to do some further research on this.
Toward the very end of WWII the U.S. had a radar guided bomb called the Bat. It was carried by Naval PB4Y Privateers and Hellcats, it was completely self sufficient and when dropped would home in on a reflected radar signal. All the launching aircraft had to do was drop it and the rest was automatic.... set it and forget it!

It was launched from fairly high altitude and would glide in at around 300 mph and contained a 1000lb bomb.

It was actually very successful on the open seas against Japanese shipping. The Japanese didnt have any jamming capabilities at all and the Japanese ship being the only large radar return the Bat would see made locating and hitting the ship very easy.

Problems were encountered however should the Bat be dropped near land because other returns from ground clutter would cause the Bat to fly to the largest return. So if it was launched at a ship in port it would likely fly into the nearest mountain or building!!

I have read some were modified for use against bridges with some success however I dont know what was done.
The idea that "the more wgt.for the guidance system,the less wgt for explosives&incendiaieries"is an easy "equation"to solve:
A multi ton bomb(say) that misses by hundreds of yards is worth less than a five hundred pound bomb(say)that hits the target.I appreciate all the replies,just didn't get an exact answer though.
Could you avoid the problems with miniturazation by building it with bigger components?Since miniturazation always imposes more of a strain on your industry,being able to produce larger components means you would be able to build alot more of the devices.So then:are the components"sized"to fit a particular wavelength,or can they be larger??Any reply appreciated.
You are correct.

Having a 250 pound bomb land within several feet of its target will do far more damage than a 2000 pound bomb landing yards away.

The state of the art of electronics back in 1944/1945 was not advanced enough to produce miniturized guidance and transmitter sub- systems. Also the fact that regardless on if you could by a breakthrough, manage to do it, the glide bomb still needs to be carried externally. If there was one fundemental theme of weapons production in the US in WW2, was to get it built and deployed. If making the bomb larger (dimensions wise) to accomodate the size of the electronics, then so be it.

What should also be considered is the shear number of heavy bombers available to carry these glide bombs. If you have a dozen bombers all aiming at the same target, you certeinly will hit it. One bomb group could do the job of a whole bomb wing.

Only drawback on these weapons of 1940's vintage, was they were essentially daylight/good weather only. The quality of the received image was degraded by low light levels and haze/fog.
free fall bomb accuracy.Didn't louis alvarez,the same physicist who developed the theory of an asteroid killing the dinosaurs(and who also worked in the manhattan project during the war I believe)develop a blind bombing system at the end of the war that was like 95%accurate in hitting the target??

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