What is a "5,500 lb CS"?

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33k in the air

Staff Sergeant
Jan 31, 2021
On Aug. 27, 1942, 106 squadron dispatched three Lancasters on a mission labelled "Bombing - Warships at Gdynia". One of the aircraft was carrying "6 x 1,000 lb RDX" and the other two were carrying "1 x 5,500 lb CS".

What is a 5,500 lb CS? I've not come across that particular bit of ordnance before.

(Also, is the 1,000 RDX an armour-piercing bomb? I've only seen that description used a few times before.)
Capital Ship bomb. Somewhat experimental I think, I haven't come across much about it either. Used the shaped-charge principle, apparently.

My guess is the 1,000-lb bombs were normal but the RDX filling was novel at the time, so it was indicated.
Yes, the CS bomb series was 'Capital Ships' Shaped charge, deforming nose and retardation 'chute. The final production was a 45 inch diameter but that size required modification to the Lancaster. The 38 inch diameter did not and six are recorded dropped during the Gdnia raid but with no recorded success. Needed a direct hit at a 35 degree angle or less and within a specific striking velocity for full effectiveness. Near impossible to achieve. (Source AP 1641, Vol 1, Chapter 9)
in His Despatch on War Operations, Harris on the CS Bomb:


I see Peter beat me to it!

in His Despatch on War Operations, Harris on the CS Bomb:

View attachment 653154
I see Peter beat me to it!


Harris seems to be off in his timing.

The first mention of the "5,500 lb CS" bomb was on a mission flown Aug. 27/28, 1942. Two Lancasters from 106 Squadron carried the weapon on a raid against Gdynia. The weapon was carried again on a mission against Spezia on Apr. 18/19, 1943, with two Lancasters listed as having carried the load.
I have run across mention of "1000 lb GP RDX" bombs in some loadouts.

I've come across mention of a "4.000 lb gel" bomb, apparently an incendiary, carried by some aircraft of 83 Squadron. I've seen a few references to such a device, nominally a 4,000-lb HC bomb converted to carry an incendiary liquid, intended to be used as a target marking bomb. Supposedly it was not put into production, yet there are several missions in which this particular bomb was dropped.

I've also seen listings of a "2,000 lb GP" bomb, which doesn't make sense since there was no such bomb. The question is whether this was the 2,000 lb HC bomb mislabeled as a GP, or the 1,900 GP mislabeled as being 2,000 lbs.
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Capital Ship bomb utilized Mizsnay-Schardin effect which is now days called EFP or explosive formed penetrator. It was supposed to penetrate capital ships decks by projecting steel plate trough tick armor.


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