The Tallboy and Grand Slam Bombs

This is my first ever blog I hope you enjoy please let me know what you think.

All the talk in the news about the huge bomb dropped on Afghanistan, this week got me thinking about the Tall boy and Grand slam bombs which designed by the genius Barnes Wallis.

He first came to fame by designing the Upkeep weapon better known as the bouncing bomb which was used by 617 Squadron RAF to attack the German dams in an operation called  Chastise

Dam Busters

Before that he designed the fuselage for  another classic the Vickers Wellington bomber which served the entire war the only other aircraft to do so was the Fairy Swordfish. It was also famous for being featured in a propaganda movie when one was built in less than 24 hours as a publicity stunt The 24 hour Wellington bomber

Vickers Wellington

He also designed a weapon called highball which was never used but was designed to sink the battleship  Tirpitz. But another Barnes Wallis designed weapon was used instead. The Tallboy bomb which was dropped by a mixed unit of  9  and 617 Squadron RAF Lancaster bombers while it was berthed in a Norwegian fjord.

The Tallboy Bomb

This was a 11,000lb bomb first thought of back in 1941 and was widely used by 9 and 617 squadron. It was expensive to make being almost completely hand made. It was the first real bunker buster and was used right up to the end of the war to great effect. Destroying targets that couldn’t be destroyed by any other means. For more info click on the link below

Tallboy bomb operations

The Grand Slam Bomb

This is still the biggest conventional bomb by weight ever made at a whopping 22,000lbs or approximately 10 tons. It was nearly too late to see service during WW2 but was designed to be dropped on U boat pens which up to that time could not be destroyed. This bomb was also designed by Barnes Wallis and not as widely used as the Tallboy bomb but still effective.

Grand Slam Bomb

After the war before the Tallboy and Grand slam where kept in service but where never used and could have been carried by the V bombers which replaced the Lincoln bomber. That replaced the Lancaster with bomber command . But the Lancaster was still used by RAF and other countries as a maritime patrol aircraft still 1963 when it was finally retired from RCAF service.

So all the talk in the media about the MOAB is very interesting but don’t forget it was the Genius of Barnes Wallis who did it first.

For more info click on the links

Massive Ordnance Air Blast


Thanks for reading I hope to do this once a week. Please let me know what you think as this is all new to me.


5 thoughts on “The Tallboy and Grand Slam Bombs

  1. Interesting read – so the Grand Slam was bigger than the MOAB?
    That Lanc up at MOTAT is a former maritime patrol plane, right?


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