Original U.S. M83 Butterfly Bomb Copy of German WWII Splitterbombe SD-2

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an extremely rare and original INERT training version of the U.S. made M-83 anti-personnel munition used during the 1950's and after. It is an almost identical copy of the infamous German SD-2 Splitterbombe ("Splinter Bomb"), commonly known as the "Butterfly Bomb as used during WWII.

The SD-2 was used against British cities, dropped along with other high explosive and incendiary ordnance. A small weapon (about 2kg), its primary purpose was as a booby trap device, to slow the progress of damage control after a bombing raid.

A common configuration for the SD-2 was to load them into a container, holding 23, which resembled a 50kg bomb. When dropped from a plane, the container immediately opened, emptying its lethal cargo.

There were five different kinds of fuze that could be used for the SD-2 including impact, air burst, long delay and anti-handling. The bomb has a lethal radius of up to 70 yards.

After the bomb is released, a torsion spring pops the wings open. Air drag pulls that assembly to the end of the connecting piece where it locks and proceeds to rotate, unscrewing the threaded arming spindle. Once the spindle completes about 10-turns, it arms the fuze. Once armed, there is no way to defuze the bomb and must be destroyed in place.

"They were found on roofs, on beds, hanging by one wing through ceilings, and the only way for the bomb disposal squads to deal with them was to blow them up with a charge just wherever they happened to be.

"A Grimsby fireman told me that "they tied the whole town up for three days - everything came to a standstill."

"A German prisoner of war told our bomb disposal people that the Germans dropped some containers of butterfly bombs onto a race course near Paris, in order to give their bomb disposal squads the experience of coping with them. The result was a number of German casualties. Very thorough!"

Commander Sir Aylmer Firebrace, C.B.E, R.N.

Chief of Fire Staff, British National Fire Service

Fire and the Air War

National Fire Protection Assoc. (U.S.), 1946

A Butterfly Bomb (or Sprengbombe Dickwandig 2 kg or SD2) was a German 2 kilogram anti personnel submunition used by the Luftwaffe during the Second World War. It was so named because the thin cylindrical metal outer shell which hinged open when the bomblet deployed gave it the superficial appearance of a large butterfly. The design was very distinctive and easy to recognize. SD2 bomblets were not dropped individually, but were packed into containers holding between 6 and 108 submunitions e.g. the AB 23 SD-2 and AB 250-3 submunition dispensers. The SD2 submunitions were released after the container was released from the aircraft and had burst open. Because SD2s were always dropped in groups (never individually) the discovery of one unexploded SD2 was a reliable indication that others had been dropped nearby. This bomb type was one of the first cluster bombs ever used in combat and it proved to be a highly effective weapon. The bomb containers that carried the SD2 bomblets and released them in the air were nicknamed the "Devil's Eggs" by Luftwaffe air and ground crew.

This fine example is complete and marked INERT on the base and incredibly rare. This is the only example we have ever seen.

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