500lb bomb

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Type 500lb GP Bomb
Fuze Type Quick
Country of Origin USA
Explosive Charge 267lbs TNT or Amatol
Overall Length 57"
Diameter 14"
Minium Safe Altitude 2500 ft
AH Damage Value 586lbs
Historical Targets
Type of Target Steel Railway bridges
Concrete docks
Light cruisers
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The American version of the 500 lb general purpose bomb was the AN-M64. It's explosive charge consisted of either 267 lbs of TNT, 262 lbs of Amatol, or 274 lbs of Composition B. The AN-M64 was painted olive drab with a 1" yellow stripe marking the center of gravity, with a stripe around the nose and rear of the bomb. It was 57" long and 14" in diameter with a 0.3" thick steel casing.

The British defined a general purpose bomb with a lower charge/weight ratio (roughly in the 27%-35% range). The 500 lb GP MK-I through MK-VI had an explosive charge of either TNT or Amatol weighing in the neighborhood of 145 lbs. Their total lengths ranged from 68-3/4" to 70-5/8" with a diameter of 13" and a casing thickness of 0.72"-0.875". The British equivelent of the AN-M64 would be the 500 lb MC MK-III which had a charge to weight ratio of around 50%. The British dropped 1,729,611 GP and MC bombs from 1940-1945. [1]

True to its US designation of "general purpose", the 50% charge/weight ratio 500 lb bomb was employed against a wide range of targets, including railways, light naval vessels, and a plethora of types of "soft" structures. It was deployed from both heavy bombing platforms, and from tactical aircraft. The minium safe drop altitude listed for the AN-M64 was 2500 feet. USAAF documentation listed target examples of: "Steel railroad bridges, subways, concrete docks, light cruisers"