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"The amazing story of the Norden Bombsight" Topic

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23 Feb 2019 10:08 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "The amazing story of the Nordern Bomb site " to "The amazing story of the Norden Bombsight"

Areas of Interest

World War Two on the Land
World War Two at Sea
World War Two in the Air

690 hits since 23 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Sir Able Brush Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2019 4:09 a.m. PST

I recently watched this fascinating talk on the bomb site – the scale of the investment and the political significance of it is extraordinary


and have today soptted that such a secret amnd preciuious and seriously expensive thing appears here

Fred Cartwright23 Feb 2019 4:14 a.m. PST

Shame it didn't actually work that well in practice having spent all that money.

Sir Able Brush Supporting Member of TMP23 Feb 2019 12:54 p.m. PST


Lee49423 Feb 2019 12:59 p.m. PST

Well after all the money they spent they had to say it was great right? And compared to other Air Forces who were lucky to hit an entire city, it was pretty good!

Fred Cartwright23 Feb 2019 4:53 p.m. PST

And compared to other Air Forces who were lucky to hit an entire city, it was pretty good.

Actually no it wasn't. In practice the US achieved about the same accuracy as the British and Germans. The CEP (circular area probable) of the Norden in combat was 1,200 feet, same as the Brit and German bombsights were achieving.

Keith Talent24 Feb 2019 12:50 a.m. PST

A massive waste of money, which indirectly gave rise to the (still) enduring myth of US precision bombing.

Sir Able Brush Supporting Member of TMP24 Feb 2019 2:42 a.m. PST

It's worth a few minutes to watch the Ted talk – the first link above.

Skarper24 Feb 2019 3:35 a.m. PST

Has wider implications for misuse of resources in all fields. Often as in the Norden bombsight case no malice or crookery is involved.

We can learn a lot from the strategic bombing campaigns of WW2.

Weddier24 Feb 2019 10:42 p.m. PST

Circle of Equal Probability (CEP); half the bombs fall inside, half outside.

StarCruiser25 Feb 2019 11:00 a.m. PST

Generally it was no more, or less, accurate than the Sperry bomb sight used on some other USAAF bombers.

It's still silly how much effort was spent trying to protect this "secret" weapon, when the Germans knew pretty much everything about before we even got into the war…

Not sure if anyone's seen or posted this so:

PDF link

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