Loading 'Monroe' bombs into aircraft

The ultimate method: Monroe's bomb

Later on an even more effective way was found.
That the Americans saw the importance of psychological warfare can be seen from the fact that Captain James Monroe of the USAAF invented a bomb for the spreading of leaflets.
The so-called Monroe bomb was taken into service.

This bomb consisted of a paperboard cylinder in which up to 80.000 leaflets could fit.
These bombs were dropped like normal bombs. A small detonator caused the cylinder to open at any given height. The leaflets were spread over a large area. All makes of bombers were used: American Flying fortresses B-17 and later B-24. Ten of these bombs fitted exactly in the bomb bay of a B-17. The picture shows a ground crew loading the Monroe bombs into a B-17.

In England, over 75000 Monroe bombs were produced. The only thing was that on (some very few) missions a bomb didn't open. That's why unopened Monroe bombs were found in Holland sometimes. Even 25 years after the war the Dutch bomb disposal had to dig up one still filled with, tightly packed, readable leaflets!

I want to ask any visitor if they could help me to get original manuals (US / GB / German or other) for this kind of leaflet-drop related equipment (bombs, shells, balloons etc.).

On their way into Germany many dangers could be encountered: Messerschmidts and Focke wulf will be remembered by any aircrew that ever met them.

The bombers found their way into Germany better and better as the war came into a later stage. Better radar, pathfinder bombers and so-called "window" radar deflection made it easier (but still dangerous!!!). Also the aiming devices got better. Target pinpointing was (in general) the way the americans worked during their daytime bombing. The British (lead by Bomber Harris) did think more in terms of "Aerea sweeping".

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Leaflet introduction
Spreading leaflets
Example leaflets
Translations of example leaflets
Wartime opinions and law
Leaflet and poster slide shows
Leaflet campaigns Italy:
"A typical souvenir"

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Propaganda leaflets of the second World War

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Copyright 1996-2008, Hans Moonen, The Netherlands.
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